Understanding How a High-Pressure Pump Works

A high-pressure pump is the heart of the machine you’re using. Anything that produces a high amount of pressure (think of a pressure washer as an example), there would be a high-pressure pump inside to give it its power.

Just as we have our hearts to pump blood through our bodies, the high-pressure pump allows the machine to work. It’s built to last for many years and to keep producing high amounts of pressure.

There are two types of pumps: low pressure and high pressure. Both serve a purpose in life. However, we’re going to look specifically at the high-pressure pump.


What is a High-Pressure Pump?

Depending on whom you ask and what the pumped is used for, you may hear the terms positive-displacement or centrifugal pumps. The name of a pump tends to come from the manufacturer and what the application is for the pump.

The pump moves water in a cylinder through a piston or plunger. It is the pump that produces a force so that the water creates a flow. Unlike a motor engine which uses the movement of the piston to turn the crankshaft, the pump relies on the crankshaft movement to drive the pistons. This movement allows the water to flow in and out of the pump.

There’s a common misconception that a pump produces the pressure. However, what the pump does is actually move the water. Instead, it is the force exerted from the water as it flows through the pump that creates the pressure. So, when talking about the pressure from a high-pressure pump, you’re actually looking at is the speed at which the pump moves the water throughout the pump at a particular gallon per minutes measurement.

There are two check valves in the cylinder of the pump that controls which direction the water flows through the pump. You could call them the entrance and exit to the pump that you can only go through one way. The valve that opens inward is the inlet check valve, which allows the water to flow into the pump. The outlet check valve does the opposite. It lets water escape from the pump.

When Would You Use a High-Pressure Pump?

Although you rarely see a high-pressure pump in action, they are used in many commercial, industrial, and even residential settings. For example, you would find a high-pressure pump in your washing machines and refrigerators. These machines tend to have a descaling pump.

Power plants that produce electricity will have high pressure pumps to rotate the generator. Quite often, these are high-pressure steam pumps in which the steam from the boiler moves the turbine which then rotates the generator.

Cleaning machines that require a vast amount of pressure, like a pressure washer, would have a high-pressure pump. These are only a few examples of the different applications in which you would find a high-pressure pump.


For more information on high-pressure pumps and to find one that fits your need, speak to L.N. Electric today.

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