Water pumps should accomplish 2 things. The first is to overcome friction, the second to move fluid by altering gas or fluid pressures. Water pumps may operate for years unattended but it’s important to know that this doesn’t mean your pump will run indefinitely without attention.
There are a few parts on water pumps that do need regular servicing. Centrifugal pumps do need maintenance on the drive systems, seals and bearings. Valves eventually wear out, so you need routine maintenance decided by the running hours typically encountered with each pump.
Performing regular inspections of your water pumps enables you to identify and solve problems while they are still small problems. Here are some guidelines for common maintenance required for water pumps.
– Discharge and suction pressures and temperature
– the water GPM
– pressure drops.
You should regularly inspect for wear in the drive system, any leaks, lubrication issues, electrical connexions, abnormal noises, amperage proper voltage and vibration – all of these are critical for your pumps long life.
Leaks most commonly happen around the stuffing box containing the mechanical seal or packing. If the pump contains packing, there needs to be small amounts of liquid coming through the packing; ideally this is around forty to sixty drops a minute.
The liquid trickling through lubricates and cools the packing, preventing it overheating. Some packings can be lubricated externally via a Lantern ring, allowing the lubricant to be inserted using a pressure higher than normal.
If your water pump uses a mechanical seal, make sure there is no liquid leaking from the seal. If there is, investigate it and fix it straight away.
Mechanical seals are used to create the seal between rotating parts and stationary parts. They are used to prevent gas or liquids from leaking and reduce wear that can occur if only a packing seal is used.
Mechanical seals have the following advantages compared to conventional packing seals:
– Elimination of sleeve or shaft wear
– reduced maintenance
– reduce leakage and
– reduced friction
– First, a static seal that can be found between the pump shaft and a stationary seal, normally an O Ring
– A static seal between the pump shaft and the rotating seal; again, usually an O Ring
– A dynamic seal between the stationary seal and the rotating seal, consisting of 2 flat sealing faces. Pressure from pumped liquids force the two faces of the stationary and rotating seals together, forming the dynamic seal.
The mechanical seal principle is similar for most brands, although the shape, style, form and design can vary.
– A lack of lubrication: the meeting faces of any mechanical seal need a thin film of liquid separating them, reducing friction to a minimum. Without this film the seal may overheat and fail
– Misalignment: if a mechanical seal is installed with a mating face not parallel, the faces wear on each other, causing premature failure. The stationary face should be perpendicular with the shaft, while the rotating seal is drawn up evenly with the gland.
– Overheating: This is due to insufficient lubrication. Warning signs are damaged stress cracks on O rings or seals. Cracks can happen when the seal face is exposed to high heat levels.
– Abrasive materials damage. Should the fluid contain any abrasive material, this can work itself into the seal faces or wedge between the seal and shaft. This will cause failure through leaving a groove on the faces.
Water pumps require adequate lubrication between the bearings and seals. You should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, use the correct lubricant, and determine how often to use it.
Do not over lubricate as this may cause overheating. Grease bearings can be approx. one-third full, while oil lubricated bearings should always have a full reservoir.
Walker Environmental is a family-owned business dedicated to providing the best Woolloongabba water pump maintenance services for residential and commercial customers.
We service all suburbs of Brisbane including Logan, Woodridge, Ipswich, plus the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.