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Sucker Rod Pump Barrels

Admiralty Brass C44300 for API pumps and nomenclature

While there are only two main types of pumps standardized by API, there are four different types of sucker rod pumps. These are classified by the type of barrel (standing or traveling) and where the pump is anchored (top or bottom). API Spec. 11AX. shows the letter designations for the various types of rod and tubing pumps that are available for different barrel thicknesses and either metal or soft-packed plungers.  Ameritube provides the pump barrels in C44300 Admiralty Brass.

The complete pump designation of an API pump adds dimensional diameters and lengths to the letter designations. This has been modified in the latest revision to incorporate all approved sizes and barrel types along with separating the extensions into the top and bottom lengths if required. The complete API designation includes the following:

  • Nominal tubing size (from 1.9- to 4.5-in. OD) – represented with 2 digits
  • Basic bore diameter (from 1.0625 to 3.75 in.) – represented with 3 digits
  • Type of pump (rod or tubing) – R or T to indicate type
  • Type of barrel (heavy, thin, or X type) – single alpha character to represent the barrel type
  • Seating-assembly location (top or bottom) – A (for top), B (for bottom), or T (for bottom, traveling barel)
  • Type of seating assembly (cup or mechanical) – C or M to indicate type
  • Barrel length (ft) – single digit length
  • Nominal plunger length (ft.) – single digit length
  • Length (in.) of upper extension (if required)- single digit length
  • Length (in.) of lower extension (if required)- single digit length

API Spec. 11AX. shows that, for example, a 1¼-in. bore-rod-type pump with a 10-ft heavy-walled barrel, a 2-ft upper extension, a 2-ft lower extension, a 4-ft plunger, and a bottom-cup-type seating assembly that will be used in 2 3/8-in. the tubing would be designated as 20-125-RHBC-10-4-2-2.

It is important to know that the users of API pumps need to provide, along with the pump nomenclature, the following ordering information: barrel and plunger material, plunger clearance (or fit tolerance), and valve (ball and seat) and fittings material. The materials normally available for each of these components also are now included in the latest edition of API Spec. 11AX. (

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