In my application, I need a small water pump (a typical 'batch' might be 500 ml) that can pump in both directions. I need to pump this much volume in 20 seconds or so. It's small-scale, very low-pressure system built from 6mm tubing.

I have tried a peristaltic pump, but the flow rate was too low. Higher-capacity peristaltic pumps are expensive and I don't need the precision they offer -- but I really need the reversibility.

Is there a kind of pump that can accomplish this?

(I know I can do this using a uni-directional pump of some kind and four valves, but it seems needlessly complex.)

  • $\begingroup$ So, get one pump, connect in an H arrangement with valve control. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Mar 28, 2022 at 6:29
  • $\begingroup$ Is 500ml in 20 seconds "High capacity"? Worked on pumps with a delivery of 1 litre per rev and run at approx 2700rpm. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Mar 28, 2022 at 6:50

1 Answer 1


I really think a peristaltic pump is your best bet. PC (progressing cavity) pumps and rotary lobe pumps are also reversible, but far more complex. Also there are not many applications this small outside of dosing, it's unlikely that cheap pumps are made.

peristaltic pumps for mounting on a drill exist (look for hobbyist brands like wolfcraft or gardening equipment). These are inexpensive (starting at 10€), the capacity is still higher that you want - but you could try to tune down that drill you power them with, or find a gear.


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