Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Difference between centrifugal pump and reciprocating pump

Today we will discuss about difference between centrifugal pump and reciprocating pump. Both centrifugal and reciprocating pumps are most common type of pumps used to move fluid and increase its pressure. Centrifugal pump which is also known as rotary pump used kinetic energy of impeller to force the fluid and increase its kinetic energy. This kinetic energy suddenly converts into pressure energy which move fluid upward. These are used in household pumps for domestic water supply. Reciprocating pumps are one of the positive displacement pumps which contain a piston cylinder device. Water is trapped into the cylinder during suction stroke and force out during exhaust stroke. It is mostly used to pump high viscous fluids.
Difference between centrifugal pump and reciprocating pump

The basic and main difference between centrifugal pump and reciprocating pump is that centrifugal pump use kinetic energy of impeller so it continuously supply fluid but in reciprocating pump piston sucks the fluid and then pushes it out which does not gives continuous supply. There are some modified reciprocating pumps are available which gives continuous discharge. There are many other differences which are described as follow.

Difference between Centrifugal Pump and Reciprocating Pump:

S. No.
Centrifugal pump
Reciprocating pump


It is one of the rotary pumps which used kinetic energy of impeller.

It is a positive displacement type pump which is forced by piston.


It continuously discharges the fluid.

It does not discharge the fluid continuously.


In centrifugal pump the flow rate decreases which increasing the pressure.

The pressure does not affect flow rate in reciprocating pumps.


It is used for low viscous fluid.

It is used for high viscous fluid.


In this pumps discharge is inversely promotional to the viscosity of fluid.

In reciprocating pump viscosity of fluid does not affect the discharge rate.


Efficiency of these pumps are low compare to reciprocating pump.

Efficiency is high.


Centrifugal pump have problem of priming.

It does not have any problem of priming.


It uses impellers to transfer energy to fluid.

It uses piston cylinder device to transfer energy to fluid.


They are lighter than reciprocating pumps.

These are heavier compare to centrifugal pump.


It gives higher discharge at low heads.

These gives higher heads at low discharge.


It is less costly.

These are costly.


These pumps required less maintenance.

These required higher maintenance.


Centrifugal pumps are easy to install. These required less floor space.

These pumps are difficult to install. These required more floor area.


It is mostly used for domestic purpose and where higher discharge at low head required.

These are mostly used in industries and high viscous fluid pumped at a high head. 

Today we have learnt about difference between centrifugal pump and reciprocating pump. If you have any query regarding this article, ask by commenting.

1 comment:

  1. why reciprocating pumps are more efficient than centrifugal pump?