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Author: Newly Banch

Thirteen Ways to Protect your Pump

You may not know it, but you could be hurting your pump! From pipeline misalignments to choking, starving and overloading, there are a several ways people inadvertently murder their pumps. Our experts have seen it all on the field. Although we cannot change the nature of the fluid, there are many things we can and must do to improve pump efficiency, performance and life. So don’t be a statistic! Read about the 13 ways you could protect your pump and maximize its life.

1. Pay Attention to Piping

  • Installing a pump is simple; however, to ensure optimum performance and life, the piping system needs to be designed carefully. Check out our pump piping guidelines, which illustrates correct pipeline installation methods proven by hundreds of installations or consult Ali Yaqoob Trading Co. L.L.C.
  • The pump must be located as near as possible to the storage tank.

At the inlet:

  • No pump can discharge more than it receives, so the inlet piping must be carefully considered.
  • A flexible connection should be used in the pump inlet and outlet piping to compensate for piping strains.
  • Inlet piping size should never be smaller than the inlet of the pump. If the inlet piping is inadequate to supply the demand of the pump, you may be in big trouble.
  • The inlet line should be level or sloped downward to the pump

At the outlet:

  • A pressure gauge should be installed in the pump outlet. This will help you determine the efficiency of your system.
  • A thermal relief valve should be installed to protect the pump from excessive pressures due to thermal expansion.
  • If the outlet piping exceeds 50 feet in length, it is necessary to install a check valve near the pump outlet (after the bypass valve).
  • Outlet piping size should never be smaller than the outlet of the pump

2. Install a Bypass Valve

  • A pump bypass valve must be installed in the pump outlet (never at the inlet).
  • If the pump discharge is shut off before the driver is stopped, extremely high pressures can develop, unless a bypass valve is installed to allow the pump to discharge back to the supply tank
  • Operating at shutoff for a long time with the bypass line closed tight will convert power to heat and fry the pump.

3. Don’t Neglect the Drive System

  • The drive shaft and pump shaft must be parallel. Misalignments will cause the pump to overhear due to excessive friction. It will subject the shaft, seals, and bearings to alternating forces and shatter the pump.
  • The drive system design is extremely important. The designer of the drive system must select a drive shaft capable of meeting the torque requirements of the pump.
  • The wiring of your motor is critical and should be done by a competent electrician.
  • Improper motor wiring will cause expensive motor difficulties from low voltage.
  • Connect your motor for the voltage available. Your motor will be destroyed you connect to the wrong voltage!

4. Use Proper Foundation & Baseplate

  • The foundation should be firm, level and made of concrete.
  • The pump-motor set must be properly secured to a common baseplate, which in turn should be anchor bolted and securely bonded to the concrete foundation using epoxy grout.
  • Improper foundation and base support can cause excessive pump vibration and physical damage.

5. Don’t Overload it

  • Pumps are designed for specific operating conditions. Any additional loads can adversely affect the pump’s performance.
  • Operating the pump continuously at speeds, capacities, heads or flow rates outside its recommended operating range can cause the pump to overheat and eventually cease from a burned out bearing or broken shaft.

6. Grease or Lubricate it

  • Lack of lubrication is the main reason behind bearing damage, vibration from friction and much more. Very simply put, no grease / lubrication can ruin your pump.
  • Too much lubrication causes leakage, whereas adding too little causes it to break in short order.

7. Don’t Run it Dry

  • Never run the pump dry! Pumps require a constant supply of fluid to maintain stable operation.
  • NPSHA MUST be always be greater than NPSHR for the pump system to operate to avoid cavitation. This can happen three ways.
    1. The fluid level in the piping / sump is low
    2. The suction strainer is clogged
  • The temperature of fluid rises without a rise in the suction pressure
  • If the minimum acceptable suction conditions are not met, the mechanical seals can be subjected to severe wear and leakage.
  • The pump will make a distinct sound to let you know it is being run dry. If the sound is ignored the pump can end up becoming extremely hot and experience thermal shock. The rotor, vanes, cam and sideplate and the entire pump can be destroyed.

8. Strainers are Crucial

  • Suction strainers are required to prevent sand, grit and debris from entering the pump. Don’t remove it!
  • Periodically inspect the strainer, remove any foreign matter and clean it by dipping it in an approved solvent.
  • Heavy amounts of debris, sand and scale can cause premature wear to the internals and can eventually lead to service failure.

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