Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Pumps 101: What Are the Components of a Pump?

Pumps are used in thousands of different functions around commercial and residential properties in New York City. Why is it wise to know the components of a pump? If the pump malfunctions or something doesn’t look right, you can better describe the issue to a pump specialist. The pump pro will then be able to estimate the time involved for repair and bring replacement parts, if applicable. Here’s an introduction to the components of a pump so that you can perform your job as a landlord or building manager more easily and efficiently.

Pump Basics

Definition and Types

A pump is a mechanical device designed to move liquids, gasses, or air using pressure or suction. In property management, pumps are used for everything from plumbing to heating to fire suppression.

There are two basic types of pumps based on the components inside: positive displacement and centrifugal (see parts below). Positive placement pumps use an interior element to displace fluid. Centrifugal pumps use centrifugal force, which is the force created from spinning in a circular motion, to move liquid.

You may also subcategorize these two types of pumps by their location (such as an inlet pump), by their function (boiler feed, vacuum, etc.), or by their position in a process flow chart.

Components Common to All Pumps

Three essential parts

All pumps, regardless of what type they are, have three essential components:

  1. Inlet – Also called the suction side on some pumps, this is where liquid enters the pump. It is the point of lowest pressure.
  2. Casing – This contains the liquid being moved, as well as all the interior components. It is also sometimes called the pump housing, shell, or cover. It is a protective and supportive element that also keeps liquid from leaking out. Preventing leaks is essential not only to prevent fluid loss but also to keep any caustic or dangerous fluids from harming people or the environment.
  3. Outlet – Also known as the discharge side, this is where liquid exits the pump. Liquid at this point is at its highest pressure in the system.

Positive Displacement and Centrifugal Pump Parts

Pistons vs. impellers

The interior parts of a pump will differ depending on if it is a positive displacement or centrifugal pump. As mentioned above, a positive displacement pump uses a component to displace fluid. This is most commonly a piston, but it may also be a flexible diaphragm, or a screw mechanism, such as those found in rotary pumps. A screw pump, by the way, is the oldest type of pump found in history, dating back to 250 BC in Ancient Greece and based on the principles of scientist and inventor Archimedes.

For example, in a piston-type positive displacement pump, fluid enters the pump through the inlet, pushing the piston back. A stroke of the piston then pushes against the fluid, closing the inlet and forcing the fluid through the outlet.

In centrifugal pumps, an impeller is the key component. The impeller, which looks a bit like a fan with vanes or blades, spins fluid that has entered the pump through the inlet. The centrifugal force created by the spinning of the impeller forces the fluid to exit the pump through the outlet.

Impellers may be axial flow (fluid moves parallel to the shaft) or radial flow (fluid moves perpendicularly to the shaft). Impellers can also be open or closed, depending on if the vanes are exposed on one side or completely covered (shrouded).

Auxiliary Parts

Power and safety

There are multiple other parts to a pump that contribute to its power and safety. Since we rarely power pumps by hand anymore, one of the most important is a driver. This provides power for the pump’s action, and nowadays, that’s usually an electric motor. However, hydraulic power, steam, and internal combustion may also provide power.

A shaft transfers power from the driver to the components that move the liquid, like a piston or an impeller. Connecting the driver shaft to the pump shaft is a coupling. The pump shaft may be fixed, meaning the speed doesn’t change, or it may be variable, meaning the speed can be changed without making parts adjustments.

A lubricating system is often present to keep bearings from wearing down and from overheating by coating them in oil, grease, or other lubricating materials. Bearings support and align the moving parts of the pump and reduce friction at multiple points. There are many different types of bearings:

  • Roller bearings (cylindrical shaped rollers)
  • Ball bearings (the most familiar ball-shaped type)
  • Sleeve bearings (designed to float and used in high-speed pumps)
  • Babbit bearings (a type of sleeve bearing coated with Babbit metal, an alloy)
  • Pivot shoe bearings (AKA tilt shoe bearings or Kingsbury bearings, used in axial flow impellers)

There may be a strainer present to remove any solids that collect in the pump to prevent damage. Other parts you will likely encounter include:

  • Seals – gaskets, O-rings, or packing to keep fluid in and contaminants out
  • Fittings – connect different parts to each other
  • Probes, sensors, and gauges – provide information on the pump’s performance and the fluid inside
  • Valves – control the flow of liquid inside the pump
  • Mounting devices – affix the pump where it will be used and prevent vibration

A great way to learn more about the pumps you use on your property is to observe when one is being repaired or to look at the parts on an old pump when it is being replaced.

Antler Pumps are your New York City experts when it comes to pump maintenance and repair. We’re happy to answer all your questions about your pumps or perform requested services. Call us at 212-534-2500 or use our convenient online form to schedule an appointment today.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of omniagroup.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with omniagroup.nyc).

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Omnia Mechanical Group, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Omnia Mechanical Group. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your Sanitaryplumbing.com password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since omniagroup.nyc does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.