What is a Hydraulic Pump Anyway?

If you work in construction or engineering, you’re probably used to complicated terms getting tossed around. One term you might hear is “hydraulic pump”. If you’re wondering what hydraulic pumping is and what it’s they’re used for, you’ve come to the right place.

First off, a hydraulic pump is a pump that converts mechanical power into hydraulic power. Don’t worry if that doesn’t make sense immediately. Essentially, a hydraulic pump uses mechanical energy to create a vacuum. Then, gravity and atmospheric pressure will force liquid from a reservoir into the pumping system.

Hydraulic Pumping

You might think that hydraulic pumps produce pressure themselves. However, that’s not quite true. Instead, a hydraulic pump produces “flow.” Once a vacuum is created, other forces, such as atmospheric pressure, provide the pressure to move the liquid.

In fact, if a pump isn’t connected to a system, or “load” as it is sometimes called, it will produce zero pressure. If a pump is connected to a system (load), it’ll produce enough power to overcome the resistance of the load.

Generally speaking, pumps are used to move liquids and gases. This is useful for a wide range of applications. Let’s say a customer owns a pool and this pool needs to be drained. Perhaps winter is approaching or they simply want to get rid of or rebuild the pool.

You could grab a bucket and slowly remove the water bucket-by-bucket. This would take a long time, probably several days at least. Using a powerful pump, you may be able to drain the pool in a matter of hours.

Oil companies also use pumps to pump oil out of the ground. In construction, pumps may be used in basements and other facilities to prevent flooding. Hydraulic pumps, and other types of pumps, are very useful in a variety of applications.