Don’t Mount Your PD Pumps the Wrong Way

Did you know there’s a “right” way to install your positive displacement (PD) pump? You could have your pump installed incorrectly, potentially leaving your product exposed to biological risk.

In the world of hygienic fluid handling there are two primary categories of pumps: those that can be cleaned in place (CIP) and those that must be taken apart to be cleaned. That said, if a pump is designed to be cleaned in place, it must be installed appropriately. The proper installation and orientation of a pump is essential to its ability to be cleaned in place.

Let’s start by looking at sanitary rotary lobe or circumferential piston pumps (e.g. Alfa Laval SRU, Waukesha U1 or U2, Ampco ZP series). If you position any of these pumps with the ports horizontal (parallel to the ground), the casing will not drain. In the case of a Waukesha U1 pump, which must be taken apart to be cleaned, this is not an issue. You can position them with their inlets and outlets horizontal, because the casing will be drained when the pump is reassembled after cleaning. However, any of these pumps mounted horizontally are not suitable for CIP.

This pump is not drainable in its current state.

With the ports mounted horizontally, cleaning solution can’t drain from the bottom of the casing. This pump is not suitable for CIP.


Conversely, if you have SRU, ZP3, or U2 pumps, which are intended to be cleaned in place (CIP), you must position the ports vertically (perpendicular to the ground) in order for the casing to drain after CIP. This is true for any of these types of pumps that are cleaned in place.

This pump is drainable, and therefore safe for CIP.

With the ports mounted vertically, cleaning solution can easily drain from the pump casing, thus making it safe for CIP.


One more installation consideration to look at is the piping for CIP units. The piping must be installed with an appropriate slope and drain. If you have questions about slope and drain, leave a comment below or email me at

What does all of this mean to you? CIP is a systemic design concern you have to consider when installing all equipment. Using equipment that is CIP capable does not make your system CIP capable. The system must be designed to be cleaned in place as a whole, otherwise you create potential for far greater contamination concerns.


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