Comparison Between Centrifugal Pump and Reciprocating Pump

By | January 30, 2019

In this article we will try to draw a Comparison Between Centrifugal Pump and Reciprocating Pump.

Images of Centrifugal Pump and Reciprocating Pump

Centrifugal Pump

Centrifugal Pump

Reciprocating Pump

Reciprocating Pump

Now let’s understand differences between Centrifugal Pump and Reciprocating Pump with the help of table given below.

Sr. No. Centrifugal Pump Reciprocating Pump
01 Centrifugal pump has smooth and continuous discharge Due to reciprocating mechanism a Reciprocating pump has fluctuating and pulsating discharge
02 Centrifugal pumps can handle large quantities of liquids Due to valves and reciprocating mechanism a reciprocating pump can handle less quantity of liquids
03 Centrifugal pumps can lift highly viscous liquids Due to complex working mechanism of reciprocating pump it can lift only less viscous liquids. It can only lift water and similar liquids.
04 Due to simple construction and absence of extra parts, centrifugal pumps require less floor area. Due to the presence of air vessels and belt drive, reciprocating pump occupies more floor area.
05 Efficiency of centrifugal pump is high Efficiency of reciprocating pump is comparatively low
06 Centrifugal pump has silent operation Reciprocating pump produces noise during operation because of reciprocating parts
07 Centrifugal pumps have low maintenance cost Reciprocating pumps have comparatively high maintenance cost
08 Centrifugal pumps can operate at high speeds Reciprocating pumps work at comparatively low speed
09 Due to simple working mechanism and few parts a centrifugal pump has low cost Due to complex mechanism and more parts a reciprocating pump is expensive
10 Centrifugal pumps have high discharge and low head Reciprocating pumps have low discharge and high head
11 Centrifugal pump is rotodynamic pump Reciprocating pump is positive displacement pump
12 Priming is required in centrifugal pumps Priming is not required in reciprocating pump. They have self priming.
13 Centrifugal pump uses impeller to impart energy to liquid Reciprocating pump requires piston to impart energy to liquid
14 Centrifugal pumps are comparatively lighter due to less number of parts Reciprocating pumps are comparatively heavier due to more number of parts
15 Centrifugal pumps are easy to install Reciprocating pumps are relatively difficult to install
16 Centrifugal pumps are generally used for lifting liquids to a tank Reciprocating pumps are generally used for industrial purposes like Car wash etc.

Also read:

What is draft tube of a turbine?

Dimensionless numbers in fluid mechanics

Types of notches and weirs

Examples of surface tension

Unit Quantities of a Turbine

Image attributions:

Centrifugal Pump: By Kaze0010 (talk) – I (Kaze0010 (talk)) created this work by modifying an image uploaded by user MokeryJ and labeled Junaid 22nd May 2007, online at, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Reciprocating Pump: By Shantinath naganur – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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