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Pump troubleshooting

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About 50 of the most common problems with pumps and pumping systems, along with a simple way to narrow down your investigation of the problem.

Published in: Engineering, Business, Technology

Pump troubleshooting

  1. 1. PUMP TROUBLESHOOTING Brian Gongol DJ Gongol & Associates, Inc. November 4, 2015 Nebraska AWWA Fall Conference Kearney, Nebraska
  2. 2. Quick survey Are you here for water, wastewater, or both?
  3. 3. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes) "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."
  4. 4. Handout Pump troubleshooting flowchart
  5. 5. All pump problems are either mechanical...
  6. 6. ...or hydraulic
  7. 7. Secondarily, they are either internal...
  8. 8. ...or external to the pump
  9. 9. How to tell a mechanical problem Take away the water
  10. 10. How to tell a hydraulic problem Take measurements
  11. 11. Mechanical problems - internal to the pump
  12. 12. Bearings
  13. 13. Seals
  14. 14. Packing
  15. 15. Tightness of fit
  16. 16. Suction flap valves
  17. 17. Debris
  18. 18. Internal rubbing
  19. 19. Friction
  20. 20. Mechanical problems - external to the pump
  21. 21. Motors
  22. 22. Controls
  23. 23. Alignment
  24. 24. Balance
  25. 25. Transmission
  26. 26. Belts
  27. 27. Sheaves
  28. 28. Couplings
  29. 29. Valves (throttling)
  30. 30. Valves (isolation)
  31. 31. Valves (air-release)
  32. 32. Piping
  33. 33. Rotation
  34. 34. Jay-Z had 99 problems We've come up with about 50...and this is halftime
  35. 35. Hydraulic problems - internal to the pump
  36. 36. Recirculation
  37. 37. Clearances
  38. 38. Wearplate wear
  39. 39. Wear ring wear
  40. 40. Volute wear
  41. 41. Impeller wear In at least three flavors...
  42. 42. Chemical attack
  43. 43. Abrasion
  44. 44. Cavitation* Cavitation damage happens inside the pump... but it's almost always caused outside the pump
  45. 45. Hydraulic problems - external to the pump
  46. 46. Suction side or discharge side The two flavors of external hydraulic issues
  47. 47. Hydraulic problems - external - suction
  48. 48. NPSH NPSHa (net) = Atmospheric pressure - vapor pressure - safety factor - total dynamic suction lift - NPSHr for the pump
  49. 49. Atmospheric pressure
  50. 50. Heat/vapor pressure
  51. 51. Air entrainment
  52. 52. Air in high spot
  53. 53. Turbulence
  54. 54. Vortexing
  55. 55. Minimum submergence
  56. 56. Plugged suction
  57. 57. Debris Never underestimate what a storm can do ...and deposit in your wetwells
  58. 58. Horizontal runs
  59. 59. Valves
  60. 60. Leaks Not water getting out, but air getting in
  61. 61. Changes to fluid properties For instance...
  62. 62. Gases in solution
  63. 63. Surfactants
  64. 64. Viscosity
  65. 65. Specific gravity
  66. 66. Froth/foam/bubbles
  67. 67. Hydraulic problems - external - discharge
  68. 68. Handout Engineering data booklet
  69. 69. Valves
  70. 70. Leaks/breaks
  71. 71. Sediment
  72. 72. Debris
  73. 73. Changes to effective pipe diameter Caused by...
  74. 74. Air
  75. 75. Ice
  76. 76. Corrosion
  77. 77. Scaling
  78. 78. Buildup
  79. 79. Tools to assist in your investigation
  80. 80. Impeller condition: Excess wear
  81. 81. Impeller condition: Suction cavitation
  82. 82. Impeller condition: Discharge cavitation
  83. 83. Shaft breakage
  84. 84. Seal failure
  85. 85. Strange or unwelcome noises
  86. 86. Strange or unwelcome noises Suction cavitation Discharge cavitation Surges The scream
  87. 87. Use all of your available senses (minus taste)
  88. 88. Record performance
  89. 89. Keep pump curves handy
  90. 90. Gauge readings make a huge difference
  91. 91. Gauge readings make a huge difference Look in the direction of change Was the change gradual or abrupt? Some are dead giveaways, others just point in the right direction
  92. 92. Gauge case studies
  93. 93. Gauge case studies  The prime that took forever
  94. 94. Gauge case studies
  95. 95. Gauge case studies  The prime that took forever  The hole in the suction line
  96. 96. Gauge case studies
  97. 97. Gauge case studies  The prime that took forever  The hole in the suction line  The plugged suction
  98. 98. Gauge case studies
  99. 99. Gauge case studies  The prime that took forever  The hole in the suction line  The plugged suction  The forcemain failure
  100. 100. Gauge case studies
  101. 101. Gauge case studies  The prime that took forever  The hole in the suction line  The plugged suction  The forcemain failure  The sedimentation inclination
  102. 102. Gauge case studies
  103. 103. Gauge case studies  The prime that took forever  The hole in the suction line  The plugged suction  The forcemain failure  The sedimentation inclination  The bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble
  104. 104. Gauge case studies
  105. 105. Gauge case studies  The prime that took forever  The hole in the suction line  The plugged suction  The forcemain failure  The sedimentation inclination  The bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble  The surge-and-slam
  106. 106. Gauge case studies
  107. 107. Always divide and conquer
  108. 108. Questions?  Thank you for coming!
  109. 109. Thank you for your attention!  Contact us anytime with questions  Brian Gongol  DJ Gongol & Associates  515-223-4144  info@djgongol.com
  110. 110. References:  Photo: Mechanic tightening nut (public domain)  http://loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsac.1a35263/  All other photos are original work by and copyright reserved to Brian Gongol

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