I have a container that is not hermetically sealed. It is filled with a certain gas/vapor: gaseous water (steam). I want to pump the gas/vapor outside, to the atmosphere. I have 2 questions:

1- What is the name for the device I need? Pump terminology seems extremely vague and confusing.

  • It is a pump, but it's for gases, not necessarily for liquids.
  • It is not necessarily a compressor, since the pumped gas is evacuated to the atmosphere, not compressed into a cylinder.
  • It is not necessarily a vacuum pump, since the container is not sealed, as the gas is evacuated it will be replaced by fresh air, never reaching a significant vacuum.
  • It must of course not be manual (not a bicycle pump!)

2- In any case, can someone recommend me a device for this?

For example, perhaps a regular water pump could work even if I'm trying to pump a gas, or perhaps a vacuum pump could work even if I'm not trying to reach a vacuum.

  • You may want to specify what kind of gas you're moving, as there may be requirements about flammability and or explosions to consider. At a minimum, indicate if the gas is inert, flammable, or explosive.
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 18:08
  • 6
    Fans are often used for this purpose.
    – jwh20
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 18:20
  • 4
    I'm having trouble correlating this to a home improvement project. We're not an industrial engineering site.
    – isherwood
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 18:34
  • 1
    It's called a fan or blower. When the steam leaves the container, what replaces it? How does this makeup gas enter the container, or do you aim to draw a vacuum on the container? This really, really sounds like an XY problem. Those tend to be very bad questions. You're not the only one who's faced the root problem. Commented May 12, 2021 at 19:37
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    Now wait. If the container is full of steam,then it's either far below atmospheric pressure,or at or above the boiling point of water. Either case significantly limits the options. Which one is it?
    – TooTea
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


You need an axial compressor, which (despite the name) is used to move gas/vapor (but can also function as a compressor in a closed system). A common name for this is a fan.

For your purposes, it could be as simple as an in-line electric fan installed in the duct, at the duct outlet to atmosphere, or in the "container" at the duct inlet.


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