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What Are the Pros & Cons of Liquid Ring Pump


In various industrial applications, the choice of a suitable pump is crucial for efficient fluid handling. One type of pump that has gained popularity in many industries is the liquid ring pump. Liquid ring pumps are known for their unique operating principle and versatile applications.

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of liquid ring pumps, shedding light on their advantages and limitations in different scenarios.

Understanding Liquid Ring Pumps

Before delving into the pros and cons of liquid ring pumps, it is essential to understand how they work. Liquid ring pumps are a type of positive displacement pump that operates on a simple yet effective principle.

They consist of an impeller with blades (usually circular) enclosed in a casing, and they are partially filled with a sealing liquid, often water. When the impeller rotates, the liquid forms a rotating ring inside the casing. As the impeller spins, it creates a centrifugal force that pushes the gas or vapor being pumped towards the center of the impeller, compressing it and subsequently discharging it.

Liquid Ring Vacuum Pump Compressor

Pros of Liquid Ring Pumps

Liquid ring pumps are a type of important industrial equipment, offering a variety of benefits to business owners.

Reliable Operation

One of the primary advantages of liquid ring pumps is their reliability. Their simple design with few moving parts makes them less prone to mechanical failure. This reliability is crucial in industries where continuous and uninterrupted operation is essential, such as chemical processing, pharmaceuticals, and food production.

Capable of Handling Vapor-Laden Gases

Liquid ring pumps excel in handling vapor-laden gases, making them suitable for applications that involve the extraction of vapors or gases from various processes. They can effectively handle wet or saturated gases without suffering from cavitation or damage, which is a common issue in some other pump types.


Liquid ring pumps are self-priming, which means they can automatically expel air or gas from the system and create a vacuum without the need for external priming mechanisms. This makes them a reliable choice for applications where rapid startup and consistent operation are required.

Wide Range of Applications

Liquid ring pumps find applications in a wide range of industries, including chemical processing, pharmaceuticals, power generation, food and beverage, and wastewater treatment. Their ability to handle corrosive and abrasive materials and their compatibility with a variety of sealing liquids make them versatile in numerous settings.

Low Maintenance

Due to their relatively simple design and minimal wear on components, liquid ring pumps require lower maintenance compared to some other pump types. This translates to cost savings and reduced downtime for maintenance and repairs.

Energy Efficiency

In certain applications, liquid ring pumps can be energy-efficient. They can operate with a high degree of isothermal compression, which reduces the risk of heat generation and minimizes energy consumption.

KENFLO liquid ring pump

KENFLO liquid ring pump

Cons of Liquid Ring Pumps

However, the liquid ring pumps have some drawbacks that you need to focus.

Inefficient at High Vacuum Levels

While liquid ring pumps excel at handling vapor-laden gases, they become less efficient at higher vacuum levels. This limitation can be a disadvantage in applications requiring deep vacuum levels, as the energy consumption increases significantly.

Limited Compression Ratio

Liquid ring pumps have a limited compression ratio, which affects their ability to achieve high pressure differentials. This limitation makes them unsuitable for applications that demand high-pressure discharge.

Water Usage

The need for a sealing liquid, often water, can be a drawback in some applications, especially those where water conservation is a concern. Furthermore, the disposal of this water may require additional treatment or compliance with environmental regulations.

Potential for Contamination

In some cases, the sealing liquid can become contaminated with the pumped gases or vapors. This contamination can lead to increased maintenance and operating costs and may require additional monitoring and management.

Limited to Non-Hazardous Gases

Liquid ring pumps are generally not suitable for handling highly reactive, toxic, or explosive gases due to the risk of contamination or safety hazards. In such cases, alternative pump technologies may be preferred.


Liquid ring pumps offer a range of advantages, including reliability, vapor-handling capabilities, self-priming, and low maintenance requirements, making them a valuable asset in various industrial applications.

Ultimately, the choice of a pump, whether it be a liquid ring pump or another type, should be based on the specific requirements and operating conditions of the application.

Careful consideration of the pros and cons, along with a thorough assessment of the needs and constraints, will lead to a more informed decision and the optimal performance of the pump in the chosen application.