Posted on Feb 18, 2020

When things are running smoothly it’s easy to overlook general maintenance. In order to ensure that your pumps are running properly and efficiently, a regular maintenance schedule should be implemented and followed. You might ask, “what is the purpose of conducting pump maintenance, and is frequent maintenance really necessary?” Yes, pump maintenance is of great importance and it does have advantages.

In engineering and maintenance circles, you will come across the term “PPM”, which stands for Preventive/Predictive Maintenance. The principle of PPM, is the regular and structured application of engineering/maintenance knowledge. It is applied by being attentive to equipment and facilities to make sure they are functioning at their best while reducing the failure rate. In short, PPM means regular examination, inspection, lubrication, testing and adjustment of equipment without prior knowledge of equipment failure.

Here are a few action tips that can extend the life of your pump:

DETERMINE THE MAINTENANCE FREQUENCY: It is advisable to first consult your manufacturer/supplier for any guidelines. It is important to schedule when maintenance occurs, as depending on the installation, downtime may be experienced.

OBSERVE, OBSERVE, OBSERVE: Familiarize yourself with the pump and make a point to observe it while in operation. Make notes of any leaks. unusual sounds, vibrations and unusual odors emitted from the pump or motor.

SAFETY FIRST: Ensure the pump/motor is completely isolated from the power source before any maintenance procedures are carried out. If possible, the pump should also be hydraulically isolated from the system when it needs to be removed/maintained.

MECHANICAL INSPECTION: Check that all mounting points are secure Inspect the mechanical seal and packing Inspect the pump flanges for any evidence of leaks (where applicable) Inspect the couplings (where applicable) Inspect and clean the filters or strainers

LUBRICATION: Less is more – be sure not to over lubricate. More bearing damage occurs as a result of over greasing rather than under greasing. If the bearing has a vent cap, remove the cap and run the pump for at least half an hour before reinstalling the cap. This will enable extra grease from the bearing to work its way out.

ELECTRICAL/MOTOR INSPECTION: Check that all electrical terminals are secure Inspect motor vents and windings for dust/dirt build-up and clean according to manufacturer’s guidelines Inspect the motor control centre, where applicable, for arcing, overheating, etc. To check for insulation failure, use an Insulation Tester to test between the windings and earth.

REPLACE DAMAGED SEALS AND HOSES: If any hoses, pipework, fittings, seals, or O-rings show wear or damage, replace them immediately. When replacing o-rings, the use of a temporary rubber lubricant ensures a tight fit and prevents leakage.

We can help to ensure that your pumps and facilities are running smoothly. We have test centres in Cape Town, Johannesburg as well as Namibia. To speak with a specialist and request a test for your pump, kindly give us a call at our branch closest to you.

Cape Town: Tel: +27 (021) 875 5781, Johannesburg: Tel: +27 (011) 452 4981, Namibia: Tel: +264 (061) 310 550.