How a Jabsco Flexible Impeller Pump Works

With the help of our machinist who made us a clear end-cover for our flexible impeller pump, and the addition of some dish-washing liquid, we're able to show you how the vanes fold over and push the liquid out of the pump head. Don't try this at home.

How A Jabsco Flexible Impeller Pump Works 3:50

Jeff: Thanks for watching I'm Jeff Lander.

Mike: And I’m Mike Irving.

Jeff: Today, we're going to show you how exactly a flexible impeller pump works. Mike?

Mike: So we've got these big rubber impellers – this is one of our bigger pumps – and they actually go all the way down to itty bitty things about that size. All of these flexible impeller pumps have something in common. They need a cam. Some cams are in the shape of sleeves, some are replaceable or removable, and others are actually molded into the pump body. The gist of it is the cam kind of rolls or folds over the veins and makes them kind of like a larger and smaller cavity if you can imagine...

Jeff: Mike, come on. Why don't we go to the lab and actually show them how an impeller pump works?

Mike: So, this is a pretty cool display Jeff and I made. We've got ourselves a commercial duty Water Puppy and I took the end cover off. Now you shouldn't run impeller pumps dry, but we put a little bit of lubricant just to make sure it doesn't damage the impeller. It's hooked up to a 500-amp variable power supply, which means we can drop the volts down to about 2.5 volts and still have this spin, giving you an idea of what's going on.

So that cam is squeezing those veins. What that does is once the veins come on this side, it creates a negative pressure which draws the fluid up into the impeller cavity, down and around, and again that cam, squeezing those veins and folding them over, pushing the fluid out of the discharge. What we're going to do is we're going to put a clear end cover on and give you a better idea of what's going on inside the impeller pump.

All right, here we go. We've got the clear end cover on, we've got the seal, the O-ring seal around it. We've got some dishwashing liquid here. We're going to turn the power on. Watch this. That spinning, creating that vacuum, here comes the material. Swings down and there it goes, pumping right through the system. That's pretty cool, huh? It's coming in, going down and around, being squeezed out of that side. See if I can slow it down a little bit. How's that? There again. It's coming in, down and around, that cam squeezing those veins over, pushing the fluid right out.

Now check this out. This is the pump running at 2.5 volts. Let me turn it up to 12 volts. That's 12 volts. That pump is working full force.

Well Jeff, that was pretty cool. We used that clear end cover, showed you what's going on inside that pump – the little cavities, how they form, they get bigger and smaller, and how they push the fluid out. I hope that helped out. What do you think?

Jeff: Yeah, that wraps it up, Mike. Thanks for watching this episode of I'm Jeff Lander.

Mike: And I'm Mike Irving.

Jeff: Come back soon, we'll have some more videos for you.