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How to install a diaphragm pump

How to install a diaphragm pump

Diaphragm pump on trolley

When you need a versatile, all-rounder pump, the humble air operated diaphragm pump is a top contender but what options are there when it comes to how to install a diaphragm pump?

The AODD pump is capable of pumping a range of low viscosity and high viscosity fluids and is a great selection for drum & IBC emptying duties as they can suction-lift or self-prime even from a dry start.

If you are pumping low viscosity fluid such as water, juice or oil, a correctly-sized air operated diaphragm pump will happily suck or pull these fluids through a few metres of suitably-sized hose (a Fluimac AODD can dry self-prime up to 5-metres or up to 9.8-metres when wet) but there are limits and as viscosity increases, the amount of friction loss that the pump has to overcome increases and thus the performance of the pump decreases.

How to install a diaphragm pump

So, how to install a diaphragm pump? Well, depending on the project variables such as fluid properties, viscosity, temperature, environment, air pressure, suction losses, discharge losses etc. to name but a few, the way you install the pump can greatly increase chances of success.

Check out the below summary of installation possibilities with a typical air operated diaphragm pump – thanks to our friends at Fluimac for this helpful graphic.

How to install a diaphragm pump
How to install a diaphragm pump

Pump installed below head (positive suction)
When it is necessary to completely empty the container.

Self priming pump installed above head (negative suction)
Pump initially works with dry column and starts pumping from dry conditions.

Pump installed above drum or tank
We can offer a pump with suction and discharge ports in a special arrangement (ideal for using a suction tube / lance).

Pump installed on hopper for high viscosity fluids
The height of the hopper increases static head and improves the NPSHa and this works in favour of the pump. Air pressure needs to be high to give the pump enough power. The suction tube needs to have a higher diameter than the pump suction port diameter.

Submerged pump
It is possible to place the pump inside a tank fully submersed in the fluid to be pumped (subject to compatibility of pump materials and the fluid).

Suspended mounting
Pumps can be arranged with mounting feet at the top to facilitate ‘hanging’ or suspending the pump above a tank.

Pump installed on a mobile unit
Mount the pump on a trolley or cart for easy mobility.


Can we help you?

We would be delighted to assist with your pump selection and installation requirements and with our own metal fabrication workshop, BestPump Ltd can design and manufacture shelves, platforms, brackets, trolleys or other bespoke mounting solutions and we can do the same for pipework.

Contact us for more information and advice.