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Cavitation: Are You Starving Your Pump?

Most pump users have heard of cavitation or seen the effects of the damage it can do but many don't understand its cause or how to prevent it.

The science behind cavitation can be explained through variations in pressure. On top of a mountain water boils at a lower temperature than it does at sea level. This is because there is less (atmospheric) pressure on the mountain top than at sea level.


Pressures at certain areas inside a centrifugal pump can be so low that water will boil at room temperature. By boil, this means the water transitions from a liquid to a vapor bubble. As these bubbles move through the pump, they encounter higher pressure areas and begin to transition back into a liquid. This transition is actually quite violent with the vapor bubbles imploding on themselves. The implosion causes a shock wave that moves through the liquid and is imparted on any nearby surfaces within the pump.


Read 3 Steps to Reduce the Effects of Cavitation on Your System to learn more about cavitation and what you can do to keep your pump operating efficiently.


When cavitation is present it can sound like gravel is being pumped through your system. Watch the video below to hear the sounds of cavitation and get a glimpse of what cavitation looks like. 


Demonstration of Pump Cavitation
Demonstration of Pump Cavitation


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