31 Mar Maintaining Centrifugal Pump
How to Maintain a Centrifugal Pump
To understand how to maintain a centrifugal pump, it is important to understand its main purpose and in which applications it can be used. Scientifically speaking, they are used to transport fluids by the conversion of rotational kinetic energy to the hydrodynamic energy of the water flow.
Centrifugal pumps are used for pumping water, solvents, organics, oils, acids, bases and any “thin” liquids in industrial, agricultural and domestic applications. There is a design suitable for virtually any application involving low viscosity fluids.
As with most machinery and mechanisms, maintenance forms an integral part of keeping them in perfect working order. There are steps to follow to ensure that a centrifugal pump remains in operation. By doing regular maintenance checks, you will eliminate major costs by having to replace the unit.
Prevention is better than cure with a centrifugal pump
To eradicate any irregularities in the running of the unit, routine checks should be done by a professional. Checks of pressure gauges (suction and discharge pressure), flow rates, pump efficiency, speed and power should be made to determine whether the current capacity, pressure, power consumption and vibration level need further inspections. Quarterly inspections on shaft alignment and oil levels should also be carried out as well as annual inspections for casing and stability problems.
No matter what industry or application they are used for, it is important that there is no unnecessary downtime through repairs and replacements.
Routine maintenance is vital for a centrifugal pump
A routine maintenance programme not only extends the life of the system but also reduces operating costs. Consistent maintenance ensures that there is enough history recorded to identify the source of the problem faster.
When carrying out maintenance, use a checklist to confirm that they are restored to optimal working condition. The checklist should include the basics which are mechanical part inspection, electrical testing and lubricant. If these three components are functioning properly, then the unit will be in its best possible working condition. There are common points of failure, but measures can be taken to prevent unexpected breakdowns.
- Bearing and lubricant condition – Bearing temperatures, lubricant levels and vibration should be monitored and logged daily. If the lubricant is not clear and there are signs of bubbling, it is an indication that more lubricant needs to be added to decrease the temperature of the bearings. It is important to monitor the vibrations of the bearings as an increase in vibrations could be a sign of bearing failure.
- Shaft Seal Condition – There should be no sign of visible leakage on the shaft seals. The best way to check this is during operational downtime where the gaskets and shaft seals can be inspected to ensure that there are no leaks and that there is adequate lubrication.
- Overall pump vibration – Remove any excess debris by cleaning the bearing covers. Obstructions in the lines and bearing failures can result in excessive vibration. By not monitoring the overall vibrations, it becomes a serious problem leading to failure of one or more components or ultimately complete unit failure.
- Discharge pressure – Calculating the difference between the suction and discharge outlets will ensure that the pump is operating at the correct discharge pressure. To confirm that the pressure reading is at the desired performance level, you can find the information on the manufacturer’s website or your operation manual.
Daily, quarterly and annual maintenance should be carried out and the regularity of maintenance checks depends on the application of the centrifugal pump.
The advantages of regular maintenance on a centrifugal pump
If the routine maintenance checks are adhered to, there should be no unnecessary dismantling of the centrifugal pump. As a result, cost and energy savings will be improved by increasing the availability and reliability of coefficients. Time to maintain sets can be predicted and planned more accurately. If a flow meter is installed to measure the process liquid flow, then the motor is able to verify the accuracy of the meter readings.
From water supply to residential areas, fire protection systems, sewage disposal, food and beverage manufacturing and oil and gas operations, centrifugal pumps form a vital role in our daily lives, sometimes without us even knowing it.
Prochem Chemical Pump Manufacturers have a wealth of experience and our commitment to personal customer service allows us to give advice and supply you with just the right centrifugal pump for your industry requirements. Feel free to contact us for further information.