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3 Common Causes of Pump Damage

Damaged Pump
Pumps hold a central importance in the modern world, offering an effective way to move liquids through a system. Pumps play a role in a multitude of industries, from wastewater management, to chemical and processing plants, to food handling. In most cases, pumps must withstand heavy amounts of wear and tear.
When properly maintained, a pump can provide many years of reliable service. Yet a variety of factors may cause a pump to fail before its time. If you would like to learn more about some of the dangers faced by today's industrial pumps, keep reading. This article takes a closer look at three common causes of pump damage.

1. Excessive Temperatures

As noted above, pumps provide an effective way to move high-volume amounts of liquid. Different liquids may have vastly different operating temperatures, depending on the particular application. The temperature of the liquid directly affects the temperature of the pump's components.
Other factors also influence a pump's temperature. The moving parts of the pump create friction, which in turn creates heat. A pump's temperature may also be influenced by the conditions inside of the operating facility. Higher ambient temperatures can cause a pump's internal temperature to rise.
All pumps have a specific temperature threshold. For instance, ANSI pumps can withstand up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit at a pressure of 300 psig. API pumps, by contrast, can handle up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit at a pressure of 750 psig. Regardless of the particular type, any pump may suffer serious damage if exposed to temperature above its operating limit.
High temperatures degrade the rubber seals used to create water tight joints within a pump. Leaks often ensue as the result of extreme temperature exposure. Likewise, high temperatures may cause the electric motor that controls the pump to overheat. In some cases, the pump motor may even burn out entirely.

2. Clogged Filter

Many pumps — particular those used in hydraulic power systems — incorporate filters to remove physical debris. Such contaminants can otherwise create problems for other parts of the system. Yet filters can also become the source of problems if not inspected and changed at regular intervals.
Most problems stem from filters that have become excessively clogged with debris. Clogged filters restrict the fluid's flow. If the filter lies downstream from the pump, this restriction causes pressure to increase inside of the pump. Such pressure can damage seals. If great enough, that pressure can even cause the pump's housing to crack.
Upstream filter clogs can also cause problems for a pump. In that case, the restriction reduces the flow of liquid into the pump. This creates vacuums that can lead to the problem known as cavitation. Starved suction lines can also cause the pump's temperature to rise if not enough liquid enters the pump, which can potentially lead to a burn out.

3. Improper Voltage

Virtually all industrial pumps use electrical motors as their power source. Every electrical motor has a particular voltage rating. This rating specifies the amount of electrical energy necessary for proper functioning. If energy levels exceed this rating, the motor will experience excessive temperatures. Burnouts often follow if this situation continues too long.
Few people realize that low voltages can also lead to damage. As voltage decreases, the current must increase in order to maintain stable power levels. Overheating may also occur if current levels rise above the specified rating. Both low and high voltages also have a detrimental effect on the efficiency of the motor — and hence of the pump itself.
Industrial pumps play key roles in a diverse array of businesses today. Companies must protect their investment by keeping all pumps maintained to avoid damage. For more information about what a technician can do to keep your pumps running smooth, please contact the experts at Quad Fluid Dynamics, Inc.

Quad Fluid Dynamics, Inc.
2826 Westway Drive
Brunswick, OH 44212
Phone: 330-220-3005