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Positive Displacement Pump Operation
All positive displacement pumps operate on the same basic principle. This principle can be most easily demonstrated by considering a reciprocating positive displacement pump consisting of a single reciprocating piston in a cylinder with a single suction port and a single discharge port as shown in Figure 12. Check valves in the suction and discharge ports allow flow in only one direction.
During the suction stroke, the piston moves to the left, causing the check valve in the suction line between the reservoir and the pump cylinder to open and admit water from the reservoir. During the discharge stroke, the piston moves to the right, seating the check valve in the suction line and opening the check valve in the discharge line. The volume of liquid moved by the pump in one cycle (one suction stroke and one discharge stroke) is equal to the change in the liquid volume of the cylinder as the piston moves from its farthest left position to its farthest right position.