What Is the Difference Between a Mechanical Pump and an Electric Pump?

November 29, 2017

There’s little doubt that there’s a modern trend away from mechanical solutions and toward electrical and digital solutions. However, both mechanical and electrical pumps are fine options, and as with anything, they both have their unique strengths and shortcomings. Pump systems are used in a variety of engines, motors, plumbing pumps and cooling systems, but they work similarly. They create a vacuum to pump liquid—water, gas or coolant—from one place to another. In this post, put together by your local experts in electric motor and water pump repair in Columbia, TN, we’ll describe how mechanical and electric pumps work and how they differ.

Mechanical pumps

Mechanical pumps aren’t built to work at the type of pressures electric pumps can work at—with mechanical pumps pushing an average operating pressure of 5 or 6 psi and electric pumps handling operational pressures of between 30 and 40 psi.

Mechanical pumps use a moving diaphragm that’s operated by a crankshaft driven by a motor. There’s a small arm that moves and alternatively tightens and releases the diaphragm. This creates the vacuum that powers the pump.

Mechanical pumps might be easier to work on for your average pump mechanic, as there’s just more collective expertise out there for mechanical pumps. This is good news for older businesses with older water systems, and for older cars with mechanical pump systems.

Electric pumps

Electric pumps come in high-pressure and low-pressure varieties. The clearest difference between mechanical and electric pumps is their pressure output, which makes their uses different. Older machines are largely not built for the pressure output of electric pumps. For example, older cars generally have mechanical fuel pumps, and use carburetors. Newer cars use direct fuel injection systems, which the higher pressure of the electrical pump is perfect for.

Electrical pumps are more flexible than mechanical pumps. Since mechanical pumps are actually driven by a crankshaft, this means that mechanical pumps need to be located close to the motor or engine driving the crankshaft. Electric pumps gain power electrically, so they can be placed closer to what they’re pumping. In a car, an electric fuel pump can be located within the fuel tank, for example.

The primary danger of electrical pump systems, at least for fuel pumps, is that if a leak goes unchecked, it can pose a serious fire risk. Keep an eye out for signs of a pump leak (whining noise in your tank or in the pump, smells of fuel) to prevent any problems. If a leak occurs, contact an electric motor and water pump repair expert.

Action Electric Motor & Pump Repair has been the most trusted provider of electric motor and water pump repair in Columbia, TN and the surrounding area since 2006. Over the years, we’ve dedicated our time to building a reputation for exceptional client-focused service and high-quality workmanship. We’re a family owned and operated business, and our family values extend to every aspect of the work we do. Our expert team specializes in residential, commercial and industrial motor and pump repair. Over our years in business, our number one priority has always been to satisfy you, the customer, by providing the best service, with the best parts, to help build and maintain safe, reliable water systems. Give us a call today for more information.

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