Piping Engineering / Design Blog.


What is Shut-off Pressure in a Pump?

Posted by Antony Thomas at Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What is Shut-off pressure in a Pump?
It is better to know Pump Performance Curve before understanding the shut-off pressure of the pump.

Pump Performance Curve is a mapping or graphing of the Pump’s ability to produce head and flow.

Pump Performance Curve

Flow rate is on the X-axis (Gallons per min)
Head is on the Y-axis (Feet)


Mapping  Flow rate to the head give the Performance curve.


Shut-off pressure is the maximum pressure or head the pump can produce. While pump’s Shut-off Pressure, no flow is produced.

pump performance curve

Maximum Flow is the largest flow the pump can produce while while no head is produced.
So now back to the question.
What is actually meant by Shut-off Pressure in Pumps?
The Maximum pressure developed by a Pump when the delivery valve is FULLY CLOSED, and NO-DISCHARGE of the fluid is produced.

How to measure the Shut-off pressure of a pump?
Using the suction and discharge pressure gauge we can measure the Shut-off pressure.
Start the pump and close the discharge isolation valve (Caution: Extreme Caution to be taken while closing the isolation valve of a running pump) This will create Shut-off head condition since the flow is restricted to 0 GPM. (The pump should not operate at shut-off head  for a more than a minute or it will damage the pump or piping)
Note down the suction and discharge pressure.

Shut-off Head = Dynamic Discharge pressure – Dynamic Suction pressure

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