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Chopper Pumps Review

Pump Applications and Design

What is a chopper pump?

A type of centrifugal pump used to transport solids-laden water through a pumping system. It bears a resemblance to a grinder pump; both use a mechanism to crush large solids in the fluid, though their primary uses differ. Grinder pumps are usually found in sewage systems to reduce the size of sewage lines and use pressure rather than gravity to pump sewage to the municipal collection or treatment plant.

Chopper pumps are typically owned and operated by private companies and are custom designed for specific industrial or agricultural applications. They are also much larger than grinder pumps, and therefore capable of handling very large solids (e.g. bones in a meat processing plant) that could not easily pass through a regular centrifugal pump.

Chopper Pump

How do they work?

Liquid moves into the pump inlet and passes through a rotating chopper mechanism with teeth made of hardened materials, which crushes any large solids into more manageable pieces before they are allowed to flow through the impeller.

Many chopper pumps also include a cutter at the back end of the impeller or a filter at the pump inlet to prevent oversized solids from passing through. They are available in many different centrifugal configurations, including horizontal end suction pumps, self priming pumps, vertical sump pumps, and submersible pumps. If the pump type requires a mechanical seal, the seal faces must either be constructed with abrasion resistant materials or a clean water flush must be provided to reduce wear.

Where are they used?

Although chopper pumps are useful in wastewater treatment, they are more commonly used in industrial and agricultural applications, such as pumping manure in large agricultural facilities or handling waste at fish processing plants, slaughter houses, and meat processing plants.

Contributed by PumpScout staff.

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