Does my pump need to be primed?

Posted on 30 October 2019

Not priming your pump can cause serious failures to the internal components. Learn whether your pump needs to be primed before use...

Global-Pumps-mining-electric-centrifugal-pumpsAbove: Centrifugal Pumps on site at Global Pumps in Adelaide

Some pumps do not require priming to function effectively, whilst others will fail if they are not primed correctly. Therefore, it’s important to understand whether you need to prime your pump before turning it on.

What is priming?
When you prime a pump, you are readying for use. The pump’s casing must be filled with fluid before starting, as otherwise it will be unable to function.

Do I need to prime my centrifugal pumps?
Priming is a crucial aspect in commissioning and ongoing operation of your centrifugal pump. The water or fluid that gets pumped acts as a coolant and lubrication, preventing the pump from overheating. Failing to do so will cause the pump to run drive, causing mechanical seal failure and serious damage to pump components.
The pipe configuration will also influence whether the pipe needs to be manually primed. If the suction port of the pump is lower than the liquid level pumped, the liquid would gravity feed to the pump. This is what we call ‘flooded suction’ and the pump would be considered primed.
It is when the liquid level is below the suction port that priming becomes more difficult. It’s in these instances that a suction lift capability is important.

Positive Displacement Pumps
Depending on the pump and application, a positive displacement pump is self-priming. This allows for flexibility in system layout and eliminates the need for suction priming systems.
Air operated diaphragm pumps self-prime by creating a pressure differential in the diaphragm chamber – which draws in air and pulls the fluid into the suction port.  

Avoid failures and maintenance costs by ensuring your centrifugal pumps are always primed before operating. Whilst, positive displacement pumps, like air operated diaphragm pumps are self-priming. It’s always important to speak to a professional before acting, or reading the operation manual – to avoid any issues with your pump.

For more information on centrifugal pumps, or air operated diaphragm pumps, contact one of the Global Pumps team members.

You may also be interested in the following blogs: Why your Pump Suction Pipe is Important and Typical Suction Line Recommendations from Various Manufacturers

Tags: Air Operated Diaphragm Pumps, centrifugal pumps, priming

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