Water pumps are used to draw water or other liquids from the ground or from areas that are flooded. Both domestic and agricultural uses are the most common reasons we may need a water pump. Irrigation systems, wells, home flooding, dams, and offshore drilling are all ways that we use water pumps.
There are a variety of different types of water pumps used everyday. Mechanical, solar power, centrifugal, hydraulic pumps, reciprocating positive displacement, and submersible water pumps are most common. With both positive and negative aspects of each, including energy and cost efficiency, it is wise to know what type of water pump you need before purchasing one.
To pump fluids from a flooded area, a submersible pump is needed. For a typical family of 4 who live in a home that has 3 to 4 bedrooms, a submersible water pump that is 8 to 12 GPM's works best if there is a flood. There is no need to prime this type of pump if it is already underwater, and it is low energy and cost efficient.
Domestic use of a water pump also includes pumping water from the ground using a mechanical pump, or driven by hydraulic power or solar power. It may be used at a construction site, a business or a home. Modern day well drilling offers both cost and energy efficient water pumps of different models and designs.
Mechanical water pumps include centrifugal pumps that must be primed but are considered to be compact in size and good for pumping large amounts of water. The design of the pump is not complicated and it is considered to be quite economical. Radial centrifugal pumps create an outward flow of water, while an axial centrifugal pump causes a propelling motion while pumping the water out of the ground.
Larger industrial sites may often use a positive displacement type of water pump. There are many types of water pumps designed for this use that trap water, forcing it through a pipe and out of the ground. Constant pressure forces the water out of the ground through a pipe using a suction and discharge method. The constant pressure could cause the pipe to leak. A reciprocating water pump does not give a continual flow of water so leaking is not a negative factor.
Hydraulic water pumps turn mechanical power to hydraulic power using a system of gears causing water to flow through the pump. This is a rotary design that is used for those who prefer using a hydraulic method rather than a mechanical method.
Turbines, used in solar powered water pumps, create a vacuum to extract water from the ground. This type of pump is used to increase the pressure that forces the water from the well.
For offshore drilling, a submersible water pump is used because the pump is already underwater. For this reason priming is not needed. The pump is underground while the rigging itself stays above the water.
Water pumps are also needed for agricultural purposes. Farmers irrigate their fields so that plants get a continual flow of water. They use irrigation systems in orchards, fruit and vegetable fields and gardens, and for crops for their livestock. The water pumps they purchase may be either mechanical, solar or turbine powered, or hydraulic power.