The Difference Between Pumps and Motors

When working with machinery and applications that involve fluids, it is common for equipment like pumps and motors to be present. Despite the popularity of both devices across industries and applications, the two are unique with their own set of functions, roles, and designs. Since they are two of the most important industrial tools, it is highly advantageous to have a basic understanding of pumps and motors

Major Differences Between Pumps and Motors

Pumps are mechanical devices that are commonly found in a wide variety of settings, finding installation in home appliances, plumbing systems, industrial machinery, and so much more. At their most basic, pumps are designed to move fluids like liquids and gasses through pipes and hoses. Additionally, they may also serve to compress or push gasses into inflatable objects. In order to conduct such movement, pumps rely on suction, pressure, or a combination of both.

While there are a number of pumps on the market, many rely on mechanical energy to draw, pressurize, and discharge fluids. This mechanical energy may come from a number of sources, common options being electricity, wing power, engine power, and manual labor. They can also widely vary in design, shape, material, and more to accommodate a diverse set of needs and applications.

When discussing motors, one is referring to electromechanical machinery that is able to transform electrical energy into mechanical energy that can be harnessed to drive systems and assemblies. With this basic role, motors are so widely used that they account for nearly half of typical energy consumption across the globe. In fact, they are so useful and popular that they are often recognized as one of the most pivotal inventions in human history.

Now that we have covered the basic functions of both devices, it can be helpful to have a general sense of their most common types. For pumps, the most popular categories include positive displacement pumps and dynamic pumps. With a positive displacement pump, fluids are moved through a space through methods like expanding and contracting motions or suction. With reciprocating pumps, a piston used to create an alternating force and suction cycle that creates flow. Meanwhile, rotary pumps feature one or more rotating parts that generate suction to move fluids. With a dynamic pump, kinetic energy is transferred from the pump and into the fluid so that it can be transferred into potential energy as it exits the assembly.

With motors, the primary types are DC and AC motors. With a DC motor, direct current energy is transformed into mechanical energy. These served as the initial motor types, and they still find use in a wide variety of applications and industries. With AC electrical motors, power is supplied in the form of AC energy, and such motors may come in the form of induction or synchronous types. As technology continues to progress, AC motors are finding more implementation. Currently, one may use AC motors for pumps, lawn equipment, heaters, ovens, off-road equipment, and much more.


Whether you are interested in pumps, motors, or other industrial products, there is no better sourcing solution than RFQ Experts for all your various needs. Take the time to peruse our manufacturer and part type catalogs to find over 2 billion ready-for-purchase items that cater to a diverse set of industry verticals. With our online quote request forms, you can quickly and easily receive customized solutions for your comparisons, and we offer a 15 minute turnaround time from the time that we receive your request. If you have any questions regarding our offerings or services, give us a call or email at your earliest convenience, and we would be more than happy to assist you however we can!


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