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What is the Pump Suction Pipe & Why Does it Matter?

Posted: 01/02/2019
Category: Water Pumps

The suction pipe is one of the most underlooked components of a pump system. However, it plays a crucial role in ensuring that the overall pump system functions efficiently without any glitches. Here, in today’s post, we take a closer look at the role of the pump suction pipe. What is the Suction Pipe? As the name implies, the suction line of the pump system is a pipe that transports fluids from the source to the pump. The Role of Pump Suction Pipe Suction Pipe Length Though, it’s a small component in the overall pump system the suction pipe plays several crucial roles. They are:

  • It ensures that the displaced liquid/fluid is transported
  • It plays a role in the overall friction loss of the system.
As you can see, the suction pipe plays a crucial role in determining the overall efficiency of the system. A lengthy or an undersized suction pipe can cause negative or positive effects to the system. How does the Suction Pipe affect Friction Loss in the System? While installing the pump system, you have to consider the friction losses in the system. While calculating the power required for moving the liquid/fluid from point A to point B, you must also consider the resistance due to friction, apart from distance. To ensure that you calculate the overall power of the system accurately, you need to consider the friction loss of the suction line. Very often, this is forgotten. By not including the friction loss of the system into consideration, you are most likely to purchase the wrong equipment that is not up to the task. This is a costly mistake, as you end up overhauling the entire system in the near future. Make sure that you design the suction line before you purchase your pump system so that you choose the right equipment for the task. Why Short Suction Lines Work Better? Short Suction Lines Irrespective of the type of liquid you are pumping and the pumping system you use, your number one goal is the efficiency of the overall pumping system. The number one question you have to address while designing the pumping system is – how do you displace a particular volume of liquid/fluid from one point to another, within a particular time, using as little energy as possible? A short suction line is part of the solution. Here are the top advantages of having a short suction line:
  • Improvement in Overall Energy Efficiency
The lesser energy you consume, the lower is the strain caused on the pump components. Additionally, low energy reduces the cost of operating the pump. The longer is the suction line, the more energy you require to move the fluid/liquid from the source to the diaphragm/impeller and then onward to the discharge pipe. The general rule of thumb here is – more energy is required for moving the fluid across a longer distance. Additionally, the friction loss in the suction pipeline also increases the energy consumed. The shorter the suction pipeline, shorter is the distance travelled by the dispatched fluid and lesser is the friction loss, thereby reducing the overall energy consumption.
  • Elimination of Cavitation
Another major issued that impacts pump durability and maintenance is cavitation. Cavitation occurs when pockets of vapour or air are built up in the displaced fluid due to changes in pressure. These tiny air bubbles then explode, which causes shockwaves. The shockwaves cause damage to the surrounding parts of the pump system, which includes the impeller. With a short suction pipeline, it reduces the chances of cavitation. You can check out our blog post that details methods on how to avoid cavitation here. Altering Suction Pipe Length Impacts the Overall Efficiency Decreasing or increasing the length of the suction pipe, along with altering its design can have a huge impact on the overall efficiency of the pump, thereby increasing/decreasing its longevity. Looking for Expert Advice on Pump Design? Here, at Sintech, India’s most trusted industrial and suction pump manufacturers and distributor, we offer you complete guidance on how to achieve the best pump performance. Contact one of our friendly pump experts to help you design the most efficient pump system for your plant or factory.

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