What Are Vertical Turbine Pumps, and How Do They Work?

February 2, 2022

If you’re designing a pump system to manage drinking water, you need to select the right pump for the job. In some cases, this might be a vertical turbine pump. But what exactly is a vertical turbine pump? And how do vertical turbine pumps work? Read on to discover the basics you should know.

What is a vertical turbine pump?

A vertical turbine pump is a specialized centrifugal pump that moves water from deep underground sources like wells or reservoirs. Unlike a submersible pump, which is another type of turbine pump, a vertical turbine pump gets power from a motor that’s located above ground and connected with a vertical shaft to impellers underground.

Vertical turbine pumps are used in situations where submersible pumps can’t be used, or where flow is higher than the range of turbines. They’re commonly used in wells used in turf or agricultural irrigation, but you’ll also find them in municipalities that rely on groundwater instead of surface water. Other applications include plant makeup water and fire water for industrial facilities.

When selecting vertical turbine pumps for your applications, make sure your pumps are appropriately sized for the drinking water demands of the community. If you’re moving high volumes of treated water, always choose a high-service pump to keep up with demand.

How do vertical turbine pumps work?

Vertical turbine pumps usually feature an AC electric conduction motor or diesel engine with right angle drive. At the other end of the pump, below ground, there’s typically one rotating impeller that directs well water into a bowl, or diffuser casing.

In multi-stage configurations, the vertical turbine pump will have multiple impellers on the same shaft. This creates higher pressure that’s required for deeper wells or situations where higher pressure is needed at the ground level.

Vertical turbine pumps engage as water enters the pump through the suction bell, a bell-shaped component at the bottom of the pump. At this stage, the water enters the first impeller, which raises its velocity. Then, the water reaches the diffuser bowl, which converts high-velocity energy into high pressure. The diffuser bowl allows the fluid to flow to the next impeller, then the entire process continues throughout all stages of the pump.

Once the water leaves the final diffuser bowl, it makes its way toward the surface, passing through a long pipe as it travels up the well bore. This part of the pump features a spinning shaft that’s supported with sleeve bushings inside the column. The water lubricates the bushings as it flows past, finally reaching the pump discharge head. As the water reaches the surface, the flow can change directions toward the discharge pipe where it finally leaves the pump.

Now that you understand what a vertical turbine pump is and how it works, you’ll have a better idea of whether it’s the right pump for your water treatment facility. Learn more by contacting Enviro-Line Co., Inc. today. We’ll direct you to the right pumps and other components for your specific treatment applications.

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