How to Build Your Own Centrifugal Pump

Andrew Latham

Centrifugal pumps are one of the easiest to build and modify pumps currently used. The beauty of their design lies in its simplicity: a single rotating component connected to a suction nozzle and a discharge nozzle. Applications for centrifugal pumps range from conveying crushed coal to powering sewage water plants.

Sewage plants are often powered by centrifugal pumps.

Although you can build each component of a centrifugal pump from scratch, much higher efficiency levels are achieved by building your pump from easily available commercially manufactured parts. You will need to adapt these generic instructions to your particular requirements and the specifications of the pipe system you connect to the pump.

  1. Decide what materials you need to pump and at what speed. The specific gravity and viscosity of a material as well as how corrosive or abrasive it is will inform the type of impeller or turbine you will need.

  2. Build a turbine by connecting an electric motor to a shaft and an impeller. There are two main impeller models: the closed type and the open type impeller. Open impellers, which look similar to the rotor blades of a submarine, do not clog as often as closed impellers.

  3. Connect the turbine to a solid casing. The casing must have a discharge nozzle and a suction nozzle that matches the pipe sizes of the rest of your system. If you can't find or afford a custom made casing, you can cut an opening into a standard pipe bend and connect your turbine to it. In this case, the turbine must be smaller than the pipe diameter and you will have to seal the turbine to avoid leaks and maintain pressure.

  4. Attach your pipe system to the suction and discharge nozzles of your centrifugal pump.