We all see pumps day in day out. We see them in our houses, roadsides, industries etc. They are extensively used in adverse applications to transport fluids from one place to another.

## What is a pump?

**A pump is a mechanical device that moves fluids, solid wastes, chemicals, slurries by mechanical action.** The pump has two important components i.e. Flow & Head.

It determines the amount of fluid to be pumped.__Flow:__: It tells the extent or distance to which fluid is to be exported.__Head__

There are two types of Pumps based on their operating principle.

They are further classified as Centrifugal Pumps, Vertical centrifugal, Submersible pumps, etc.__Dynamic pumps:__**Displacement pumps:**They are further classified as Gear pumps, Piston pumps, Lobe pumps, etc.

As the pump works 24*7 in adverse environmental conditions, it has to be designed properly. Starting from NPSH(A) calculation to pipeline sizing calculation everything should be perfect. In this article, we will learn about “Pump Suction Intake Design Calculation.” The pump suction is designed as per the HIS (Hydrological Institute Standard). So, let’s see what the different terms are associated with pump suction design & how they are calculated.

## Terms Associated with Pump Suction Intake Design

__Bell Mouth__

__Bell Mouth__

It is a piping structure that guides the intake of fluid to the pump. Bell Mouth width is given by D. Width of bell mouth is calculated as 1.5 to 2 O.D. of the suction pipe.

__End Wall Clearance (B)__

__End Wall Clearance (B)__

It is the Clearance between the centreline of the pump suction intake bell and the end wall of the tank. It is calculated as 0.75D.

__Centreline Spacing (a)__

__Centreline Spacing (a)__

Centreline spacing between two adjacent pump bell mouths in the same tank will be calculated as 2.5D. This 2.5D is the minimum value.

__Bell Mouth Floor Clearance (C)__

__Bell Mouth Floor Clearance (C)__

It is the minimum gap that should be maintained between the bell mouth bottom and top of the tank floor. It is calculated as 0.3D to 0.5D.

__Minimum Submergence (S)__

__Minimum Submergence (S)__

It is the minimum submergence of pump bell inlet in water. This is calculated as D (1.0 + 2.3F_{D}). Where F_{D} stands for Froude’s number.

__Minimum tank width (A)__

__Minimum tank width (A)__

This is the minimum distance between the pump bell centreline and the next pump wall. It is given by 5D.

__Minimum Liquid Depth (H)__

__Minimum Liquid Depth (H)__

It is the minimum liquid depth required in the tank. This is given by the submission of Minimum submergence(S) + Bell Mouth Floor clearance(C). The lowest water level intake is calculated by minimum liquid depth.

__The angle of floor slope (α)__

__The angle of floor slope (α)__

This is the slope of the floor required in the tank. Generally, the floor is sloped so that an adequate amount of water is always available near pump suction.

## Impacts of Improper Design

- Cavitation
- Pump Dry Run
- Improper process parameters
- Improper calculation of NPSH(Available)
- Increase in OPEX.
- Vibration in pump body & suction piping
- Pump Head Loss

The pump suction should be designed considering the above-mentioned parameters. If the suction of the pump is not designed properly there may be problems like cavitation, pump dry run, the problem of priming, etc. So, if you don’t want that these problems to be part of your real-life & you want your OPEX to be the least these design considerations should be followed carefully while a pump system is being designed.

For more clarification watch the below video & subscribe our channel.

## Typical Calculation of Pump Suction Intake Design

Consider a pump of flow Q = 1640m3/hr.

**Pump suction bell design (D) = 1.5* O.D. of pipe**

#### To Calculate Diameter of Pipe: Q = A.V.

Where

- A = Cross-section area of Pipe or (A=π/4 * D2)
- V= Velocity in pump suction side (velocity in suction pipe is generally considered in range from 06 to 1.5m/s.

#### Minimum submergence (S): S = D (1+2.3Fd)

Where

- Fd = Froudes Number (It is a dimensionless number)
- FD = V/(gD)^0.5
- V = Velocity in m/s
- D= Suction bell diameter
- g = Gravitational acceleration i.e. 9.81 m/s^2

#### Minimum sump clearance (C)= 0.3 to 0.5D

#### Lowest water level (H) = S+C

#### The gap from the centre of the wall to pipe centre (B)= (0.3D to 0.75D)

Flow(m3/hr | Inside Diameter(m) | Outside diameter(mm) | Bell design D) (mm) | Velocity(V)(m/s) | Froudes Number (FD) | Minimum submergence(S) (mm) | Minimum sump clearance (C) (mm) | Lowest Water level (H) (mm) | Gap of pipe from centre wall (B) (mm) |

1640 | 0.695 | 711 | 1066.5 | 1.20 | 0.371 | 1978 | 320 | 2297 | 1386 |

**Table 2: Table Showing Results of Sample Calculation**

## Tutorial Video for Pump Suction Intake Design

For more clarification watch the below-attached video & **subscribe to our channel**

Few more Useful Resources for you.

Other Pump Related Articles

Piping Design and Layout Basics Related Articles

Piping Stress Analysis Related Articles

Piping Material Basics

Articles Related to Process Design Basics

Articles related to Civil Design Basics

Articles Related to Mechanical Design Basics

Articles Related to Instrumentation Design Basics

Calculation time & pressure for hydrotest.

Thank you, Anup

It is important to know the maximum suction depth to prevent solids from entering the pipeline. I need to find suction depth for the vertical suction pipe.

May be this topic is related with flow pattern line around suction pipe.

Do you know any literature about that ?

Thank you in advance

Dear, flow pattern as well as solids behavior are key points of analysis to prevent any particle entrainment towards the suction mouth. Please start by analyzing your tank as a sedimentation tank where solids are allowed to settle out far from of the liquid stream

I have a 12″ PVC line 2300 feet long that I want to use as a suction pipe.

This is a horizontal pipe in the river with 5 foot of head.

How much can I pull out of the pipe to fill a tank 15 feet tall?

Thank you,

Gregg

What’s the size of your tank? Do you have altitude above sea level and operational temperature chart for your pump?

Would you please cite the reference source(s) for the content presented in this article? Thank you.