Daily Maintenance Measures for Your Centrifugal Pump
It takes a lot of equipment to keep your operation running smoothly. Whether you’re in the mining, food, or construction industry, you rely on a lot of heavy machinery, and keeping that machinery in tip-top shape is one of your highest priorities.
Just like so many other pieces of equipment, your centrifugal pump requires proper care and attention to avoid problems and dangerous operating conditions. To keep your pump in optimal condition, you should have maintenance plans in place with regular checks and inspections.
While there are some maintenance tasks that can wait, others should be done every day. Whoever is checking the pump should have a checklist to follow, ensuring they inspect everything and collect necessary information.
Below, we’ll address what preventative maintenance should be done on a daily basis and which areas should be examined. Remember, no matter what maintenance tasks you’re undertaking, your findings should be adequately recorded and reported.
Be sure to look for any new or excessive leaks. Examine the gaskets for any dripping oil, and inspect the casing, pump, seal chamber, and piping for other leaks. Ensure there are absolutely no leaks at the mechanical seal, and look at the stuffing box for any drips or seepage. Should the stuffing box have excessive leakage, replace the packing, and recheck the box for leaks.
You’ll also want to ensure there is regular steam outflow in the glands and packing, and you should take note if there appears to be more or less steam than usual.
Keep your ears open for any kind of unusual or disturbing noises. If you do hear something odd, record it and report it. You’ll also want to make sure the cavitation and bearings aren’t any louder than usual. A noisy cavitation or bearing operation could indicate a problem.
Temperatures, Heating, and Cooling
Every day, you should check the temperature readout to make sure the pump is running at an optimal temperature. The ideal temperature depends on what fluids the pump is moving, but the temperature shouldn’t deviate too wildly from day to day.
Even if the temperature readout looks fine, check the temperatures of various heating and cooling parts to confirm they’re working properly. Inspect the heat tracing to ensure it’s warm and working properly, and take a look at the water cooling gear to verify it’s chilly and effective.
Use your hand to feel the jackets, coolers, and exchangers of the water cooling equipment. If they’re cool, they’re likely working correctly, but if they feel strangely warm or warmer than usual, there could be a problem. Try disassembling the water cooling equipment and cleaning it if necessary, and then hand-test the temperature of the system one more time.
Also, check the temperature of the bearings to ensure they aren’t too hot. If you notice something out of the ordinary, be sure to record and report your findings.
On a regular basis, examine the oil and oil levels. You can get a look at the bearing frame through the sight glass. See if the oil is strangely watery or oddly colored, and check to see if there’s enough oil. If it looks like you need to replace the oil, make a note and ensure it’s exchanged with fresh oil as soon as possible.
While the vibration of the pump may not seem like a huge concern, keep a careful eye on it. Analyze the vibration daily, and let someone know if the vibration is off somehow. Out-of-the-ordinary vibration could indicate an alignment issue or some other problem.
Pressure, Power, Efficiency, Speed, and Flow
There are a few numbers you should keep an eye on throughout each day. Regularly monitor the discharge and suction pressure, and if the numbers move drastically in either direction, report it immediately.
The same goes for the pump’s efficiency and speed, as well as the power and flow of the pump. Keeping a close eye on these parameters can help you spot and correct potential problems early on.
Other Mechanical Parts
During your daily inspection, examine the bearings and oil rings, as well as other parts, to ensure they’re in good condition. If needed, clean the bearing covers by wiping off excess grime.
To keep your centrifugal pump in great shape, check the above elements every day. In addition to daily maintenance, you should also put quarterly and annual maintenance procedures in place to further ensure your pump’s smooth operation.
If you’re thinking of replacing your pump or if you’re experiencing issues with your current pump, contact a specialist in the industry, such as Compressor-Pump & Service, Inc. We can help you find the perfect pump for your operation, or we can repair the pump you already have.