An air pump in basic terms, is a pump mechanism that pushes air through a system.
Common examples of air pumps are: bicycle pumps, pumps (which you’re most likely interested in) that are utilized for aeration purposes, and gas compressors. The pond air pumps are one of the most important in your list of pond supplies!
Pond Air Pumps vs Compressors
Pumps and their counterparts, compressors, function in a very similar way. They ultimately perform the same task.
Types of Air Pumps Explained:
1. Diaphragm Pumps
Considering air pumps, diaphragm pumps are said to be a type of pump that utilizes positive displacement.
Basically, a simple diaphragm pump contains a chamber that acts like a spring loaded mechanism through a diaphragm.
When this region is compressed, the air within the diaphragm gets expelled or propelled forward.
When the diaphragm is decompressed however, the chamber then automatically refills with air.
A simple example here for a diaphragm pump your basic foot pump. You need to consistently step on a portion of the device (up and down) to inflate an object.
2. Reciprocating Pumps
Your reciprocating pump is usually composed of a cylinder with an inlet, an outlet, and a piston contained in between.
The inlet and the outlet are of course, used to direct the flow of air. The piston portion is used to generate the actual flow of air.
As the piston gets is pulled upward, air gets sucked into the pump through the inlet. The pump chamber then depressurizes as it fills with air.
As we observe the piston forced downward, the air becomes compressed and closes the inlet. Then the air flows out from the outlet. Koi ponds are notorious for having pond air pumps or aerators functioning to keep the whole eco system alive.
3. Bellow Pumps
The Bellow Pumps are known as the oldest mechanisms that function to pump air.
It’s simple mechanism consists of flexible bag that has rigid boards or handles on either end.
The bag will either function in expansion or contraction by working the handles together and away from each other. This then forces air out of the nozzle.
When the bag is inflated or the handles are pulled apart away from each other, the valve contained within is opened on the side. This functions to allow air into the system.
As the handles are pushed together that valve is closed and air is forced out the end.
4. Air Compressor Pumps
An air compressor pump turns power (gasoline or an electrical motor) into potential energy.
This potential energy is stored in a tank and forces air into the tank creating positive pressure.
Normally a hose is connected to the tank and then when opened with a valve or switch air is shot out of the hose at high speeds.