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What's the difference between a “pump” and a “circulator pump”? They look the same and they both create  a pressure differential to move liquids, but the difference becomes obvious when you look at the application.

When the equipment is used to physically “lift” water to counter act atmospheric pressure,  it is called a “pump.”  A prime example is a  submersible well pump that  lifts water from below ground to move through pipes to its end use.  When it reaches an irrigation_sysem.jpgirrigation system, it must have enough pressure to operate the irrigation system.  

A circulator is used to move water in a hydronic heating or cooling system.  A circulator when used in hydronic systems are usually electrically powered centrifugal pumps.

As they only circulate liquid within a closed circuit, they only need to overcome the friction of a piping system (as opposed to lifting a fluid from a point of lower potential energy to a point of higher potential energy).

A circulator  is most often used to move domestic hot water so that a faucet will provide hot water instantly upon demand, or (more conserving of energy) a short time after a user's request for hot water.

In regions where water conservation issues are rising in importance with rapidly expanding and urbanizing populations, local water authorities offer rebates to homeowners and builders that install a circulator to save water.

The technological advancements within the industry now include timers to limit the operations during specific hours of the day in order to reduce energy waste by only operating when occupants are most likely to use hot water.

Additional advancements in technology include units which cycle on and off to maintain hot water temperature versus continuously operating equipment that consumes more electrical energy.

At IER Services, we supply and service pumping equipment for any job and application. We have a fully equipped repair shop with a large stock of  parts to reduce down time. Call us for your commercial pump sales & repair solutions. 614.298.1600.

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Topics: pumps, centrifugal pumps., circulating pumps, submersible well pump, circulator

IER Services

Written by IER Services