How Is It Possible That A Machine, Or A Diaphragm Pump, Can Run Dry?

commercial refrigeration installation
Closeup side view of early 30's male employee at a factory plant operating a production line machine and setting it for work. It's typical work day at a factory.

The answer to that question lies in the name of the machine. Diaphragm pumps work much like the muscle in the human body. When the rubber membrane “inhales,” the fluid being processed enters the collection chamber. When the membrane “exhales,” the fluid is expelled from the chamber. How does it run dry without damaging the machine?

They’re Built Differently

There are no gears or surfaces that rub together to produce heat. These things require lubricants to prevent damage to the parts. Additionally, the suction isn’t as damaging as it is in rotary pumps. Valves on either side of the Teflon or rubber membrane facilitate the back and forth movement of the diaphragm. Picture two children in a tug-of-war. That’s how the machine works.

How Long Can Diaphragm Pumps Run Dry?

The pumping action in a diaphragm pump is facilitated by air operating in chambers beside the membranes. Compressed air is thus moved into and out of the chambers which moves the membranes to and fro. It is a machine, though. A diaphragm pump will last about six months to a year, much longer than machines using moveable parts.

They’re Incapable Of Overheating

Diaphragm pumps operate on air that’s filtered or on nitrogen. They are cold. As they’re going through the pump, they cool down whatever became heated in the operation of the pump. This means the machine can’t overheat.


There isn’t enough room in this article to explain the benefits of diaphragm pumps regarding suction and self-priming, among other advantages. Suffice it to say that the pumps process fluids and their corresponding solids reliably and consistently for quite some time without seizing up or breaking down.  Diaphragm pumps are built differently, with no moving parts requiring lubrication, and they don’t overheat.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here