Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Centrifugal Pump Quiz: How Well Do You Understand Pump Anatomy and Operation?

If you manage condo and co-op properties in New York City, you know pumps are essential to building function, between the boiler, fire suppression system, and water circulation. When a pump goes down, it can spell catastrophe for you and the building’s occupants. How much do you know about pump operation? Test your knowledge with this fun centrifugal pump quiz. We give you the answers at the end so you can see how you fared. The more you know about the pumps in your property, the better you can ensure they keep working properly.

General Centrifugal Pump Anatomy

A The centrifugal pump is so named because:

  1. It always connects to a centrifuge.
  2. The motor relies on centrifugal force to run.
  3. The impeller uses centrifugal force to move fluid.
  4. It’s named after French inventor Jean de Centrifuge.

B The pump’s impeller is the part that looks like:

  1. A long solid rod attached to the motor
  2. A valve that is permanently set in the “open” position
  3. A fan with moving blades
  4. A narrow tube similar to a pipe

C There are two basic types of centrifugal pumps called:

  1. Displacement and double displacement pumps
  2. Axial and radial pumps
  3. Piston and non-piston pumps
  4. Diaphragm and cam pumps

Pump History

D Screw pumps, precursors to centrifugal pumps, were used to transport:

  1. Water for irrigation in the earth’s first civilizations
  2. Oil during the early part of the Industrial Revolution
  3. Gasoline in rudimentary gas pumps for the first automobiles
  4. Gunpowder during the American Revolutionary War

E The first real centrifugal pump was invented by:

  1. Archimedes
  2. The Mayans
  3. James Watt
  4. Denis Papin

Submersible Pumps

F Sump pumps were created to:

  1. Keep gutters and downspouts clear of rainwater
  2. Prevent rising water from entering through the floor of a building
  3. Remove waste from properties below sea level
  4. Power backup generators during electrical grid outages

G One of the most common reasons for sump pump malfunction is:

  1. Pump not properly aligned in a perfectly vertical position
  2. A broken on/off switch
  3. Debris that has accumulated in the sump basin
  4. All of the above

H The difference between a sewage ejector pump and a sewage grinder pump is:

  1. One grinds waste first before expelling it, like a garbage disposal.
  2. One has an ejector button that pops up if the basin overfills.
  3. One is installed vertically, while the other is placed horizontally.
  4. There is no difference between the two pumps.

I A key warning sign that a sewage ejector pump is malfunctioning is:

  1. Waste backs up into toilets, sinks, dishwashers, and clothes washers.
  2. The float sensor becomes stuck on the side of the basin.
  3. The pump doesn’t turn on when it should or runs constantly.
  4. All of the above

Boiler System Pumps

J The automatic water feeder pump’s purpose is to:

  1. Send fresh water to the boiler tank for heating
  2. Release cold water when the boiler needs cooling
  3. Pump water from the boiler to the building’s radiators
  4. All of the above

K Condensate return pumps assist with:

  1. Keeping condensate held within the boiler tank
  2. Returning condensed steam back to the boiler to conserve water and energy
  3. Holding steam longer in radiators for better heat
  4. Releasing excess steam from the boiler to prevent overly high pressure

Water Circulation Pumps

L A leaky water pump is usually due to:

  1. A broken valve or casing
  2. Corrosion due to acidic water
  3. Excessive municipal water pressure
  4. All of the above

M A solution for low water pressure is:

  1. Increase the pressure with a pressure regulator.
  2. Install narrower pipes
  3. Add a booster pump or series of booster pumps
  4. None of the above

Fire Suppression Pumps

N How often must your building undergo sprinkler testing to ensure proper pump functionality?

  1. Weekly
  2. Monthly
  3. Annually
  4. Monthly and annually

O The NYFD must witness a sprinkler flow test every:

  1. Month
  2. Six months
  3. Year
  4. Five years

P What is the required pressure that pumps must meet at the uppermost floors during sprinkler inspection of Group R Occupancy dwellings?

  1. 15 psi
  2. 20 psi
  3. 25 psi
  4. 35 psi


How did you do?

A 3. The impeller uses centrifugal force to move fluid.

B 3. A fan with moving blades

C 2. Axial and radial pumps

D 1. Water for irrigation in the earth’s first civilizations

E 4. Denis Papin

F 2. Prevent rising water from entering through the floor of a building

G 4. All of the above

H 1. One grinds waste first before expelling it, like a garbage disposal.

I 4. All of the above

J 1. Send fresh water to the boiler tank for heating

K 2. Returning condensed steam back to the boiler to conserve water and energy

L 4. All of the above

M 3. Add a booster pump or series of booster pumps

N 4. Monthly and annually

O 4. Five years

P 1. 15 psi

If you missed a few of these questions, the answers are all in our blog posts, so you can go back and review the information. We added some links in the quiz questions and in the answer key above to make it easy to find what you’re looking for.

Do you need help with a pump in one of the properties you manage? Waiting until a pump problem gets worse runs the risk that it will cost more to repair and cause more disruption for building residents. To schedule an appointment for pump maintenance or repair, call Antler Motor & Pump Corp. today at 212-534-2500.

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