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It's known that the positive displacement pumps are self-priming, however can I operate the pump without water in its casing?

I know that I can use the positive displacement pumps as a priming pump for the centrifugal pump, however will I need to fill its casing with water before the priming process?

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Yes, even self-priming pumps generally require water in their casing to pump. 'Self-priming' generally just means that they are capable of pumping a mixture of air/water, not that they can pull a vacuum and pump the liquid.

Some self priming pumps are available with an integrated vacuum pump, however these are special purpose and not generally cost-effective for most applications.

Is there any reason you couldn't use a small header tank to provide prime, instead of the positive displacement pump? E.g:

Header Tank

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"can I operate the pump without water in its casing?"

  • YES, you can use a self-oiling sliding vane pump. They will pull a vacuum, allowing water to fill the centrifugal pump case. We use it and can prime from water source up to 12' below the pump.

All the usual variables apply regarding pump sizes vs. net suction head, etc.

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