Centrifugal Pumps Maintenance Tips

Centrifugal Pump Maintenance Tips

Tips for Keeping Your Centrifugal Pumps Operating When Resources Are Scarce

Centrifugal pumps are at the heart of many essential processes that keep the world in motion during these difficult times. Water sanitation, medical supply production and food manufacturing are just a few of the systems that rely on continuous pump operation.

Keeping these critical infrastructures running reliably is key, but doing so has become more challenging due to the COVID-19 crisis. Pump operators are facing notable challenges.

Concerns for Pump Operators Due to COVID-19

  • Limited staffing, support and supervision
  • Reduced access to pump sites
  • Restricted travel for repair technicians
  • Limitations to staff due to social distancing orders
  • Lack of remote access and diagnostics for components

How to Maintain Maximum Pump Reliability

In light of these challenges, it is more important than ever to take steps that will ensure optimal centrifugal pump performance. To keep your centrifugal pumps operating for maximum reliability, use the following three tips.

1. Review Pump Parameters

Review each pump and ensure that the unit’s operating parameters fall within the recommended specifications for that model. This information can be found in the manual supplied with the product. If you do not have a copy, refer to the serial number label on the pump to determine the model and download the manual. Information about Finish Thompson pumps can be found on our resource page.

As you complete your pump review, consider five key factors.

  • Maximum operating temperature – This temperature is material and chemical/concentration specific. For example, polypropylene and PVDF have different temperature ratings. For quick reference of the various ratings, use our chemical resistance guide.
  • Maximum viscosity – This should be at the operating temperature of the fluid.
  • Maximum solids size – This applies to particle size and hardness. Keep in mind that pumping solids may lead to increased wear and maintenance.
  • Minimum flow – The flow rate should exceed the required minimum flow. A flow rate that is too low can result in increased and potentially damaging temperatures inside the pump and increases the risk of thrust ring damage.
  • Maximum allowable power – For mag-drive pumps, ensure the pump operation does not exceed the set maximum power capability of the magnet.

2. Review Pump Operation

For optimal performance and minimal repairs, take steps to ensure each pump is operating as designed. Critical areas of inspection include:

  • NPSH – Ensure the NPSH available is greater than the NPSH required by the pump. This information can be found on the pump’s head-capacity curve for the speed at which the pump will be operating. Refer to the Finish Thompson pump curves guide for specifics.
  • Suction valve – This must be fully open during operation.
  • Strainer – If the suction piping features a strainer, inspect and clean it regularly.
  • Filter – If the discharge piping includes a filter, inspect and clean it regularly and ensure the minimum flow requirement of the pump is always met.
  • Support – Ensure all piping has proper support to eliminate strain on the pump casing.

3. Review Pump Maintenance

Optimal performance requires regular pump maintenance. With limited resources, scheduled maintenance may be difficult. However, pump operators should try to adhere as closely as possible to the recommended maintenance schedule found in the pump manual. Finish Thompson centrifugal pump manuals are available for reference and download on our resource page.

Finish Thompson Is Here to Help

Our goal is to provide the answers and resources you need to keep your operations running smoothly, even during the toughest times. If you have questions about the operation, maintenance or repair of any Finish Thompson product, please contact us for a prompt response.