Installation Guidelines for Optimal Pump Performance

General System Design

Optimum pump performance is directly associated with proper pump installation. Follow these guidelines when designing a pumping system to ensure best possible pump performance.

Pumping System Design Guidelines

  •  Confirm the Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) available from the system exceeds the NPSH required by the pump. This step is essential for smooth operation and avoiding pump cavitation.
  •  Avoid suction lifts and manifold/common suction lines for two rotary lobe pumps running parallel. This can cause vibration and pump cavitation. See below illustration.
Optimal Pump Performance
  • ¬†Protect your pump from:
    • ¬†Blockage from solid objects such as nuts and bolts
    • ¬†Accidental operation against a closed valve with use of relief valves, pressure switches and current limiting devices.
  • ¬†Use pressure monitor points for diagnostic purposes at both suction and discharge.
  • ¬†Fit valves, if two pumps are utilized on manifold or common discharge lines.
  • ¬†If flushing is required for the seal or if media is required for heating/cooling jackets, make the required piping arrangements.
  • ¬†Stick to installation foundation instructions and best practices.
  • ¬†Make sure not to subject rotary lobe pumps to fast temperature changes. Thermal shock can result in pump seizure.

Pumping Pipe Work Guidelines


Be sure to properly support all pipe work! This means that the pump should not be supporting the weight of any piping!


  • ¬†Reduce friction losses and improve NPSH available with short straight inlet pipework.
  • ¬†Steer clear of bends, tees and other restrictions close to both the suction and discharge sides of the pump. Wherever possible, use long radius bends.
  • ¬†When needed, place isolating valves on each side of the pump.
  • ¬†Where applicable, keep pipe work horizontal to reduce air locks and include eccentric reducers on suction lines.

Dependable pump performance requires a solid foundation. By using these basic guidelines, you will be off on the right foot to peak performance and profitable output! For help designing and installing your sanitary pumping systems consult one of our experts!


Thanks to our partners Alfa Laval for sharing their pump installation tips!

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