How a Water Pump Works – A Comprehensive Guide to Understand

A good water pump is versatile, practical, and straightforward for commercial, residential, agricultural, and construction settings. Different water pumps function in different ways. To understand how a water pump works, you need to know the different types of water pumps and different parts of these pumps. Below is a guide on how different types of water pump works.

Types of Water Pumps And How A Water Pump Works

Generally, there are two types of water pumps. 

  1. 1
    Gas-powered water pumps.
  2. 2
    Electric-powered water pumps. 

Gas-powered water pumps

Gas-powered water pumps are majorly used in large-scale applications, for example, in construction. They have powerful engines and are capable of moving up to 800 gallons of water per minute. Gas-powered water pumps can be used to move large amounts of water, for example, if you have a flooded basement or if you need to irrigate your crops.

They are fast if you have large volumes of water to move in a day. However, they are intended only for outdoor use since they emit poisonous carbon monoxide gases. Gas-powered water pumps are further classified into three;

  • PTO water pumps
  • Trash pumps
  • Dewatering pumps

Dewatering pumps are majorly used to transfer large amounts of water.

Trash pumps move water with thick chunks, trash, debris, or solid substances measuring up to two inches in width.

PTO water pumps, on the other hand, are used in agriculture since they need a tractor for their use. These pumps receive power from the drive shaft of these heavy engines. They tend to be the most powerful due to this fact.

Electric-powered water pumps

Electric-powered water pumps are the best solution for indoor use. They are easy to use since they require plugging into a standard power outlet. They are best for household needs. Its application can include; water displays, aquarium, statutory foundations, air conditioners, and other uses where water has to be recirculated or transferred.

How Then Do They Work?

Many users are not aware of how water pumps work exactly, despite using them almost daily. Understanding the working method of a water pump is to know their composition and mode of operation and assist you in making informed choices when purchasing. If you are buying a water pump for the first time, you should know the technical specifications and how they relate to each other to function.

Water pumps are categorized into positive displacement and centrifugal pumps. Centrifugal pumps are the most readily available types, whereas positive displacement pumps are confined to industrial usage.

Part of the Water Pump and How they Work

The motor

The majority of small electric water pumps have a compact DC motor that is sealed in a case linked to the impeller. The motor is a rotary electrical device that changes current electrical into mechanical energy. It powers via a basic gear drive, and at its center, there is a rotor surrounded with coils.

There are magnets surrounding the coils, which generate a solid magnetic field flowing via the rotor. Once the DC turns on, electric power flows via the coils, and generate a magnetic field. Afterwards, the magnetic field repulses the magnets over the rotor, making the rotor rotate almost 180 degrees.

The electricity's direction flips, pushing the rotor to counter-spin all the way when the rotor spins. The rotor continues to rotate through a series of pushes, driving the impeller. It then powers the pump.

The impeller

An impeller powers the centrifugal water pump. Its primary mode of operation resembles a miniature merry-go-round. It spins extremely fast, and this speed creates a centrifugal force. The force compresses the water outside of the blade.

The faster the impeller spins, the more the amount of water is pumped. It spins in a single direction. It means water is pushed in one way. Luckily, even with the pump submerged, it still functions the exact way. There are water pumps that are used in wells, known as submersible well water pumps. They pump water from wells while submerged in water.

Submerged Well Water Pump and How They Work

Once you turn on the water at a plumbing fixture, water flows from the supply faucet into the fixture, down the drain. Flow and water pressure are supplied to the development from a water pressure tank. Pressure in the tank and the development's piping system lowers down to the pump cut-in pressure.

The pressure control switch then feels the pressure decline. It shuts an interior electrical transmission switch to turn on the well pump. The motor runs and draws water back into the building from the well. Water is pushed into the water pressure tank and the piping system to the fixtures.

How to Ensure Your Water Pump Works Accordingly

Maintenance is vital to ensure the proper functioning of your water pump. A well-maintained water pump functions appropriately and is durable. There are repair centers for broken water pumps. However, to avoid extra costs, you should maintain them to prevent repair.

Understanding how a water pump works is vital to run the device and ensure smooth functioning independently. Regularly check your pump for wear and tear, fissure, or leakages. Some of the things to look out for include;

  • Excessive noises
  • Clogging
  • Overheating
  • Irregular flow in the pump. 

Once you notice any of these, take your pump for repair.
Before you purchase a water pump, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you get a functioning device effectively. These include

  • Close examination of the pump’s material. Pumps should generally be made of weather-resistant materials.
  • Notice the water pressure specifications and water flow.
  • Consider pumps with longer cable cords and convenient outlets.
  • If you are considering weight, consider that lightweight aluminum castings allow the pump's easy movement.


Understanding how a water pump works is a way to ensure the proper care of the machine. It should not be too noisy, water flow should be steady and adequate, and it should regulate temperature to prevent overheating. In most instances, a water pump will come with a manual that should guide you on installation, operation, and any other information relevant to your needs.

About the Author Seth Gold

Seth Gold is a Blogger and Writer, Writing for the last 3 years on Home improvement, DIY, Gardening, and many more things where people get the latest free product information and buying guide.

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