All You Need To Know When Choosing Between Horizonal or Vertical Multistage Centrifugal Pumps

Multistage centrifugal pumps have multiple impellers and volutes (stages) that connect in a series, allowing the liquid to flow from one stage to the next at increased pressure. The liquid enters the first volute or chamber at suction line pressure and exits at elevated pressure. The fluid then enters the second stage where the pressure increases and continues through each chamber until discharge. Each stage that the liquid passes through increases the pressure until discharge, at the highest pressure.
A multistage pump develops pressure according to the diameter of the impellers, the number of stages or volutes and the speed of the impellers. As there are several impellers to transfer energy into the pumped liquid, each impeller and volute combination can have smaller gaps. While smaller combinations ensure hydraulic efficiencies, multistage pumps are not well suited for pumping solid or abrasive materials.

Applications for multistage pumps

What makes multistage pumps unique is that they can produce higher pressure at each stage yet retain a constant flow. They’re also one of the more energy-efficient pumps for many different applications.

Multistage pumps are popular in pressure-boosting applications (for example, to push water up to high rise buildings), reverse osmosis (RO), boiler feed water, spraying and high-pressure cleaning, waterworks and water circulation, irrigation, heating and cooling/conditioning, wash down facilities, oil & gas production and power generation & mining.
Depending on how the shaft is positioned and shaped, multistage centrifugal pumps can be either vertical or horizontal.

Horizontal Multistage Centrifugal Pumps

This type of pump has modular components with a rotating assembly located between bearing housings. The shaft of horizontal centrifugal pumps is horizontal, which makes these pumps particularly suited to indoor applications where they require less headroom.

A horizontal centrifugal multistage pump is balanced at high pressures, which means it can handle higher flow rates than vertical multistage pumps. However, horizontal stage pumps require somewhat more complicated mounting due to expansion/contraction issues. They can also be expensive upfront and difficult to maintain.

Vertical Multistage Centrifugal Pumps

A vertical multistage pump has a shaft that runs vertically, with stages stacked on top of each other. Above ground, they are well suited to applications with space limitations or less ground surface, or where you need to increase NPSH. They work well for both high-pressure output and higher temperature fluids but have minimal clearances which makes them suited for clean water applications.
This type of pump can’t handle large debris or solids and might be at risk of deadhead. In some applications, the motor must be removed to perform maintenance.

Whether vertical or horizontal, multistage centrifugal pumps are an energy-efficient solution for a wide range of flow/head scenarios. If you think it might be right for your application, be sure to call our toll-free number 1-800-367-4180. Our experts are on hand to help you choose, install and maintain a variety of equipment. And to answer questions about things you’ve previously tried gone wrong.