Advantages and Disadvantages of a Piston Pump

Posted by Lubetec Sales on

Here at Lubetec, we provide lubrication systems for a wide range of industries and machinery. We are experts in the field and have years of experience on both sides of the fence, so that’s on sites which use this kind of machinery and where we are now, providing systems to companies and factories that require it.

So, armed with this knowledge, we’ve decided to explore a vital element of machinery - the piston pump, and take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of a piston pump for your operations.
Let’s start with what a piston pump is.

What is a Piston Pump?

Also known as reciprocating pumps, a piston pump is a positive displacement pump where the high-pressure seal reciprocates with the piston. 
In layman’s terms, they are generally used to move liquids or compress gases, with high pressure operations achieved without a strong effect on flow rate. They are commonly found in water irrigation or delivery systems for this reason.
Piston pumps can be powered by steam or a turbine, an electric motor or hydraulic system and drive mechanism. They are capable of different pressures up to 10,000 psi, and are used to move lubricant fluid along the axis of machinery. 
Pressure builds up during this process and forces the fluid through the pump, pulsating thanks to the piston movement.

Advantages of a Piston Pump

With an enormous, wide pressure range, piston pumps are able to reach incredibly high pressures that can be controlled without any impact on the rate of flow. They’re incredibly clever pieces of kit, and have many uses and advantages.
As well as the above, they also have a continuous rate of discharge meaning they can move viscous fluids, high gas volumes and even solids throughout machinery. So a major advantage of a piston pump is efficiency, as well as how useful they are and how they can move fluids through a machine, regardless of viscosity. 
If they’re properly maintained, it also means they have a long performance life and will serve you well throughout.
Piston pumps are vital for many businesses and are an incredible feat of engineering, having been used for a long period of time within certain industries. The major benefit of them is therefore how useful they are to operations, often proving vital when used.

Disadvantages of a Piston Pump

Cost is a major disadvantage of a piston pump, as they can be expensive affairs up-front. They pay for themselves in the long-run, but the initial cost may seem a little eye-watering due to the size and complexity of the machinery.
Another major disadvantage comes down to maintenance yet again, as if not properly lubricated, the mechanical parts within a piston pump are prone to wear due to the high pressure they are placed under and the psi they generate. 
They are also incredibly heavy due to the nature of the components used, and are also very large. Valves must be kept intact with piston pumps, and must be resistant to abrasives for larger, thicker liquids or solids to pass through. 
This leads us back to the issue of maintenance and lubrication being of vital importance. Such complex pieces of engineering require great filtering accuracy and regular maintenance to ensure the unit remains fully operational at all times, so it’s hugely important they are well-lubricated and maintained throughout their lives.

Get in Touch with Lubetec

Here at Lubetec, we are experts in all things lubrication systems and the machines we operate on. To find out more about the products we supply, you can shop online for your lubricants and lubrication system requirements.
We offer same day delivery for production breakdown situations, and you can choose a delivery date and time for your order to suit your needs.
Our trading hours for our physical shop are 8:30am – 5pm, and you can collect orders and speak to our technical team at our trade counter.
If you’d rather speak to a person, you can give us a call from 8:30am, Monday-Friday on 0113 246 9333 or email us at

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