Pumps: Daily, Quarterly, and Annual Preventative Maintenance


Pumps are designed to accomplish two tasks: overcome friction and move fluids by changing the pressure of a fluid or gas. To have pumps running efficiently for years, operators should perform routine inspections of its equipment.

Daily Maintenance

Operators should record the following items in a daily log:
  • Suction and discharge pressure.
  • Suction and discharge temperature.
  • Makeup water in Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM).
  • Pressure drop across the strainer.
Using these finding as a benchmark will come in handy when evaluating additional items in quarterly and annual maintenance checks.

Quarterly Maintenance

A quarterly inspection of pumps is essential in detection of the following items:
  • Leaks: Damaging leaks will most likely occur around the mechanical seal. If there is any leakage, investigate the cause and fix the problem right away as this can lead to greater issues later.
  • Lubrication: All pumps require proper lubrication of the pump bearings, motor bearings, and the shaft seals. It is extremely important that a mechanical seal doesn't run dry. For oil and grease-lubricated pumps, bearings should be re-greased every three months or 2,000 operating hours.
  • Overheating: Signs of overheating are damaged “O” rings or stress cracks on the mating faces of the seal. This is often the result of a lack of lubrication and the solution is to follow proper lubrication guidelines listed above.
  • Misalignment: If a mechanical seal is not installed properly, the mating faces will wear on each other unevenly. To prevent this problem, the stationary face must be installed perpendicular to the shaft.

Annual Maintenance

The previously established benchmarks can now be used to re-evaluate the items logged. During the annual assessment of the pump's performance, any benchmark changes should be recorded and used in determining the level of maintenance that may be needed to get the pump back to fully operational.

This article is adapted from BOMI International's Boilers, Heating Systems, and Applied Mathematics course, part of the SMT® and SMA® designation programs. More information regarding this course is available by calling 1.800.235.2664. Visit BOMI International’s website, www.bomi.org.

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