Centrifugal pumps are generally the most common type of pump found in buildings and their mechanical, fire protection, and plumbing systems.
If you understand how the merry-go-round works at the play ground, then you understand the basics of how a centrifugal pump works (or any centrifugal machine for that matter). In general terms, a spinning disc called the impeller, which is inside the pump casing, flings water from it's center to it's perimeter just like a kid on a merry-go-round is flung from the center to the perimeter as the merry-go-round spins.
As you can see from the title of the picture to the left, you frequently need more than just the words "centrifugal pump" to describe one accurately. The gallery below will help you understand the more common variations on the theme that you will find in buildings.
To use the gallery, scroll down until you find something that looks like what you saw out in the field. If you don't find what you are looking for, feel free to submit a picture of what you saw and we will see if one of the folks on our team can identify it and then add it to the appropriate gallery if it is something new.
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A Centrifugal, Double Suction, Horizontal Split Case, Engine Driven, Fire Protection Pump
Common Drawing Symbols for Pumps