If you use equipment and machinery in your industrial plant, factory, etc., then you must be familiar with the term scheduled maintenance. Not taking preventive maintenance seriously because things are running smoothly can be costly for your company. Not only because doing reparations to split case pumps is expensive, but also because you will probably have to slow down or stop your production line. Remember that time is money, and every minute that your pump is not working, you’re losing capital.
Because we don’t want you to suffer from neglecting your machinery, we have come up with a quick guide on how to maintain your pumps in good condition. You’ll find here useful tips that will avoid failures and the need for corrective maintenance (that’s the one that you do when something has failed). So, bear with us, keep reading, and don’t forget to take notes.
But first, let’s talk about preventive maintenance
Preventive maintenance will be the ultimate, cheapest, and safest way to keep your pump working as it should. Make someone at your workplace responsible for scheduling this maintenance, that way you’ll ensure that it is not forgotten. Preventive maintenance would be all about inspecting that everything is working as it should. Doing it regularly will be the best way to identify if something is out of place and called a pump engineer to take care of the issue before it becomes a major one.
Visual inspections are a must, along with checking parts, lubrication, and leaks. Also, keeping a record of the daily performance of the machine is a good idea. If something is out of place, then you’ll be able to notice it quickly and avoid more damage. So, whenever you’re doing the inspections check for this:
- Weird noises
This applies not only to pumps, but also to any kind of machinery that you use in your factory. Remember that there are common noises when the pump is working, and if you spend a few minutes around, you’ll be able to identify normal noises and unusual ones. If you hear high pitching noises, crunching sounds, or loud unusual sounds, then it will be time to call a pump engineer quickly.
Part of the inspections includes making sure that the pump is well-lubricated. Remember to follow the instructions of the manufacturer regarding this, there are different types of centrifugal pumps, and all of them have different requirements. However, make sure to not over-lubricate, because it can cause damage too. So, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines carefully.
It would be easy to identify with a visual check-up of the pump components. Make sure to check on the main body, impeller, flanges, and casing plug. Corrosion will weaken the pump’s components, and, eventually, they will fail. Besides that, corrosion is also dangerous because the rusting and cracking will contaminate the pumped fluid. So, replacements would be needed as soon as possible for the corroded elements.
Extreme vibrations are unusual on properly installed and well-functioning pumps. Therefore, if you notice that the level of vibration on the pump is excessive, then you must notify it. The reasons for this phenomenon could be due to the misalignment of some parts, like the motor.
Overheating can be extremely dangerous, and it is something that should be taken care of at the moment. The reasons for extreme heat can vary, and you should find out what is causing it in your pump. If you have recently increased the workload of the pump, then that might be the problem. It can be running at duty or at a pace that it can’t maintain.
- Seals & gaskets
Commonly, seals wear out over time. Friction, heat, and improper installation can be the reasons why you need to replace these items prematurely. However, even if everything is going fine with the seals and gaskets, eventually they will become hard and will crack. Therefore, you must identify when the seals and gaskets are reaching the end of their useful life to replace them before they are not useful anymore.
When you have the presence of solids on the pump, it would be common that you might face some clogging. This issue would be simple to identify because the pump won’t be delivering the same amount of liquid as usual. You can fix this issue by removing the debris causing the clogging, and everything will be running as usual.
These are the main things that you must perform on preventive maintenance to avoid further problems with your pump. Take some minutes daily to check for overheating, vibration, and noises, in case you can’t perform this daily, do a thorough inspection weekly that includes all the points that we mentioned above.
Remember that there are different types of pumps, like end-suction pumps and split case pumps, and their differences reside in the fact that they will have distinct requirements. Therefore, you must follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to take care of each pump to ensure its lifespan.