Pump Care

Introduction

It has come to our attention that a considerable amount of pump failures come from basic failings on simple pre-start up procedures.

All submersible pumps are designed to work in liquid, the cooling of motors on these pumps are done through contact with the liquid they are pumping, and the self-priming characteristics of the pump are dependent on liquid being present in the volute.

At pump start up, pumps must be free of any obstructions of the impeller and the volute must be free of any solidified product from a previous pumping session.

Scenario One

In a ideal world pumps should be run in clean water after every pumping session clearing any residue of the product it had been pumping operation, preparing it for the next pumping session. This practise would increase pump life and reduce unexpected and costly pump repairs when motors burn out, or impeller and volute damage occur or both.

As we don’t live in a ideal world the question would be: “How to prevent obstructions to these areas of the pump prior to pump start up?”

The answer to this question is simple, check the pump before operating. The inlet of the pump is large enough for a quick visual inspection.

If any obstructions are found remove them, and if dry product is observed from the previous operation, then a soaking of the dry product in the pump until it has softened, will increase successful operating hours.

In our range of super vortex action pumps the impeller of the pump is recessed away from the volute, the impeller only comes with direct contact with the product at start up and shut down of pumping operations.

On this type of pump it becomes vitally important for good pump life, to carry out these simple pre-start up inspection and corrective action.

Scenario Two

Another common cause of pre-start up and operation failure is incorrect connection of electrical supply to the pump.

In most cases it is the incorrect voltage going to the pump that cases electric motor burn out.

Most common is the missing electrical phase on a three phase system, which after extended periods of operation, with electrical phases missing, will result in pump motor burn out.

Less common cause is in the opposite end of the scale, when units are overloaded with incorrect voltage, resulting in coil burnout and extensive electrical damage to the unit.

To reduce the possibility of this type of breakdown and damage to the pump, starter of reputable make should be fitted.

The job of the started is to prevent the pump from starting if either the incorrect voltage has been connected or if there are phases missing.

Good quality starters may come with either indicating lights for incorrect or correct voltage and missing phase indication or meters to give readouts.

When using a starter make sure that the starter is in the same kw and voltage range of the unit you are connecting to it.

Conclusion

Pumps are machines we use to move liquid/product from one location to another.

When disaster threatens in mining environments, flooding in any way, anywhere, the pumps we use have to perform, most cases in abuse conditions, they are then considered mission critical equipment.

We at Amandla Pumps understand this and continuously strive to bring to our clients reliable products that will operate on demand.

Client comments and observations are always welcome, to contact us please click on the link provided

info@amandlapumps.co.za