Pumps operate mechanically, moving fluid from one point to another. They have been around for a long time and have evolved, so it is no surprise there are so many types of pumps in the market. They are classified according to their working mechanisms and application. Familiarizing yourself with the following types of pumps is important to help you choose the right one for your application.

There are two major classifications of pumps: dynamic and positive displacement pumps. Dynamic pumps include centrifugal pumps, fire hydrant systems, submersible pumps, vertical and horizontal centrifugal pumps. Positive displacement pumps include piston pumps, diaphragm pumps, peristaltic pumps, lobe pumps, and gear pumps.

Here is an overview of the standard pumps you will encounter at PumpBiz.

Centrifugal pumps

Centrifugal pumps are the most widely used type due to their simple working mechanism, and they are also cost-effective. When the pump is running, it increases pressure from the pump’s inlet to the outlet, and the pressure created drives the fluid through the system. These pumps are primarily designed for low viscosity fluids such as water and light oil. Typical applications include water supply, crude oil pumping, boiler water treatment, pressurization, hot water circulation, and sewage drainage.

Submersible pumps

Submersible pumps are commonly known as stormwater pumps, sewage pumps, and septic pumps. They are unique in that they can operate even when submerged in water and efficiently pump rainwater, groundwater, sewage, blackwater, greywater, food, and chemicals. They come in different options for various applications, including low head, high head, low flow, and high flow. Submersible pumps are used in residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal stormwater recycling applications.

Fire hydrant systems

A fire hydrant system is not essentially a pump but a system with one centrifugal pump and other parts like an electrically driven motor and a control panel. It is also known as a fire pump, fire water pump, or hydrant booster. Fire hydrant pumps are essential for water-based fire protection systems.

Diaphragm pumps

As the name suggests, air operates diaphragm pumps making them ideal for demanding environments like dewatering underground coal mines. They are used for pumping high viscosity fluids or fluids with high solid content, including food powders, pharmaceuticals, additives, wastewater, and chemicals. Typical applications include mining, industrial and general plants.

Piston pumps

Piston pumps fall under positive displacement pumps, whereby the high-pressure seal reciprocates with the piston. It runs by moving the piston upward and down inside the chamber. When it moves upwards, it pressurizes the liquid, and when it moves downwards, it sucks the fluid. It is used in distribution systems for chocolate, pastries, and paint.

Lobe pumps

Lobe pumps are corrosion resistant, high quality, efficient, and provide superb sanitary qualities. The pump’s rotor doesn’t contact the housing during operation, and the liquid comes in from the suction valve to a hole between the lobe and chamber wall. Typical applications include pharmaceutical manufacturing, hygienic processing, and food and beverage processing.


Your choice of a pump depends on the fluid you intend to pump and its characteristics. Still, you should liaise with an expert to guide you into the right pump for your application.