A vortex pump with a specific speed of 76 was studied in its turbine mode by using fluent 6.3 based on the steady, three-dimensional, incompressible, Reynolds time-averaged Navier–Stokes equations, standard - turbulence model, and nonequilibrium wall function in multiple reference frame system. The performance and flow structure of six liquids with different densities and viscosities were characterized, and the hydraulic, volumetric, and mechanical losses were discomposed. The correction factors of flow rate, head, shaft-power, efficiency, and disk friction power in turbine mode were correlated with impeller Reynolds number at three operational points. The conversion factors of flow rate, head, efficiency from the pump mode to the turbine mode were expressed with Reynolds number and compared with the counterparts of centrifugal pumps in the literature. It was indicated that the vortex pump can produce power as a turbine but becomes inefficient with increasing viscosity or decreasing impeller Reynolds number, especially as the number is smaller than 104 due to increased hydraulic, volumetric, and mechanical power losses. A vortex structure with radial, axial, and meridian vortices occurs in the impeller at different flow rates and viscosities. The incidence at blade leading edge and deviation angle at the blade trailing edge depend largely on flow rate and viscosity. The impeller should be modified to improve its hydraulic performance under highly viscous fluid flow conditions. The entropy generation rate method cannot demonstrate the change in hydraulic loss with viscosity when the Reynolds number is below 104.