Here, at Sintech, leading slurry pump manufacturer in India, our pump experts often travel to customer sites for installation and pump maintenance. We come across a wide range of good and bad conditions when it comes to pumping maintenance. So, here in this post, we’ve compiled some of the common problems we’ve come across in slurry pumps, along with the preventive maintenance tips to avoid these problems.
What are Slurry Pumps?
Also known as dredge pump, lined pump, slurry pumps are a subcategory of centrifugal pumps. They are used for transporting fluids that have a high concentration of abrasive solids like suspensions of coal, slag, sand, tiny gravel, and other flotations. As they transport abrasive solids,
Six-Step Guide to Proper Maintenance of Your Slurry Pumps:
Step 1: Check the Belts
When is it time to check the belt tension of your slurry pump?
As slurry pump manufacturer in india, we recommend that you check and adjust the tension of the pump belt once every quarter. If the belt is too tight, it will cause damage to the motor bearings. Once motor bearings fail, it’s followed by the failure of the thrust bearing, which once damaged prevents the pump from starting. On the other hand, if the belt is too loose, it will reduce the pump performance, and slippage of the belt could cause damage to the sheaves.
Once you install a new belt, ensure that you check it after a week after installation, to ensure that it has the right tension.
How to find out if the belt is loose?
Use a tension tester. This is a simple tool that helps you calculate the tension of the belt. If you don’t have this tool, you can test manually. Listen carefully. Loose belts make a distinct flapping sound.
How to find out if the belt is too tight?
Tight belts cause an increase in bearing temperature and run the motor at high amps.
Step 2: Check the Oil Levels
When do you need to change the oil of the pump?
If your pump uses oil for lubrication, make sure to check regularly the quality of the lubricant. Ensure that the lubricant contains no water or other products contaminating it. Changing the oil regularly increases the lifespan of your slurry pump.
How to identify if Water has mixed with the Lubricant?
Water is bad for your pump as it leads to motor or bearing failures. Generally, pump seals leak with usage. If the oil lubricant appears milky, then it means that water has mixed with it.
Some pumps have certain design features that make it easy to identify water in the oil. For instance, if your slurry pump has a moisture sensor, then this sensor automatically trips the pump when it detects excessive water in the oil.
If you feel that the moisture sensor is giving off frequent false alarms, then you can reduce the sensitivity levels.
Step 3: Check the Impeller Clearance
To achieve the best performance you need to check the impeller clearance periodically. Consult the manual provided by your slurry pump manufacturer in india to identify the default clearance values. While checking the clearance, make sure to look for signs of wear on the impeller and other wetted parts of the pump.
Generally, extreme wear in the impeller and other wetted parts is a result of running the pump away from the designed pump curve or by pumping extremely abrasive fluids. Excessive wear causes a drop in the pump’s performance.
Step 4: Review of Pump Requirements
Is the pump still doing what it was originally meant to do?
Very often, in industries, the core processes change. But, plant owners continue using the same pumps, without considering the changes in the processes. So, it’s a good idea to review periodically whether the pump you are using is the ideal fit for the current process.
Install a flow meter and pressure gauge along the discharge lines of the pump. Multiply the pressure reading by 2.31 to give you the TDH (Total Dynamic Head) readings. Use the flow reading and TDH to determine if the pump is operating near the BEP (Best Efficiency Points) on the pump curve. If there is a significant variation, contact slurry and dewatering pump manufacturers like Sintech to upgrade or replace the pump.
Step 5: Monitor the Pump’s Temperature
Several pumps today come equipped with temperature sensors to ensure motor protection. The manual provided by your slurry pump manufacturer gives you the ideal operating temperature for your specific pump.
Why does the Pump’s Operating Temperature Matter?
If the pump’s motor gets heated, it causes the sensors to trip, and the pump will be automatically shut down until the motor has cooled down sufficiently. When you disconnect the temperature sensors, you may end up overheating the motor causing it to break down.
When to check the Pump’s Temperature?
For horizontal and cantilever pumps, check the temperature of the pump bearings weekly, while the pump is in operation. Place a temperature gun near the bearing to read the temperature.
What’s the ideal operating temperature?
This varies based on the model of your slurry pump. The average operational range is 140◦F to 170◦F. Make sure not to allow the pump’s temperature to exceed 200◦F. The bearing temperature also serves as an indicator of excessive lubrication and bearing failure.
Step 6: Monitor Pump Bearings
Use a vibration indicator tool to identify whether pump bearings are at the starting stages of failure. Vibration analysis can easily be done by qualified and trained technicians or engineers. Vibration monitoring gives you plenty of information about your pump’s condition and performance.
That’s it, you’re done. Use this six-step maintenance guide to identify and troubleshoot problems with your slurry pumps. For any further help on preventive maintenance for slurry pumps or to upgrade your existing industrial pump sets, get in touch with our team here at Sintech Pumps, India.