Create a roadmap for proper pump maintenance

Taking care of your pump is like caring for your vehicle. Once you choose the perfect vehicle for your particular needs, you’re ready to put it to work for you. You may start with a protective wax when you first pull it into your driveway from the sales lot, then as time goes on you will service the vehicle with proper oil changes, tune ups and tire rotation or replacement.

07/15/2008


Taking care of your pump is like caring for your vehicle. Once you choose the perfect vehicle for your particular needs, you’re ready to put it to work for you. You may start with a protective wax when you first pull it into your driveway from the sales lot, then as time goes on you will service the vehicle with proper oil changes, tune ups and tire rotation or replacement.

If you treat it right, it’s likely to offer you many years of high performance and reliability %%MDASSML%% which is exactly what you want from your pump system: no breakdowns, smooth operation and a lot of mileage.

Where does pump maintenance begin?

The design phase is where it all begins. Provisions should be made on the front side of an installation to allow for ample accessibility to service the pump without effort. Lifting arrangements for ease of removal should be considered as well. Finally, good preparatory activities for an installation include ensuring that isolation valves are in place to avoid draining the system if and when the pump is to be serviced; and getting gauges installed on the inlet and discharge flanges for pump monitoring.

If a pump is not matched correctly to the application, a lot more than simple maintenance will be required to keep the pump up and running without failure. The pump’s construction materials must be compatible with the pumped media, and a properly sized pump for the respective application is the answer to trouble-free operation.

A pump sized too small for the application will not maintain proper pressures and flows. Conversely, a pump sized too large can incur substantial energy costs %%MDASSML%% and worse, can damage both the pump and the entire system.

Proper installation will save a lot of headaches down the road. Is the pump installed per the manufacturer’s instructions? This is not a good time to take shortcuts. To avoid future breakdown or pump failure, it is integral to the pump’s stable operation to follow these instructions verbatim.

Off to a good pump startup

Once the selection of the best suited pump for the application has been made and the pump has been installed per the manufacturer’s instructions, a proper startup is critical for circumventing future pump problems or unscheduled maintenance events.

The installation and operation manual for proper pump startup should be followed to the detail, and will provide the sound foundation for optimum pump operation. The following is a general checklist that is standard to many pump startup procedures:

  • Follow the installation and operation manual for proper startup procedures

  • Ensure that all lines supplying the pump have been flushed before the pump is installed

  • Check that all filtering/straining devices are clear of debris

  • Vent all air from the pump and lines

  • Ensure that all valves are open to the appropriate amount

  • Check for proper motor protection

  • Check for proper motor rotation

  • Check for leaks and ensure all fittings are properly tightened

  • Bump-start the pump and listen for any unusual sounds, and watch for leaks

  • Check for proper voltage (under load, as close to the motor as possible).