High-flow or High-pressure, what is the difference?

High-flow or High-pressure, what is the difference?

High-flow and high-pressure, what’s the difference? 


Water pump systems are used for many different types of areas, from domestic or municipal use, to uses in commercial or industrial areas. There are also several different applications for pumping water, and as such, there is a need for various application-specific pumps. Two broad categories of water pump types are ‘high-flow’ and ‘high-pressure’ pumps. 









A high flow pump is used to move a large quantity of water from one area to another. These pumps are generally seen in floodwater removal scenarios, or when filling home or public swimming pools, or when moving cooling water in industrial applications. In these cases, the requirement is less about using the water to perform a task, and more about simply removing an obstacle or filling a holding vessel of some sort. 













A high-pressure pump is most often used in an application where the water is required to do something or assist with a task. Some of the more common applications for this are power washers, sprinklers, cleaning or manufacturing. The purpose of the pump in these applications is to be able to increase the pressure of the water so that it can be used as a means of applying a cleaning or cutting force. Other use-cases include large-scale irrigation, firefighting and water distribution, where the increased pressure is required to propel water over greater distances. 


To find out which water pump system will best suit your needs, you’ll need to understand what you’ll need the pump for. What do you need your pump to achieve? Some common uses of a high flow pump versus a high-pressure water pump are:

  • Water transfer: as mentioned earlier, the need to move water from one place to another in large quantities will require a high-flow pump in order to complete the task quickly and efficiently. Applications include water tank transfer, dam filling, building or construction, and some types of farming.
  • Firefighting: fire protection applications usually require a high-pressure water pump, as they must be able to project a stream of water at a fire in order to extinguish it. For domestic or remote applications, the fire pump is often required to be powered without a source of mains power. In this situation, a high-pressure pump is often used in conjunction with a generator and water storage tank in order to function in a standalone manner.

It is important to note that depending on your application, you may require a certain level of flow, as well as pressure, however, the two variables are inversely proportionate. There are many types of water pumps that combine the features of a high-flow pump and a high-pressure pump in order to create a ‘happy medium’ where an adequate flow and pressure can be achieved. Additionally, it should also be noted that for a given power input, there is a finite limit of both pressure and flow that can possibly be achieved by a single pump.

If you need any advice on choosing the right pump for your needs or are unsure which pump type you should be considering, then feel free to contact our friendly and professional team at Aline Pumps.