Rod Pump

Tech-Flo's Rod Pump

Rod pumps are a type of artificial lift system that draw oil and gas out of a well. They are long cylinders that have both moving and stationary parts inside. A rod pump is designed to fit inside the tubing of a well and gather fluids while lifting them to the surface. They are comprised of several parts, but the piston, fittings, barrels and valves (both traveling and fixed) are the most notable.

Components of a Rod Pump

Rod pumps are made of few parts, but every part plays a vital role in performance. The American Petroleum Institute (API) has standardized most of the components and materials for rod pumps. There are a few variations to rod pumps, but the standard parts are as follows:

Barrel: A 10-36 foot long cylinder (1.25-3.75 inches in diameter) traditionally made of carbon steel and brass, internally coated with chrome. Although brass is weaker than carbon steel, it is 100% corrosion resistant, which results in less pump failures and increased longevity. The barrel's main purpose is to house all the internal parts that make the pump work.

Piston: Also referred to as the plunger, the piston works to create a sucking effect with a reciprocating up and down movement. It is a nickel sprayed cylinder that remains inside the barrel and works with valves to lift and remove the fluids from the well.

Fittings: Fittings are small pieces designed to let fluid flow freely and uninterrupted. Without these, joints would not seal correctly and oil could be lost. They are essential to the operation.

Valves: Rod pump valves are made of both a seat and a ball, that when closed create a complete seal. The ball is commonly made of silicon nitride and seats are often made of carbon nitride. In wells that have extremely dense crude oil, or large amounts of oil are being lifted, the ball may be made of titanium. Most rod pumps need two valves to complete their configuration: fixed and traveling.

Piston Rod: The main purpose of the piston rod is to transfer up/down reciprocating energy produced above ground by the pumping unit. This rod joins the piston and the outside of the rod pump.

Strainer: This essential component keeps dirt, rocks, and other materials that may be inside the well from being sucked inside the rod pump. While their are many different filters/strainers, the most common is a iron cylinder that has enough holes to efficiently pull in the amount of fluid the rod pump needs.