Five Most Common Reasons for Failure in Electric Pump Motors

We go out of our way to import the best pumps from around the world into Australia. We wish we could tell you that all you have to do is turn them on and they will run forever, but even the best pumps can develop problems. We know that problems can lead to downtime. We also know that a lot of them are preventable.

Here are the five most common things that can go wrong with electric pump motors.

Failure in Electric Pump Motors

Excessive Heat

Electric pumps generate a lot of heat on their own, depending on design and use. Excessive heat is by far the most common reason pumps fail. In fact, the main reason for the other four failures on this list is because they all generate excessive heat.

There is a long standing industry rule stating that every 10 degrees of additional heat that is delivered to the windings cuts the life of an electric motor in half. Conversely, if you simply make sure your motor is being maintained at an appropriate level of heat, it can greatly extend the life of your pump.

Dust and Contamination

Unless it is the hermetically sealed motor in a submersible pump, an electric motor is quite efficient at drawing in dust particles from the air as it runs. Once the particles reach the inside of the motor, they can cause a lot of damage. This is dependent upon the size and physical properties of the particles.

If the particles are abrasive, like sand, they will wear down the contact components of the motor. If they have electrical qualities, they can interfere with the electrical currents as they move across the components. If too many particles are blocking the places where the motor vents, it can cause excess heat to collect in the motor. It is crucial to select the right amount of IP or Ingress Protection to ensure that particles don’t find their way into your electric pump.

Power Supply Anomalies

It would be nice if all pumps were “plug and play.” Sadly, there are so many different requirements in various industries that it is difficult to find the exact set of parameters that is perfect for your application. We can always help you find what you need, but it’s not like going to the local big box store for a simple water pump.

Pulse width modulation and high frequency switching can cause harmonic currents. These can lead to current and voltage distortion, resulting in overloading and overheating. Each of these factors decreases the life of the motor and adds to long term costs. In addition, the power surges can cause a host of other problems in areas other than the electric motor.

It is crucial that you correctly regulate and manage your power delivery.

Humidity and Moisture

Moisture and humidity in the air can wreak havoc on your electric motor, especially over time. By themselves, they can cause corrosion inside the motor. If moisture is mixed with particles, it can create a “negative synergy” in which the time frame for damage to the motor is accelerated greatly. This shortens the shelf life of any electric motor or pump.

Improper Lubrication

Improper lubrication is a huge issue for pump motors. Each motor has to be lubricated according to manufacturer’s specifications. Too little will cause extreme abrasion. Too much can blow a seal, resulting in no lubrication at all. You also have to watch lubricants for contamination. In addition, you have to have the correct lubricant for the motor.

Putting it All Together

Any of these factors can cause you serious downtime and shorten the life of your pump’s motor considerably. It is extremely important to make sure that you always choose the right pump for the right job. Once you find the right equipment, you have to keep it maintained and running according to manufacturer’s standards.

Call Pump Solutions Australasia Today

At Pump Solutions Australasia, we scour the ends of the earth to find the best, most reliable pumps in the world and bring them back to Australia. We import pumps from countries such as Italy, Germany, Denmark and Japan. Your business is important and you can’t afford downtime, so you require the very best.

To learn more, call us today: 1300 922 973.

Choosing the Right Pump for Your Business

When many businesses decide they need a pump, they fail to consider a number of crucial factors. In today’s competitive business climate, many industrial plant executives ask two questions: “What is the smallest capacity we can get away with” and “How cheap can we get it?” This is not the way to find the pump that is going to work the best for your business.

Choosing the Right Pump for Your BusinessIn fact, it is much more expensive to choose the wrong pump and have downtime or even sustain damage as the result of pump malfunction. So, what other factors should you be taking into consideration? You need to know exactly what your operational requirements are to find the pump that meets those requirements best.

Once you have an idea of what kind of pump you want and what capacity you should have, then you will want to check out vendor experiences with a number of models: efficiency and ease of operation, for example. You also want to find out what kind of pump seal system is appropriate for your needs.

Optimum Pump Selection

Whether you use a bidding process or not, you should want the best pump, not the least you can get away with. The rule of thumb: you not only want the pump with the highest BEP (Best Efficiency Point), but you also want the operating range of the selected pump to be as close to that point as possible.

Vendor Experience

This is also called a “pump model reference check.” This should really be the most important criterion because it comes from experience. Any manufacturer can theorise why their pump works well and some are really great at selling. But you want a pump that has tried and tested with results in operations similar to yours.

Operational Experience and Application Details

Every pump is great for some applications but not appropriate for others, because it will perform differently in different systems. In other words, the application for which you use the pump will affect its performance and its reliability. You have to match the right pump with the right application or even the best pump can fail.

Putting it into Action

Rule #1: don’t price point your pump. Period. There is no greater predictor of pump failure than making your decision based solely on price. Initial purchase price is always an important factor when investing in a piece of equipment, however it should never be the only consideration. Instead, make sure that you discuss every requirement and how every pump can meet all of them so it is a good idea to make sure that you know exactly what is included in any price quote.

Some good things to know: pump shaft length, pump shaft diameter and pump bearing details. Pump shaft slenderness ratio, which is obtained by dividing the length by the diameter, is also important because the more slender the shaft is, the more prone it is to vibration, stress and deflection. Bearings need to be as large as possible to last longer.

Self Priming Pumps

For any pump that needs priming, we recommend a self-priming pump for two reasons. First of all, in the case of entrained air or gas, the pump can force it out and resume normal operations. Second, if you have a pump that needs to be primed, you will have to add another step and more equipment to your system. This costs money and is one more thing that can go wrong.

Pump Impeller Assembly

There are many different impeller designs, probably the most common design in a centrifugal pump is closed impeller. For most applications, this will be your most efficient option. Since the liquid is contained within, there are less variables that could affect flow. Also, a closed-type impeller is generally the most reliable of the designs.

Pump Seal

The most common cause of unscheduled pump shutdowns is the pump seal. Pump seal maintenance is sometimes an expensive maintenance cost. Many pumps will require seal replacement from once a year to once every three years.

Whenever possible, use the original seal, however another option is a cartridge seal design. It is safer, simpler and very reliable. Cartridge seals are available for most kinds of pump applications.

Vertical Inline Pumps

For plants with small to medium-sized applications, vertical pumps are the most cost-effective due to their simple and compact nature. They have multiple uses and are normally very cost effective options for cleanwater high pressure pumping applications.

Pump Solutions Australasia Can Help

Always call us here at Pump Solutions Australasia with any questions or for help in selecting the correct pump system for your business. We have many years of experience with large and small businesses for literally all applications.

We can help you find the right solution the first time, saving you time and money. Call 1300 922 973 to learn more.

Tips on Pump Packing Installation and Adjustment

Pump Packing Installation and AdjustmentIf you are using a packed pump, installing and adjusting it properly can be the difference between the pump succeeding or failing. If your pump has a lantern ring, make sure to remove both the ring and the packing beneath it. Also, make sure not to damage the shaft or the bore if you use a packing hook or a pick to remove your packing.

Inspect the Pump

Since you are sealing the moving surface, the condition of the sleeve or shaft is crucial. Pitting or axial scratches on the sleeve or shaft can cause damage to the sealing surface. You want the surface finish between 16 and 32 μin Ra. If there is too much wear, replace the sleeve or resurface the shaft.

Although the bore diameter surface doesn’t move, it is still necessary to seal it. Axial scratches can cause your pump to leak fluid. If you have a split case pump, there should be two seams running axially, with gaskets inside. If the gasket has receded too far into the seam, it can also cause a leak.

Measure and Record for Future Use

Dimensions such as stuffing box depth and diameter and also shaft diameter should be measured and recorded. In the case of flush injection, the location of the flush port and the length of the lantern ring should also be measured and recorded. These measurements help align the lantern ring properly with the flush port. If the pump has proven inconsistent in the past, this could be the solution you require.

Cut

Cut the packing into individual rings; make sure there is no gap between the ends when they are put into the stuffing box.

Install

Each ring should be firmly seated into the bottom of the box before you install the next one. This creates more consistent compression throughout the packing. You can use short lengths of split tubing, metallic bushings or corrugated cardboard for tamping. Offset the seam of each successive ring by 90 degrees.

Adjusting

You want enough leakage to cool the seal and lubricate the pump but not enough to affect the integrity of the seal. Be sure not to overtighten and make sure your adjustments are in proportion with the leakage rate.

Call 1300 922 973 for more information.

Tips for Choosing the Right Lubricant for Your Pump

Right Pump Lubricant for PumpsIf you own any kind of water or fluid pump, then of course, you have a specific purpose for it. So, whether you have peristaltic or slurry, centrifugal pumps used here in Australia, you want to make sure that they perform the best they can to accomplish your goal.

An important component that makes sure that your pump does run correctly is the lubricant. However, trying to find the right lubricant for your specific pump can sometimes be tricky as they may differ greatly depending on the application or style of pump.

Potential Chemical Reactions

The first thing to keep in mind when choosing the right lubricant for your pump is the product that you are using the pump for in the first place. Water is usually pretty versatile and most lubricants can work with it but if you are transporting other fluids, you should check the lubricant before you commit to it. Some chemicals can have a reaction with certain lubricants and that could cause a problem for the system as a whole. Lubricants should be specified by the manufacturer and adhering to their recommended lubricants is strongly advised.

It is important to make sure that there are no external leaks which may contaminate the environment. If there is a risk of contamination, steps should be taken to prevent any further leakage and contamination of the environment, and that all traces of leakage are cleaned up and disposed of correctly.

The Pump’s Goal

Another thing you want to consider is the purpose and design of the pump. Some pumps, such as those that move slurry are under heavier loads or pumps that operate at extreme pressures require suitably appropriate lubricants. The design and force of the pump are important factors for determining which would be best suited for your unit.

The Right Lubricant

It doesn’t matter what type of pump you own; lubricants are important. You want to make sure that your materials are pumped efficiently and using the correct lubricant for your specific pump will help do just that. Check the environment and beware of potential reactions.

For more information about our pumps, call us on 1300 922 973.

6-Month Maintenance on your Pumps

6-Month Maintenance for PumpsIf you operate any type of pump in your home or business, then you obviously want them to be in the best shape. If they operate at optimal levels, then the efficiency of your system is maximised. To accomplish this, it is important to perform regular maintenance on your pumps. Weekly checks could include cleaning out any filters, but twice a year or so, you should run a more holistic maintenance on the system.

The Big Check-up

Weekly and monthly checks are important but you should do some extra work every 6 months or 1000 hours of total running time (whichever comes first). This is similar to scheduled maintenance on an automobile.

Look over the entire pump and piping system to see if there is any damage, dirt or rust on the outside; clean the exterior, if necessary. Then grease and/or change the lubricant of the pump to make sure that it will run smoothly. If the levels are too low, top them up.

Check the anodes if fitted, and seals to make sure that they are in serviceable condition. Finally, run the system to make sure that it’ll function when you need it to.

The Importance of Maintenance

While it may not seem like you need to change, adjust and clean all of the parts of the pump now, extensive maintenance will benefit you in the long run. If you continuously perform these check-ups at scheduled times, you will increase the longevity of the pump. Also this will ensure that everything is operating correctly, and will reduce the risk of any unforeseen problems.

Regular Maintenance

Like any machine, pumps need regular maintenance to keep the system running smoothly. Weekly and monthly minor check-ups are important but at least twice a year, you should perform a more comprehensive assessment of your equipment. This will increase the life of your pumps and keep it running like new for the years to come.

To find out more about our pumps and services, please call 1300 922 973.