H.V. Burton Company Steam & Water Systems

Steam Motive Pumps vs Electric Pumps

Steam Motive Pumps vs Electric Pumps

Steam motive pumps operate using steam and having a vented receiver or collection header is essential. Any flash steam should be separated from the condensate before the condensate flows into the pump. Steam motive pumps are typically used in places where no electricity is present or explosion-proof areas. They are also typically of low capacity and suffer from mechanical failures often. They also have limited venting of flash steam, and are more costly to operate. If NPSH is your issue, this is why Shipco® Model “P” pumps exist!

Shipco® Electric Pumps

Shipco® produces a wide variety of electric condensate return and boiler feed systems, both ON/OFF and continuous flowing. ON/OFF pumps are typically gravity-fed or mild pressure returns. In addition, they are usually controlled by a float switch or mechanical alternator to energize a pump on water level rise and fall. Continuous flowing pumps are used on applications that maintain the constant water level in a tank. Typically a modulating valve controls the flow of make-up water and/or variable frequency drive (VFD) speeds a motor to pump condensate into the system based on the demand.

According to Swagelok Energy Advisors, Inc., steam motive pumps cost 8 times more in energy per year. Using an electric motor-driven pumping system saves energy. A properly designed electric motor-driven pump will usually exceed 6 years of operation without repairs, but a typical steam motive pump system rarely delivers 6 years of maintenance-free operation. Obviously, the electric condensate pump should be your first choice!

At H.V. Burton Company, we highly recommend Shipco products. Shipco pumps are considered some of the best in the industry. If you have questions about steam or electric pumps contact us today.  For more information about water treatment and systems call us at 734.261.4220. Finally, when it comes to the right type of pumps for your system ask the experts at H.V.Burton Company.