A centrifugal pump consists of a motor that is used to transport fluids through the conversion of centrifugal force. Centrifugal pumps are used across various industries for plethora of applications. They are used in mining, petroleum, sewage, petrochemical and other industries. These pumps are sought after because of a number of benefits they offer. They are known for great mixing capacity, high flow rate potential and simple construction, but like any other machine they require timely maintenance and troubleshooting.
In this post, we will take a look at some of the most common centrifugal pump problems and how to fix them.
It is a no brainer that centrifugal pumps perform heavy duty tasks and constant functioning can at times give them a hard time. Change in the viscosity of pumpage is one of the most commonly seen issues with centrifugal pumps. Centrifugal pump manufacturers say that if your pump mineral based oil chances are that viscosity will change with fluctuations in temperature. This means that fluids which are thicker in nature might result in high power requirement and lowered performance. Your staff needs to check seal viscosity limitations apart from carrying out tests for the fluid temperature and specific gravity. Standard conversion formulas can also be used to check out if it is the pumpage that is hampering the pump’s performance.
If the fluid properties are found normal then probably the problem lies in the flow of liquid in the system. Low-flow condition is a sign that there is an abnormal restriction in the discharge or suction line. Cavitation takes place when there is a restriction in the suction line. A low head condition is a sign of system leakage. It can also bring about incorrect fluid flow. Always check the valve because it is an important part of the system. If you observe loss of flow then it could well be because of reduced discharge pressure. Centrifugal pump manufacturers say that you must always operate on the pump’s curve. Improper installation is also one of the most commonly seen problems which should be taken into consideration as well.
Have you been experiencing abnormal vibrations and a lot of mechanical noise? It could well be an indication that couplings or mountings are loose. Shaft alignment and bearings must also be inspected and if needed they should be replaced. You must inspect your centrifugal pump from time to time to make sure these problems do not take place. If needed it should be inspected by a professional and necessary steps must be taken.
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