Industry News

How To Troubleshoot a Chemical Metering Pump

The first step to ensuring trouble-free operation from your metering pump is seeking professional equipment recommendations prior to purchase and installation. Your installer can supply custom parts of the system, and coordinate the final installation. A typical installation process may include plant layouts and drawings, mechanical schematics, manuals, and even field training if needed.

Metering Pump

But even with proper installation and maintenance, the kind of work done by a metering pump will result in gradual wear, breakdown, and emergency repair. Some of the common problems include:

  • Loss of chemical residue – Can be caused by using a very low pump setting, scaling at the point of injection, or allowing the solution container to run dry.
  • Excess chemical – Can be caused by using a very high pump setting, using a very rich chemical in the solution tank, or siphoning of chemical into the well or main line.
  • Leakage at tubing connection – Usually due to worn tube ends or chemical attacks.
  • Failure to pump – This problem can be caused by many things, like a leak in the suction side of the pump, low setting on the pump, a ruptured diaphragm, low solution level, the valve seats not sealing, a cracked or broken pump head, the pump head containing air or chlorine gas, a voltage drop, or a breakdown or malfunction of the wiring and electronic control board.
  • Pump losing prime or refusing to prime – This can be caused by a dirty check valve, ball checks not sealing properly, excess pressure at discharge, or excess suction lift height.

With proper training, most in-house technicians can prevent these problems from arising through routine maintenance. That said, professional service and repair work is recommended at regular intervals to replace worn parts and/or rebuild and upgrade the system if need be. If done right, rebuilding your metering pump should carry the same warranty as a brand new one but without the extra cost.

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Types of Sump Pumps for Industrial and Commercial Applications

Vertical sump pumps are best suited for fitting in narrow and shallow sump pits, because they turn on the pump more often. This means that the pit gets emptied more frequently. However, this also means that you need to keep the pump motor running at all times to reduce the risk of flooding.

Vertical Turbine Pump

When designing industrial or commercial property, one of the things that you need to account for is proper drainage and sewage disposal. Storm water and sewage flowing through the ground may penetrate any existing cracks and reach your building’s foundation. This would not only damage the foundation and walls, but also flood the underground level and destroy your inventory, equipment, and other items below ground level.

With a vertical sump pump, this never has to be a problem for you. Simply install the slump pump in the sump pit, and all the water or sewage below ground level will flow into the pit from where it can be pumped out before it overflows.

There are other types of sump pumps available for commercial and industrial applications, including:

1. Submersible pumps

These are designed to sit in the groundwater, which also helps with cooling to prevent overheating. The pump is installed in the sump pit.

2. Pedestal pumps

Unlike submersible pumps, pedestal pumps are air-cooled. They need a lot of space for optimal air circulation to prevent overheating.

These pumps have a simple design, with a drain pipe through which the material (water, slurry, or sewage) is pumped from the pit. They run 24/7, but often require a type of float switch for activation when the material level drops beyond a certain point. The common float switches include:

  • Tethered switches – they are attached to the pump, and mostly used for deep and wide sump pits
  • Vertical switches – they are fitted in narrow, shallow sump pits, and tend to activate more often to prevent the shallow pit from overflowing.
  • Electronic switches – they rely on electrical components to read the level of the material in order to turn the pump on or off.

Finding the right switch is nearly as hard as finding the right sump pump for your application. Please seek help from a reputable and professional company to identify the best equipment and components for your specific application.

Pump Engineering Co. for Vertical Sump Pumps Repair

Whether you have an emergency situation or if you have any further questions regarding our submersible pump repair and services, please contact us @ 800.560.7867 or fill out our online contact form.

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Industrial Centrifugal Pumps Repair, Service, & Maintenance

Centrifugal pumps are the most common industrial pumps used in processing plants and municipalities to supply water or remove effluent. They have a simple design, are cost-effective, and have fewer moving parts, which reduces the need for maintenance.

Many pump breakdowns are due to simple, needless failures, like the loss of clamp load which can cause misalignment and bearing failure. Simple, basic maintenance can prevent similar avoidable failures from happening.

Industrial Centrifugal Pumps Installation

Industrial Centrifugal Pumps Repair, Service, & Maintenance

Centrifugal pumps are mostly used for applications that require high flow rates. The steady fluid delivery prevents pulsations that are common with positive displacement pumps.

When assembling your pump, there are several simple steps that can be taken to reduce the probability of common failures or to eliminate it altogether, and make future disassembly much smoother.

First, when choosing an industrial centrifugal pump, it is best that you work together with our pump repair specialists who will ensure that the installation is done correctly, and help to institute a proper maintenance program. In doing so, you can enjoy optimal performance of your equipment, prolong its life, and maximize the return on your investment.

Centrifugal Pump Repair and Maintenance

Repair is a critical component of pump maintenance. Owing to the harsh operating parameters and environment, pump parts are prone to wear, corrosion, erosion, leaks, and other kinds of damage. It is important to create a proper maintenance program, and get the right parts based on the pump brand, model, and size to restore the damaged ones.

A routine pump maintenance routine may involve the inspection of:

  • Oil seepage – to prevent the loss of oil
  • Impeller and casing wear – to rebuild worn areas and restore the impellers and pump casing
  • Shaft wear – to restore a worn shaft to the original condition
  • Corrosion – to prevent corrosive damage to external components
  • Keyway wallow – to repair wallowed out keyways

It is best to engage the services of a professional centrifugal pump contractor for proper repair, maintenance, and service of your industrial centrifugal pump.

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Industrial Submersible Pump Repair, Service & Maintenance

Just as the name suggests, a wet well submersible pump operates when submerged in the fluid material such as water or sewage. The motor is usually sealed hermetically and encapsulated in the pump casing to maintain proper operation even when completely submerged in the material.

However, there is another kind of submersible pump that does not need to be submerged to pump the material. Submersible dry pit pumps are usually built below ground level, but are not flooded by the material. They should be carefully placed and protected from flooding, which could damage the motor. The submersible pump is usually cooled with a cooling jacket.

Industrial Submersible Pump Maintenance and Repair Services

Industrial Submersible Pump Repair, Service & MaintenanceSubmersible pumps are well designed to prevent the material being pumped from getting into the electric motor. The motor is placed in a water-tight compartment that is filled with oil or air.

These pumps are very common in industries because they are compact, which reduces the cost of installation. They also don’t have many wearable parts like housings, bearings, and shafts, which reduces downtime associated with repair and maintenance.

That said, some basic maintenance and repair is necessary to ensure optimal performance and longevity of the pump, including:

  • Onsite troubleshooting
  • Bead blasting
  • Thorough cleaning of all parts and components
  • Full disassembly and inspection
  • Precise measuring and non-destructive testing
  • Part fabrication or rebuilding as need be
  • Impeller and rotor precision balancing
  • Application of custom impeller coatings
  • Motor analysis and diagnostic testing/analyzing

Use the Right Submersible Pump for Longevity

It is important to choose the right size and capacity of your industrial submersible pump for optimal performance. The ideal pump depends on:

  • Head condition
  • The required GPM discharge
  • Friction losses from fittings, valves, and distance

In addition to getting the right pump size, you may also choose an automated one that comes with an inbuilt float switch – and control panel for larger systems – for greater material flow control.

Pump Engineering Co. for Submersible Pumps Repair

Whether you have an emergency situation or if you have any further questions regarding our submersible pump repair and services, please contact us @ 800.560.7867 or fill out our online contact form.

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Avoid Lubrication Maintenance Mistakes

Problems cause wear and damage, create friction and heat, and can lead to costly repairs.

by Matthew McCormack


Avoid Lubrication Maintenance Mistakes

Avoid Lubrication Maintenance Mistakes

Proper lubrication of rolling bearings in rotating machinery—pump systems included—is essential in realizing optimized performance and reliability. Whether grease or oil, lubricants serve to prevent wear and damage between a bearing’s rolling and sliding contact surfaces, reduce friction and heat generation, help protect against corrosion, and help keep out contaminants.

The right lubricant for an application should always be supplied in the right quantity at the right time. This may seem intuitive, but adhering consistently to this practice can be challenging, especially when bearings are lubricated manually.

Many manual-lubrication technologies—some quite advanced and user-friendly—have been developed to aid the process. But what if lubrication points are difficult to access? What if too much or too little lubricant is dispensed? What if the number of points requiring lubrication is especially high? Typically, there can be upwards of 7,500 individual lubrication points at a paper mill, 4,000 for a steel mill, 3,500 for a refinery, and 2,000 for a cement mill—all requiring service and vigilance over time.

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Tips for Choosing Reliable Chopper Pumps

High-velocity mixing nozzles can add oomph for difficult processing areas.

by Derek Vaughan 

Whether caused by “flushable” wipes, foreign objects in the effluent stream or floating grease mats, wastewater treatment plant operators experience costly and disruptive clogs to pumps, pipes and other systems.

“It’s a huge problem—an absolutely horrible problem,” said Frank Stuemke, of the Minnesota Rural Water Association, in a Minneapolis Star Tribune story on flushable wipes.

In fast-growing Tacoma, Washington, (population 208,000) the city’s wastewater treatment utility spends approximately $250,000 annually unclogging pipes and de-ragging pumps, reports the Tacoma News Tribune. In addition to wipes, flushed objects have included dentures, clothing and even a 3-inch hard-plastic Elmo character child’s toy that jammed a pump.

While part of the solution is educating people to not flush problematic items, education only goes so far, especially when compliance is less than 100 percent and other problems like greasy, floating mats also disrupt plant operations.

To keep wastewater flowing freely and reduce maintenance costs, more municipalities are installing chopper pumps as standard equipment in their wastewater systems.

Tips for Choosing Reliable Chopper Pumps

Advances in Chopper Pump Technology

Reliable chopper pumps have been available for more than 50 years.

These centrifugal pumps chop incoming solids prior to pumping to protect the pump from clogging, and in turn benefit downstream components, processes and the environment.

Pump Capabilities

High-performance chopper pumps can process virtually any heavy-duty solid that finds its way into the sewage stream—from wipes to rags, and even bulky items like nylon rope, garbage bags and plastic bottles.

Depending on the specific pump, chopper pump performance includes the ability to:

  • accommodate flows that are greater than 13,000 gallons per minute (gpm)
  • integrate with discharge sizes up to 16 inches
  • handle dry suction lifts that are up to 22 feet
  • achieve hydraulic efficiencies greater than 75 percent

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Overcoming Common System Optimization Hurdles

Discover which systems need work and how to justify expenses.

by William Livoti

The term system optimization is widely known, but how many people truly understand what it means? Total system efficiency has been a real challenge for the industrial sector to embrace.

Lack of Standards Hinders Configuration

Except for a few standards for package boilers, there are no system standards. What does this mean, and how does this impact your plant bottom line? Anyone can design, configure and specify a pumping system, but no one can say it is incorrect without a system standard (ASME, ISO, ANSI, HI). In my 45+ years in the pump industry, I can count on one hand the number of pump systems that were properly configured.

Given the focus on energy efficiency and sustainable growth in today’s industry, system optimization should be addressed in every pump system specification in some way, shape or form. The Hydraulic Institute defines system
optimization as:

The process of identifying, understanding and cost effectively eliminating unnecessary losses while reducing energy consumption and improving reliability in pumping systems, which while meeting process requirements, minimizes the cost of ownership over the economic life of the pumping systems.

Overcoming Common System Optimization Hurdles

Figure 1. The motor and pump react to system requirements and operate on system resistance. (Graphics courtesy of the author)

Why Focus on Pumping Systems?

A pumping system’s efficiency is highly influenced by the system it is supplying; therefore improving pump or motor efficiency will do little to reduce pump energy use. The focus must be on the entire system because the motor and pump react to the system (see Figure 1).

The motor has a wide operating range maintaining high efficiency to as little as 50 percent load. The pump has a rather narrow operating range (depending on specific speed) and will lose efficiency quickly.

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Is a Slower Pump a Better Pump?

by Jim Elsey

For the purpose of this article, I will limit the discussion to an end suction, single stage, centrifugal pump with ball bearings and oil lubrication. Further, we’ll consider the difference between 1,800 and 3,600 rpm units. (Variable speed will be considered in a future article.)

I will initiate the subject by stating there is no 100 percent correct answer 100 percent of the time. As an experienced pump person, my main goal in any installation has always been to design for maximum reliability. This myopic focus is admittedly my own paradigm based on conservative engineering training, my naval submarine service, decades as a provider of pumps, acquired pump knowledge, and mentoring to power plants and refineries.

Is a Slower Pump a Better Pump?

Benefits of a Slower Speed Pump

It is an industry accepted principle, supported by several studies, that pump wear is at least directly proportional to pump speed. A common quantitative formula is that pump wear is proportional to the cube of the pump speed, which simply translates to a factor of eight. The higher the percentage of solids in the pumped fluid, the more this axiom is true. An oversimplification, perhaps, but it is unequivocally the reason why slurry pumps are big and slow in lieu of small and fast.

Two of the biggest destroyers of Centrifugal pumps are bearing and mechanical seal failure. Many of these failures can be attributed to the phenomena of shaft deflection. In this case, shaft deflection is created by unbalanced hydraulic radial forces on the impeller as a result of operating the pump away from its best efficiency point (BEP). Deflections are simply a shaft bending that occurs twice per one revolution. At 3,600 rpm a shaft will deflect 7,200 times a minute, while the 1,800 rpm shaft will deflect only 3,600 times per minute. An operating pump shaft can also exhibit a phenomena called “whip,” which manifests as another sort of deflection, but the root cause in this instance is impeller imbalance. As a side note, understand that broken pump shafts are commonly due to cyclic stress.

In the case of shaft deflection, the shaft is not permanently bent, but it does deflect in dynamic operation. If you were to disassemble the pump and check the static shaft, it would measure as straight. These deleterious deflections are assuredly the principle reason for most mechanical seal failures. And while contaminated lubrication contributes more to bearing failure than shaft deflection, the deflections do bring undesired forces and fatigue to the bearings. In the formula for calculating the expected life span of ball bearings, the operating speed is a main factor. Bearing life expectation L-10 is inversely proportional to speed.

One of the more common reasons for using lower speed pumps is the net positive suction head required (NPSHR) factor. An 1,800 rpm pump will require substantially less NPSH for the same hydraulic conditions as the 3,600 rpm machine. Normally the requirement will approach half of the high speed pump value and often more. The higher the NPSH margin (available NPSH as compared to required NPSH), the better the pump reliability will be. Inadequate NPSH leads to cavitation, which creates impeller erosion (imbalance), hydraulic pulsations and mechanical vibrations.

Pump noise will be substantially less on lower speed pumps. Published noise levels are based on log scales, and the major contributor in most cases is the motor, not the pump (mostly due to the cooling fan). Actual noise levels in the field will be different than published data due to in situ geometries and unique ambient conditions. This is based on a properly selected pump operating within 25 percent of BEP.

As pump casing sizes get bigger in diameter, most manufacturers incorporate a dual volute design somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 to 14 inches. The dual volute design significantly reduces radial thrust. While a dual volute pump costs more to manufacture, the consequential reduction in radial thrust will contribute greatly to reliability.

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Choosing Pumps that Comply with FDA FSMA Standards

Regulations in the U.S. Food & Beverage Industry

Industrial Pumps for U.S. Food & Beverage Industry

On January 4, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), a reform designed to encourage proactive prevention rather than reactive response to food contamination. While there are many companies within the mature air operated double diaphragm (AODD) market, very few offer product lines that conform to the strict regulatory guidelines of the FDA. To manufacture pumps used in this industry, companies must devote the necessary resources to education as well as research and development. This process starts in the engineering department where the correct materials are specified and dimensional drawings are created. Quality assurance evaluates the parts, ensuring correct surface finish, dimensions and materials requirements have been implemented. The FDA does not certify pumping equipment. In the case of AODD pumps, materials and processes that comply with FDA standards include:

  • Water chambers, manifolds and outer diaphragm places are made from CF8M (Cast 316) stainless steel that has been electropolished per ASTM B912.
  • Valve seats are made from 316 stainless steel, virgin PTFE, Hytrel 4069 or Santoprene 273-40.
  • Valve seat O-rings are made from virgin PTFE.
  • Diaphragms and balls are made from virgin PTFE, Hytrel 4069 or Santoprene 273-40.
  • Center sections, air chambers and air valves are made from nickel plated aluminum or polypropylene.

AODD pumps do not face the issue of alignment or close tolerances other technologies require to perform efficiently. This can allow quick disassembly for disinfection and ease of maintenance. Recently, diaphragm assemblies were created that use an outer plate molded into the diaphragm, eliminating leak paths and simplifying sanitation. By removing the outer plate, it created a part that can be installed without tools or torque specifications.

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Industrial Pump Suppliers & Distributors Santa Barbara County

Industrial Pump Suppliers & Distributors Santa Barbara County | Pump Engineering

Pump Engineering is the premier supplier and distributor of industrial pumps in Santa Barbara County and the surroundings. Contact us today to request a quote.

Pump Engineering has a built a strong reputation as the best suppliers and distributors of high quality pumps, pump products, parts, and accessories. Not only do we supply best quality pumps and pumping solutions in Santa Barbara, we also offer service and support for OEM pumps and more.

High Quality Pumps

With extensive experience and technical know-how in the industry, Pump Engineering is committed to supplying our customers with quality and reliable pumps to meet their specific needs.

We understand that sourcing an industrial pump requires expert knowledge considering that there is a huge range of pump types, performance specifications and brands available in the market. Our wealth of experience in the field enables us to provide you with the perfect solution for all your industrial pump requirements so you can have a stress-free pump sourcing experience.

Pumps variety

We offer a vast range of pump and pumping solutions to clients in Santa Barbara. Pump Engineering is your premier supplier and distributor of pumps, parts, components, and accessories. We specialize in all pump products of top brands in the country such as:

  • Pumps & Fluid Handling Systems
  • Pump OEM & Non-OEM Parts
  • Pump & Fluid Handling Accessories
  • Industrial Pump Fabrication and more
  • Excellent customer service

Pump Engineering is committed to achieving excellence by meeting the needs, desires, and expectations of our clients at all times. We are constantly improving our product offerings by taking into consideration our customer’s concerns to ensure we eliminate errors and maintain on-time delivery.

Request a Quote

Contact our Santa Barbara County office online or call us at 800.560.7867 to request a quote for your industrial pumps requirements today. We’re always excited to hear from you.

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