Difference Between Pump and Motor

Main Difference – Pump vs. Motor

Pumps and Motors are both devices used to achieve a vast range of work. The main difference between motor and pump is that a motor is a device that converts electricity to mechanical energy which results in motion, whereas a pump is a device that is used to transfer a fluid from one place to another.

What is a Pump

Pumps are mechanical devices that use suction or pressure to move fluids. There are two types of pumps: kinetic pumps speed up the fluid and give the fluid the kinetic energy. The kinetic energy is then transformed to pressure energy, which is used to transmit the fluid. Positive displacement pumps trap a fixed volume of liquid and then force it out using mechanical pressure.

There are numerous uses of pumps. For instance, pumps are used to draw water from wells or to pump oil from reservoirs.

Difference Between Pump and Motor - Rotary Pump

Difference Between Pump and Motor – A Centrifugal Pump (A type of kinetic pump)


What is a Motor

Motors are devices which convert electricity into mechanical energy, which results in motion. There are two main types of motors: DC motors and AC motors. DC motors are powered by a direct current while AC motors are powered by an alternating current. In DC motors, a coil carrying a DC current rotates between two magnets, producing motion. AC motors could use a modification to the DC motors to rotate a coil in the same way. More common are the AC motors known as induction motors, where an alternating current is used to change the direction of magnetic field of a stationary electromagnet called the stator. 

A piece of a conductor is placed inside the magnetic field of the stator, and due to the changing magnetic field a current starts flowing inside the conductor. This induced current produces its own magnetic field which also changes constantly. The interaction between the conductor’s magnetic field and the stator’s magnetic field makes the conductor rotate. The image below shows a cut through an induction motor. The loops of wiring around the stators can be clearly seen:

Difference Between Pump and Motor - Induction Motor

Difference Between Pump and Motor – Induction Motor

Motors also have a wide variety of uses. For instance, they are used to spin drums in washing machines or to provide energy for pumps to operate.

Difference Between Pump and Motor


Pumps transfer fluid from one place to another.

Motors produce motion using electric currents.


Image Courtesy

“Opengewerkte elektromotor” by S.J. de Waard (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

“A picture of a dry-installed chopper pump” by Bogelund (Landia) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

About the Author: Nipun