Centrifugal pump adds to the productivity by a significant margin, but when not working properly, it can give rise to multiple problems including productivity. By following few simple troubleshooting methods, you can get rid of operational hiccups and performance related issues. A technician who is well-versed with the basic understanding of performance parameters can easily help resolve these issues. Let’s take a look at some of the commonly known issues with centrifugal pumps and ways to resolve them in a jiffy.
According to centrifugal pump manufacturers, the change in viscosity can affect the performance of the pump. Surrounding conditions such as temperature can alter pumpage viscosity. A good example of a fluid that changes viscosity with temperature is mineral based oil. When the pumpage happens to be a strong base or acid, dilution alters its specific gravity. Power curve might get affected due to this. If you want to find out whether pumpage is the real underlying problem, you need to verify its properties. Viscosity tests, specific gravity tests and fluid temperature are quite inexpensive and readily available.
In order to determine what’s wrong with the system of the centrifugal pump, you need to consider three problem possibilities. First possibility is that the flow is low and hence the head is high or the head is low which indicates that the flow is too high. It is not just the head and flow you need to consider minus the curve. Another possibility according to centrifugal pump manufacturers is incorrect installation and improper design which is inclusive of the wrong impeller installed as well.
Blockages and leaks in a hydraulic system is pretty much like open and shorts in an electric system. In an electric system, the parameters are voltage and current, while in a hydraulic system it is pressure and flow. An abnormal pressure differential will occur across the entire area in case of a blockage or leak. You must know that it is easier to spot the problem by checking the pressure rather than measuring the flow. You must take into consideration measuring pump operating parameters for the same.
In a centrifugal pump, there are times when the pump is not operating on its curve and yet the pump is not quite the culprit. If the vapour enters the pump because of cavitation, the pump is not going to operate on its curve, even if the problem is not with the pump. The resolution to this problem is vibration analysis in real time. It will help you figure out if the problem is with the pump or not.
If you have any questions about rotary pump or barrel pumps or any other pump type, feel free to write in to us.