Not only a correct pump setup is important, but also the way in which pipes are connected. In order for a pump to function optimally, the pipework must be carefully selected. In this stage, it is very common for mistakes to be made. Efficiency can be increased further by paying closer attention to a system's pipe diameters! Although this may require a larger initial investment, you will reap the benefits in the long run.

Assembling pipes

Flanges, screw thread or swivels are generally used to attach pipes to a pump. Whatever tools are most suitable depends on the type of pump you have. In order to mount the flanges, a so-called sheet gasket is applied in between two flanges. Such a sheet gasket must always be resistant to the liquids to be pumped. Logically, dirt should never enter the pipes during assembly. This can seriously affect the pump's operation.

Assembling suction pipes

The extent to which a pump can perform optimally depends on various aspects. One of the most important aspects in achieving optimal pump performance is the suction pipe and accompanying suction conditions. The majority of malfunctions in centrifugal pumps occur in suction pipes, making proper assembly important.

A well-assembled suction pipe must always meet the following requirements:

  • Connections in the suction pipe are free of air or liquids leaks;
  • The length of the suction pipe is kept as short as possible, this to prevent any pipe losses;
  • To avoid air bubbles, the suction pipe must be mounted to the pump in an ascending line;
  • Turbulence and additional pipe losses in the suction pipe are prevented by limiting the number of turns. In addition, the radius of the turns must be as wide as possible;
  • The diameter of the suction pipe is greater than the diameter of the suction opening on the pump;
  • The end of the suction pipe, in front of the pump inlet, is completely straight;
  • Should the pump not be self-priming (with a liquid level below the pump), a large enough foot valve must be installed;
  • A seal valve must be installed if the liquid level is above the pump;
  • Expect contaminated liquids to be drained by the pump? Then a suction basket or dirt grid must be installed in the pipe;
  • In order to prevent swirling as much as possible, the end of the suction pipe must be placed as far as possible under the liquid level;
  • Efforts must be made to prevent a free flow in the suction reservoir. This can cause the formation of air bubbles in the liquid to be pumped, which in turn may affect pump performance. 

The pressure pipe

Besides the suction pipe, a centrifugal pump must also be fitted with a pressure pipe. When attaching a pressure pipe to the pump, there are different requirements than for the suction pipe. For example, current standards for minimum and maximum flow rates and minimum pipe diameter when using the pump must be observed when determining the pipe diameter.

For the most common suction problems, please view our blog post: Suction problems with irrigation or booster pumps