This collection of frequently asked questions is categorized into four categories for your convenience.
Pumping systems can be complex, with many moving parts and subsystems that need to be regularly inspected and constantly maintained. Failure to frequently inspect pumping systems can lead to premature failure, losses in efficiency and increased operating costs. Therefore, it is recommended that a monitoring, maintenance and schedule be adopted, and it should include, at a minimum, the following:
Note: Additionally, installed auxiliary systems should be included in the maintenance plan so they are monitored and maintained to ensure they function properly.
An inspection and maintenance log should be kept and problems that are identified should be reported immediately. A suggested guide for preventative maintenance for normal applications is given below. Unusual applications with abnormal heat, moisture, dust, etc., may require more frequent inspection and service.
A maintenance plan should include required spare parts to keep on hand. A list of recommended spare parts will depend on normal supplier lead time when ordering parts; whether pumping equipment is used for “normal duty” or “severe duty;” and whether or not there is backup pumping while a unit is down for maintenance. Below is a suggested list of spare parts for pumping units. Note that the items listed for severe duty are in addition to the items listed for normal duty.
For more information about how to maintain pumping systems, refer to ANSI/HI 14.4 Rotodynamic Pumps for Installation, Operation, and Maintenance (2018) by clicking here.
A centrifugal pump is a type of rotodynamic pump that uses bladed impellers with essentially radial outlet to transfer rotational mechanical energy to the fluid primarily by increasing the fluid kinetic energy (angular momentum) and increasing potential energy (static pressure). Kinetic energy is then converted into usable pressure energy in the discharge collector.
Figure 1 provides a cross section view of a centrifugal pump, which shows the use of a rotating impeller to add energy to the pumped liquid. The liquid enters the impeller axially at a smaller diameter, called the impeller eye, and progresses radially between the vanes until it exits at the outside diameter. As the liquid leaves the impeller, it is collected in a pressure container casing. One design referred to as a volute collects the flow and efficiently directs it to a discharge nozzle.
Figure 2 highlights the discharge nozzle, which is shaped like a cone so that the high-velocity flow from the impeller is gradually reduced. This cone-shaped discharge nozzle is also called a diffuser. During the reduction in velocity in the diffuser, energy in the flow is converted to pressure energy. An optimum angle of seven to 10 degrees is used to most efficiently convert velocity energy to pressure energy.
Centrifugal pumps can have many drivers, but the most common is the electric motor. The motor provides the mechanical energy to pump shaft through a coupling. The radial and axial loads are carried by pump and/or motor bearings. Sealing of the pumped fluid can be done with compression packing or mechanical seals. Additionally, sealless designs are available with canned motors or magnetic drive couplings.
For more information on centrifugal pumps, their construction and typical industries served, refer to HI’s web based Rotodynamic Pumps eLearning Course at www.training.pumps.org.
Vertical turbine pumps are a type of rotodynamic pump that use radial or modified radial flow impellers in a vertical configuration. Vertical turbine pumps are typically multistage pumps with several levels of impellers encased in a bowl assembly. Vertical turbine pumps c