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-The problem with pump All about specific speed standards Why prime a centrifugal pump?

The oversized pump

How to read a pump curve?

Understanding the system curve Calculating the total system How efficient is your pump? Piping system for pumps head What do we mean by pump Prevent potential seal and Estimating the shutoff head for efficiency? pump problems pumps Calculate the water HP coming Rules of thumb for pumps Rules of thumb for seals out of pump A new technique of The best pump and seal Operational practices to avoid troubleshooting technology? problems Pumps does not develop Pump does not give enough Pump selection practices leads enough head? flow? to problems OSHA 1910 regulation

The problem with pump standards: A Quick check of existing pump standards will reveal that there are a variety of them. The list includes:
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Hydraulic Institute Standards American National Institute Standards for Chemical Pumps : o B73.1 for Horizontal type. o B73.2 for Vertical Inline API 610 for centrifugal Pumps API 674 for Reciprocating Pumps API 675 for Controlled Volume Pumps API 676 for Rotary Positive Displacement Pumps ISO aimed at the medium duty single stage pumps ( Metric) DIN. West German standard VDMA West German standard for pump seals.

There are two problems with these standards:

They were written for pumps equipped with jam packing. Most of the standards were written in the nineteen fifties at a time mechanical seals were not popular. In those days we had a lack of the modern materials that make mechanical seals practical. As an example Viton® was not invented until 1958 and did not come into general use until the sixties. Kalrez® did not come out until 1975 and in the eighties the duplex metals came into their own. The customer believes that by purchasing a standard design he is getting a good pump. Customers have the same problem with pump efficiency. They believe there is a correlation between efficiency and the quality of the pump, needless to say there is none! Problems caused by these standards are reflected in continual poor seal performance. The fact of the matter is that these standards reflect only an attempt to standardize envelope (outside) dimensions, nothing more!

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Unfortunately standardizing the length of pumps prevented manufacturers from designing short shafts that were not prone to the bending problems associated with low cost A.N.S.I. and I.S.O. design pumps, operating off of their best efficiency point (B.E.P). Here is a list of some of the modifications you should make to your standard A.N.S.I. or I.S.O. pump if you want to get good mechanical seal and bearing life. Unless you are prepared to upgrade the pump seal and bearing life will always be less than desirable WHAT TO MODIFY

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The stuffing box bore is too small for mechanical seals. In most cases there is not enough material to bore out so you will have to make or purchase a replacement part. Most of these standard stuffing boxes were designed for 3/8" or 10 mm. packing. You need at least 1" (25 mm.) radial clearance to take advantage of centrifugal force throwing solids away from the seal faces. When using mechanical seals install a recirculation line from the bottom of the stuffing box back to the suction of the pump. Try to tap the box as close to the face as possible to insure good circulation. Most quality seals come with this connection already installed in the gland. Because packing needs lubrication, the pump came equipped with a line from the discharge side to the stuffing box lantern ring connection. If you install a large sealing chamber in place of the narrow packing stuffing box that came as original equipment you should be able to eliminate almost all need for clean flushing liquid in the seal area. The only exception to this is if you are pumping a fluid close to its vaporization point. In that instance you do not want to lower stuffing box pressure because of the possibility of vaporizing the fluid in the stuffing box and possibly blowing open the seal faces Convert to Cartridge or Split Seals to insure correct seal installation and allow proper impeller settings in "Back Pull Out" or other types of pump designs. If you are using single stage centrifugal pumps convert to solid shafts with a low L3/D4 ratio to resist shaft bending. The back pull out design was made for easy sleeve removal. If you are using good mechanical seals, corrosion resistant shaft materials and labyrinth oil seals or positive bearing seals, there should be no need to replace pump shafts. Pump manufacturers are not required to provide L3/D4 ratio numbers that would predict shaft bending problems with their pump. The relationship between shaft size and shaft diameter is expressed in the ratio L3/D4. Try to keep it below 60 (2.5 Metric) o "L" is the distance from the center of the inboard bearing to the center of the impeller (inches). o "D" is the diameter of the shaft in the stuffing box area.(inches). Substitute labyrinth or positive face seals for the lip or grease seals that are installed in the bearing case. They will not only do a better job of keeping contaminants out of the bearing oil/grease, but they will not damage the

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expensive shaft. These seals also make sense in the motors to eliminate moisture from damaging the windings and contaminating the lubricating grease. Use only non- fretting mechanical seals. Shafts are too costly not to pay attention to this. The easiest way to get pump/motor alignment is with a "C" (inch) or "D" (metric) frame adapter. If you elect not to use the adapter you are in for a long process aligning the pump and driver correctly, and unless you are using split mechanical seals you are going to have to go through the procedure each time you change seals. You should be able to get the C or D frame adapter as part of your next power frame change or upgrade. Convert to a "Center Line" wet end if you are pumping liquids in excess of 200 degrees Fahrenheit (100 Centigrade) It will allow the suction flange to expand without causing pipe strain and wear ring damage. Do not use a vent on the bearing cavity of the pump. Each time the pump stops the vent will allow moisture to enter the bearing cavity as the oil cools down (this is called aspiration). You are much better off positively sealing the casing and installing an expansion chamber on the top of the casing to allow for air expansion. If you intend to use a closed impeller, end suction, centrifugal pump try to convert to a design that has adjustable wear rings Install a sight glass to be sure that the oil level is at the correct height. Too much oil is as bad as not enough. If you have a positive pressure oil mist system be sure that it does not vent to atmosphere. Oil mist systems require mechanical seals outboard of the bearings to prevent atmosphere contamination. If you have installed labyrinth seals, they will almost guarantee the correct oil level because excess oil will spill out of the labyrinth. Coat the inside of the bearing case with a suitable protective covering to prevent rusting and the leaching out of harmful substances from the bearing casting. Install magnetic plugs into the bottom of the bearing casing to attract loose metal shavings that would damage the bearings. Specify double volute designs any time the impeller diameter is 14" (356 mm.) or greater to prevent shaft deflection. Smaller size pumps do not lend themselves to this modification. Convert to a "Vortex" pump volute any time you are pumping liquid that contains lots of solids. Although the pump efficiency will be lower than conventional designs, the increased service life will more than compensate. At overhaul time substitute a medium or heavy weight power end for the light weight version that came with the pump and get most of the features we have discussed. Medium and heavy weight power ends are available for most popular pump brands.

In addition to these modifications mentioned here are some recommendations to help insure good seal and bearing life.

Since a seal failure is the most common reason for shutting down a pump, Install a back up seal and convection tank to prevent unexpected shut downs.

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S. The employer is going to have to identify the codes and standards he relied upon to establish his engineering practices.H. # 1910 specification are different than those chemicals identified by the E. 1910 REGULATION The regulation is predictably vague. and presently only applies to pressure vessels.P.S. for fugitive emission consideration.E. These training programs must be revised if after the training the employee is not at the level of skill or knowledge that was expected.H. • • • 4 .A. relief and vent systems. The written training programs must be reviewed for adequacy of content. storage tanks.P. If he departs from these codes and standards. avoid synthetic oils as their detergent action can damage these protective coatings. "Keep the seal faces together" . If the inside of the bearing frame has been coated with a protective material to prevent rusting.S. Do not open them on purpose. Pumps equipped with a "repeller" and some sort of static seal can usually be converted to a good mechanical seal.• • • • • • • Change the bearing oil on a regular basis. The rule with mechanical seals is a simple one. The problem with the repeller design is that in most of the designs the seal faces are designed to open when the pump is running and then close on any solids as the pump stops. O. alarms. fire protection system components. Do not specify Canned or Magnetic Pumps if the pumping fluid contains solids or if it is a poor lubricant.H. Trim the impeller to obtain operation at the B. keep them adjusted to the correct clearance. list identifies those chemicals that are considered "extremely hazardous" chemicals.A. Maintain the proper oil level.A. Throttling the pump discharge is not the same thing. The O. interlocks and the part that is important to you. This is the only way to tell if the pump is running near its B. Contact your favorite oil supplier for his recommendation and then follow his advice. feels that the general industry standards are not sufficient for these chemicals Your employer is going to have to create a Process Safety Management audit team (PSM) that will audit company training programs along with insuring that present and future engineering practices conform to accepted standards and codes.S. Be sure to pick up a copy of this regulation for your library.P. and the effectiveness of the training in terms of goals and objectives. For the first time Washington is telling the pump user that he has to now document the training he provides to those people (including contractors) that will be operating or repairing his pumps. O. Too much is just as bad as not enough. frequency of training. emergency shut down systems.A. he must document that the design and construction are suitable for the intended purpose. pumps . Install bearings by expanding the bore with an induction coil. If you are using open impellers.A. Install pressure gages on the suction and discharge of the pump. Heating the bearing in a pan of warm oil is not a good idea because the oil can easily be contaminated. processing piping. Here are some of the ingredients you will find in the regulation: • The chemicals in the O.E.H.

If an accident occurs.) above the earth. Why you must prime a centrifugal pump Although the term "pressure" is not normally a part of a centrifugal pump man's vocabulary. the employer is likely to suffer stiff penalties. The employer must prepare three lines of defense to prevent hazardous chemical from injuring personnel: o Contain the chemical in the equipment. maintenance. The term "Change" includes all modifications to equipment.. For existing processes that have been shut down for turnaround or modification. Since you have knowledge that 90% of mechanical seals are failing prematurely (the carbon sacrificial face is not wearing out) I expect this new regulation should encourage your employer to send more people to seal and pump schools and enroll his engineering.7 psi. o A sensible evacuation system is the third line of defense. o Control the release of the chemicals through venting with a seal quench and vent connection to a scrubber or flare. and certification. In an earlier paper we learned 5 . knowledge. or to surge or overflow tanks designed to receive such chemicals. installed and maintained to minimize the risk of release of such chemicals. the employer is going to have to prove he did every thing he could have to prevent the accident and contain the spill. or one bar pressure. The earth's atmosphere extends approximately fifty miles (80 Km. He must also identify the training that maintenance personnel had on repairing pumps in that service. store or handle hazardous chemicals has to be designed. The employer must identify which procedures were followed and why he elected to use those procedures. the plant is going to have to prove that their training program was adequate. constructed. the pump must develop enough head to equal the equivalent of this 14. Equipment installation jobs need to be properly inspected in the field for use of proper materials and procedures to insure that qualified workers do the job. The use of two mechanical seals and a convection tank is a good example of containing the chemical. To remove air from the pump cavities and the suction piping. Any mechanical changes made by the maintenance department have to be evaluated to determine whether operating procedures and practices also need to be changed. the employer must ensure that any changes other than "replacement in kind" made to the process during shutdown go through the management of change procedures. Equipment used to process. The regulations require detailed records of every action taken in maintaining or rebuilding a pump. If an accident happens and any of the listed chemicals are released to the environment. Dikes or designed drainage systems would be another alternative. The employer must ensure that the contractor has the appropriate job skills.A.H. we are going to have to discuss it for a couple of minutes. and rests on the earth with a weight equivalent to a layer of fresh water thirty four feet (10 meters) deep at sea level. does not agree with his assessment.S.• • • • • • • • • Contract employees must also receive updated and current training. If O. and supervisory people in an appropriate certification training program.

) Since the weight of water is approximately 8000 times that of air (50 miles vs. Convert the application to a self priming pump that maintains a reservoir of liquid at its suction.31 = 14. for every one foot water has to be raised to prime the pump. efficiency became "the name of the game". Your choices will include : • • • • Install a foot valve in the suction piping to insure the liquid will not drain from the pump casing and suction piping. How efficient is your pump? A few years ago. Automotive companies advertised "miles per gallon (liters per 100 kilometers) information in their advertisements and appliance manufacturers published kilowatt consumption numbers along with their pricing information. the centrifugal pump can only pump a liquid to its rated head. 6 . Fill the pump with liquid prior to starting it. You will recall that this head was determined by. vs. and limited to the diameter of the impeller and the impeller speed (rpm.how to convert this height (head) to a pressure reading by use of the following formulas: 34 Ft. The demise of the double volute pump design in smaller size pumps. is a perfect example of the increase in mechanical seal problems as the efficiency of the volute pump was increased to satisfy consumer demand. In other words. the centrifugal pump must produce a discharge head of approximately 8000 feet (each meter requires a head of 8000 meters) and that is impossible with conventional impeller diameters and speeds.7 Psi. All of this means that if you intend to use a centrifugal pump you are going to have to come up with some sensible method of priming it. 34 feet or 80 Km. Keep in mind that these valves have a nasty habit of leaking. Unfortunately high efficiency also means higher maintenance costs because you are required to maintain tighter tolerances and keep the flow passages smooth and free from obstructions. 10 Meters/10 = 1 Bar Unlike a positive displacement pump that can pump a liquid to any head as long as the pump body is strong enough. 10 meters) the centrifugal pump can produce only 1/8000 of its rated liquid pressure. and there is enough horsepower available./2. Evacuate the air in the system with a positive displacement priming pump operating between the pump and a closed discharge valve.

) varies as the cube of the change in speed at the best efficiency point. If we refer to the above pump curve. and insert the numbers into our formula. take the data from his pump curve and then make the following calculation: In inch sizes : GPM x TDH / 3960 = WHP • • • GPM = Gallon per minute at the best efficiency point TDH = Total discharge head (measured in feet). Was there an elbow at the suction of the pump? Was the inside of the volute polished or coated with a low friction material when the test was made? How were the bearings lubricated. so a small variation in speed can make a big difference in efficiency. and more important. or are you running with an induction motor that slips 2% to 5% and you are not sure of the actual speed? Horse power (K. at the best efficiency point) WHP = Water horse power.Maybe the "trade off" is acceptable as long as you are dealing with accurate numbers. or the amount of horse power the pump is generating. but are you really doing that? Is the efficiency shown on the pump curve accurate? How was the data taken? What was included in the data.W. we would get: 7 . what was left out? As an example: • • • • • • • Was the data generated on a dynamometer with a constant speed motor? Are you going to run at the same speed as shown on the performance curve. as shown on the pump curve&emdash. and were all of the losses considered in the published numbers? The final numbers will vary with the motor efficiency. and that will vary with the load on the motor. Was the published efficiency data generated with a seal or packing in the stuffing box? The type of packing or seal used can alter the load they consume. If you would like to keep the pump salesman honest.

60 = 31. The curve shows a 60% efficiency so: 14. As an example: If the performance curve showed a requirement for 40 Horse power.60 efficiency = 23. Is the number below 60 in inch sizes or 2 in metric? What kind of mechanical seal is installed? Will it seal fugitive emissions? How are the bearings being lubricated? How are the bearings sealed? Will the seal damage the expensive shaft? 8 . the actual efficiency would be 18. the efficiency date is questionable. material and capacity. the efficiency of the plump is questionable.9 You then divide this number by the efficiency shown on the pump curve: 18. As an example: If the pump performance curve showed a requirement for a 30 Kilowatt input. TDH = Total discharge head. Doing the same thing in the metric system we would get: • • • M3/ HR = Cubic meters per hour of capacity as measured at the best efficiency point on the pump curve. The fact of the matter is that you seldom operate at the best efficiency point so the numbers become even more depressing.47 or 47% actual efficiency.36 water kilowatts / 0. If this number is lower than the horsepower shown on the performance curves. in meters. The point is that efficiency should only be one of the points taken into consideration when you purchase a centrifugal pump of a given head. WKW = Water kilowatts of power being generated by the pump.9 / . the actual efficiency would be: 14. and putting in the numbers : M3 / HR X TDH / 360 = 68 x 76 / 360 = 14.36 WKW.in inch size: GPM x TDH / 3960 = 250 X 300 / 3960 = 18.5 horsepower required to generate the WHP.93 Kilowatts required.36 water horse power / 30 Kilowatts required = 48 % actual efficiency. If this number is lower than shown on the pump performance curve. at the best efficiency point.9 water horse power40 pump horsepower = . Equally if not more important should be: • • • • The L3/D4 number of the shaft. Referring to the above diagram.

or liters per 100 kilometers. As an example: How do we measure the horsepower or kilowatts coming out of the pump? All we have to do is multiply the pump head by the weight of the liquid being pumped. we mean how many miles per gallon.) Is the bearing case vented to atmosphere? If it is. Has a "C" or "D" frame adapter been installed to reduce alignment time? Can the wear rings or open impeller be easily adjusted to compensate for normal wear so that you can keep the efficiency you paid for? Can the seal compensate for thermal growth. Look at the following diagram where we have calculated the discharge head from the formula shown on the right hand side of the illustration. Let's take an example: Flow = 300 gallons per minute of fresh water as measured coming from the pump discharge. Be sure you consider both when you make your pump buying decision. Head = 160 feet. Are you relying upon a simple snap ring? Is the pump a centerline design? It should be if the product you are pumping is greater than 200°F (100 C. What do we mean by pump efficiency? When we talk about automobiles and discuss efficiency. We measured it at the discharge side of the pump and corrected it for the fact that the gage was two feet above the pump center line. If there were any positive head on the suction side of the pump that head would have to be subtracted. When we discuss centrifugal pumps we are comparing the amount of work or power we get out of the pump to the amount of power we are putting into the pump. or impeller adjustment? You can save money by lowering operating costs (efficiency) or increasing the time between repairs (design). A negative suction head would be added to the discharge head. 9 . and then use a simple conversion number.• • • • • • How is the thrust bearing being retained? In operation the impeller thrusts towards the volute. it will allow moisture to penetrate when the pump stops.

A vacuum in the tank would be converted to a negative suction head. Caused by friction in the pipes. If the pump is lifting a liquid level from below its center line.) to head units (feet or meters). • • • • If the liquid level is above the pump center line. Note: that if you are filling the tank from the bottom. The height we are pumping to. that level is a positive suction head. Pressure head. Negative suction heads are added to the pump discharge head. fittings. fittings. and associated hardware is a negative suction head.The centrifugal pump pumps the difference between the suction and the discharge heads. System or dynamic head. or Kg. Here is the formula for measuring the horsepower out of the pump: 10 . Friction in the pipes. or the height to the discharge piping outlet that is filling the tank from the top. Suction head is measured the same way. it is a negative suction head. If the pump is pumping liquid from a pressurized vessel. and system components. the static head will be constantly changing. positive suctions heads are subtracted from the pump discharge head. We get this number by making the calculations from published charts ( non included in this paper. If we are pumping to a pressurized vessel (like a boiler) we must convert the pressure units (psi. you must convert this pressure to a positive suction head. but available in the chart section of this web site). There are three kinds of discharge head: • • • Static head.

gives you a real efficiency of 0 .65 or 65% efficient. A survey of popular pump brands demonstrates that pump efficiencies range from 15% to over 90%. Now that we have learned that pump efficiency is closely related to the shape of the impeller.Remember that we are using the actual horsepower or kilowatts going into the pump and not the horsepower or kilowatts required by the electric motor. Most motors run some where near 85% efficient. poor design. and the impeller shape is usually dictated by the operating conditions.85 x 0. These would include: 11 . "Is this very wide range due to poor selection.76 = 0 . you should be aware of various conditions that decrease the efficiency of your pump. or some other variable which would interfere with good performance?" The best available evidence suggests that pump efficiency is directly related to " the specific speed number " with efficiencies dropping dramatically below a number of 1000 . Testing also shows that smaller capacity pumps exhibit lower efficiencies than higher capacity designs. An 85% efficient motor turning a 76% efficient pump. The question then arises.

If the wear ring is rubbing. non O-ring elastomers that cannot flex and roll. o Grease or lip seals rubbing the shaft next to the bearings. The impeller can hit the volute. o A protruding gasket rubbing against the mechanical seal. the wear rings can come into physical contact etc. wear rings. Wear rings and impeller clearances are critical. (5 kinds) o Harmonic vibration. Anything that causes these tolerances to open will cause internal recirculation that is wasting power as the fluid is returned to the suction of the pump. in some cases. A double volute design pump restricts the discharge passage lowering the overall efficiency. Rubbing is a major cause. lip seals etc. Vortex pumps can lower efficiency by as much as 50%. the generated heat is consuming power. All about specific speed 12 . Running the pump with a throttled discharge valve. o Improper assembly of the bearings. especially the seal. A bypass line installed from the discharge side of the pump to the suction piping.• • • • • • • • • • Packing generates approximately six times as much heat as a balanced mechanical seal. o Pipe strain. Eroded or corroded internal pump passages will cause fluid turbulence. The heat generated from this recirculation can. o Water hammer and pressure surges. Any restrictions in the pump or piping passages such as product build up. o Operating at a critical speed. o A bent shaft. o Thermal expansion of various components in high temperature applications. o A build up of product on the inside of the stuffing box rubbing against the mechanical seal. o Over tightening packing or improper seal installation.. cause pump cavitation as it heats the incoming liquid. but must slide. o Operating too far off of the best efficiency point of the pump. seal. o Cavitation. eventually fretting the shaft or sleeve. o Dynamic. o A close fitting bushing. o Solids rubbing against the rotating components. o Loose hardware. Over lubricated or over loaded bearings. packing. a foreign object. It can be caused by: o Misalignment between the pump and driver. or a stuck check valve. o Impeller imbalance.

in a unit of time through a unit of head". The performance of a centrifugal pump is expressed in terms of pump speed.P. total head. Specific speed is defined as "the speed of an ideal pump geometrically similar to the actual pump. which when running at this speed will raise a unit of volume.) Q = The flow rate in liters per minute ( for either single or double suction impellers) H = The total dynamic head in meters Please refer to the following chart: Pumps are traditionally divided into three types: radial flow. for their application.Specific speed is a term used to describe the geometry (shape) of a pump impeller. When you look at the above chart you can see there is a gradual change 13 .P.S.H. This information is available from the pump manufacturer's published curves. Anticipate motor overloading problems. can use this Specific Speed information to : • • • • • Select the shape of the pump curve. Specific speed is calculated from the following formula. requirements.): N = The speed of the pump in revolutions per minute (rpm. People responsible for the selection of the proper pump. Predict N. mixed flow. and required flow. Select the lowest cost pump for their application. and axial flow.E. using data from these curves at the pump's best efficiency point (B. Determine the efficiency of the pump.

meaning a smaller pump with a much higher efficiency.9 Metric ..63 British .. which develops pressure principally by the action of centrifugal force.M. Divide the Ns by 1...G.Q = Imp. High heat is a major cause of bearing failure. For instance. or 396 M3/ hour or 1744 G. meaning It would be a large pump with a low efficiency.H..... would have other possible consequences : • • • • • • The higher efficiency would allow you to use a less powerful driver that would reduce your operating costs... H = 95 meters or 312 feet Speed = 1450 rpm. abrasive wear and erosion will increase with increasing speed.S. to the axial flow impeller. Cavitation could become a problem as the increase in speed means an increase in the N.Q = G. The speed is always given in revolutions per minute (rpm. and H = feet. Here is how to alter the Specific Speed number (Ns) if you use other units for capacity and head : • • • United States . The higher pump speeds contribute to the problem.. which develops most of its head by the propelling or lifting action of the vanes on the liquid. required..M.. In the specific speed range of approximately 1000 to 6000 double suction impeller are used as frequently as the single suction impellers. Going to 2900 rpm. Divide the Ns by 1.Q = M3/hour and H = meters..from the radial flow impeller.P.P.). units : • • • Q= 110 L/sec. we would notice that it was a low specific speed... or higher would increase the Ns to 1000 or more. If you are pumping an abrasive fluid. A smaller pump makes associated hardware cheaper...S. radial flow pump. but this higher rpm..P. Many single mechanical seals have problems passing fugitive emission standards at the higher pump speeds.M. a smaller diameter shaft means a lower cost mechanical seal and lower cost bearings.. If the above results were describing an actual application....5 As an example we will make a calculation of Ns in both metric and U.P. 14 .. If you substitute other units for flow and head the numerical value of Ns will vary. and H = feet. Divide the Ns by 1..

P.The following diagram illustrates the relationship between specific speed and pump efficiency. power consumption is lowest at shut off and rises as flow increases. Specific speed also relates to the shape of the individual pump curve as it describes head. power consumption and efficiency. capacity. At low specific speed. In the above diagram you will note that : • • • The steepness of the head/ capacity curve increases as specific speed increases.E. In general. 15 . This means that the motor could be over loaded at the higher flow rates unless this was considered at the time of purchase. the efficiency increases as Ns increases. At medium specific speed the power curve peaks at approximately the best efficiency point. requirement. This is a non overloading feature meaning that the pump can work safely over most of the fluid range with a motor speed to meet the B.

There must be a reason why this is such a common problem. You can use any of the following formulas to make your calculations: Here is as typical pump curve. It can be used for both inch and metric examples. Capital equipment money is scarce so the larger pump appeared to be your only choice. In practice most pumps operate in a throttled condition because the pump was oversized at the time it was purchased.• High specific speed pumps have a falling power curve with maximum power occurring at minimum flow. If throttling is required a motor of greater power will be necessary. The result is that it might prove to be more economical to select a lower specific speed design if the pump had to operate over a broad range of capacity.. It was anticipated that a larger pump would be needed in the future. Keep in mind that efficiency and power consumption were calculated at the best efficiency point (B. You purchased the same size pump as the one that came out of the application and that one was over sized also. 16 . Several people are involved in the pump buying decision and each of them is afraid of recommending a pump that proves to be to small for the job. You took the pump out of your spare parts inventory. These pumps should never be started with the discharge valve shut.P. Lower specific speed pumps may have lower efficiency at the B.P.E. so it was purchased now to save buying the larger pump later on.E. He might have offered you a "special deal" to take the larger size. but at the same time will have lower power consumption at reduced flow than many of the higher specific speed designs.). It was the only pump the dealer had in stock and you needed one badly. but since we are not using the full power are we really paying too much for the daily operation? The easiest way to find the answer to this question is to look at a typical pump curve and make our calculations from the numbers we get. Obviously this larger pump and motor required a higher investment. The oversized pump Do a survey of any process plant and you will find that a high percentage of the centrifugal pumps are oversized. so here are a few of them : • • • • • Safety margins were added to the original calculations.

If this pump runs 24 hours per day that would be 8760 hours this year.7 Kilowatts required As shown in the above drawing. x .2 KW required to do this.05 cents per Kilowatt hour it would cost your company an additional: 8760 hours.05 cents per Kilowatt hour x 13.5 Kilowatts = $5913.2 KW is being used and only 14. 17 .1 KW being produced.60 efficiency = 14.50 efficiency = 28. extra operating cost. If 28. giving us an actual head of 250 feet and a 50% efficiency.5 KW to pump against the throttled discharge valve. Now our Kilowatts look like this: 250 x 300 / 5308 = 14.1 / 0. we should be using impeller "E" to do this.8 Kilowatts being produced.7 KW are required. and 14. to a 156 foot head with an efficiency rating of 60% 156 x 300 / 5308 = 8.Let us assume that the application requires a pump that moves the liquid at : 300 gpm. and at a power cost of $0. it means that we are paying for an extra 13. and 8. but we have an oversized pump so we are using the larger impeller "A" with the pump discharge valve throttled back to 300 gpm.00 per year.8 / 0.

6 .14. As shown in the drawing.Now we will work the same problem in the metric system: Assume that we need to pump 68 m3/hr.8 extra kilowatts equals 120.3 / 0. You will note that I have plotted the head of the pump against its capacity. to a 47 meter head with a pump that is 60% efficient at that point. times 13. and 8. Subtracting the amount of kilowatts we should have been using gives us: 28.8 = 13.3 Kilowatts being produced by the pump. we should be using impeller "E" to do this. Multiply this number by how much you spend for a kilowatt hour of electricity and you will see that the over sized pump is costing you a lot of money.60 efficient = 14.880 kw. or cubic meters per hour. liters per minute. The head of a pump is read in feet or meters. Now our Kilowatts look like this: 68 x 76360 = 14. but we have an oversized pump so we are using the larger impeller "A" with the pump discharge valve throttled back to 68 cubic meters per hour.6 Kilowatts required to do this. and 14. If the pump runs twenty four hours a day that would be 8760 hours per year. How to read a pump curve Please look at the above illustration.50 efficient = 28.8 extra kilowatts being used to pump against the throttled discharge valve. giving us an actual head of 76 meters. 68 x 47360 = 8.9 Kilowatts being produce. The capacity units will be either gallons per minute.9 / 0. In this example the extra cost of the electricity could almost equal the cost of purchasing the pump.8 Kilowatts required to do this. 18 .

This 80% to 85% is typical of centrifugal pumps. Ideally a pump would run at its best efficiency point all of the time. or a 70 capacity to approximately a 85 head (you can substitute either metric or imperial units as you see fit) The maximum head of this pump is 115 units. These curves show what happens when you change the diameter of the impeller. but if you want to know the exact best efficiency point you must refer to the manufacturers pump curve. 19 .According to the above illustration this pump will pump a 40 capacity to about a 110 head. You will have to check with your pump manufacturer to see how far you can safely deviate from the BEP (a maximum of 10% either side is typical) Now look at the following illustration: Note that I have added some additional curves to the original illustration. As you move away from the BEP the shaft will deflect and the pump will experience some vibration. Also note that the best efficiency point (BEP) of this impeller is between 80% and 85% of the shutoff head. but we seldom hit ideal conditions. This is called the maximum shutoff head of the pump.

that the curve will usually show an additional piece of information and that is NPSHR which stands for net positive suction head required to prevent the pump from cavitating. To convert this pressure to head we use the standard formula : 20 . Required.P. you are going to have to add the vapor pressure of that product to the N. If we wanted to pump at the best efficiency point with a 11. I have labeled the power consumption horsepower. The top line would be for the 13 impeller the second for the 12.S. The rule is that Net Positive Suction Head Available minus the Vapor Pressure of the product you are pumping (converted to head) must be equal to or greater than Net Positive Suction Head Required by the manufacturer.5 etc. A capacity of 60 with the 12 impeller would take about 20 horsepower. Depending upon the pump curve you might find a 10 foot (3. The bottom half of the illustration shows the power consumption at various capacities and impeller diameters. but in the metric system it would be called kilowatts Each of the lines represents an impeller diameter.0 meter) NPSH required head at a capacity of 480 Gallons per minute (110 cubic meters per hour) if you were using a 13 inch (330 mm. Suppose we wanted to pump some liquid Butane at 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Centigrade) with this pump.Impeller diameter is measured in either inches or millimeters.5 impeller we would have to pump a capacity of 50 to a 75 head. Most pump curves would show you the percent of efficiency at the best efficiency point . The number varies with impeller design and numbers from 60% to 80% are normal. You should keep in mind that the manufacture assumed you were pumping 20° C ( 68° F ) fresh water and the N.0 Bar) to stay in a liquid state. Required was tested using this assumption.H.S.H. If we were pumping a capacity of 70 with a 13 impeller it would take about 35 horsepower.) diameter impeller. You will note however. If we look at the curve for Butane on a vapor pressure chart similar to the one shown in the charts and graphs section of this web site you will note that Butane at 32°F needs at least 15 psi (1. When you will look at an actual pump curve you should have no trouble reading the various heads and corresponding capacities for the different size impellers.P. If you are pumping water at a different temperature or if you are pumping a different fluid.

Look at figure "A" and note that the piping discharge is below the maximum elevation of the piping system. The head will be measured in feet or meters and the capacity will be measured in gallons per minute or cubic meters per hour. Once he has your system curve. Some of the confusion begins when we realize that there are three different kinds of head: STATIC HEAD This is the vertical distance measured from the center line of the pump to the height of the piping discharge inside the tank. neither one of you has much of a chance of coming up with the right pump. We do not use the maximum elevation in our calculations because the siphoning action will carry the fluid over this point once the piping is full of liquid. Understanding the system curve Every pump manufacturer would like to recommend the perfect pump for your application. To do this he would like you to provide him with an accurate system curve that would describe the capacity and head needed for your various operating conditions. FIGURE "A" 21 .E. he can plot his pump curves on top of the system curve and hopefully select something that will come close to your needs. This is the same action that lets you siphon gasoline out of an automobile to a storage can. To create a system curve we plot the desired capacities against the required head over the total anticipated operating range of the pump.In other words Butane at this temperature would not vaporize as long as I had the above absolute heads available at the suction side of the pump.P. The pump operating point should move back towards the best efficiency point (B.) if the pump was selected correctly. The pump will have to develop enough head to fill the pipe and then the siphoning action will take over. Without this system curve.

filters. These charts are not included with this paper. A general "rule of thumb" says that the friction loss in clean piping will vary approximately with 90% of the square of the change in flow in the piping. and can be calculated from graphs and charts provided by the pump and piping manufacturers. etc. restricted passages in the fittings and hardware that has been installed in the system. making the published numbers some what inaccurate. elbows. strainers. valves. heat exchangers. This "head" loss is related to the condition of the system and makes the calculations difficult when you realize that older systems may have "product build up" on the piping walls.DYNAMIC OR SYSTEM HEAD As the liquid flows through the piping and fittings. As an example: 22 .. you can find them in the Hydraulic Institute Manuals. The resulting "pressure drop" is described as a "loss of head" in the system. and 100% of the square with the change of flow in the fittings and accessories. You calculate the change in flow by dividing the new flow by the old flow and then square the number. it is subject to the friction caused by the piping inside finish.

It will be positive if you are pumping from a tank located above ground. 23 .. but should be selected to pump as close to the best efficiency point (B. POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT PUMPS have a different shaped curve.P. you will make an error in your calculations. will fall some where between 80% and 85% of the shut off head (maximum head). The manufacturer generated these curves at a specific R.P. Unless you are using synchronous motors (you probably are using induction motors on your pumps) you will have to adjust the curves to match your actual pump speed. When we increased the flow to 300 gallons per minute our system head changed to a total of 208. Centrifugal pumps always pump somewhere on their curve. difference between your pump and the speed shown on the pump manufacturer's published curve.P.E.13 feet. Put a tachometer on the running motor and record the rpm. This change would have to be added to the static and pressure heads to calculate the total head required for the new pump. If the suction head is pressurized. The B.) as possible. so if you fail to consider that the suction head will be either added to or subtracted from the discharge head. A centrifugal pump will create a head/capacity curve that will generally resemble one of the curves described in figure "B" The shape of the curve is determined by the Specific Speed number of the impeller. You can use the pump affinity laws to approximate the change.In the original application system. loss was a combination of the loss through the piping and the loss through the fittings for a total of 100 feet at 200 gallons per minute. this pressure must be converted to head and subtracted from the total head required by the pump. Please note that the pump is pumping the difference between the suction head and the discharge head. The suction head will be negative if you are lifting liquid from below ground or if you are pumping from a vacuum.M. They look something like Figure "C".E.

This is a typical application for: • • A boiler feed pump that is supplying a constant pressure boiler with a varying steam demand. Filling a tank from the top and varying the amount of liquid being pumped. The curve will look like this if the majority of the head is either static or pressure head. Figure "E" describes it: 24 . This is a very common application in many process systems or aboard a ship that is frequently changing speeds (answering bells).In this system. is the normal routine in most process plants. the head remains a constant as the capacity varies. The second system is the ideal one.

Look for this type of curve in the following applications: • • A circulating hot or cold water heating/ cooling system. a long distance from the source with little to no elevation involved. It is a combination of static. 25 . Pumping to a non pressurized tank. Filling tank cars is a typical application. pressure and system heads. System curve "G" is a common one.In this system the entire head is system head so it will vary with the capacity.

Once the pump manufacturer has a clear idea as to the shape of your system curve, and the head and capacity numbers needed he can then select the proper centrifugal pump. The shape of his curve will be pretty much determined by the specific speed number of the impeller. In addition to specific speed he can select impeller diameter, impeller width, pump rpm., and he also has the option of series or parallel operation along with the possibility of using a multi-stage pump to satisfy your needs. The sad fact is that most pumps are selected poorly because of the desire to offer the customer the lowest possible price. A robust pump, with a low L3/D4, is still your best protection against seal and bearing premature failure when the pump is operating off of its best efficiency point. Keep the following in mind as you select your pump:

A centrifugal pump will pump where the pump curve intersects the system curve. This may bear no relationship to the best efficiency point (B.E.P.), or your desire for the pump to perform a specific task. The further off the B.E.P. you go, the more robust the pump you will need. This is especially true if you have replaced the packing with a mechanical seal and no longer have the packing to act as a support bearing when the shaft deflects. Shaft deflection is always a major problem at start up.

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When you connect pumps in parallel, you add the capacities together. The capacity of a pump is determined by the impeller width and r.p.m.. The head of a centrifugal pump is determined by the impeller diameter and rpm. If the heads are different, the stronger pump will throttle the weaker one, so the impeller diameters and rpm's must be the same if you connect pumps in parallel. Check the rpm's on these pumps if you are experiencing any difficulties. If you connect the pumps in series, the heads will add together, so the capacities must be the same or one of them will probably cavitate. You could also have a problem operating too far to the right of the best efficiency point with a possible motor "burn out". When you vary the speed of a centrifugal pump, the best efficiency point comes down at an angle. The affect is almost the same as changing the diameter of the impeller. This means that the variable speed motor will work best on a system curve that is exponential (Figure "F"). Unfortunately most process and boiler feed pump system curves are not exponential. Pump curves are based on a speed of 1750, 3500, 1450, or 2900 r.p.m.. Electric induction motors seldom run at these speeds because of "slip". You can estimate that a 2% to a 5% slip is normal in these pumps with the "slip" directly related to the price of the motor. You should also keep in mind that if the motor is running at its best efficiency point that does not mean that the pump is running at its B.E.P..

Since you will be using pumps that were supplied at the lowest cost, you can do the following to resist some of the shaft displacement:
• • •

• • • • •

Use a solid shaft. Sleeves often raise the L3/D4 number to over 60 (2 in the metric system), and this is too high a number for reliable seal performance. Try to keep the mechanical seal as close to the bearings as possible. It is the mechanical seal that is the most sensitive to shaft deflection and vibration. Once the seal has been moved closer to the bearings, you can install a sleeve bearing in the packing space to support the shaft when the pump is operated off of its B.E.P. This is especially important at start up, or any time a pump discharge valve is operated. Stop the cavitation if you are experiencing any. Balance the rotating assembly. Check that the shaft is not bent or the rotating assembly is not out of dynamic balance. Use a "C" or "D" frame adapter to solve pump- motor alignment difficulties. A center line design wet end can be used if pipe strain, due to temperature expansion, is causing an alignment problem.

Do not trust the system prints to make your calculations. The actual system always differs from that shown on the print, because people tap into the lines, using the pumped fluid for a variety of purposes and after having done so forget to change or "mark up" the original system print. You are going to have to "walk down" the system and note the pipe length, the number of fittings, etc., to make

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an accurate system head calculation. Do not be surprised to find that the discharge of your pump is hooked up to the discharge of another pump further down the line. In other words, the pumps are connected in parallel and no body knows it. Pressure recorders (not gauges) installed at the pump suction and discharge is another technique you can use to get a better picture of the system or dynamic head. They will show you how the head is varying with changes in flow. Pump selection is simple but not easy. Do not depend upon the knowledge of the local pump salesman to select the correct pump for you. In many cases he is prepared to sell his pump at cost&emdash;to get the spare parts business. If you are purchasing pumps at too big a discount&emdash;something is wrong, there is no free lunch. Keep in mind that if several people are involved in the selection process each of them will commonly add a safety factor to the calculated pump size. These factors added together can cause you to purchase a pump that is very much over sized. Calculating the total system head in USCS units USCS stands for "United States Customary System Units" as opposed to the SI (Le Syst`eme International d`Units) or metric units that have been adopted by the International standards Organization (ISO). In a future paper I will present another paper using the metric units, but for the moment it is not convenient to present it in both systems. It turn out that "head" is a very convenient term in the pumping business. Capacity is measured in gallons per minute, and each gallon of liquid has weight, so we can easily calculate the pounds per minute being pumped. Head or height is measure in feet, so if we multiply these two together we get foot- pounds per minute which converts directly to work at the rate of 33,000 foot pounds per minute equals one horsepower. Pressure is not as convenient a term because the amount of pressure that the pump will deliver depends upon the weight (specific gravity) of the liquid being pumped and the specific gravity changes with temperature, fluid, and fluid concentration.

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Once we know these heads it gets simple. we will then subtract the suction head from the discharge head and the amount remaining will be the amount of head that the pump must be able to generate at the rated flow. In addition to the static head we will learn that there is a head caused by resistance in the piping. you should get a clear picture of what is meant by static head. fittings and valves called friction head.hs The total discharge head is made from three separate heads: hd = hsd + hpd + hfd • • • • hd = total discharge head hsd = discharge static head hpd = discharge surface pressure head hfd = discharge friction head The total suction head also consists of three separate heads 29 . Here is how it looks in a formula: System head = total discharge head . Note that we always measure from the center line of the pump to the highest liquid level To calculate head accurately we must calculate the total head on both the suction and discharge sides of the pump. called " surface pressure head".total suction head H = hd . and a head caused by any pressure that might be acting on the liquid in the tanks including atmospheric pressure.If you will refer to FIG 1.

hfs • • • • hs = total suction head hss = suction static head hps = suction surface pressure head hfs = suction friction head As we make these calculations. but you will note that it is below the maximum height of the piping.6 feet 30 . It is derived from: 14. There is of course a maximum siphon effect. The suction head is negative because the liquid level in the suction tank is below the centerline of the pump: hss = .4 feet maximum siphon effect.hs = hss + hps . Now we will make some actual calculations: Figure #2 demonstrates that the discharge head is still measured to the liquid level. it will not have to continue to deliver this head when the pump is running because of the "siphon effect". you must sure that all calculations are made in either "feet of liquid gauge" or "feet of liquid absolute".7 psi (atmospheric pressure) x 2.31 feet / psi = 33. We will begin with the total suction head calculation 1. In case you have forgotten "absolute means that you have added atmospheric pressure (head) to the gauge reading. Although the pump must deliver enough head to get up to this maximum piping height.

The discharge tank is also open to atmospheric pressure. You will not have to calculate the suction friction head.hfs = -6 +0 -4 = -10 feet of liquid gauge at rated flow The total discharge head calculation 1. so the suction surface pressure equals atmospheric pressure : hps = 0 feet gauge 3. thus: hpd = 0 feet. The total suction head is a gauge value because atmosphere was given as 0. I will tell you it is: hfs = 4 feet at rated flow 4. I have some of this information in the chart section of this web site. The static discharge head is: hsd = 125 feet 2. Pipe friction numbers are taken from the Hydraulic Institute Engineering Data Book. The total discharge head is: hd = hsd + hpd + hfd = 125 + 0 + 25 = 150 feet of liquid gauge at rated flow The total system head calculation: H = hd . In this example we are going to learn how to handle a vacuum application. Our next example involves a few more calculations. but you should be able to handle them.hs = 150 . You can get a copy of this publication from your library if you want to see the actual charts. The suction tank is open. gauge 3.(-10)= 160 feet of liquid at rated flow Note: did you notice that when we subtracted a minus number (-10) from a positive number (150) we ended up with a positive 160 because whenever you subtract minus numbers it is the same as adding them? If you have trouble with this concept you can learn more about it from a mathematics book. I will give you the discharge friction head as: hfd = 25 feet at rated flow 4.2. hs = hss + hps . 31 .

Transferring 1000 gpm. one gate valve. To calculate suction surface pressure use one of the following formulas: • • inches of mercury X 1. Suction piping has a square edge inlet.31specific gravity = feet of liquid 32 . and one 90° flanged elbow all of which are 6" in diameter.133specific gravity = feet of liquid pounds per square inch X 2.0.All 6" Schedule 40 steel pipe 5. weak acid from the vacuum receiver to the storage tank 2. four feet of pipe. There is one 90° flanged elbow in this line 6. The pressure on top of the liquid in the vacuum receiver is 20 inches of mercury. Viscosity -equal to water 4.Specifications: 1. The minimum level in the vacuum receiver is 5 feet above the pump centerline. vacuum. Discharge piping rises 40 feet vertically above the pump centerline and then runs 400 feet horizontally. Specific Gravity . Piping . 8.98 3. 7.

0 feet at 1000 gpm. K = 0. The total suction head then becomes: hs = hss + hps . equals the sum of all the friction losses in the suction line.11 32 (b) Total coefficient.29 32 (a) 6" Gate valve 0.3 feet Friction loss coefficients (K factors) for the inlet.90 Total friction loss on the suction side is: hfs = 0.2.17 = 0.12) . gauge at 1000 gpm.50 32 (a) 6" 90 flanged elbow 0. 4. Friction loss in 6" pipe at 1000 gpm from table 15 of the Hydraulic Institute Engineering Data Book. The suction side of the system shows a minimum static head of 5 feet above suction centerline. the static suction head is: hss = 5 feet 2. Total suction head calculation 1. Using the first conversion formula. is 6.• Millimeters of mercury X 122.133/ 0.17 feet per 100 feet of pipe.3 + 1. Total discharge head calculation 33 . Therefore. the suction surface pressure is: hps = -20 Hg X 1. in 4 feet of pipe friction loss = 4/100 x 6.0 = -20. elbow and valve can be added together and multiplied by the velocity head: FITTING K FROM TABLE 6" Square edge inlet 0.7 = 2.12 feet gauge 3. fs.12 feet.98 = -23.4 x specific gravity = feet of liquid Now that you have all of the necessary information we will begin by dividing the system into two different sections. The suction friction head. using the pump as the dividing line.hfs = 5 + (-23.

Discharge friction head = hfd = sum of the following losses : Friction loss in 6" pipe at 1000 gpm.2) = 89.29 x 1. that is: hfd = 27.9 feet The discharge friction head is the sum of the above losses.7 .hs = 69. the loss equals V2/2g. Static discharge head = hsd = 40 feet 2.92 at 1000 gpm.2 feet Friction loss in 6" elbow: from table 32 (a). The total discharge head then becomes: hd = hsd + hpd + hfd = 40 + 0 + 29. The total suction head will be the same as in the previous example.9 = 29.6 + 1. In systems of this type where the area of the discharge tank is very large in comparison to the area of the discharge pipe. as shown in table 32 (b). c. is 6. that there is an additional 10 feet of pipe and another 90° flanged elbow in the vertical leg. Our next example will be the same as the one we just finished except.92 = 0. K = 0. Friction loss = K V2/2g = 0. Take a look at figure # 4 34 .(-20. V2/2g = 1.7 = 69. Friction loss at exit = V2/2g = 1. In 440 feet of pipe the friction loss = 440/100 x 6.7 feet.29 from table 15. gauge at 1000 gpm.1.17 feet per hundred feet of pipe. from table 15.9 feet at 1000 gpm.7 feet at 1000 gpm. 4.6 feet The friction loss in the sudden enlargement at the end of the discharge line is called the exit loss. Total system head calculation: H = hd . Discharge surface pressure = hpd = 0 feet gauge 3.2 + 0.17 = 27.

9 feet at 1000 gpm. In 10 feet of pipe the friction loss = 10/100 x 6. This arrangement is called a siphon leg).6 feet The friction loss in the additional elbow = 0.17 = 0.12 feet.Nothing has changed on the suction side of the pump so the total suction head will remain the same: hs = -20. gauge at 100 gpm.6 + 0.6 feet The friction head will then increase as follows: hfd = 29. 2. The static discharge head "hsd" will change from 40 feet to 30 feet.(This value is based on the assumption that the vertical leg in the discharge tank is full of liquid and that as this liquid falls it will tend to pull the liquid up and over the loop in the pipe line.6 = 30. The friction loss in the discharge pipe will be increased by the additional 10 feet of pipe and the additional elbow.7 + 0. The discharge surface pressure is unchanged: hpd = 0 feet 3. Total discharge head calculation 1. 35 . since the highest liquid surface in the discharge is now only 30 feet above the pump centerline.

9 = 60.31 / (1.7) x 2.12) = 81 feet at 1000 gpm.3 Specific Gravity + 4 ) = 261. For our last example we will look at gauges. Divide the heads into two sections again: The discharge gauge head corrected to the centerline of the pump.Similar to water Piping . gauge at 1000 gpm.1. Total system head calculation H = hd . 2 inch discharge Atmospheric pressure .300 gpm.9 feet.3 inch suction.7 psi.14.1 feet. and then converting to absolute head: hdg = (130 + 14.hs = 60.(-20. absolute Note the 4 foot head correction to the pump centerline. Specific gravity . Take a look at FIG 5: Specifications: • • • • • Capacity . 36 .3 Viscosity .9 . 5.The total discharge head becomes: hd = hsd + hpd + hfd = 30 + 0 + 30. in feet of liquid absolute is found by adding the atmospheric pressure to the gauge reading to get absolute pressure.

The suction velocity head at 300 gpm.3 +2 = 73. centrifugal pump by squaring the diameter of the impeller. The total head developed by the pump is: H = (hgd + hvd ) .08 feet absolute Note the 2 foot head correction to the pump centerline. I often quote this formula in my pump and seal schools.3 / 11. is found in table 9 of the Hydraulic Institute Engineering Data Book hvd = 12. Estimating the shutoff head of a centrifugal pump: In the fifteenth century the Swiss scientist Daniel Bernoulli learned that the combination of head and velocity was a constant throughout a piping system.8) . is found in table 11 of the Pipe Friction Manual: hvs = 2.8 feet at 300 gpm. absolute. and resultant head. hgs = 40 x 2. How did I come to that conclusion ? Lets look at the formula again.08 + 2.8 meters / second2 My students have heard me quote this formula as the basis for my statement that you can estimate the shut off head of a 1750 rpm.( hgs + hvs ) = (261. or meters/sec. As many of you know.) g = gravity = 32.(73.The discharge velocity head at 300 gpm. and we will start by defining velocity: 37 . He then wrote the formula showing the relationship between this liquid velocity. The suction gauge reading is in absolute terms so it needs only to be converted to feet of liquid.6 feet at 300 gpm. The formula looks like this: • • V = Velocity or speed of the liquid at the impeller outside diameter (ft/sec.22 feet absolute at 300 gpm.1 + 12.6)= 198.2 feet / second2 or 9.

38 . In the inch system the velocity of the impeller outside diameter is determined by the following formula: • • • • • d = diameter of the impeller rpm = speed of the impeller outside diameter 12 = twelve inches in a foot 60 sixty seconds in a minute Now we will solve the formula. If we substitute 3500 rpm for the speed. the new numbers would look like this Going back to the original formula we will substitute the new value for "V" We can round out the 3. times four.6 to 4.0 and say that at 3500 rpm the shutoff head equals approximately the outside diameter of the impeller squared. The terms we use to discuss velocity are feet/second or meters/ second. I elected to use 100% because it is a sensible average and in some cases it accounts for the additional velocity added to the fluid as it moves from the impeller eye to the impeller outside diameter. you will learn that the shut off head actually varies from 90% to 110% of the diameter of the impeller squared.Velocity is a measurement of speed using distance and time as the variables. Substituting 1750 for the rpm we would get: Going back to the original formula we will substitute the new value for "V" This means that at 1750 rpm the shutoff head is 90% of the diameter of the impeller squared If you will check a typical pump curve as supplied by the pump manufacturers.

larger numbers. As an example: In the inch system a pump discharge pressure gage reads 120 psi. so the pump is pumping 100 psi. The pump is pumping the difference between these readings. It will make the calculations a lot simpler because you will be using more convenient.It is a little trickier in the metric system. 100 psi is 83% of 120 psi. The pressure to head conversion is: 39 . At its BEP(best efficiency point) the pump should be running between 80% and 85% of its shut off head. move over two decimal places and use decimeters instead. Inserting the numbers into the formula we would get a velocity of: Going back to the head formula we would get: We can round this off to 3d2 If the pump were running at 2900 rpm you would get Going back to the head formula we would get: We can round this off to 12d2 How do we use this information? You can combine this formula with your knowledge of how to convert pressure to head and come up with an estimate to see if an operating pump is operating close to its BEP(best efficiency point ). Instead of using millimeters when measuring the impeller diameter. The pump suction pressure gage reads 20 psi.

" Over the years I have accumulated many of these rules to help me estimate pump performance.95 decimeter)2 x12 =104. here are a few of them: PUMP BASICS • • How to estimate the shut off head of a pump (inch sizes) o At 1750 rpm. Shut off head = Diameter of the impeller squared x 4 2 o For other speeds you can use the formula : Shut Off Head = D x (new rpm / 1750)2 Estimating metric head is a little bit more involved. The pump has a 295 mm impeller running at 2900 rpm. Shut off head = Diameter of the impeller squared o At 3500 rpm. Pretty close! In the metric system we can make the calculation for a 295 millimeter impeller turning at 2900 rpm The pump discharge pressure gage reads 10 bar The pump suction pressure gage reads 1 bar The pump is pumping the difference between these readings so the pump is pumping 9 bar At its BEP(best efficiency point) the pump should be running between 80% and 85% of its shutoff head.The pump has an 8. Pretty close! Rules of thumb for pumps If you want to know a pumps capabilities the rules are simple. but it still works: o Measure the shaft in mm. (21 meters ) 40 .4. The pressure to head conversion is: 106 meters shut off head. (2.5 inches)2 x 4 = 288 feet. The shutoff head would be (8.8 bar. ( as an example: 250 mm ) o Mark off two places. they have no need for general guide lines or "rules of thumb. 9 bar is 83% of 10. multiply by 3 (18. (6. look at the manufacturer's published pump curve. Pump companies test their pump to determine its performance.25) o For 1450 rpm. The problem is that you do not always have the curve available.75) o Add 10 % for the answer in meters.5 inch impeller running at 3500 rpm. The shutoff head would be (2.5) o Square the number.

94 for 4.010 inches (0.5 mm) You lose 1% of the pumps capacity for each 0. Wear ring clearances are very similar to impeller clearances. If you are pumping paper stock. but you lose 1% pump capacity for each 0.025 mm) of wear.0 for 3. wobble or run out and eight times the wear.015" (0.) in outside diameter. When pump manufacturers discuss operating off of the B.0 in metric) to prevent excessive shaft bending. Lowering the L3/D4 is the only logical and efficient solution. You will need the pump curves for that.H. Multistage pumps reduce efficiency 2% to 4%.825 for 5.E. and efficiency as follows: o 0. Since most shaft materials have a similar modulus of elasticity changing shaft materials will not prevent shaft bending when you operate off of the B. modify the curves for head. four times the head and it will take eight times the horsepower to do it. o 41 .P.) is between 80% and 85% of the shut off head. The L3/D4 ratio should be below 60 (2.2 to 0. A double suction pump can run with 27% less N.3 mm) minimum clearance for wear rings less than two inches (50 mm. A stainless steel shaft has only a small portion of the conductivity of a carbon steel shaft.05 mm) you miss this setting. or at a 40% faster speed without cavitating.001" (0. Also the "power in" is closest to the "power out".E.008" and 0. At this point there is little to no radial thrust on the impeller. capacity. o D = diameter of the shaft (under the sleeve) in the stuffing box area (inches or millimeters) Do not use centimeters. Caution: do not use centimeters.E. you would multiply by 12 instead of 3. Although you can estimate shutoff head with these formulas you cannot estimate the pump capacity. the numbers will come out wrong.98 for 4% o 1.• • • • • • • • • • • • NOTE: For 3000 rpm. A typical clearance would be 0.5% stock o 0. The pumps best efficiency point (B. To calculate it for end suction centrifugal pumps : o L = length of the shaft from the center of the inboard bearing to the center of the impeller (inches or millimeters).P.P.P.5% o 0. they relate problems to the heat that will build up in a minimum flow condition and ignore the problems with shaft bending.725 for 6% stock o 0. If you double the speed of a pump you will get almost four times the shaft whip.003 inch/inch diameter with 0. In many instances an inducer can lower Net Positive Suction Head Required by as much as 50% . This is very important when you are pumping at elevated temperatures because we do not want to transmit the high temperature back to the bearing oil.002" (0. If you double the speed of a pump you will get twice the capacity.90 for 5% o 0.S.5% or less Open impeller clearance settings are determined by the pump manufacturer and normally run between 0.

destroying the wear rings. (212 F.• • • • Bearing grease or lip seals have a design life of less than 2000 hours.) These numbers assume that the lubricating oil is not being contaminated by water from one or all of the following sources: • • • Packing leakage The water hose used to wash the packing leakage away from the pump area.500 (10. In a constantly running pump this would be only 83 days. The life of bearing oil is directly related to its temperature. Auto manufacturers recommend changing their automatic transmission oil every 25.) o A life of 12 months at 80 C.000 ( metric 16. It is a good idea to install them in electric motors also to prevent moisture from entering and damaging the motor windings and bearings.000 miles ( 40. The temperature at the bearing race of a properly installed bearing is at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5° C) higher than the oil sump temperature. An automobile engine running at 1750 rpm. This is the reason proper installation is so critical. This corresponds to : o A life of 3 months at 100 C. Let the moisture attempt to enter the case through the labyrinth seals instead. If you have a double suction pump you can divide the SSS number by 2 42 . Substitute non fretting labyrinth seals.. If the bearing is over compressed the bearing balls will distort and roll instead of spin causing excessive heat and premature failure. The axial clearance in a bearing is ten times the radial clearance.500) unless you are pumping hot water or mixed hydrocarbons. Try to buy pumps with a Suction Specific Speed (SSS) below 8.000 kilometers) APPLICATION • • Use Centerline pump designs when the pumping temperature exceeds 200 degrees Fahrenheit (100° C). This design will allow the wet end of the pump to expand in two directions instead of from the feet up. If you install positive face seals you can forget about this problem. would cover about 100.000 miles (160. ( 176 F.000 metric) Do not buy pumps with a SSS over 12. (195 F.000 kilometers) every 2000 hours (83 days in the life of a constantly running pump ). At shut down the outside moisture will enter the bearing housing through this vent. Do not use a vent on the top of the bearing case. The rule of thumb used by the SKF Bearing Company is that the service life of an oil is specified as 30 years at 30 degrees Centigrade (86° F) and is cut in half for each 10 degree Centigrade (10 F) temperature increase. they will do a better job of directing the moisture to the external drain hole. as moisture laden air enters the bearing case. Aspiration. or positive face seals in these locations.) o A life of 6 months at 90 C. These seals will also damage the expensive shaft and place a stress point at the maximum bending moment arm.

5% air by volume. PIPING ETC. Do not assume it will turn in the correct direction. Substituting a globe valve for a gate valve in a piping system is similar to adding another 100 feet (31 meters) of piping to the system. the variable speed will not be of much help in keeping you on or near the best efficiency point. On the discharge side of the pump this will cause the pump to run off of its B.E. At 6% it will probably become air bound and stop pumping. allowing the outboard ends to expand with temperature changes.• • • • • • • • • • Do not specify a pump with the largest impeller available . They will drive you crazy because the pump will often meet its head requirement but not the capacity when the second speed cuts in. If you have a high static or pressure head. You will also notice excessive noise at this time. Concentric reducers will trap air. They should also be used on long shaft vertical pumps to prevent excessive shaft movement that will cause problems with the packing. and subsequent bearing problems. bearings and critical dimensions. 43 . Pumps piped in series must have the same capacity (impeller width and speed) Pumps piped in parallel must have the same head (impeller diameter and speed ) Use a rotary positive displacement pump if your capacity is going to be less than 20 gpm. require special consideration to avoid blade passing frequency vibrations and low frequency vibrations at reduced flow rates.(4. After the pump and motor have been aligned. Cavitation can occur with any amount of air. Use a variable speed pump if your head is mainly system head. A Vortex pump is 10% to 15% less efficient than a comparable size end suction centrifugal pump. seals.I. • • • • • There should be at least 10 diameters of pipe between the suction of the pump and the first elbow. On the suction side of the pump it will probably cause Cavitation.5 cubic meters per hour) A centrifugal pump can handle 0.P. (American Petroleum Institute). Use eccentric reducers rather than concentric reducers at the pump suction. The maximum viscosity a centrifugal pump can handle would be a product similar to 30 weight oil at room temperature. with a resultant shaft bending. sixth edition states : High energy pumps. Check impeller rotation after installing the pump. defined as pumping to a head greater than 650 feet (198 meters) and more than 300 horsepower (224 KW) per stage. I have heard about two speed pumps with the second speed wired backwards. The A. Give yourself an additional 5% or 10% you might need it. dowel both the pump and the motor to the base plate. as is the case with a boiler feed pump. Be sure to dowel only the feet closest to the coupling.. Circulating hot or cold water would be typical applications.P. Use double volute pumps any time your impeller diameter is 14 inches (355 mm) or greater. This is especially critical in double ended pump designs as the turbulent inlet flow can cause shaft thrusting. Be sure the eccentric reducer is not installed up side down.

Cavitation damage on the leading edge of the impeller blade indicates internal recirculation. or vibration will occur. as a result.) wider. often experience this problem. o Inlet piping too close to the wall or bottom of the tank. the liquid level must be at least one and one half diameters of the blade. wash down hoses. and 6% greater than 14 inch ( 356 mm. Higher numbers mean that the problem is with the impeller shape or adjustment.• • Suction piping should be at least one size larger than the suction flange at the pump. o In a mixer.).P. A 6% water content in the oil will reduce bearing life by as much as 83% The mass of the pump concrete foundation must be 5 times the mass of the pump. 44 . and other equipment that is being supported. Consult the Hydraulic Institute Manual or a similar publication for recommended clearances. Above 500 horsepower (375 KW) the foundation should be a minimum of 6 inches (150 mm. Cavitation damage just beyond the cutwater. (3 meters/sec. This clearance should be at least 4% of the impeller diameter up to a 14 inch (356 mm.) o There is a large concentration of dissolved gases in the liquid. The water enters from packing leakage. o Air is entering at the pump suction.S. o There is liquid turbulence at the pump suction. the foundation must be 3 inches (76 mm. Up to 500 horsepower (375 KW).000 metric). above the blade.H. Some self priming pump manufacturers want a maximum clearance of 1/8" (3 mm) and.H. base plate.S. (1 Meter/ sec. Required. TROUBLESHOOTING • • • • • • Cavitation damage on the trailing edge of the impeller blade means : o The N.) impeller. o High circulation caused by asymmetrical inlet or outlet conditions. available is too low. on the casing and tip of the impeller blade.) wider than the base plate all around. indicates the impeller blade is too close to the cutwater. Water in the bearing oil will reduce bearing life 48%. Generally greater than 10 feet/sec. o High outlet velocities in pipes leaving vessels.) o Liquids near their vapor point. and aspiration caused by the temperature cooling down in the bearing casing after shutdown and moisture laden air entering the bearing case./sec. Check the Suction Specific Speed number to see if it is below 9000 (10. The problem was created when the pump manufacture tried to come up with too low a N.P. Vortexing can occur if any of the following conditions are present: o Low liquid levels o Liquid level falling greater than 3 Ft. A repaired or substituted impeller is often the cause of the problem in a non self priming pump.

000 foot pounds. if you could solve the emission problem. The bearing oil level should be at the center of the lowest most ball of a stationary bearing.. Once you have the pounds per minute you are pumping. you can multiply that number into the feet of head the pump is producing and you have foot pounds per minute that can be converted to horsepower. Do not use packing in any pump that runs under a vacuum. How to the calculate the water horsepower coming out of the pump? Horsepower is measured using the units. After you have done that. o Any pump that takes its suction from a negative pressure. Please take a look at the following pump curve. as air will enter the system through the pump stuffing box. should pass through the bottom of the foundation and not the sides.33 (the weight of a gallon of water) and then multiply that result by the specific gravity (the weight) of your fluid. due to temperature. Pipe from the pump suction flange to the pipe rack. and you will have the pounds per minute number you are looking for. not at right angles. This is a very common problem because of the great number of oversized pumps in existence.. vertical pump back to the suction side of the pump or air will become trapped in the stuffing box. Heater drain pumps are a typical application. there is a danger of overloading the motor and therefore motors having sufficient power should be used. 45 . Since fluid has weight we can calculate how many pounds per minute we are pumping by finding out how much a gallon of our fluid weighs. multiply the gallons per minute you are pumping by 8.• • • • • • • • Imaginary lines extended downward 30 degrees to either side of a vertical through the pump shaft. not the other way around.P. T Branches and elbows should be installed perpendicular to the pump shaft. The same overloading power will occur if the pump is run too far to the right of its B.E. Valve stems. These applications include : o Pumps that lift liquid. o Pumps that take their suction from a condenser or evaporator. Be sure too vent the stuffing box of a sealed. The top of the reducer should go straight into the suction flange. The preferred choice for bearing lubrication would be an oil mist system with positive face sealing at the bearings. foot pounds with one horsepower equal to 33. The vent must be located above the lapped seal faces. Make sure eccentric reducers are not installed upside down at the pump suction. If the Specific Gravity of the pumping liquid should increase.

499 x 168 = 419.0 sg. 46 .499 pounds of fluid per minute. (brake horsepower). The horsepower required is shown in the left column under bhp.000 foot pound per minute equals one horsepower.832 foot pounds per minute Since 33. This means that the pump is putting out 12. the next question is how much actual horsepower is required to do this? Please take a look at the ascending lines on the bottom of the chart. We are pumping this fluid to a head of 168 feet so: 2.33 x 1.Let's use this chart for our example: You are using the 13 inch impeller at 1750 rpm and pumping 300 gallons per minute of a fluid with a specific gravity of 1. Now. Each line represents a different size impeller with the top line showing the horsepower required for a 13-inch impeller and the bottom line for a 9-inch impeller.832 / 33.73 horsepower.000 = 12. = 2.0 to a head of 168 feet 300 gpm x 8.73 horsepower. We will divide and get: 419.

not the other way around.33 x 1. but motors and pumps are not 100 % efficient because of friction losses and heat generation. If the pump were 100% efficient.0 (cold water).3.70 pounds per minute 3248.781. Using a specific gravity of 1.54 / 26 = 0.3 = 3248.6 / 33000 = 16. not at right angles. It should be noted that a force equal to the area of the expansion joint (which could be a lot larger than the normal piping size) times 47 .73 horsepower motor to drive the pump and it would do the job. If an elbow must be installed be sure it is in a plane at right angles to the pump shaft to prevent an uneven flow to both sides of a double suction impeller.781.54 water horsepower out of the pump 20 x 1. T Branches and elbows should be installed perpendicular to the pump shaft.Notice that it calls for 20 horsepower to move 300 gallons per minute with a 13inch impeller. Just plug the new number into the formula and multiply the pump curve bhp by the same number. Pipe from the pump suction flange to the pipe rack. Piping should be arranged with as few bends as possible. This means that our actual efficiency is 12. all you would need would be 12. This is especially critical in double-ended pump designs as the turbulent inlet flow can cause shaft thrusting. The top of the reducer should go straight into the suction flange. the change would look like this: 300 x 8. Make sure eccentric reducers are not installed upside down at the pump suction.60 foot-pounds per minute 545.64 efficient A few things you should know about your pump's piping system • • • • • • There should be at least 10 diameters of pipe between the suction of the pump and the first elbow.70 x 168 = 545.3 = 26 horsepower is going into the pump 16. If bends are necessary use a long radius when ever possible Valve stems. If an expansion joint is installed in the piping between the pump and the nearest point of anchor in the piping.64 or 64% efficient Suppose the specific gravity of the fluid you are pumping is different than 1.73 hp out / 20 hp in = 0. and subsequent bearing problems.

they should be installed between the check valve and the pump. The magnitude and direction of the forces is dependent upon the piping arrangement along with the areas and pressures involved.• • • • • • • • • • • • • the pressure in the piping will be transmitted to the pump proper. This is especially true for vertical turbine and submersible pumps that are not designed for use with a foot valve. Be aware that radial forces are being generated in the pump housing from the pressure in the piping system acting on the volute area. Manually operated discharge valves that are hard to reach should have some facility for quick closing. Full-faced gaskets must be used with cast iron flanges. 48 . It is always a good idea to increase the size of the suction and discharge pipes at the pump nozzle in order to decrease the head loss from pipe friction. Cast iron pumps should never be provided with raised face flanges. Both a check and gate valve should be installed in the discharge piping with the check valve placed between the pump and the stop valve to protect the pump from reverse flow and excessive back pressure. Foot valves should be of the low loss flap type rather than the multiple spring variety and have a clear passage for the liquid at least the same area as the suction piping. The installation of check valves should be avoided in the suction piping although they are often used to reduce the number of valves that have to be operated in switching between series and parallel pump operation. The optimum pipe size will consider the installed cost of the pipe (the cost increases with size) and the pump power requirements (the power required increases with pipe friction) o Try to limit the friction loss at design flow to 2-5 feet for each 100 feet (12 meters for each 30 meters) of pipe). the pipe flanges should be of the flat face type and not the raised face type.5 meters) of the pump discharge to prevent too much surging of fluid in the system when the discharge is throttled. Do not install them if the pump is operating against a high static head because failure of the driver would allow liquid to rush back suddenly causing water hammer. The optimum control valve location is within five feet (1. If an expansion join or non-rigid coupling must be used. If steel suction or discharge piping is used. Suction piping should be at least one size larger than the suction flange at the pump. it is recommended that a pipe anchor be installed between it and the pump. A foot valve is often installed in the suction piping to aid priming. If increasers are used on the discharge side to increase the size of discharge piping. A sprocket rim wheel and chain or a remotely operated motor are two alternatives you might consider. Suction piping must be kept free of air leaks. A horizontal suction line should have a gradual rise or slope to the pump suction. Pipe couplings that do not provide an axially rigid connection have the same affect.

These Halogens will penetrate the Teflon® 49 . solid or crystal at elevated temperature. I have spent the past twenty seven years lecturing about seals and pumps and during that time have picked up a number of rules that are worth remembering. The list would include Bromine. Astatine. in this application would not have been subjected to its temperature limit. It also includes any barrier fluids that are used to circulate between dual mechanical seals. o You must not exceed the temperature limit of the fluid you are pumping. Fluorine. petroleum lubricating oil cokes between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit (120° C. As an example Ethylene Propylene rubber cannot seal hot fluids in excess of 300° degrees Fahrenheit ( 150° C) without taking a compression set and eventually leaking. Halogens are easily identified because they end in the letters " INE". Any other condition is called a seal failure and is always correctable The following is offered as a guide when dealing with mechanical seals in general.) and restricts the movement of the seal components. o A few rules of thumb for mechanical seals Before selecting your mechanical seal design there are three things you want to remember: • • • All of the seal materials must be chemically compatible with any fluids that will be pumped through the system and that includes solvents.5 to 2. Here are some of the most important: • • • Selecting materials .The elastomer ( the rubber part) There are two temperature limits for a mechanical seal: o You must not exceed the temperature of the seal components. The seal faces must stay together. If possible you should contact the manufacturer for specific recommendations and limits. If they open the seal will leak and allow solids to penetrate between the faces where the solids will eventually destroy the lapped surfaces. A Viton® O-ring. and Iodine.To prevent the settling of solids you need a minimum velocity of about 4 to 7 feet per second (1. In almost every case this will cause a seal failure. Chlorine.5 meters per second) o Velocities of no more than 10 feet (3 meters) per second are recommended in the suction side piping to prevent abrasive wear. cleaners or steam that might be introduced into the system to flush or clean the lines. to 150° C. Halogens will attack Teflon® coated elastomers . Good seal life is defined as running the mechanical seal until the carbon face is worn away. Many fluids will change from a liquid to a gas. As an example. but we had the seal failure because we exceeded the temperature limit of petroleum products.

hard one. so it is a very common problem. valves. open the lapped seal faces. When choosing an O-Ring. Caustic is another common cleaner and caustic contains a high percentage of water also. Test the O-Ring by immersing it into the sealing fluid for one week. Be sure to check if you have the correct one. be sure to consider any cleaners or solvents that might be flushed through the lines or that could come into contact with the seal. in another seal application. Ozone is produced by the sparking from electric motors.. You will find a chart in the chart section of this web site Check to see if the plant has any experience with O-Rings. or appearance. Never use plated or coated hard faces in these applications. in this fluid. O-Rings can also be found in filters. The swollen elastomer will "lock up" the mechanical seal and in some instances. Chemical attack of the elastomer will usually cause a seal failure within five to ten days. Dupont's Kalrez® or a similar product. This is the elastomer that is most often used in Rubber Bellows Seals. Two hard faces are also recommended in the sealing of hydrocarbons that have to pass a "fugitive emissions" test.The Faces. Determine the correct O-Ring by one of the following methods: • • • • • • Look up the chemical in published O-Ring charts provided by all reputable seal companies. Selecting Materials . Use two hard faces if the product has a tendency to solidify between the seal faces. shape. strainers. Chemical attack is usually recognized by a swollen and soft elastomer while high heat will produce a shrunken. A hard spot will be created that will interfere with the movement of the dynamic elastomer. or any other elastomer. Use a universal O-Ring compound such as Green Tweed's Chemraz. Most Viton® compounds are attacked by water. it is not compatible with the fluid. A typical shelf life for most Buna compounds would be one year. If a round O-Ring becomes square in operation (compression set) it is almost always caused by excessive heat. expansion joints etc. The problem is Ozone attack.• • • • coating and attack the base rubber material causing it to swell and split the Teflon sleeve or coating. If the O-Ring changes weight. Remember that steam is another name for water and the steam cleaning of lines is very common in the process industry. Buna "N" (Nitrile) is an elastomer that has a short shelf life. The elastomer must be compatible with these fluids also. flanges. • • Carbon and most hard face materials have an expansion rate of about one third that of stainless steel. Coke 50 . Hard faces are recommended if you find that it is impossible to keep the seal faces together and solids are present in the sealing liquid. Never use " glued together" elastomers in a split seal or any "dynamic" application.

These oxidizing agents will combine with the carbon to form Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide. Needless to say glue or epoxy is not a sensible solution to differential expansion problems. causing the plating to come off in sheets. steel. Reaction bonded Silicone Carbide has excellent wear characteristics.). you can probably use a seal manufactured from 316 stainless steel components.• • • • • • particles forming between the faces will pull pieces of carbon out of the carbon/graphite face presenting a leak path for fugitive emissions. or bronze. Selecting Materials . These low expansion steels will prevent the carbon or hard seal faces from leaking between the face and the metal holder. 51 . Ceramic vs. must be manufactured from Hastelloy "C" to avoid problems with Chloride Stress Corrosion. Coatings are used for wear resistance and low friction. because of its superior corrosion resistance is the preferred material for solid Tungsten Carbide faces also. If the base material is not corrosion resistant to the pumping fluid and any cleaners or solvents used in the lines the corrosive will go through the coating and attack the base. Alpha sintered Silicone Carbide is also available and is Silica free. Sealing Limits • Use only stationary mechanical seals (the springs do not rotate with the shaft) if the face surface speed exceeds 5000 feet per minute ( 25 M/sec.The Metal Parts. ceramic is a good choice for oxidizing chemicals. If you are going to select plated Tungsten Carbide as a face material. strong bleaches and nitric Acid. use only the nickel base Tungsten Carbide. 85% ceramic should never be recommended as a hard seal face as it can break with as little as a 100 degree Fahrenheit (55 C) temperature difference. You cannot use any form of carbon in these applications. 99. Although many carbon graphite compounds are available unfilled carbons are the best because they are corrosion resistant to almost all chemicals except oxidizing agents and some de ionized water applications. Plating or coating a seal face will not give it corrosion resistance. Keep in mind that black elastomers will also be attacked by oxidizing agents because of their carbon content. but never in a cartridge design unless some method has been provided to insure that the cartridge sleeve is square to the shaft. If your pump is manufactured from Iron. The most common oxidizers are oleum. stainless steel. To get corrosion resistance the outer coating must be at least 1/8" (3 mm) thick. however. sulfur trioxide.5% would be a much better choice. Cobalt base is too hard and can crack with normal seal face differential temperatures. The springs or bellows. but contains up to 17% free silica which can be attacked by many chemicals including caustic. Nickel base. • • Be sure to use low expansion metal such as Carpenter 42 or Invar 36 in your metal bellows seal face holder if the product temperature can exceed 400° Fahrenheit (205°C).

Use O-Ring balanced seals in vacuum applications down to 10-2 inches or one millimeter of mercury (1 Torr.). The O-Ring is the only elastomer that can seal both vacuum and pressure. Split seals will work in these applications, but they must be turned around for best operation. Any good quality, balanced, O-Ring seal can seal stuffing box pressures to 400 psi (28 bar) and temperatures to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205° C). There is a compound of Dupont's Kalrez® that is satisfactory to 600 degrees Fahrenheit (370° C), but it is not acceptable at ambient temperatures (it gets too hard).

Application
• •

A Balanced O-Ring seal will not vaporize the product at the seal face if the stuffing box pressure is at least one atmosphere above the products vapor point. The easiest product to seal is a cool, clean, lubricating liquid. All problem chemicals can be placed into several categories. If you know how to seal these categories you should have no trouble making seals work in your applications : o Products that crystallize (caustic or sugar solutions) o Viscous products (asphalt or molasses) o Products that solidify (polymers or chocolate) o Products that vaporize (hot water or benzene) o Film building liquids (hot petroleum or plating solutions) o High temperature fluids (heat transfer oil or liquid sulfur) o Dangerous products (fire hazard, explosive, radioactive, bacteria) o Non lubricating liquids (solvents or hot water) o Gases and dry running applications (hydrogen) o Dry solids (cake mix or pharmaceuticals) o Corrosive fluids (acids or strong bases) o Cryogenics (liquid nitrogen) o Slurries (river water, sewage, most raw products) In addition to these chemical categories there are other sealing problems that include: o High pressure o Hard vacuum o High speed o Excessive motion Dual seals should be balanced in both directions to prevent failure when barrier fluid pressure changes. The practice of using "one direction" seal balance is commonly employed by most seal companies and should be avoided for both safety and reliability. Use motion seals on mixers, agitators, sleeve bearing equipment and any rotating device that has motion greater than 0.005" (0,15 mm.) in a radial or axial direction. Pump seals do not work well in these applications because the hard faces are too narrow and the internal seal clearances are too tight. Do not use flushing fluid as a coolant in stationary mechanical seals. The coolant will be directed to only one side of the seal and since a stationary seal does not rotate the sliding components the differential temperature can cause the faces to

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go out of flat. In the case of stationary bellows seals it could cause a bellows rupture. The best way to cool a seal is to use the jacketed stuffing box that came as a part of the pump. This jacket will not only cool down the seal area, but will provide the necessary cooling to the shaft so that it will not transmit stuffing box heat back to the bearings. The use of steam in a Quench gland is another solution, but not as good as the jacketed stuffing box. It is all right to dead end fluid in a stuffing box if a jacketed stuffing box is being used. Do not attempt to recirculate back to the suction side and cool the stuffing box at the same time. When using a jacketed stuffing box it is best to install a carbon bushing in the bottom to act as a thermal barrier the pumping fluid and the seal. Do not use rotating, "Back to Back" double seals in dirt or slurry service. The solids will prevent the inner seal from moving forward as the faces wear and if the barrier fluid pressure is lost, solids will penetrate the inner seal faces. Be sure to vent vertical pumps back to the suction side of the pump. Air trapped in the stuffing box can cause the seal faces to run hot and in some instances destroy the elastomer. Cyclone type separators or "in line filters" are not a good method of cleaning up the fluid in the stuffing box. Heat affects a seal several ways: o The faces can be attacked. Plated faces can have the hard coating crack off and filled carbons can have the binder melted out in high heat. o The elastomer (rubber part) has a temperature limit determined by the compound used. o The corrosion rate of all liquids increases with temperature. o Thermal expansion can cause seal face loads to alter and seal face flatness to change. o Many products will change from a liquid to a solid or gas in the presence of high temperature. If this should occur between the seal faces, they can be blown open. Do not be tempted to put the mechanical seal outside of the stuffing box to keep the springs out of the fluid. As the face wears the seal must move into the slurry where it will eventually "hang up" and leak. In these applications centrifugal force is throwing solids into the lapped faces and if there is excessive pressure in the system the seal faces will be blown open. When choosing the pressure range of a mechanical seal be sure to consider the stuffing box pressure not the pump discharge pressure. Very few seals will ever see discharge pressure.

Technical

Seals lapped to less than three helium light bands ( 0.000034") inches or 1,0 microns) should not show visible leakage. Visible leakage occurs at about 5 light bands.

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A typical mechanical seal face load would be 30 psi. (0,2 N/mm2) when the carbon is new and 10 psi. (0,07 N/mm2) when the carbon is fully worn away. You must never guess as to how much to compress a mechanical seal. Either take the information from the seal print or calculate the correct length from the above information. Both rotating and stationary metal bellows seals require vibration damping. Elastomer seals do not experience this vibration problem because the elastomer touching the shaft is a natural vibration damper. Vibration can be either harmonic or caused by poor lubricating fluids (slip stick) Use only non fretting seal designs. Shafts and sleeves cost too much to ignore this severe problem. Carbon throat bushings should have a shaft clearance of 0.002 inches/inch (0,002 mm/ millimeter) of shaft diameter. If they are to be used as a support bearing you should cut the clearance down to 0.001 inches/ inch (0,001 mm/millimeter) of shaft diameter. It is not necessary to lubricate seal faces at installation. If the product you are sealing can vaporize between the faces and cause freezing then you must remove any lubricant that might have been placed there by the manufacturer. Balanced mechanical seals consume about one sixth the horsepower of packing. Packing a pump would be like running your automobile with the emergency brake engaged. The car would run, but the fuel consumption would be high. Single spring seals are wound in either a right or left handed direction. Check to see if your seal has a problem in keeping the faces together because of the spring winding. Open impeller pumps require impeller adjustment. Use only cartridge or split seals in these applications. Do not use seals that locate against a shoulder or set screw to the shaft, as the face load will change when the impeller is adjusted. Do not relap the carbon face unless it is an emergency. Seal face opening is a common seal failure. When the faces open solid particles imbed them selves into the carbon face and will be driven in even further during the lapping process. If you must relap in an emergency never use lapping powder, as the abrasive particles will imbed into the soft carbon. You cannot balance an inside seal by removing material from the carbon face. To get seal balance you must do one of the following: o Use a stepped sleeve with rotating seals. o Let the carbon slide in a case that is sealed to the shaft. o Use a metal bellows. The balance is not perfect, but good enough. o Use a stationary seal design, they require no stepped sleeves. Seal face hardness is a confusing subject because of the various measuring scales employed. The two most common are Rockwell "C" and Brinnell. If you divide the Brinnell scale by ten (10) it is almost equal to the Rockwell "C" scale. Avoid oil as a barrier or buffer fluid between two mechanical seals. Most petroleum base and other oils have a low specific heat (0.2 - 0.4) and combined with poor conductivity (0.5 of water) makes them a poor choice compared to fresh water. If oil is mandatory, a clean heat transfer oil would be your best choice.

54

they combine with carbon to form CO & CO2 o Halogens (most of them end in the letters "ine") chlorine. This information is not available from the manufacturer because of product liability problems. a pumping ring or forced lubrication is another option. face combination and pressure limits for convection cooling. If you do not intend to run the equipment soon remove any oil that might be on the seal faces during the assembly procedure. O-ring seal designs can tolerate three to four times the "run out" capability of sliding or pusher seals incorporating wedges. Oil on the seal faces can cause the faces to stick together during long periods of non running. Ceramic grade 99. but I still see the same problems re-occurring on a daily basis. o Hot petroleum products if you are concerned about fugitive emissions. It is important that the seal be rebuilt with the original materials and it must meet the original tolerances. If convection is not satisfactory.. U. Moisture is needed to make the graphite release from the carbon-graphite mixture. 55 . fluorine. Take a few minutes and look at the following. chevrons. If you use unbalanced seals the heat generated by this type of seal is usually excessive for convection cooling. A quick reference to prevent potential seal and pump problems: The biggest advantage of experience is you have hopefully learned what can get you into trouble. Alpha grade silicone carbide or tungsten carbide are much better choices. astintine & iodine o Where color contamination can be a problem.• • • • A convection tank can often be used between two balanced O-Ring seals. It might save you a seal or pump failure. If you decide to repair your mechanical seals in house. be sure to purchase the parts from the original manufacturer. A special carbon with an imbedded organic is made to satisfy these applications. MATERIALS • • • Carbon seal face. bromine.cups etc. and in these applications the needed moisture is not present.5 is not a satisfactory hard face in hot applications because of its poor thermal conductivity. Contact the seal manufacturer for his recommendations concerning speed. Any form of carbon is usually not acceptable in the following applications: o Oxidizers. diameter. The following information has been explained in detail in previous technical papers. o Some de-ionized water applications. If you decide to have them repaired send them back to the original manufacturer. A special carbon is used for cryogenic and hot dry air applications.

fluid concentration.• • • • • • • Ethylene Propylene Rubber O-Rings will be attacked by petroleum products and this includes any petroleum grease that might be put on the O-ring during the installation process. Kalrez® grade 3018 is not satisfactory if the temperature is below 600°F. as found in paper mill applications can be either sulfite or sulfate. Ethyl Formate. Black Liquor. Red Fuming Nitric Acid.PCA .) The material is too hard at these lower temperatures.). Fuming Sulfuric Acid. This also includes steam cleaning or flushing the lines with water based caustic solutions.C318 . DI water.115 . White Chemraz is not recommended for most high PH fluids. • • • • Ammonia compressor. and stress. Boiler feed pump applications vary a great deal. 56 . Green Sulfate Liquor. (315°C. If the concentration is over 50% Monel metal will probably be needed. and White Liquor. If the temperature is too high. KEL-F. In some cases they are nothing more than a simple hot water application. Lye.142B. White Chemraz is not recommended in these higher temperature caustic applications.TF. Viton® O-rings are not generally satisfactory in water based fluids. Fuming Sulfuric Acid. use Neoprene for the O-ring because the fluid is a combination of ammonia and petroleum oil. High pressure applications also require a heavy duty seal design. Sulfate (high PH) is the most common and ethylene propylene can be used for the O-ring material if the temperature is below 300°F (150°C). Kalrez is a good choice. if the water is cold. Potassium Hydroxide. Do not use it with: o Acetaldehyde. Magnesium Hydroxide. Ethylene Oxide. The metal selection depends upon the temperature and stress. The elastomer will then "swell-up" and lockup the moveable seal components. cooling is needed in the stuffing box to insure long seal life. In any case. Ammonia + Lithium metal solution. Nickel base tungsten carbide can cause galvanic corrosion problems with stainless steel shafts. Freon 113 -114 114B2 . Caustic. For the first few days the seal will work very well because the elastomer has become "slimy" and moves easily.K. but in other instances a very high pressure is involved. Reaction bonded silicone carbide is not satisfactory for caustic or most high PH materials. but ethylene propylene rubber is still your best choice as long as the temperature does not exceed 300°F (150°C. FC 75. If you choose the wrong elastomer it will be attacked by the fluid and break down. Grade 747-75 fluorocarbon is O.Liquids. Past plant experience is your best indicator of what seal and pump materials to use. Aqua Regia. APPLICATION Remember that chemical attack can be accelerated by temperature. Sodium Hydroxide (Caustic). Black liquor.

Coking is always the problem. Watch out for moisture outboard of the seal. The seal area must be cooled. Halogens attack most carbon faces and will penetrate the Teflon® encapsulated O-rings like Vanway. CONVERTING FROM PACKING TO SEALS Horizontally split pumps: • • Suction recirculation will not work if the stuffing box is at suction pressure. Coat the O-rings and all clamped surfaces with Zinc Oxide paste to prevent corrosion at these locations. If you want to seal fugitive emissions you will have to go to two hard faces. and non contacting gas seal seem to be the current choice. Most metal bellows seal designs incorporate a low expansion holder (Invar 36 or Carpenter 42) to retain the carbon face. Salt water. Sulfuric acid. Ethylene Oxide is a dangerous product. Creavey and & 76 style. You cannot use suction recirculation and centrifugal force to separate the stock from the water because of the stock's low specific gravity. Dual seals with a pressurized water barrier fluid have been used in this application. Hot oils. Pipe line applications almost always involve high pressure. It will freeze also. Dual seals with anti-freeze circulating in a convection tank is your best bet. 57 . Do not put any grease on the seal faces. a metal bellows seal will not eliminate the need for stuffing box cooling. Water is a good choice for this barrier fluid.• • • • • • • • • • • Ethylene Oxide will penetrate into most elastomers and explode out the other side of the O-ring. If the pump is trying to "lift" paper stock it will almost always cavitate. Most single stage designs fit into this category The face of the stuffing box must be resurfaced to get a good gasket seal. Even the best of carbons show some blistering in these applications. Coking is a function of temperature and time and is independent of the presence of oxygen. Paper stock always requires a small amount of flushing water. Latex balls up between the seal faces." If you lose cooling in these applications the pump shaft expands at a rate three times that of the low expansion steel vibration damper and can cause the seal faces to be pulled open. Use two seals and pressurize between them. but flushing with a small amount of cold water seems to be the only satisfactory solution to this application. High temperature applications. This holder is also frequently used as a vibration damper to prevent seal face separation problems caused by "slip stick. In other words. Kaoline (china clay) will penetrate lapped seal faces because the solids are less than one micron in size. Alloy 20 metal is usually needed for these applications. You will need two seals with a pressurized barrier fluid between the seals. Any leakage will cause severe corrosion as the product is diluted. so two seals should be used in any case. Heavy duty seals should be used in these applications. Products that freeze (cryogenic).

You will definitely need a pumping ring if you are going to use a convection tank. Quenching. Some sleeves terminate under the seal. Seal set screws are normally manufactured from corrosion resistant materials and are therefore softer than normal set screws. Dual seal barrier or buffer fluid. This can be a big problem with the thin metal plates found in metal bellows seals. Seals must be clamped to the non metallic shaft or sleeve. Split seal designs. o Single stage. It's worth the problem. Paper stock is a good example of this.• • • • • If you are making a new gasket between the casing halves. Do not use any type of set screw on non-metallic shafts. 58 . An excess of water or steam can easily get into.open impeller design. This means they can slip if reused. The gasket can then rub against the side of the seal interfering with its movement. You can substitute hardened set screws in most cartridge seal applications. Be sure to seal between the sleeve and the impeller. you know the materials are alright. Check that you will not have a corrosion problem if the sleeve and shaft are different materials. You can run into this problem in some mixer applications. Flyte sewage pumps can be converted to a single mechanical seal if a special adapter is made. flashing will occur when the stuffing box pressure drops. Sometimes a new gasket will extrude into the sides of the stuffing box when the two halves of the pump are bolted together. but not if the application alternates between them. centrifugal force will throw the liquid to the outside leaving the solids against the seal components. double ended pumps where the stuffing boxes are at suction pressure. Now you must decide what is different about this application. You will need either a stationary mechanical seal or some type of self aligning feature to seal these pumps successfully. Troubleshooting hints o Are other seals working in this application? If they are. You only have to seal the bearing cavity in this application MISCELLANEOUS • • • • • • • • Discharge recirculation can act as a sand blaster against the seal body. because of their semi. Suction recirculation is not affective in the following: o Duriron pumps. Most can seal either a pressure or a vacuum. If the solids float. and ruin the bearings. be sure to have it extend outside the stuffing box face and then trim it flush after the halves are tightened together. Oils should be your last choice as a barrier or buffer fluid because of oils' low specific heat and poor thermal conductivity. o If the specific gravity of the solids is lower than the fluid. This is a potential leak path after a mechanical seal is installed. o If the fluid is close to its vapor point.

CENTRIFUGAL PUMPS • • • • • • • • • Do not let the welder use the pump as an electrical ground. You can ruin the seal or bearings in the process. o Diffuser or turbine pump designs. o Multi stage designs. You must subtract a positive suction head to determine what head the pump is really creating. Do not circulate shop water through the cooling jacket on a high temperature pump. Bearing lip or grease seals have a useful life of less than 90 days and will cut and score the shaft because of fretting corrosion. The next time that you look at the pump discharge gauge. Viton® compatible with water. What is the best pump and seal technology? The "Best Technology" phrase comes up in recent government regulations and every day plant conversations. remember that the pump pumps the difference between the suction and discharge heads. If you trim the impeller. Pumping off of the best efficiency point will not excessively deflect the shaft with the following centrifugal pump designs: o Double volute casings. Condensate or low pressure steam is a better choice. Cool only the bearing oil. 59 . Materials able to handle the full temperature range of the product you are sealing. or corrosion that is not relevant to this application. So what is the best Mechanical Seal and Pump Technology available today? Here is my opinion: SEAL TECHNOLOGY Materials • • • Identifiable face materials compatible with the fluid to be sealed and any cleaners or solvents put through the lines. discoloration. Be sure to install a thermal bushing in the end of the stuffing box to get effective temperature control in the seal area. file the tips and re balance the assembly. Make sure you come into the bottom of the jacket and out the top to vent any air that might be trapped in the jacket.o Has the seal been repaired? You may be looking at a rub mark. Flushing the system with steam or a cleaner seldom flushes out the stuffing box of the pump. Never cool a bearing housing because it will shrink and over compress the bearing. Be sure to level the pump when you do an alignment.

No elastomer in the seal face. Wide operating range Low hysteresis. Simple installation. Faces in compression. OTHER • • • • Packaging to survive a one meter drop. The elastomer should move to a clean surface as the faces wear. 60 . Built in pumping ring for cartridge dual seals. Springs designed out of the fluid. No glued elastomers in split seal configurations.• • • • Hard faces that are not sensitive to temperate change or caustic cleaners. Hydraulically balanced designs for low heat generation. Sealing fluid located at the outside diameter of the seal faces Leak detection capability Independent of shaft finish and tolerance Compensate for thermal expansion and adjustments. Self aligning design for stationary cartridge versions. Independent of shaft tolerance and finish Static elastomer located away from the seal face Cartridge sleeve sealed at wet end. Two way balance in dual seal designs. No spring loaded elastomers. Design • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The seal should shut with spring and system hydraulic pressure. No rotating "back to back" designs. Meet fugitive emission standards. Eliminate all elastomers if possible Short length leaving room for a shaft support bushing. Vibration damping of the seal face. Stationary configuration for non-cartridge applications. Built in seal face vent for vertical applications. Tandem configuration in dual seal designs. Finite element analysis of all components. Unfilled carbon graphite seal faces No elastomers with shelf life. Non fretting designs. Back up sealing. Equal & opposite clamping of stationary face. Seal should be located close to bearing support. A method of supporting the shaft in the event of a bearing failure. No stainless steel springs or bellows. Trapped gaskets.

It is a simple but powerful concept. Oversize stuffing box. Set screws are not supposed to slip. Dynamically balanced rotating assembly. Large operating window C or D frame adapter to simplify driver to pump alignment Centerline design for thermal expansion. based Japanese automobile manufacturers has a unique method of troubleshooting any type of mechanical failure. Positive bearing sealing. (solids can't get in until the faces open) 2. 3. 61 . Oil level indication. Adequate bearing retention (no snap rings). Suction specific speed number below 8500. Duplex metal impeller. Why did the set screws slip? • The seal was installed on a hardened sleeve. Impeller investment cast. Oil cooling availability. A new method of troubleshooting centrifugal pumps and mechanical seals: One of the U. 4. Low NPSH. Why was the seal installed on a hardened sleeve? • This was a packing conversion and a stock sleeve was used.BEST PUMP TECHNOLOGY • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Low shaft diameter to length ratio (less than 60 L3 /D4) . nothing has been solved until the question "why ?" has been asked at least five times and a sensible answer has been given for each of the "why" questions. As an example: 1. Impeller specific speed number selected for the application. Double volute to prevent shaft deflection. Why did the faces open? • The set screws holding the rotary unit slipped due to a combination of vibration and system pressure. Adjust impeller from the wet end to prevent seal face load change. S. Why did the seal fail? • The lapped faces opened and solids penetrated between them. The system is called the "Five Whys".

Why did they have the same part number? • They should have had different part numbers. 3.5. Why was the pump cavitating? • It did not have enough suction head. Why did it get too hot? 62 . Once that problem is corrected. 6 Why were they stored in the same bin? • Because they had the same part number. 2. Why didn't it have enough suction head? • The level in the tank got too low. Why did the level in the tank get too low? • I don't know. the failures will stop. You have not finished five "whys" so you better go find out why the level in the tank go too low or the problem is going to repeat its self. 7. Now you get the idea! Needless to say you may have to go further than just five "whys". Why did the seal start to leak? • The elastomer got hard and cracked. Why couldn't the mechanic tell the difference between a hardened sleeve and a soft one? • They were both stored in the same bin. 4. 3. One more example should do it: 1. giving an incorrect level indication. Why did the seal fail? • The pump was cavitating and the vibration caused the carbon face to crack. Let's try another example: 1. 2. In the above example the float got stuck on a corroded rod. Why did the elastomer get hard and crack? • It got too hot.

the other two are design problems and poor maintenance practices. Why was it running under a vacuum? • A Goulds pump impeller was adjusted backwards to the back plate and the impeller pump-out rings emptied the stuffing box. Why did the stuffing box run dry? • It was running under a vacuum and it was not supposed to. 5. Why was it adjusted backwards? • Most of the pumps in the facility are of the Duriron brand and they normally adjust to the back plate. and will cause premature seal and bearing failure. I hope you make good use of it. In an effort to save flushing water and to conserve power. Seals and bearings account for over eighty five percent (85%) of premature centrifugal pump failure. The mechanic confused the impeller adjustment method.• The pump stuffing box ran dry. Design and maintenance practices will be discussed in other papers in this series. The bad operating practices include: Running the pump dry will cause over-heating and excessive vibration problems that will shorten seal life. 4. the soft packing stabilized the shaft to prevent too much deflection. Here are some of the common reasons why a pump is run dry: 63 . In the following paragraphs we will be looking at only those operation practices that can. Operation practices that cause frequent seal and bearing maintenance problems Wouldn't it be wonderful if the plant operation and maintenance departments could work independently? The fact of the matter is that there are three types of problems we encounter with centrifugal pumps and poor operation is one of them. When pumps were supplied with jam packing. If you are curious. 6. He has since been retrained This is a powerful trouble shooting technique. many of these same pumps have since been converted to a mechanical seal and the radial stabilization the packing provided has been lost.

throttling or opening a valve will cause the pump to move to a new point on the curve as the tank fills.P. Operating off of the best efficiency point (B. Changing the flow rate of the liquid causes shaft deflection that can fail the mechanical seal and over-load the bearings. After a system has been blocked out the pump is started with one or more valves not opened. The control rods for the float switch will often "gum up" or corrode and give a false reading to the operator. or the bypass line is clogged or not of the correct diameter to prevent the excessive head. Dead heading the pump can cause severe shaft deflection as the pump moves off of its best efficiency point (B. The level in the suction tank is changing. • • • • Starting the centrifugal pump with a shut discharge valve is standard practice with many operation departments. Remember that the pump pumps the difference between the discharge and suction heads. wear rings and bearings. Discharge valves are shut before the pump has been stopped. Starting the standby pump without venting it. Some pumps are equipped with a recirculation valve that must be opened to lessen the problem. Many operators have stopped venting for that reason. This translates to excessive heat that will affect both the seal and the bearings as well as causing the seal faces to open. Pumping to the bottom of a tank will cause the pump to move to a different point on the curve as the tank fills. Running the tank dry at the end of the operation cycle. Any upset in the system such as closing. but many times the valve is not opened. and in some cases could collapse the tank. corrosive or both. the tank is empty. impeller. If the suction head varies.). Emptying the tank for steaming or introduction of the next product.E. Sump fluids are often dirty.E. Some systems were designed for a low capacity positive displacement pump and have since been converted to a 64 . Venting a hazardous product can cause a lot of problems with the liquid disposal. • • • • Starting the pump with the discharge valve closed to save power. This will cause a vacuum in the suction tank.). and the possibility of the impeller contacting the volute when the shaft deflects. the pump moves to a different point on its curve.P.• • • • • • • Failing to vent the pump prior to start-up. when in fact. Another point to remember is that if the bypass line is discharged to the suction side of the pump the increased temperature can cause cavitation. Tank vents sometimes freeze during cold weather. The concern is to save power without realizing the damage that is being done to the mechanical seal. Running on the steam that is being used to flush the tank. He may think that there is an adequate level.

I. type) are equipped with a quench connection that looks like the seal is leaking water or steam. Centrifugal pumps must discharge to the top of the tank to prevent this problem. Some convection tanks are pressurized with a gas of some type.M. Flushing fluids are used for a variety of purposes. The steam is often used to keep the product warm to prevent it from solidifying. As an example : • Mechanical seals have an 85% or more failure rate that is normally correctable. The level in the tank is also critical. there should be a temperature differential between the inlet and outlet lines. but not functioning. If the jacket clogs up. those designs that have springs in the product require more flush. As an example.) seal designs will fail if this differential pressure is lost. If the discharge piping is restricted because of product build up on the inside walls. This is causing unnecessary down time and excessive operating expense. otherwise the system is running backwards and may fail completely. It should be above the tank inlet line or no convection will occur. crystallizing.P. The vent should be coming out of the seal gland and not the stuffing box lantern ring connection. It is important to check that the stuffing box has been vented in vertical pumps. Increasing the flow will often cause cavitation problems. Seals should run until the sacrificial carbon face is 65 .E.• • centrifugal design because of a need for higher capacity. The flush can be closely controlled with a flow meter or throttling valve. Seal environmental controls are necessary to insure long mechanical seal life. Operating people frequently shut off the quench to stop the condensate from leaking. • • • • • Cooling-heating jackets should show a differential temperature between the inlet and outlet lines. getting too viscous. This is one of the reasons that it is important to take periodic flow and amperage readings. There may or may not be a differential temperature depending upon the flow rate. If there is too much steam pressure on this quench connection. but most of the time they are used to get rid of unwanted solids. There are some additional things that all operators should know to insure longer rotating equipment life. Some seal glands (A. If a convection tank is installed. The amount of flush is determined by the seal design. this differential will be lost and seal failure will shortly follow. the pump will run throttled. The line coming out of the top of the seal to the side of the tank should be warmer than the line from the bottom of the tank to the bottom of the seals. Barrier fluid is circulated between two mechanical seals. building a film on the faces etc. It is important that operations understand their function and need because many times we find the controls installed. the excessive leakage will get into the bearings causing premature failure. Many original equipment (O.

Most original equipment seal designs cause shaft damage (fretting) necessitating the use of shaft sleeves that weaken the shaft and restrict pump operation to a narrow range at the B. All ceramics cold shock.E. with a mechanical seal installed. In most cases the seal will open as the impeller is being adjusted to the volute. 66 .• • • • • • • • • • • There are five different causes of cavitation.P. If you use two hard faces or dual mechanical seals in slurry applications. Durco pumps are the best example of the exception to this rule.P. This is important on any pump that is operated above 200°F (100°C) or you will experience premature seal failure. The popular Durco pumps adjust to the back plate causing a compression of the seal faces that can create mechanical seal "over heating" problems. You should be aware that washing down the pump area with a water hose will cause premature bearing failure when the water penetrates the bearing case. The stuffing box must be vented on all vertical centrifugal pumps or otherwise air will be trapped at the seal faces that can cause premature failure of many seal designs. Cycling pumps for test will often cause a mechanical seal failure unless an environmental control has been installed to prevent the failure. and how far it is safe to operate off the B. you will not need flushing water with its corresponding product dilution. adjusting the open impeller for efficiency will shorten the seal life. The pump must come into the shop to change a mechanical seal.E. If you are not using cartridge seals. Learn about the affect of shaft L3/D4 on pump operation. the failure usually occurs within one week of the cleaning procedure.) is on a particular pump. Here are a few common misconceptions that cause friction between maintenance and operation departments • • • • • Shutting the pump discharge valve suddenly.P. Both the elastomer and some seal faces (reaction bonded silicone carbide is a good example) can be damaged. You should know where the best efficiency point (B. Mechanical seals should be positioned after the impeller has been adjusted for thermal growth.E. High head. Know how the pumped product affects the life of the mechanical seal and why environmental controls are necessary. Some elastomers will be affected by steaming the system.. low capacity consumes a lot of power. A great deal of caution must be exercised if a flushing fluid such as caustic is going to be circulated through the lines or used to clean a tank. will blow the seal open. If the elastomer is attacked.

In the military and many modern plants. It is O. From hot to failure is a very short trip. you will not need the stuffing box cooling jacket operating.K. If the operator recognizes cavitation he can tell the maintenance department and help them with their trouble shooting. After the failure. A few more thoughts on the subject • • • • • • • • • Operators should receive proper schooling on the trouble shooting and maintenance of pumps. A great many motor and electrical problems are caused by these same wash down hoses.• • If you use metal bellows seals for hot oil applications. If the operator knows how the pump works he will have no trouble figuring out the solution to his problem. The pump is not producing enough head to satisfy the application? 67 . the operator and the maintenance mechanic are often the same person." Try to keep this in mind when the pressure is on to get the equipment running again. As you wander around the plant look out for painters that paint the springs of outside and double mechanical seals. Most water wash downs are used to dilute and wash away seal leakage. Avoid the temptation to "radio" these readings. it does no good to tell maintenance that it was making noise for two weeks. Do not let cleaning people direct their "wash down" hoses directly at the pump. Cooling a bearing outside diameter will cause it to shrink and the bearing will get hotter as the radial load increases. Keep the water hose and all other forms of cooling off of the bearing casing. There is a trend to putting two seals in a pump for environmental reasons and the painting of springs is becoming a common problem. to use an oversized impeller because throttling back will save power. especially on those gages that are located in hot or awkward locations. Water entering the bearings through the lip or grease seals is a major cause of premature bearing failure. report it immediately. Maintenance's favorite expression is "there is never time to do it right. If someone is adjusting the impeller make sure he is resetting the seal spring tension at the same time. but there is always time to fix it. or between two values without understanding what is actually happening with the equipment. If you are the floor operator it is common knowledge that taking temperature and pressure readings is very boring. Too often he is told to keep the flow gage at a certain point. Stop the leak and you have eliminated the reason for the hose. If the pump is getting hot or making excessive noises.

the pump head will decrease to meet the system requirements. o A variable frequency motor is running at the wrong speed. or somewhere in the discharge system.This is the first paper in a four part series about pump troubleshooting. erosion. Most pumps are oversized because of safety factors that were added at the time the pump was sized. It's always slower. the suction side including the piping and source tank. Check the bearings etc. Likewise if the head decreases. if the head increases the capacity must decrease. Many impeller designs do not have a nut cast into the impeller hub to ease removal. If the suction head decreases the pump head will increase to meet the system requirements. The pump will pump where the pump curve intersects the system curve. o Your pulley driven pump is running on the wrong pulley diameter. The pump curve was created using a variable frequency motor that ran at a constant speed. causing localized corrosion. o Damage can occur if the impeller to volute. If the suction head increases. o Physical damage often occurs during the assembly process when the impeller is driven on or off the shaft with a wooden block and a mallet. In other words. There is something physically wrong with the motor. The damage could be caused by excessive wear. It may be too low. Check the voltage of the electric motor. Put a tachometer on your motor to see its actual speed. Their speed is different than synchronous motors. The impeller is damaged. A centrifugal pump always pumps a combination of head and capacity. The solids can chip off pieces of the ceramic that are passivating the impeller. These two numbers multiplied together must remain a constant. o Erosion occurs when solids enter the eye of the impeller. The original clearance could have diminished with thermal growth of the shaft. causing the pump to run on the left hand side of its curve. corrosion or some type of physical damage. o The impeller is running at too slow a speed o You are running an induction motor. o Check the speed of the driver if the pump is driven by something other than an electric motor. or back plate clearance is too small and the shaft experiences some type of deflection. This means that throttling is a normal condition in most plants. If the pump is not meeting the system curve requirements the problem could be in the pump. Let me begin by pointing out that there are a couple of things you must keep in mind when troubleshooting centrifugal pump problems: • • • • • The centrifugal pump always pumps the difference between the suction and discharge heads. THE PROBLEM COULD BE IN THE PUMP ITS SELF • • • • The impeller diameter is too small. the capacity must increase. Keep in 68 .

or normal impeller wear could be the cause. o The shaft could be bent. This is a common problem with pumps installed in a parallel configuration.5 mm) is typical. Wear is a common symptom of this condition. A discharge recirculation line should have been used in place of the balance holes to reduce the axial thrust. Impeller balance holes have been drilled between the eye and the wear rings of a closed impeller.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • mind that some open impellers adjust to the volute (Goulds) while other designs adjust to the back plate (Duriron). This can happen with closed impellers on double ended pumps The second stage of a two stage pump is wired backwards. Here are some examples of shaft displacement: o Operating the pump too far off the BEP. The impeller is clogged. Lower specific speed numbered impellers are used to build higher heads. thermal growth. The impeller has been installed backwards. The impeller specific speed number is too high. The pump is running backwards because the discharge check valve is not holding and system pressure is causing the reverse rotation. Check valves are notoriously unreliable. Inducers are almost always needed with high specific speed impellers. This excessive clearance will cause internal recirculation problems. With the exception of finished product. o A large impeller to cutwater clearance can cause a problem called discharge recirculation. This is a major problem with closed impellers. The impeller is running backwards The shaft is running backwards because of a wiring problem. The pump reverses when the second stage kicks in. 69 . o The rotating assembly was probably not dynamically balanced. most of what you will be pumping contains entrained solids. If the impeller is positioned too close to the cutwater you could have cavitation problems that will interfere with the head. o Misalignment between the pump and driver. In an ANSI and similar design centrifugal pumps. The impeller is loose on the shaft. A bad installation. The double volute casting is clogged with solids or solids have built up on the surface of the casting. Remember also that some products can solidify. o Pipe strain.017" (0. 0. or they can crystallize with a change in fluid temperature or pressure. o Pulley driven applications. This can allow the rotating impeller to hit the stationary volute. An impeller inducer was left off at the time of assembly. the normal thrust towards the volute has bent the snap ring designed for bearing retention. The reverse flow is interfering with the product entering the impeller eye. You should have heard a loud noise when this happened. Leaving off the inducer can cause cavitation problems that will interfere with the head. The open impeller to volute clearance is too large.

70 . The open impeller was adjusted backwards and now the close fitting "pump out vanes" are creating a vacuum in the stuffing box. they should be of the O-ring design. engaging the wear rings. If you are pumping a product at 200°F (100°C) or more you should use a centerline design volute to prevent excessive wear ring wear as the volute grows from the base straight up. Air is coming directly into the pump. As the carbon face wears the spring load holding the faces together diminishes. The pump pumps the difference between the suction and discharge heads. Needless to say this can only be determined by inspection. o Air is coming into the suction side of the pump through a pin hole in the casing. o Air can enter the stuffing box if the gasket between the two halves of a double ended pump is defective or does not extend to the stuffing box face. A high suction tank level is reducing the differential pressure across the pump increasing its capacity. This could cause the pump to lose its prime. You have the wrong size pump. You cannot vent a running pump because centrifugal force will throw the liquid out the vent leaving the air trapped inside. With the exception of the self priming version. Negative suction happens when the pump is lifting liquid. o Air is entering the stuffing box between the sleeve and the shaft. centrifugal pumps must be full of liquid at start up. Unlike other designs. Volute casings are much better for producing head. It cannot meet the system curve requirements: The pump was not selected to meet the system curve requirements because no system curve was given to the pump supplier. It was probably left off during the installation process. o You should replace the rings when the original clearance doubles. pumping from a condenser hot well etc. This happens with a negative pressure at the suction side. This happens if you convert a double ended pump from packing to a mechanical seal and fail to install a gasket or o-ring between the impeller hub and the sleeve. You need a volute casing instead of a concentric casing. A bubble is trapped in the eye of the impeller. o The pump was not primed prior to start up. O-rings are the only shape that seals both pressure and vacuum.• • • • • • • • • • • The wear ring clearance is too large. When this bubble forms it shuts off all liquid coming into the pump suction. o If you are using mechanical seals in vacuum service. o Air is coming into the stuffing box through the pump packing. A wear ring is missing. o Air is coming into the stuffing box through an unbalanced mechanical seal. The eye is the lowest pressure area. or product out. Any small gaps between the face of the stuffing box and the split at the side of the stuffing box will allow either air in. o This is a common problem if the shaft L3/D4 number is greater than 60 (2 in the metric system).

o A piece of pipe of reduced diameter has been installed in the suction piping. The loss of head in a globe valve is many times that of a gate valve. There have been numerous piping changes and additions since the original layout. • • • • • • • • Air is entering the suction piping at some point. The suction lift is too high. o Multiple pump inlets are too close together. o Piping was added on the inlet side of the pump to by-pass a piece of equipment that was installed on the floor.• • At replacement time the same size pump was purchased because no one had calculated losses in the system. o The liquid source is being pumped dry. o A piping to pump reducer has been installed upside down causing an air pocket. When it rains the drop in atmospheric pressure causes the inlet fluid to vaporize. but nobody knows it. There should be at least ten diameters of pipe between the elbow and the pump suction. If this is a problem in your application you might want to consider a self priming pump in the future. The pump inlet is too close to the tank floor. The vapor pressure of the fluid is too close to atmospheric pressure. 71 . It is reducing the head on the suction side of the pump. The pump was sized from a piping diagram that was thirty five years old. THE PROBLEM IS ON THE SUCTION SIDE OF THE PUMP. A gasket in the suction piping is not centered and is protruding into the product stream. The return line should terminate below the liquid level. o Air is being pumped into the suction piping to reduce cavitation problems o Fluid returning to the sump is being aerated by too far a free fall. THE PUMP COULD BE CAVITATING. o The fluid is vortexing at the pump inlet because the sump level is too low and the pump capacity is too high. The higher the pump speed the bigger the problem. Concentric reducers can cause the same problem. A gasket with too small an inside diameter has been installed in the suction piping restricting the liquid flow. You may need a booster pump or an inducer. A globe valve has been substituted for a gate valve in the suction piping. There is a problem with the piping layout. This can cause unnecessary shaft thrusting.. o There is too much piping between the pump suction and the source tank. Suction piping should never run parallel with the pump shaft in a double ended pump installation. In many instances additional pumps have been installed and this pump is running in parallel with them. o There is an elbow too close to the pump suction. o Air is coming into the system through valves above the water line or gaskets in the piping flanges.

increasing its capacity and lowering the head. o The tank vent is partially shut or frozen. o The tank float is stuck. The pump inlet temperature is too high. o Solids have built up on the piping walls. grass can be pulled into the suction inlet. but it is heating the fluid up too much. The suction piping diameter has been reduced. o A discharge recirculation line is heating the incoming fluid. o A high suction tank level is reducing the differential pressure across the pump. but has now grown large on the pump side of the screen. PROBLEMS ON THE DISCHARGE SIDE OF THE PUMP INCLUDING THE PIPING 72 . o If the suction is from a pond. showing a higher tank level that does not exist. A small clam or marine animal cleared the suction screen. lowering the suction pressure. A foot valve is stuck. o Steam or some other hot cleaner is being circulated through the lines. A filter or strainer is clogged or covered with something. o There is not enough NPSH available for the fluid you are pumping. A check valve is stuck partially closed The foot valve is too small. river. o The sun is heating the inlet piping. o A foreign object is stuck in the piping It was left there when the piping was repaired. You should direct this line to a reservoir rather than the pump suction.• • • • • • • • • • • Two pumps are connected in series. Maybe you can use an inducer or booster pump to increase the suction pressure. o Loose rags can do this. Look for this problem in boiler feed pump applications. The piping should be insulated to prevent this problem. Hard water is a good example of this problem o A liner has broken away from the piping wall and has collapsed in the piping. o The pump capacity is too high for the tank volume. o The tank is being heated to deaerate the fluid. o The suction piping collapsed when a heavy object either hit or ran over the piping. or the sea. The piping inlet is clogged. Look for corrosion in the piping caused by a hole in the liner. This is a common operating procedure with fuel pumps where discharge throttling could cause a fire or explosion. o The operating temperature of the pumped fluid has been increased to accommodate the process requirements. Intermittent plugging of the suction inlet. o The suction is being throttled to prevent the heating of the process fluid. The first pump is not sending enough capacity to the second pump. The problem is in the tank connected to the suction of the pump.

The pump will pump where the pump curve intersects the system curve. If the pump is not meeting the system curve requirements the problem could be in the pump. A bypass line has been installed in the pump discharge increasing the capacity and lowering the head. In other words. coming on when the tank level drops. Consider the possibility of a siphon affect in the discharge piping. the capacity must increase.• • • • • • • • • • Two pumps are in connected in series. The head will be low until the accumulator is recharged. The pump discharge is connected to the bottom of the tank. the pump head will decrease to meet the system requirements. A centrifugal pump always pumps a combination of head and capacity. if the head increases the capacity must decrease. or somewhere in the discharge system. If the suction head decreases the pump head will increase to meet the system requirements. Units in the discharge piping should not normally be shut off. 73 . The pump is acting as an accumulator. If the suction head increases. A discharge valve (manual or automatic) is opened too much. The head is low until the level in the tank increases. Likewise if the head decreases. the suction side including the piping and source tank. This can happen if an extra storage tank farm is being by-passed because the storage capacity is no longer needed. they should be bypassed to prevent too much of a change in the pump's capacity. Connections have been installed in the discharge piping that have increased the demand that increases capacity. The pump is not producing enough capacity to satisfy the application? Let me begin by pointing out that there are a couple of things you must keep in mind when troubleshooting centrifugal pump problems: • • • • The centrifugal pump always pumps the difference between the suction and discharge heads. Piping or fittings have been removed from the discharge side of the pump reducing piping resistance. They should be running at the same speed with the same width impeller. These two numbers multiplied together must remain a constant. The first pump does not have enough capacity for the second pump. If too many units are being by-passed in the discharge system the head will decrease as the capacity increases. This will occur if the pump discharge piping is entering into the top of a tank and discharging at a lower level The pump must build enough head initially to take advantage of the siphoning action.

The pump is the wrong size. A filter or strainer is clogged. A foreign object is stuck in the piping It was left there when the piping was repaired. The pump was not primed prior to star up. The open impeller clearance is too large. You are using a variable speed motor trying to produce a flat curve. A bubble is trapped in the eye of the impeller. Someone gave the pump distributor a wrong system curve THE PROBLEM IS ON THE SUCTION SIDE OF THE PUMP • • • • • • • • • • • • • There is too much piping between the pump suction and the source tank. This means that throttling is a normal condition in most plants. A globe valve has been substituted for a gate valve. A liner has broken away from the piping wall and has collapsed in the piping. The wear ring clearance is too large. The impeller is clogged. A check valve is stuck partially closed Solids have built up on the piping walls. There is an elbow too close to the pump suction. A wear ring is missing. The impeller has been installed backwards The shaft is running backwards. You may need a concentric casing rather than the volute design. Loose rags can do this. 74 . The tank vent is partially shut or frozen. The piping was collapsed by a heavy object that hit the outside of the piping. A low suction tank level is increasing the differential pressure across the pump decreasing its capacity.• Most pumps are oversized because of safety factors that were added at the time the pump was sized. Air is coming into the pump suction through an unbalanced mechanical seal. The impeller specific speed number is too low. Intermittent plugging of the suction inlet. The impeller to cutwater clearance is too large. Remember that both the head and capacity change with speed. Air is coming into the pump suction through the packing. causing the pump to run on the left hand side of its curve. Check the voltage and frequency The impeller is damaged. The second stage of a two stage pump is wired backwards. A foot valve is stuck The tank float is stuck. THE PROBLEM IS IN THE PUMP ITS SELF: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The impeller diameter is too small The impeller width is too narrow The impeller speed is too slow. Showing a higher tank level that does not exist.

When it rains the drop in atmospheric pressure causes the inlet fluid to vaporize. A discharge recirculation line is heating the incoming fluid. The pump capacity is too high for the tank volume. A reducer has been installed upside down. The fluid is vortexing at the pump inlet because the sump level is too low. There is a restriction in the discharge piping. Piping was added on the inlet side of the pump to compensate for a piece of equipment that was installed in the shop.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • A small clam cleared the suction screen. Two pumps are in parallel. Two pumps are connected in series. A check valve is stuck partially closed. but are not producing the same head. The suction is being throttled to prevent the heating of the process fluid. The tank is being heated to deaerate the fluid. An orifice has been installed into the piping to restrict flow. PROBLEMS ON THE DISCHARGE SIDE OF THE PUMP INCLUDING THE PIPING • • • • • • • • • • • • • Extra piping has been added to the system to accommodate extra storage capacity. The sun is heating the inlet piping. The suction lift is too high. but it is heating the fluid up too much. It should be insulated to prevent this problem. They should be running at the same speed with the same width impeller 75 . The first pump does not have enough capacity for the second pump. The piping was collapsed by a heavy object that hit the outside of the piping. A gate valve has been substituted for a globe valve in the discharge piping. The discharge valve is throttled too much. The vapor pressure of the fluid is too close to atmospheric pressure. but has now grown large on the pump side of the screen. The first pump is not sending enough capacity to the second pump. Air is coming into the system through valves above the water line or gaskets in the piping. Piping or fittings have been added to the discharge side of the pump. A bypass line has been installed in the pump discharge. The larger one is shutting the check valve of the smaller pump. Multiple pump inlets are too close together. There is not enough NPSH available for the fluid you are pumping. Maybe you can use an inducer to increase the suction pressure. The operating temperature of the pumped fluid has increased. Air is being pumped into the suction piping to reduce cavitation problems Fluid returning to the sump is being aerated by too far a free fall. Two pumps are in connected in series. An orifice has been installed in the discharge piping to reduce the capacity or produce a false head. Extra pumps have been installed into the existing piping They are connected in parallel.

This inefficient use of power will translate to a higher heat environment for the seal along with all of the problems associated with shaft deflection. In either case the larger of the two pumps will be adversely affected. Pump selection practices that cause high seal and bearing maintenance problems: Purchasing well designed hardware does not bring automatic trouble free performance with it. deflecting the shaft. The capacity should be looked at if the higher capacity pump might exceed the N.coming on when the tank level drops. The head is increasing and the capacity is decreasing as the tank fills. This will cause the pump to run off of its best efficiency point (B. or it will run throttled if it is feeding the smaller pump. Pumps in parallel require that they have the same diameter impeller and that they run at the same speed.P. The very best equipment will cause problems if it was not designed for your particular application.H. Efficiency means tight tolerances and smooth passages that will eliminate reliable double volute designs and keep the maintenance department busy adjusting tight tolerances to maintain the efficiency you paid for. When pumps are installed in series the impellers must be the same width and they must run at the same speed or the higher capacity pump will either cavitate because the smaller capacity pump can not feed liquid at the proper capacity. If the old pump was the correct size. The head is too high when the tank fills.P. Efficiency is always gained at the expense of maintenance. The pump is acting as an accumulator&emdash. or the larger pump will throttle the smaller one causing it to run off the best efficiency point. Purchasing a larger pump because it will be needed in the future.• • The pump discharge is connected to the bottom of the tank. Many boiler feed pumps require a flat curve so that the pump can put out 76 .) and you will spend a lot of production money for the additional power that is needed to run against a throttled discharge valve or orifice installed in the discharge piping. Buying to a standard. Standards were written for packed pumps. We often find pumps installed in parallel. Here are a few of the more common selection problems we find with centrifugal pumps: • • • • • • Buying the same size pump as the one that came out of the application.K. That's O. and believing that these two some how relate to quality. Using a variable speed motor to compensate for a pump curve that is not flat enough. but no one knows it because the second pump was installed at a much later date and no one has bothered to trace the piping. Will raise the operating cost to unacceptable levels (Power = head x capacity) as the pump is run against a throttled discharge valve. When a mechanical seal is being used the shaft L3/D4 number is almost always too large. Series and parallel installation problems.S. available. or making a decision based on efficiency.E. but the odds are that it was too big because of the safety factors that were added at the time of purchase.

Varying the speed of a pump is similar to changing the diameter of the impeller. The pump should have been designed with a separate bearing case and a "C" or "D" frame adapter installed to connect a motor to the bearing case. High temperature applications have several special needs: 77 . Some one has to make the calculations and "walk the system". Chart recorders installed on both the suction and discharge side of the pump will give a more accurate reading of the present head if they are left on long enough to record the differences in flow.S. o If you are using a Duriron pump that adjusts to the back plate. You can't guess with this one. Double ended pumps installed in a vertical position to save floor space. Beyond 65% of its rated efficiency most centrifugal pumps thrust towards the pump volute.P. Many of these designs are "close coupled" with the motor bearings carrying the radial and thrust loads. Because of typical L3/D4 numbers being very high.E. Thrust bearings being retained by a simple snap ring. See another paper in this series for information about "Internal recirculation". The use of "inline" pumps to save floor space.) comes down with impeller size to form an angle with the base line (capacity line) of the graph. If you look at a typical pump curve you will observe that the best efficiency point (B.H. There are some exceptions to this. The mechanical seal has been installed in a packing stuffing box that is too narrow to allow free seal movement. an orifice. The present pump is not a reliable guide because we seldom know where it is pumping on its' curve.P. or any other restriction that might be present in the piping. however: o If you are pumping at or close to vapor point. the pump always runs off the B. In most cases the stuffing box recirculation line should be installed from the bottom of this large seal chamber to the suction side of the pump or a low pressure point in the system. o If you are using a double suction pump where the stuffing boxes are at suction pressure. If a mechanical seal was specified.E. The trouble with this method is that it will also record a false head caused by a throttled valve. Specifying a desired capacity without knowing the true system head. Requesting too low a required N. Failure to request a "center line design" when pumping temperature exceeds 200°F (100°C) it will cause pipe strain that will translate to wear ring damage and excessive mechanical seal movement. except in the case where the system curve intersects the pump curve. will cause you to end up with a different kind of cavitation problem. the wear rings act as "steady bearings" after the pump is converted to a mechanical seal.P. The thin snap ring has to absorb all of this axial thrust and most of them can not do it very well . the pump back plate should have been manufactured with a large diameter seal chamber. or in the case of an exponential system curve such as we find in a typical hot or cold water circulating system. This means that if you vary the speed of the impeller. Makes seal replacement a nightmare unless you are using split or cartridge designs. We see this same need if we are pumping a varying amount of liquid to a very high constant height. o If the entrained solids have a low specific gravity.• • • • • • • • • varying capacities at a constant boiler pressure (head).

A centerline design to compensate for thermal expansion. A coupling that will compensate for axial expansion. The list includes: • • • • • • • • • Hydraulic Institute Standards American National Institute Standards for Chemical Pumps : o B73. o B73. A stainless steel shaft to retard heat transfer to the bearings.o o o o o o A jacketed stuffing box that isolates the pumpage from the stuffing box contents by a carbon bushing to retard heat transfer.2 for Vertical Inline API 610 for centrifugal Pumps API 674 for Reciprocating Pumps API 675 for Controlled Volume Pumps API 676 for Rotary Positive Displacement Pumps ISO aimed at the medium duty single stage pumps ( Metric) DIN. West German standard VDMA West German standard for pump seals. A method of cooling the bearing oil.1 for Horizontal type. but never the bearings. A cartridge seal design that allows open impeller adjustment after the pump has come up to operating temperature. The problem with pump All about specific speed standards Why prime a centrifugal pump? The oversized pump How to read a pump curve? Understanding the system curve Calculating the total system How efficient is your pump? Piping system for pumps head What do we mean by pump Prevent potential seal and Estimating the shutoff head for efficiency? pump problems pumps Calculate the water HP coming Rules of thumb for pumps Rules of thumb for seals out of pump A new technique of The best pump and seal Operational practices to avoid troubleshooting technology? problems Pumps does not develop Pump does not give enough Pump selection practices leads enough head? flow? to problems OSHA 1910 regulation The problem with pump standards: A Quick check of existing pump standards will reveal that there are a variety of them. There are two problems with these standards: 78 .

pump if you want to get good mechanical seal and bearing life.S. The back pull out design was made for easy 79 . and I. packing. Unless you are prepared to upgrade the pump seal and bearing life will always be less than desirable WHAT TO MODIFY • • • • • The stuffing box bore is too small for mechanical seals. In those days we had a lack of the modern materials that make mechanical seals practical.O.I. They believe there is a correlation between efficiency and the quality of the pump. In that instance you do not want to lower stuffing box pressure because of the possibility of vaporizing the fluid in the stuffing box and possibly blowing open the seal faces Convert to Cartridge or Split Seals to insure correct seal installation and allow proper impeller settings in "Back Pull Out" or other types of pump designs. Here is a list of some of the modifications you should make to your standard A.S. If you are using single stage centrifugal pumps convert to solid shafts with a low L3/D4 ratio to resist shaft bending. The fact of the matter is that these standards reflect only an attempt to standardize envelope (outside) dimensions. Most of these standard stuffing boxes were designed for 3/8" or 10 mm. operating off of their best efficiency point (B. Most of the standards were written in the nineteen fifties at a time mechanical seals were not popular.) radial clearance to take advantage of centrifugal force throwing solids away from the seal faces. When using mechanical seals install a recirculation line from the bottom of the stuffing box back to the suction of the pump.P). design pumps.S. nothing more! Unfortunately standardizing the length of pumps prevented manufacturers from designing short shafts that were not prone to the bending problems associated with low cost A. Try to tap the box as close to the face as possible to insure good circulation. Kalrez® did not come out until 1975 and in the eighties the duplex metals came into their own. Most quality seals come with this connection already installed in the gland.O. If you install a large sealing chamber in place of the narrow packing stuffing box that came as original equipment you should be able to eliminate almost all need for clean flushing liquid in the seal area. Because packing needs lubrication. You need at least 1" (25 mm.S. or I. In most cases there is not enough material to bore out so you will have to make or purchase a replacement part. needless to say there is none! Problems caused by these standards are reflected in continual poor seal performance. As an example Viton® was not invented until 1958 and did not come into general use until the sixties. The customer believes that by purchasing a standard design he is getting a good pump. Customers have the same problem with pump efficiency. the pump came equipped with a line from the discharge side to the stuffing box lantern ring connection.N.• • They were written for pumps equipped with jam packing.N. The only exception to this is if you are pumping a fluid close to its vaporization point.E.I.

These seals also make sense in the motors to eliminate moisture from damaging the windings and contaminating the lubricating grease. If you elect not to use the adapter you are in for a long process aligning the pump and driver correctly.fretting mechanical seals. Install magnetic plugs into the bottom of the bearing casing to attract loose metal shavings that would damage the bearings.• • • • • • • • • • • sleeve removal. Substitute labyrinth or positive face seals for the lip or grease seals that are installed in the bearing case. o "D" is the diameter of the shaft in the stuffing box area. Each time the pump stops the vent will allow moisture to enter the bearing cavity as the oil cools down (this is called aspiration). corrosion resistant shaft materials and labyrinth oil seals or positive bearing seals. They will not only do a better job of keeping contaminants out of the bearing oil/grease. they will almost guarantee the correct oil level because excess oil will spill out of the labyrinth. The relationship between shaft size and shaft diameter is expressed in the ratio L3/D4. centrifugal pump try to convert to a design that has adjustable wear rings Install a sight glass to be sure that the oil level is at the correct height. Specify double volute designs any time the impeller diameter is 14" (356 mm.) or greater to prevent shaft deflection. The easiest way to get pump/motor alignment is with a "C" (inch) or "D" (metric) frame adapter. If you have installed labyrinth seals. Coat the inside of the bearing case with a suitable protective covering to prevent rusting and the leaching out of harmful substances from the bearing casting. Oil mist systems require mechanical seals outboard of the bearings to prevent atmosphere contamination. Too much oil is as bad as not enough. there should be no need to replace pump shafts.(inches). You should be able to get the C or D frame adapter as part of your next power frame change or upgrade. If you are using good mechanical seals. Use only non. but they will not damage the expensive shaft. Convert to a "Center Line" wet end if you are pumping liquids in excess of 200 degrees Fahrenheit (100 Centigrade) It will allow the suction flange to expand without causing pipe strain and wear ring damage. Try to keep it below 60 (2. Smaller size pumps do not lend themselves to this modification. Pump manufacturers are not required to provide L3/D4 ratio numbers that would predict shaft bending problems with their pump. 80 . and unless you are using split mechanical seals you are going to have to go through the procedure each time you change seals.5 Metric) o "L" is the distance from the center of the inboard bearing to the center of the impeller (inches). Shafts are too costly not to pay attention to this. You are much better off positively sealing the casing and installing an expansion chamber on the top of the casing to allow for air expansion. If you have a positive pressure oil mist system be sure that it does not vent to atmosphere. If you intend to use a closed impeller. Do not use a vent on the bearing cavity of the pump. end suction.

keep them adjusted to the correct clearance. Install pressure gages on the suction and discharge of the pump. alarms. fire protection system components.H. emergency shut down systems. O. Install a back up seal and convection tank to prevent unexpected shut downs. interlocks and the part that is important to you. Contact your favorite oil supplier for his recommendation and then follow his advice. The problem with the repeller design is that in most of the designs the seal faces are designed to open when the pump is running and then close on any solids as the pump stops. At overhaul time substitute a medium or heavy weight power end for the light weight version that came with the pump and get most of the features we have discussed. relief and vent systems. Do not open them on purpose. • • • • • • • • Since a seal failure is the most common reason for shutting down a pump. avoid synthetic oils as their detergent action can damage these protective coatings.S. Too much is just as bad as not enough. Pumps equipped with a "repeller" and some sort of static seal can usually be converted to a good mechanical seal. Although the pump efficiency will be lower than conventional designs. This is the only way to tell if the pump is running near its B. For the first time Washington is telling the pump user that he has to now document the training he provides to those people (including contractors) that will be operating or repairing his pumps. Maintain the proper oil level. the increased service life will more than compensate. Do not specify Canned or Magnetic Pumps if the pumping fluid contains solids or if it is a poor lubricant.P. Install bearings by expanding the bore with an induction coil. processing piping. In addition to these modifications mentioned here are some recommendations to help insure good seal and bearing life.A. Trim the impeller to obtain operation at the B. If you are using open impellers. 1910 REGULATION The regulation is predictably vague. Be sure to pick up a copy of this regulation for your library.E.P. If the inside of the bearing frame has been coated with a protective material to prevent rusting.E. Medium and heavy weight power ends are available for most popular pump brands. Heating the bearing in a pan of warm oil is not a good idea because the oil can easily be contaminated. Here are some of the ingredients you will find in the regulation : 81 . Change the bearing oil on a regular basis. "Keep the seal faces together" . pumps . The rule with mechanical seals is a simple one. Throttling the pump discharge is not the same thing.• • Convert to a "Vortex" pump volute any time you are pumping liquid that contains lots of solids. and presently only applies to pressure vessels. storage tanks.

A. 82 . for fugitive emission consideration. Dikes or designed drainage systems would be another alternative.H. The regulations require detailed records of every action taken in maintaining or rebuilding a pump. knowledge. Any mechanical changes made by the maintenance department have to be evaluated to determine whether operating procedures and practices also need to be changed.A. and supervisory people in an appropriate certification training program.H. and the effectiveness of the training in terms of goals and objectives. He must also identify the training that maintenance personnel had on repairing pumps in that service. Since you have knowledge that 90% of mechanical seals are failing prematurely (the carbon sacrificial face is not wearing out) I expect this new regulation should encourage your employer to send more people to seal and pump schools and enroll his engineering.P.A. the employer is going to have to prove he did every thing he could have to prevent the accident and contain the spill. the employer must ensure that any changes other than "replacement in kind" made to the process during shutdown go through the management of change procedures. The use of two mechanical seals and a convection tank is a good example of containing the chemical.• • • • • • • • • • • • • The chemicals in the O. The O. the plant is going to have to prove that their training program was adequate. The written training programs must be reviewed for adequacy of content. The employer must identify which procedures were followed and why he elected to use those procedures. If O. or to surge or overflow tanks designed to receive such chemicals. store or handle hazardous chemicals has to be designed. If an accident occurs. he must document that the design and construction are suitable for the intended purpose. The employer is going to have to identify the codes and standards he relied upon to establish his engineering practices. and certification. maintenance.S. For existing processes that have been shut down for turnaround or modification.A. O. feels that the general industry standards are not sufficient for these chemicals Your employer is going to have to create a Process Safety Management audit team (PSM) that will audit company training programs along with insuring that present and future engineering practices conform to accepted standards and codes. The employer must ensure that the contractor has the appropriate job skills.H. installed and maintained to minimize the risk of release of such chemicals. Equipment installation jobs need to be properly inspected in the field for use of proper materials and procedures to insure that qualified workers do the job.S. does not agree with his assessment.S.A. If an accident happens and any of the listed chemicals are released to the environment.H. The term "Change" includes all modifications to equipment. list identifies those chemicals that are considered "extremely hazardous" chemicals.S. If he departs from these codes and standards. # 1910 specification are different than those chemicals identified by the E. Equipment used to process. o A sensible evacuation system is the third line of defense. The employer must prepare three lines of defense to prevent hazardous chemical from injuring personnel: o Contain the chemical in the equipment. o Control the release of the chemicals through venting with a seal quench and vent connection to a scrubber or flare. These training programs must be revised if after the training the employee is not at the level of skill or knowledge that was expected. Contract employees must also receive updated and current training. frequency of training. constructed. the employer is likely to suffer stiff penalties.

All of this means that if you intend to use a centrifugal pump you are going to have to come up with some sensible method of priming it.31 = 14.. In an earlier paper we learned how to convert this height (head) to a pressure reading by use of the following formulas: 34 Ft. You will recall that this head was determined by.Why you must prime a centrifugal pump Although the term "pressure" is not normally a part of a centrifugal pump man's vocabulary.7 Psi. 10 meters) the centrifugal pump can produce only 1/8000 of its rated liquid pressure. Fill the pump with liquid prior to starting it. 34 feet or 80 Km. and rests on the earth with a weight equivalent to a layer of fresh water thirty four feet (10 meters) deep at sea level. The earth's atmosphere extends approximately fifty miles (80 Km. the pump must develop enough head to equal the equivalent of this 14. the centrifugal pump can only pump a liquid to its rated head. Convert the application to a self priming pump that maintains a reservoir of liquid at its suction.) Since the weight of water is approximately 8000 times that of air (50 miles vs. Evacuate the air in the system with a positive displacement priming pump operating between the pump and a closed discharge valve. Keep in mind that these valves have a nasty habit of leaking. for every one foot water has to be raised to prime the pump. and there is enough horsepower available. Your choices will include : • • • • Install a foot valve in the suction piping to insure the liquid will not drain from the pump casing and suction piping. 10 Meters/10 = 1 Bar Unlike a positive displacement pump that can pump a liquid to any head as long as the pump body is strong enough.7 psi.) above the earth. or one bar pressure. How efficient is your pump? 83 . In other words. the centrifugal pump must produce a discharge head of approximately 8000 feet (each meter requires a head of 8000 meters) and that is impossible with conventional impeller diameters and speeds. To remove air from the pump cavities and the suction piping. and limited to the diameter of the impeller and the impeller speed (rpm. we are going to have to discuss it for a couple of minutes. vs./2.

A few years ago.) varies as the cube of the change in speed at the best efficiency point. 84 . is a perfect example of the increase in mechanical seal problems as the efficiency of the volute pump was increased to satisfy consumer demand. Maybe the "trade off" is acceptable as long as you are dealing with accurate numbers. and were all of the losses considered in the published numbers? The final numbers will vary with the motor efficiency. but are you really doing that? Is the efficiency shown on the pump curve accurate? How was the data taken? What was included in the data. Was there an elbow at the suction of the pump? Was the inside of the volute polished or coated with a low friction material when the test was made? How were the bearings lubricated.W. and that will vary with the load on the motor. Was the published efficiency data generated with a seal or packing in the stuffing box? The type of packing or seal used can alter the load they consume. If you would like to keep the pump salesman honest. take the data from his pump curve and then make the following calculation: In inch sizes : GPM x TDH / 3960 = WHP • • • GPM = Gallon per minute at the best efficiency point TDH = Total discharge head (measured in feet). The demise of the double volute pump design in smaller size pumps. so a small variation in speed can make a big difference in efficiency. at the best efficiency point) WHP = Water horse power. or are you running with an induction motor that slips 2% to 5% and you are not sure of the actual speed? Horse power (K. efficiency became "the name of the game". or the amount of horse power the pump is generating. as shown on the pump curve&emdash. and more important. what was left out? As an example: • • • • • • • Was the data generated on a dynamometer with a constant speed motor? Are you going to run at the same speed as shown on the performance curve. Unfortunately high efficiency also means higher maintenance costs because you are required to maintain tighter tolerances and keep the flow passages smooth and free from obstructions. Automotive companies advertised "miles per gallon (liters per 100 kilometers) information in their advertisements and appliance manufacturers published kilowatt consumption numbers along with their pricing information.

Doing the same thing in the metric system we would get: • • • M3/ HR = Cubic meters per hour of capacity as measured at the best efficiency point on the pump curve. As an example: 85 .47 or 47% actual efficiency.36 water kilowatts / 0. in meters. the efficiency of the plump is questionable.9 / . we would get: in inch size: GPM x TDH / 3960 = 250 X 300 / 3960 = 18.If we refer to the above pump curve. As an example: If the performance curve showed a requirement for 40 Horse power.60 = 31.60 efficiency = 23. the efficiency date is questionable. If this number is lower than shown on the pump performance curve. at the best efficiency point. Referring to the above diagram. and putting in the numbers : M3 / HR X TDH / 360 = 68 x 76 / 360 = 14.36 WKW. the actual efficiency would be 18.9 water horse power40 pump horsepower = . WKW = Water kilowatts of power being generated by the pump.93 Kilowatts required. and insert the numbers into our formula. TDH = Total discharge head. If this number is lower than the horsepower shown on the performance curves.9 You then divide this number by the efficiency shown on the pump curve: 18.5 horsepower required to generate the WHP. The curve shows a 60% efficiency so: 14.

What do we mean by pump efficiency? When we talk about automobiles and discuss efficiency. we mean how many miles per gallon. the actual efficiency would be: 14. Is the number below 60 in inch sizes or 2 in metric? What kind of mechanical seal is installed? Will it seal fugitive emissions? How are the bearings being lubricated? How are the bearings sealed? Will the seal damage the expensive shaft? How is the thrust bearing being retained? In operation the impeller thrusts towards the volute. Let's take an example: Flow = 300 gallons per minute of fresh water as measured coming from the pump discharge. When we discuss centrifugal pumps we are comparing the amount of work or power we get out of the pump to the amount of power we are putting into the pump. material and capacity.) Is the bearing case vented to atmosphere? If it is. or liters per 100 kilometers. and then use a simple conversion number. Equally if not more important should be: • • • • • • • • • • The L3/D4 number of the shaft. The fact of the matter is that you seldom operate at the best efficiency point so the numbers become even more depressing.If the pump performance curve showed a requirement for a 30 Kilowatt input. As an example: How do we measure the horsepower or kilowatts coming out of the pump? All we have to do is multiply the pump head by the weight of the liquid being pumped. Are you relying upon a simple snap ring? Is the pump a centerline design? It should be if the product you are pumping is greater than 200°F (100 C. The point is that efficiency should only be one of the points taken into consideration when you purchase a centrifugal pump of a given head. it will allow moisture to penetrate when the pump stops. 86 . Be sure you consider both when you make your pump buying decision. Has a "C" or "D" frame adapter been installed to reduce alignment time? Can the wear rings or open impeller be easily adjusted to compensate for normal wear so that you can keep the efficiency you paid for? Can the seal compensate for thermal growth.36 water horse power / 30 Kilowatts required = 48 % actual efficiency. or impeller adjustment? You can save money by lowering operating costs (efficiency) or increasing the time between repairs (design).

or Kg. Look at the following diagram where we have calculated the discharge head from the formula shown on the right hand side of the illustration. We get this number by making the calculations from published charts ( non included in this paper. • • • • If the liquid level is above the pump center line. Pressure head.Head = 160 feet. Negative suction heads are added to the pump discharge head. The centrifugal pump pumps the difference between the suction and the discharge heads. A vacuum in the tank would be converted to a negative suction head. We measured it at the discharge side of the pump and corrected it for the fact that the gage was two feet above the pump center line. If there were any positive head on the suction side of the pump that head would have to be subtracted. If the pump is lifting a liquid level from below its center line. The height we are pumping to. Note: that if you are filling the tank from the bottom. and system components. positive suctions heads are subtracted from the pump discharge head. that level is a positive suction head. Caused by friction in the pipes. There are three kinds of discharge head: • • • Static head. A negative suction head would be added to the discharge head. 87 . If the pump is pumping liquid from a pressurized vessel.) to head units (feet or meters). Friction in the pipes. If we are pumping to a pressurized vessel (like a boiler) we must convert the pressure units (psi. Suction head is measured the same way. it is a negative suction head. or the height to the discharge piping outlet that is filling the tank from the top. fittings. the static head will be constantly changing. System or dynamic head. fittings. you must convert this pressure to a positive suction head. but available in the chart section of this web site). and associated hardware is a negative suction head.

An 85% efficient motor turning a 76% efficient pump.Here is the formula for measuring the horsepower out of the pump: Remember that we are using the actual horsepower or kilowatts going into the pump and not the horsepower or kilowatts required by the electric motor.85 x 0. A survey of popular pump brands demonstrates that pump efficiencies range from 15% to over 90%.65 or 65% efficient. "Is this very wide range due to poor selection. and the impeller shape is usually dictated by the operating 88 . gives you a real efficiency of 0 . Now that we have learned that pump efficiency is closely related to the shape of the impeller. or some other variable which would interfere with good performance?" The best available evidence suggests that pump efficiency is directly related to " the specific speed number " with efficiencies dropping dramatically below a number of 1000 . Most motors run some where near 85% efficient. The question then arises.76 = 0 . poor design. Testing also shows that smaller capacity pumps exhibit lower efficiencies than higher capacity designs.

Rubbing is a major cause. These would include: • • • • • • • • • • Packing generates approximately six times as much heat as a balanced mechanical seal. o Improper assembly of the bearings. o Pipe strain. Vortex pumps can lower efficiency by as much as 50%. o Impeller imbalance. lip seals etc. The heat generated from this recirculation can. o Thermal expansion of various components in high temperature applications. A double volute design pump restricts the discharge passage lowering the overall efficiency. you should be aware of various conditions that decrease the efficiency of your pump. non O-ring elastomers that cannot flex and roll. Wear rings and impeller clearances are critical. a foreign object. All about specific speed 89 . o Solids rubbing against the rotating components. or a stuck check valve. It can be caused by: o Misalignment between the pump and driver. A bypass line installed from the discharge side of the pump to the suction piping. Running the pump with a throttled discharge valve. Any restrictions in the pump or piping passages such as product build up. o Operating too far off of the best efficiency point of the pump. wear rings. (5 kinds) o Harmonic vibration. o Grease or lip seals rubbing the shaft next to the bearings. seal.. o A close fitting bushing. If the wear ring is rubbing. o Over tightening packing or improper seal installation. o Water hammer and pressure surges. cause pump cavitation as it heats the incoming liquid. o A protruding gasket rubbing against the mechanical seal. The impeller can hit the volute. but must slide. o Cavitation. the generated heat is consuming power. Over lubricated or over loaded bearings. especially the seal. the wear rings can come into physical contact etc. in some cases. o A bent shaft. Eroded or corroded internal pump passages will cause fluid turbulence. packing. eventually fretting the shaft or sleeve. o Operating at a critical speed. o Loose hardware. o A build up of product on the inside of the stuffing box rubbing against the mechanical seal. Anything that causes these tolerances to open will cause internal recirculation that is wasting power as the fluid is returned to the suction of the pump.conditions. o Dynamic.

requirements.S. in a unit of time through a unit of head".) Q = The flow rate in liters per minute ( for either single or double suction impellers) H = The total dynamic head in meters Please refer to the following chart: Pumps are traditionally divided into three types: radial flow.H.P. can use this Specific Speed information to : • • • • • Select the shape of the pump curve. using data from these curves at the pump's best efficiency point (B. total head. When you look at the above chart you can see there is a gradual change 90 . Predict N. for their application. and axial flow. Specific speed is calculated from the following formula.P. People responsible for the selection of the proper pump.E. Determine the efficiency of the pump. Specific speed is defined as "the speed of an ideal pump geometrically similar to the actual pump. The performance of a centrifugal pump is expressed in terms of pump speed.): N = The speed of the pump in revolutions per minute (rpm. which when running at this speed will raise a unit of volume. Anticipate motor overloading problems.Specific speed is a term used to describe the geometry (shape) of a pump impeller. Select the lowest cost pump for their application. mixed flow. and required flow. This information is available from the pump manufacturer's published curves.

. and H = feet.. but this higher rpm..Q = M3/hour and H = meters.P. or higher would increase the Ns to 1000 or more.P. or 396 M3/ hour or 1744 G. Divide the Ns by 1. If you substitute other units for flow and head the numerical value of Ns will vary.. a smaller diameter shaft means a lower cost mechanical seal and lower cost bearings.P.M.from the radial flow impeller. In the specific speed range of approximately 1000 to 6000 double suction impeller are used as frequently as the single suction impellers. Many single mechanical seals have problems passing fugitive emission standards at the higher pump speeds.M. would have other possible consequences : • • • • • • The higher efficiency would allow you to use a less powerful driver that would reduce your operating costs..5 As an example we will make a calculation of Ns in both metric and U. H = 95 meters or 312 feet Speed = 1450 rpm. units : • • • Q= 110 L/sec.S. For instance......9 Metric .....H. Divide the Ns by 1.63 British . required. which develops most of its head by the propelling or lifting action of the vanes on the liquid. The higher pump speeds contribute to the problem.. which develops pressure principally by the action of centrifugal force.. meaning It would be a large pump with a low efficiency. Cavitation could become a problem as the increase in speed means an increase in the N. Here is how to alter the Specific Speed number (Ns) if you use other units for capacity and head : • • • United States . to the axial flow impeller.S. If the above results were describing an actual application. radial flow pump.). we would notice that it was a low specific speed.. The speed is always given in revolutions per minute (rpm. High heat is a major cause of bearing failure.Q = Imp.Q = G.....M. 91 . meaning a smaller pump with a much higher efficiency... Divide the Ns by 1. Going to 2900 rpm..G. A smaller pump makes associated hardware cheaper. abrasive wear and erosion will increase with increasing speed. and H = feet. If you are pumping an abrasive fluid.P..

Specific speed also relates to the shape of the individual pump curve as it describes head. This is a non overloading feature meaning that the pump can work safely over most of the fluid range with a motor speed to meet the B. the efficiency increases as Ns increases. 92 . In general.P.E. capacity. In the above diagram you will note that : • • • The steepness of the head/ capacity curve increases as specific speed increases. requirement. At medium specific speed the power curve peaks at approximately the best efficiency point. power consumption and efficiency.The following diagram illustrates the relationship between specific speed and pump efficiency. power consumption is lowest at shut off and rises as flow increases. At low specific speed. This means that the motor could be over loaded at the higher flow rates unless this was considered at the time of purchase.

The oversized pump Do a survey of any process plant and you will find that a high percentage of the centrifugal pumps are oversized.E. 93 . Lower specific speed pumps may have lower efficiency at the B. You purchased the same size pump as the one that came out of the application and that one was over sized also. It was the only pump the dealer had in stock and you needed one badly. but since we are not using the full power are we really paying too much for the daily operation? The easiest way to find the answer to this question is to look at a typical pump curve and make our calculations from the numbers we get. but at the same time will have lower power consumption at reduced flow than many of the higher specific speed designs. He might have offered you a "special deal" to take the larger size. If throttling is required a motor of greater power will be necessary. In practice most pumps operate in a throttled condition because the pump was oversized at the time it was purchased. so it was purchased now to save buying the larger pump later on. These pumps should never be started with the discharge valve shut. The result is that it might prove to be more economical to select a lower specific speed design if the pump had to operate over a broad range of capacity. Keep in mind that efficiency and power consumption were calculated at the best efficiency point (B. so here are a few of them : • • • • • Safety margins were added to the original calculations. There must be a reason why this is such a common problem.E.P. Several people are involved in the pump buying decision and each of them is afraid of recommending a pump that proves to be to small for the job. You can use any of the following formulas to make your calculations: Here is as typical pump curve.• High specific speed pumps have a falling power curve with maximum power occurring at minimum flow. It was anticipated that a larger pump would be needed in the future. It can be used for both inch and metric examples. Capital equipment money is scarce so the larger pump appeared to be your only choice.). Obviously this larger pump and motor required a higher investment..P. You took the pump out of your spare parts inventory.

to a 156 foot head with an efficiency rating of 60% 156 x 300 / 5308 = 8. but we have an oversized pump so we are using the larger impeller "A" with the pump discharge valve throttled back to 300 gpm.7 KW are required. 94 .1 KW being produced. extra operating cost.05 cents per Kilowatt hour x 13.2 KW required to do this.7 Kilowatts required As shown in the above drawing. we should be using impeller "E" to do this.8 Kilowatts being produced. and 14. giving us an actual head of 250 feet and a 50% efficiency.5 KW to pump against the throttled discharge valve. x . If 28. If this pump runs 24 hours per day that would be 8760 hours this year. Now our Kilowatts look like this: 250 x 300 / 5308 = 14.60 efficiency = 14.Let us assume that the application requires a pump that moves the liquid at : 300 gpm.5 Kilowatts = $5913. and at a power cost of $0.2 KW is being used and only 14.8 / 0.1 / 0.00 per year.50 efficiency = 28. and 8. it means that we are paying for an extra 13.05 cents per Kilowatt hour it would cost your company an additional: 8760 hours.

3 / 0.6 .9 / 0. times 13. 68 x 47360 = 8.8 extra kilowatts being used to pump against the throttled discharge valve. but we have an oversized pump so we are using the larger impeller "A" with the pump discharge valve throttled back to 68 cubic meters per hour. As shown in the drawing. How to read a pump curve Please look at the above illustration.9 Kilowatts being produce. giving us an actual head of 76 meters.8 = 13.3 Kilowatts being produced by the pump.50 efficient = 28. liters per minute. and 14. we should be using impeller "E" to do this. and 8. The head of a pump is read in feet or meters. Now our Kilowatts look like this: 68 x 76360 = 14. If the pump runs twenty four hours a day that would be 8760 hours per year.6 Kilowatts required to do this.60 efficient = 14.880 kw. In this example the extra cost of the electricity could almost equal the cost of purchasing the pump.Now we will work the same problem in the metric system: Assume that we need to pump 68 m3/hr.8 extra kilowatts equals 120. or cubic meters per hour. Multiply this number by how much you spend for a kilowatt hour of electricity and you will see that the over sized pump is costing you a lot of money.8 Kilowatts required to do this. You will note that I have plotted the head of the pump against its capacity. Subtracting the amount of kilowatts we should have been using gives us: 28. The capacity units will be either gallons per minute. to a 47 meter head with a pump that is 60% efficient at that point. 95 .14.

Also note that the best efficiency point (BEP) of this impeller is between 80% and 85% of the shutoff head. This is called the maximum shutoff head of the pump. but we seldom hit ideal conditions. Ideally a pump would run at its best efficiency point all of the time. or a 70 capacity to approximately a 85 head (you can substitute either metric or imperial units as you see fit) The maximum head of this pump is 115 units. As you move away from the BEP the shaft will deflect and the pump will experience some vibration.According to the above illustration this pump will pump a 40 capacity to about a 110 head. 96 . You will have to check with your pump manufacturer to see how far you can safely deviate from the BEP (a maximum of 10% either side is typical) Now look at the following illustration: Note that I have added some additional curves to the original illustration. but if you want to know the exact best efficiency point you must refer to the manufacturers pump curve. This 80% to 85% is typical of centrifugal pumps. These curves show what happens when you change the diameter of the impeller.

If we were pumping a capacity of 70 with a 13 impeller it would take about 35 horsepower. If we wanted to pump at the best efficiency point with a 11. that the curve will usually show an additional piece of information and that is NPSHR which stands for net positive suction head required to prevent the pump from cavitating. Suppose we wanted to pump some liquid Butane at 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Centigrade) with this pump. To convert this pressure to head we use the standard formula : 97 . When you will look at an actual pump curve you should have no trouble reading the various heads and corresponding capacities for the different size impellers.H. Depending upon the pump curve you might find a 10 foot (3. You should keep in mind that the manufacture assumed you were pumping 20° C ( 68° F ) fresh water and the N. The bottom half of the illustration shows the power consumption at various capacities and impeller diameters. I have labeled the power consumption horsepower. Required was tested using this assumption. The top line would be for the 13 impeller the second for the 12. If we look at the curve for Butane on a vapor pressure chart similar to the one shown in the charts and graphs section of this web site you will note that Butane at 32°F needs at least 15 psi (1.P. Most pump curves would show you the percent of efficiency at the best efficiency point . Required.0 meter) NPSH required head at a capacity of 480 Gallons per minute (110 cubic meters per hour) if you were using a 13 inch (330 mm. You will note however. The number varies with impeller design and numbers from 60% to 80% are normal. A capacity of 60 with the 12 impeller would take about 20 horsepower.5 etc.S.H.P. The rule is that Net Positive Suction Head Available minus the Vapor Pressure of the product you are pumping (converted to head) must be equal to or greater than Net Positive Suction Head Required by the manufacturer.) diameter impeller. but in the metric system it would be called kilowatts Each of the lines represents an impeller diameter. you are going to have to add the vapor pressure of that product to the N.5 impeller we would have to pump a capacity of 50 to a 75 head.0 Bar) to stay in a liquid state.S.Impeller diameter is measured in either inches or millimeters. If you are pumping water at a different temperature or if you are pumping a different fluid.

Without this system curve. The head will be measured in feet or meters and the capacity will be measured in gallons per minute or cubic meters per hour. The pump will have to develop enough head to fill the pipe and then the siphoning action will take over. To do this he would like you to provide him with an accurate system curve that would describe the capacity and head needed for your various operating conditions. To create a system curve we plot the desired capacities against the required head over the total anticipated operating range of the pump.In other words Butane at this temperature would not vaporize as long as I had the above absolute heads available at the suction side of the pump. FIGURE "A" 98 . We do not use the maximum elevation in our calculations because the siphoning action will carry the fluid over this point once the piping is full of liquid. Once he has your system curve. Look at figure "A" and note that the piping discharge is below the maximum elevation of the piping system. Understanding the system curve Every pump manufacturer would like to recommend the perfect pump for your application.) if the pump was selected correctly.P. This is the same action that lets you siphon gasoline out of an automobile to a storage can. Some of the confusion begins when we realize that there are three different kinds of head: STATIC HEAD This is the vertical distance measured from the center line of the pump to the height of the piping discharge inside the tank. The pump operating point should move back towards the best efficiency point (B.E. neither one of you has much of a chance of coming up with the right pump. he can plot his pump curves on top of the system curve and hopefully select something that will come close to your needs.

These charts are not included with this paper. This "head" loss is related to the condition of the system and makes the calculations difficult when you realize that older systems may have "product build up" on the piping walls.. A general "rule of thumb" says that the friction loss in clean piping will vary approximately with 90% of the square of the change in flow in the piping. making the published numbers some what inaccurate. heat exchangers. elbows. and can be calculated from graphs and charts provided by the pump and piping manufacturers. valves. you can find them in the Hydraulic Institute Manuals. filters. strainers. As an example: 99 . etc. it is subject to the friction caused by the piping inside finish. and 100% of the square with the change of flow in the fittings and accessories. You calculate the change in flow by dividing the new flow by the old flow and then square the number. The resulting "pressure drop" is described as a "loss of head" in the system. restricted passages in the fittings and hardware that has been installed in the system.DYNAMIC OR SYSTEM HEAD As the liquid flows through the piping and fittings.

loss was a combination of the loss through the piping and the loss through the fittings for a total of 100 feet at 200 gallons per minute. A centrifugal pump will create a head/capacity curve that will generally resemble one of the curves described in figure "B" The shape of the curve is determined by the Specific Speed number of the impeller. you will make an error in your calculations. Put a tachometer on the running motor and record the rpm.P.E. Unless you are using synchronous motors (you probably are using induction motors on your pumps) you will have to adjust the curves to match your actual pump speed.In the original application system. difference between your pump and the speed shown on the pump manufacturer's published curve.M. but should be selected to pump as close to the best efficiency point (B. will fall some where between 80% and 85% of the shut off head (maximum head). The manufacturer generated these curves at a specific R. If the suction head is pressurized.13 feet. They look something like Figure "C". When we increased the flow to 300 gallons per minute our system head changed to a total of 208. Please note that the pump is pumping the difference between the suction head and the discharge head. You can use the pump affinity laws to approximate the change. so if you fail to consider that the suction head will be either added to or subtracted from the discharge head.P. POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT PUMPS have a different shaped curve. Centrifugal pumps always pump somewhere on their curve.) as possible. 100 . This change would have to be added to the static and pressure heads to calculate the total head required for the new pump..E. It will be positive if you are pumping from a tank located above ground. The B.P. The suction head will be negative if you are lifting liquid from below ground or if you are pumping from a vacuum. this pressure must be converted to head and subtracted from the total head required by the pump.

The curve will look like this if the majority of the head is either static or pressure head. Figure "E" describes it: 101 . This is a typical application for: • • A boiler feed pump that is supplying a constant pressure boiler with a varying steam demand. This is a very common application in many process systems or aboard a ship that is frequently changing speeds (answering bells). Filling a tank from the top and varying the amount of liquid being pumped.In this system. The second system is the ideal one. the head remains a constant as the capacity varies. is the normal routine in most process plants.

In this system the entire head is system head so it will vary with the capacity. Pumping to a non pressurized tank. Filling tank cars is a typical application. It is a combination of static. Look for this type of curve in the following applications: • • A circulating hot or cold water heating/ cooling system. pressure and system heads. a long distance from the source with little to no elevation involved. 102 . System curve "G" is a common one.

This is especially true if you have replaced the packing with a mechanical seal and no longer have the packing to act as a support bearing when the shaft deflects. Shaft deflection is always a major problem at start up. and he also has the option of series or parallel operation along with the possibility of using a multi-stage pump to satisfy your needs.E. The sad fact is that most pumps are selected poorly because of the desire to offer the customer the lowest possible price. with a low L3/D4. The shape of his curve will be pretty much determined by the specific speed number of the impeller. the more robust the pump you will need.P. and the head and capacity numbers needed he can then select the proper centrifugal pump.Once the pump manufacturer has a clear idea as to the shape of your system curve. The further off the B.). or your desire for the pump to perform a specific task. you go. impeller width. This may bear no relationship to the best efficiency point (B. is still your best protection against seal and bearing premature failure when the pump is operating off of its best efficiency point.E.. pump rpm.P. Keep the following in mind as you select your pump: • • A centrifugal pump will pump where the pump curve intersects the system curve. A robust pump. 103 . In addition to specific speed he can select impeller diameter.

The actual system always differs from that shown on the print.• • • • • When you connect pumps in parallel. because people tap into the lines. Since you will be using pumps that were supplied at the lowest cost. You are going to have to "walk down" the system and note the pipe length. the best efficiency point comes down at an angle.p.m. It is the mechanical seal that is the most sensitive to shaft deflection and vibration. Stop the cavitation if you are experiencing any. you can install a sleeve bearing in the packing space to support the shaft when the pump is operated off of its B. Unfortunately most process and boiler feed pump system curves are not exponential.p. the heads will add together.E.m. Use a "C" or "D" frame adapter to solve pump. If you connect the pumps in series.E. Do not trust the system prints to make your calculations. etc. You can estimate that a 2% to a 5% slip is normal in these pumps with the "slip" directly related to the price of the motor. you can do the following to resist some of the shaft displacement: • • • • • • • • Use a solid shaft. to make 104 . Check that the shaft is not bent or the rotating assembly is not out of dynamic balance. Balance the rotating assembly.. or any time a pump discharge valve is operated. Electric induction motors seldom run at these speeds because of "slip". The head of a centrifugal pump is determined by the impeller diameter and rpm. The capacity of a pump is determined by the impeller width and r. This is especially important at start up. When you vary the speed of a centrifugal pump. is causing an alignment problem. and this is too high a number for reliable seal performance. Try to keep the mechanical seal as close to the bearings as possible. the stronger pump will throttle the weaker one.P. so the capacities must be the same or one of them will probably cavitate. Pump curves are based on a speed of 1750. using the pumped fluid for a variety of purposes and after having done so forget to change or "mark up" the original system print. If the heads are different. Check the rpm's on these pumps if you are experiencing any difficulties. 3500. You could also have a problem operating too far to the right of the best efficiency point with a possible motor "burn out". 1450. Sleeves often raise the L3/D4 number to over 60 (2 in the metric system). The affect is almost the same as changing the diameter of the impeller. so the impeller diameters and rpm's must be the same if you connect pumps in parallel. You should also keep in mind that if the motor is running at its best efficiency point that does not mean that the pump is running at its B.. A center line design wet end can be used if pipe strain. This means that the variable speed motor will work best on a system curve that is exponential (Figure "F"). the number of fittings. due to temperature expansion.. Once the seal has been moved closer to the bearings.. you add the capacities together.motor alignment difficulties. or 2900 r.P.

pounds per minute which converts directly to work at the rate of 33. It turn out that "head" is a very convenient term in the pumping business.000 foot pounds per minute equals one horsepower. They will show you how the head is varying with changes in flow. Calculating the total system head in USCS units USCS stands for "United States Customary System Units" as opposed to the SI (Le Syst`eme International d`Units) or metric units that have been adopted by the International standards Organization (ISO). In a future paper I will present another paper using the metric units.to get the spare parts business. In many cases he is prepared to sell his pump at cost&emdash.an accurate system head calculation. Pressure is not as convenient a term because the amount of pressure that the pump will deliver depends upon the weight (specific gravity) of the liquid being pumped and the specific gravity changes with temperature. 105 . In other words. but for the moment it is not convenient to present it in both systems.something is wrong. Capacity is measured in gallons per minute. Pressure recorders (not gauges) installed at the pump suction and discharge is another technique you can use to get a better picture of the system or dynamic head. the pumps are connected in parallel and no body knows it. and fluid concentration. Do not depend upon the knowledge of the local pump salesman to select the correct pump for you. so we can easily calculate the pounds per minute being pumped. If you are purchasing pumps at too big a discount&emdash. Pump selection is simple but not easy. there is no free lunch. and each gallon of liquid has weight. These factors added together can cause you to purchase a pump that is very much over sized. Head or height is measure in feet. Do not be surprised to find that the discharge of your pump is hooked up to the discharge of another pump further down the line. fluid. Keep in mind that if several people are involved in the selection process each of them will commonly add a safety factor to the calculated pump size. so if we multiply these two together we get foot.

Once we know these heads it gets simple. called " surface pressure head".total suction head H = hd . Here is how it looks in a formula: System head = total discharge head . fittings and valves called friction head.If you will refer to FIG 1. we will then subtract the suction head from the discharge head and the amount remaining will be the amount of head that the pump must be able to generate at the rated flow. In addition to the static head we will learn that there is a head caused by resistance in the piping. Note that we always measure from the center line of the pump to the highest liquid level To calculate head accurately we must calculate the total head on both the suction and discharge sides of the pump.hs The total discharge head is made from three separate heads: hd = hsd + hpd + hfd • • • • hd = total discharge head hsd = discharge static head hpd = discharge surface pressure head hfd = discharge friction head The total suction head also consists of three separate heads 106 . and a head caused by any pressure that might be acting on the liquid in the tanks including atmospheric pressure. you should get a clear picture of what is meant by static head.

it will not have to continue to deliver this head when the pump is running because of the "siphon effect".7 psi (atmospheric pressure) x 2.4 feet maximum siphon effect.hs = hss + hps .31 feet / psi = 33. We will begin with the total suction head calculation 1. you must sure that all calculations are made in either "feet of liquid gauge" or "feet of liquid absolute". There is of course a maximum siphon effect. Now we will make some actual calculations: Figure #2 demonstrates that the discharge head is still measured to the liquid level. Although the pump must deliver enough head to get up to this maximum piping height. The suction head is negative because the liquid level in the suction tank is below the centerline of the pump: hss = . It is derived from: 14.6 feet 107 . but you will note that it is below the maximum height of the piping.hfs • • • • hs = total suction head hss = suction static head hps = suction surface pressure head hfs = suction friction head As we make these calculations. In case you have forgotten "absolute means that you have added atmospheric pressure (head) to the gauge reading.

so the suction surface pressure equals atmospheric pressure : hps = 0 feet gauge 3. 108 . Pipe friction numbers are taken from the Hydraulic Institute Engineering Data Book.2. You can get a copy of this publication from your library if you want to see the actual charts. The total discharge head is: hd = hsd + hpd + hfd = 125 + 0 + 25 = 150 feet of liquid gauge at rated flow The total system head calculation: H = hd . I will give you the discharge friction head as: hfd = 25 feet at rated flow 4. You will not have to calculate the suction friction head. I have some of this information in the chart section of this web site. hs = hss + hps . The discharge tank is also open to atmospheric pressure. The static discharge head is: hsd = 125 feet 2. I will tell you it is: hfs = 4 feet at rated flow 4. thus: hpd = 0 feet.hs = 150 .(-10)= 160 feet of liquid at rated flow Note: did you notice that when we subtracted a minus number (-10) from a positive number (150) we ended up with a positive 160 because whenever you subtract minus numbers it is the same as adding them? If you have trouble with this concept you can learn more about it from a mathematics book. Our next example involves a few more calculations. In this example we are going to learn how to handle a vacuum application. gauge 3. The suction tank is open. but you should be able to handle them. The total suction head is a gauge value because atmosphere was given as 0.hfs = -6 +0 -4 = -10 feet of liquid gauge at rated flow The total discharge head calculation 1.

8. one gate valve.98 3. To calculate suction surface pressure use one of the following formulas: • • inches of mercury X 1. The pressure on top of the liquid in the vacuum receiver is 20 inches of mercury.133specific gravity = feet of liquid pounds per square inch X 2. 7. Transferring 1000 gpm. four feet of pipe. There is one 90° flanged elbow in this line 6. weak acid from the vacuum receiver to the storage tank 2. Discharge piping rises 40 feet vertically above the pump centerline and then runs 400 feet horizontally. Suction piping has a square edge inlet.31specific gravity = feet of liquid 109 . Viscosity -equal to water 4. vacuum. Specific Gravity .All 6" Schedule 40 steel pipe 5. The minimum level in the vacuum receiver is 5 feet above the pump centerline.Specifications: 1. and one 90° flanged elbow all of which are 6" in diameter. Piping .0.

the suction surface pressure is: hps = -20 Hg X 1. fs.0 = -20. 4.0 feet at 1000 gpm. The suction friction head. Total suction head calculation 1.50 32 (a) 6" 90 flanged elbow 0. in 4 feet of pipe friction loss = 4/100 x 6.• Millimeters of mercury X 122. Using the first conversion formula.17 feet per 100 feet of pipe. is 6.hfs = 5 + (-23. using the pump as the dividing line. Therefore.2. Total discharge head calculation 110 . K = 0. The total suction head then becomes: hs = hss + hps .133/ 0.4 x specific gravity = feet of liquid Now that you have all of the necessary information we will begin by dividing the system into two different sections.29 32 (a) 6" Gate valve 0.7 = 2.11 32 (b) Total coefficient.17 = 0. elbow and valve can be added together and multiplied by the velocity head: FITTING K FROM TABLE 6" Square edge inlet 0.12) .3 feet Friction loss coefficients (K factors) for the inlet.90 Total friction loss on the suction side is: hfs = 0.98 = -23. The suction side of the system shows a minimum static head of 5 feet above suction centerline. equals the sum of all the friction losses in the suction line. the static suction head is: hss = 5 feet 2.12 feet gauge 3.12 feet.3 + 1. gauge at 1000 gpm. Friction loss in 6" pipe at 1000 gpm from table 15 of the Hydraulic Institute Engineering Data Book.

is 6.1. c. Our next example will be the same as the one we just finished except.2 feet Friction loss in 6" elbow: from table 32 (a). The total suction head will be the same as in the previous example. from table 15.17 = 27. In systems of this type where the area of the discharge tank is very large in comparison to the area of the discharge pipe. Total system head calculation: H = hd .29 x 1. that there is an additional 10 feet of pipe and another 90° flanged elbow in the vertical leg. 4.7 feet. Static discharge head = hsd = 40 feet 2.6 feet The friction loss in the sudden enlargement at the end of the discharge line is called the exit loss. Friction loss at exit = V2/2g = 1.2) = 89. the loss equals V2/2g.29 from table 15.hs = 69.7 = 69.2 + 0.92 = 0.9 = 29.7 . as shown in table 32 (b). K = 0. Friction loss = K V2/2g = 0. gauge at 1000 gpm.9 feet at 1000 gpm.92 at 1000 gpm. that is: hfd = 27.9 feet The discharge friction head is the sum of the above losses. Discharge surface pressure = hpd = 0 feet gauge 3. V2/2g = 1.6 + 1. Take a look at figure # 4 111 .17 feet per hundred feet of pipe. The total discharge head then becomes: hd = hsd + hpd + hfd = 40 + 0 + 29.(-20. Discharge friction head = hfd = sum of the following losses : Friction loss in 6" pipe at 1000 gpm. In 440 feet of pipe the friction loss = 440/100 x 6.7 feet at 1000 gpm.

since the highest liquid surface in the discharge is now only 30 feet above the pump centerline. In 10 feet of pipe the friction loss = 10/100 x 6.9 feet at 1000 gpm. The discharge surface pressure is unchanged: hpd = 0 feet 3.6 feet The friction loss in the additional elbow = 0.(This value is based on the assumption that the vertical leg in the discharge tank is full of liquid and that as this liquid falls it will tend to pull the liquid up and over the loop in the pipe line. The static discharge head "hsd" will change from 40 feet to 30 feet.6 = 30.12 feet. Total discharge head calculation 1. gauge at 100 gpm.6 feet The friction head will then increase as follows: hfd = 29. 112 . 2.17 = 0.7 + 0. This arrangement is called a siphon leg). The friction loss in the discharge pipe will be increased by the additional 10 feet of pipe and the additional elbow.Nothing has changed on the suction side of the pump so the total suction head will remain the same: hs = -20.6 + 0.

9 .31 / (1.1 feet.7) x 2.12) = 81 feet at 1000 gpm.3 Specific Gravity + 4 ) = 261. For our last example we will look at gauges.300 gpm. absolute Note the 4 foot head correction to the pump centerline. Divide the heads into two sections again: The discharge gauge head corrected to the centerline of the pump.3 Viscosity . Take a look at FIG 5: Specifications: • • • • • Capacity .1.3 inch suction. 5.14. and then converting to absolute head: hdg = (130 + 14.7 psi.The total discharge head becomes: hd = hsd + hpd + hfd = 30 + 0 + 30. Specific gravity . in feet of liquid absolute is found by adding the atmospheric pressure to the gauge reading to get absolute pressure.(-20.Similar to water Piping . gauge at 1000 gpm. Total system head calculation H = hd .9 feet.hs = 60. 2 inch discharge Atmospheric pressure .9 = 60. 113 .

The discharge velocity head at 300 gpm. is found in table 9 of the Hydraulic Institute Engineering Data Book hvd = 12.8 feet at 300 gpm. The suction gauge reading is in absolute terms so it needs only to be converted to feet of liquid, absolute. hgs = 40 x 2.3 / 11.3 +2 = 73.08 feet absolute Note the 2 foot head correction to the pump centerline. The suction velocity head at 300 gpm. is found in table 11 of the Pipe Friction Manual: hvs = 2.6 feet at 300 gpm. The total head developed by the pump is: H = (hgd + hvd ) - ( hgs + hvs ) = (261.1 + 12.8) - (73.08 + 2.6)= 198.22 feet absolute at 300 gpm.

Estimating the shutoff head of a centrifugal pump: In the fifteenth century the Swiss scientist Daniel Bernoulli learned that the combination of head and velocity was a constant throughout a piping system. He then wrote the formula showing the relationship between this liquid velocity, and resultant head. As many of you know, I often quote this formula in my pump and seal schools. The formula looks like this:
• •

V = Velocity or speed of the liquid at the impeller outside diameter (ft/sec. or meters/sec.) g = gravity = 32.2 feet / second2 or 9.8 meters / second2

My students have heard me quote this formula as the basis for my statement that you can estimate the shut off head of a 1750 rpm. centrifugal pump by squaring the diameter of the impeller. How did I come to that conclusion ? Lets look at the formula again, and we will start by defining velocity:

114

Velocity is a measurement of speed using distance and time as the variables. The terms we use to discuss velocity are feet/second or meters/ second. In the inch system the velocity of the impeller outside diameter is determined by the following formula:

• • • • •

d = diameter of the impeller rpm = speed of the impeller outside diameter 12 = twelve inches in a foot 60 sixty seconds in a minute

Now we will solve the formula. Substituting 1750 for the rpm we would get:

Going back to the original formula we will substitute the new value for "V"

This means that at 1750 rpm the shutoff head is 90% of the diameter of the impeller squared If you will check a typical pump curve as supplied by the pump manufacturers, you will learn that the shut off head actually varies from 90% to 110% of the diameter of the impeller squared. I elected to use 100% because it is a sensible average and in some cases it accounts for the additional velocity added to the fluid as it moves from the impeller eye to the impeller outside diameter. If we substitute 3500 rpm for the speed, the new numbers would look like this

Going back to the original formula we will substitute the new value for "V"

We can round out the 3.6 to 4.0 and say that at 3500 rpm the shutoff head equals approximately the outside diameter of the impeller squared, times four. 115

It is a little trickier in the metric system. Instead of using millimeters when measuring the impeller diameter, move over two decimal places and use decimeters instead. It will make the calculations a lot simpler because you will be using more convenient, larger numbers.

Inserting the numbers into the formula we would get a velocity of:

Going back to the head formula we would get:

We can round this off to 3d2 If the pump were running at 2900 rpm you would get

Going back to the head formula we would get:

We can round this off to 12d2 How do we use this information? You can combine this formula with your knowledge of how to convert pressure to head and come up with an estimate to see if an operating pump is operating close to its BEP(best efficiency point ). As an example: In the inch system a pump discharge pressure gage reads 120 psi. The pump suction pressure gage reads 20 psi. The pump is pumping the difference between these readings, so the pump is pumping 100 psi. At its BEP(best efficiency point) the pump should be running between 80% and 85% of its shut off head. 100 psi is 83% of 120 psi. The pressure to head conversion is:

116

(21 meters ) 117 . Pretty close! Rules of thumb for pumps If you want to know a pumps capabilities the rules are simple.5 inch impeller running at 3500 rpm. multiply by 3 (18. they have no need for general guide lines or "rules of thumb. (6.4. The pump has a 295 mm impeller running at 2900 rpm. ( as an example: 250 mm ) o Mark off two places.The pump has an 8. Shut off head = Diameter of the impeller squared x 4 2 o For other speeds you can use the formula : Shut Off Head = D x (new rpm / 1750)2 Estimating metric head is a little bit more involved.95 decimeter)2 x12 =104.75) o Add 10 % for the answer in meters.5) o Square the number. The shutoff head would be (8. 9 bar is 83% of 10. but it still works: o Measure the shaft in mm." Over the years I have accumulated many of these rules to help me estimate pump performance.5 inches)2 x 4 = 288 feet. The shutoff head would be (2.25) o For 1450 rpm. here are a few of them: PUMP BASICS • • How to estimate the shut off head of a pump (inch sizes) o At 1750 rpm. Shut off head = Diameter of the impeller squared o At 3500 rpm. (2.8 bar. The pressure to head conversion is: 106 meters shut off head. Pretty close! In the metric system we can make the calculation for a 295 millimeter impeller turning at 2900 rpm The pump discharge pressure gage reads 10 bar The pump suction pressure gage reads 1 bar The pump is pumping the difference between these readings so the pump is pumping 9 bar At its BEP(best efficiency point) the pump should be running between 80% and 85% of its shutoff head. look at the manufacturer's published pump curve. Pump companies test their pump to determine its performance. The problem is that you do not always have the curve available.

94 for 4. A double suction pump can run with 27% less N.90 for 5% o 0. A typical clearance would be 0. If you are pumping paper stock. and efficiency as follows: o 0.825 for 5. This is very important when you are pumping at elevated temperatures because we do not want to transmit the high temperature back to the bearing oil.3 mm) minimum clearance for wear rings less than two inches (50 mm.5% o 0. If you double the speed of a pump you will get twice the capacity. or at a 40% faster speed without cavitating. modify the curves for head. o 118 . Although you can estimate shutoff head with these formulas you cannot estimate the pump capacity. Wear ring clearances are very similar to impeller clearances. Lowering the L3/D4 is the only logical and efficient solution. Since most shaft materials have a similar modulus of elasticity changing shaft materials will not prevent shaft bending when you operate off of the B.) in outside diameter. The pumps best efficiency point (B.2 to 0.015" (0.5 mm) You lose 1% of the pumps capacity for each 0.025 mm) of wear. four times the head and it will take eight times the horsepower to do it.E. When pump manufacturers discuss operating off of the B. Multistage pumps reduce efficiency 2% to 4%. o D = diameter of the shaft (under the sleeve) in the stuffing box area (inches or millimeters) Do not use centimeters. At this point there is little to no radial thrust on the impeller.002" (0. The L3/D4 ratio should be below 60 (2.5% stock o 0. A stainless steel shaft has only a small portion of the conductivity of a carbon steel shaft. In many instances an inducer can lower Net Positive Suction Head Required by as much as 50% .P.001" (0.• • • • • • • • • • • • NOTE: For 3000 rpm.0 for 3. they relate problems to the heat that will build up in a minimum flow condition and ignore the problems with shaft bending. You will need the pump curves for that. If you double the speed of a pump you will get almost four times the shaft whip. you would multiply by 12 instead of 3.) is between 80% and 85% of the shut off head.E.0 in metric) to prevent excessive shaft bending. Also the "power in" is closest to the "power out". To calculate it for end suction centrifugal pumps : o L = length of the shaft from the center of the inboard bearing to the center of the impeller (inches or millimeters).05 mm) you miss this setting. Caution: do not use centimeters. but you lose 1% pump capacity for each 0.5% or less Open impeller clearance settings are determined by the pump manufacturer and normally run between 0.P.010 inches (0.E.008" and 0.003 inch/inch diameter with 0.98 for 4% o 1.725 for 6% stock o 0. capacity.S.P. wobble or run out and eight times the wear. the numbers will come out wrong.P.H.

At shut down the outside moisture will enter the bearing housing through this vent. The temperature at the bearing race of a properly installed bearing is at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5° C) higher than the oil sump temperature. If the bearing is over compressed the bearing balls will distort and roll instead of spin causing excessive heat and premature failure.000 ( metric 16. An automobile engine running at 1750 rpm. ( 176 F.• • • • Bearing grease or lip seals have a design life of less than 2000 hours. Substitute non fretting labyrinth seals. Try to buy pumps with a Suction Specific Speed (SSS) below 8. This design will allow the wet end of the pump to expand in two directions instead of from the feet up. In a constantly running pump this would be only 83 days.000 miles (160.000 metric) Do not buy pumps with a SSS over 12. The rule of thumb used by the SKF Bearing Company is that the service life of an oil is specified as 30 years at 30 degrees Centigrade (86° F) and is cut in half for each 10 degree Centigrade (10 F) temperature increase.000 miles ( 40.) o A life of 6 months at 90 C. This corresponds to : o A life of 3 months at 100 C. Auto manufacturers recommend changing their automatic transmission oil every 25. would cover about 100.500) unless you are pumping hot water or mixed hydrocarbons.000 kilometers) every 2000 hours (83 days in the life of a constantly running pump )..) These numbers assume that the lubricating oil is not being contaminated by water from one or all of the following sources: • • • Packing leakage The water hose used to wash the packing leakage away from the pump area. This is the reason proper installation is so critical. Let the moisture attempt to enter the case through the labyrinth seals instead. These seals will also damage the expensive shaft and place a stress point at the maximum bending moment arm. (212 F. It is a good idea to install them in electric motors also to prevent moisture from entering and damaging the motor windings and bearings. destroying the wear rings.500 (10. they will do a better job of directing the moisture to the external drain hole. (195 F. Aspiration. If you install positive face seals you can forget about this problem. The axial clearance in a bearing is ten times the radial clearance. or positive face seals in these locations.000 kilometers) APPLICATION • • Use Centerline pump designs when the pumping temperature exceeds 200 degrees Fahrenheit (100° C). Do not use a vent on the top of the bearing case. as moisture laden air enters the bearing case. If you have a double suction pump you can divide the SSS number by 2 119 . The life of bearing oil is directly related to its temperature.) o A life of 12 months at 80 C.

This is especially critical in double ended pump designs as the turbulent inlet flow can cause shaft thrusting. After the pump and motor have been aligned. If you have a high static or pressure head. On the suction side of the pump it will probably cause Cavitation. Cavitation can occur with any amount of air. Substituting a globe valve for a gate valve in a piping system is similar to adding another 100 feet (31 meters) of piping to the system. bearings and critical dimensions. They will drive you crazy because the pump will often meet its head requirement but not the capacity when the second speed cuts in. They should also be used on long shaft vertical pumps to prevent excessive shaft movement that will cause problems with the packing. allowing the outboard ends to expand with temperature changes.5% air by volume. and subsequent bearing problems. Concentric reducers will trap air. the variable speed will not be of much help in keeping you on or near the best efficiency point. Be sure to dowel only the feet closest to the coupling. Give yourself an additional 5% or 10% you might need it. PIPING ETC. A Vortex pump is 10% to 15% less efficient than a comparable size end suction centrifugal pump. • • • • • There should be at least 10 diameters of pipe between the suction of the pump and the first elbow. (American Petroleum Institute).P. I have heard about two speed pumps with the second speed wired backwards.P. On the discharge side of the pump this will cause the pump to run off of its B. dowel both the pump and the motor to the base plate. Circulating hot or cold water would be typical applications. The A. You will also notice excessive noise at this time. At 6% it will probably become air bound and stop pumping.. as is the case with a boiler feed pump. Use double volute pumps any time your impeller diameter is 14 inches (355 mm) or greater. require special consideration to avoid blade passing frequency vibrations and low frequency vibrations at reduced flow rates.I. 120 .5 cubic meters per hour) A centrifugal pump can handle 0.E. Use eccentric reducers rather than concentric reducers at the pump suction. sixth edition states : High energy pumps. Use a variable speed pump if your head is mainly system head. seals. with a resultant shaft bending.(4. Pumps piped in series must have the same capacity (impeller width and speed) Pumps piped in parallel must have the same head (impeller diameter and speed ) Use a rotary positive displacement pump if your capacity is going to be less than 20 gpm. Check impeller rotation after installing the pump. Do not assume it will turn in the correct direction.• • • • • • • • • • Do not specify a pump with the largest impeller available . Be sure the eccentric reducer is not installed up side down. The maximum viscosity a centrifugal pump can handle would be a product similar to 30 weight oil at room temperature. defined as pumping to a head greater than 650 feet (198 meters) and more than 300 horsepower (224 KW) per stage.

121 . indicates the impeller blade is too close to the cutwater. Generally greater than 10 feet/sec. as a result. and other equipment that is being supported.P. and 6% greater than 14 inch ( 356 mm. A repaired or substituted impeller is often the cause of the problem in a non self priming pump.000 metric).) o Liquids near their vapor point. wash down hoses. Water in the bearing oil will reduce bearing life 48%.S. above the blade. Cavitation damage just beyond the cutwater.) o There is a large concentration of dissolved gases in the liquid. Above 500 horsepower (375 KW) the foundation should be a minimum of 6 inches (150 mm.H. available is too low. and aspiration caused by the temperature cooling down in the bearing casing after shutdown and moisture laden air entering the bearing case.) wider than the base plate all around. Some self priming pump manufacturers want a maximum clearance of 1/8" (3 mm) and.) impeller.• • Suction piping should be at least one size larger than the suction flange at the pump. Cavitation damage on the leading edge of the impeller blade indicates internal recirculation. (1 Meter/ sec. This clearance should be at least 4% of the impeller diameter up to a 14 inch (356 mm. o High circulation caused by asymmetrical inlet or outlet conditions. A 6% water content in the oil will reduce bearing life by as much as 83% The mass of the pump concrete foundation must be 5 times the mass of the pump. often experience this problem./sec.P. Check the Suction Specific Speed number to see if it is below 9000 (10. o Inlet piping too close to the wall or bottom of the tank. Vortexing can occur if any of the following conditions are present: o Low liquid levels o Liquid level falling greater than 3 Ft. o Air is entering at the pump suction. or vibration will occur. The water enters from packing leakage.) wider. (3 meters/sec. o In a mixer. Higher numbers mean that the problem is with the impeller shape or adjustment. TROUBLESHOOTING • • • • • • Cavitation damage on the trailing edge of the impeller blade means : o The N.). the foundation must be 3 inches (76 mm. base plate. on the casing and tip of the impeller blade. Required.S. Consult the Hydraulic Institute Manual or a similar publication for recommended clearances. Up to 500 horsepower (375 KW). o There is liquid turbulence at the pump suction. the liquid level must be at least one and one half diameters of the blade. The problem was created when the pump manufacture tried to come up with too low a N. o High outlet velocities in pipes leaving vessels.H.

foot pounds with one horsepower equal to 33.. and you will have the pounds per minute number you are looking for. not at right angles.P.. If the Specific Gravity of the pumping liquid should increase. The same overloading power will occur if the pump is run too far to the right of its B. o Pumps that take their suction from a condenser or evaporator. Since fluid has weight we can calculate how many pounds per minute we are pumping by finding out how much a gallon of our fluid weighs. Be sure too vent the stuffing box of a sealed. o Any pump that takes its suction from a negative pressure. Make sure eccentric reducers are not installed upside down at the pump suction. The vent must be located above the lapped seal faces. T Branches and elbows should be installed perpendicular to the pump shaft.33 (the weight of a gallon of water) and then multiply that result by the specific gravity (the weight) of your fluid.• • • • • • • • Imaginary lines extended downward 30 degrees to either side of a vertical through the pump shaft. After you have done that. not the other way around. The preferred choice for bearing lubrication would be an oil mist system with positive face sealing at the bearings. The bearing oil level should be at the center of the lowest most ball of a stationary bearing. you can multiply that number into the feet of head the pump is producing and you have foot pounds per minute that can be converted to horsepower. should pass through the bottom of the foundation and not the sides. Please take a look at the following pump curve. Once you have the pounds per minute you are pumping. vertical pump back to the suction side of the pump or air will become trapped in the stuffing box. This is a very common problem because of the great number of oversized pumps in existence. Valve stems.000 foot pounds. The top of the reducer should go straight into the suction flange. as air will enter the system through the pump stuffing box. Heater drain pumps are a typical application. How to the calculate the water horsepower coming out of the pump? Horsepower is measured using the units. if you could solve the emission problem.E. Do not use packing in any pump that runs under a vacuum. multiply the gallons per minute you are pumping by 8. 122 . due to temperature. there is a danger of overloading the motor and therefore motors having sufficient power should be used. These applications include : o Pumps that lift liquid. Pipe from the pump suction flange to the pipe rack.

Now. the next question is how much actual horsepower is required to do this? Please take a look at the ascending lines on the bottom of the chart.000 = 12. This means that the pump is putting out 12.0 to a head of 168 feet 300 gpm x 8. We are pumping this fluid to a head of 168 feet so: 2.0 sg.Let's use this chart for our example: You are using the 13 inch impeller at 1750 rpm and pumping 300 gallons per minute of a fluid with a specific gravity of 1. Each line represents a different size impeller with the top line showing the horsepower required for a 13-inch impeller and the bottom line for a 9-inch impeller. The horsepower required is shown in the left column under bhp.73 horsepower.33 x 1. We will divide and get: 419.832 / 33. 123 . (brake horsepower). = 2.832 foot pounds per minute Since 33.000 foot pound per minute equals one horsepower.499 pounds of fluid per minute.499 x 168 = 419.73 horsepower.

Using a specific gravity of 1.3 = 26 horsepower is going into the pump 16.Notice that it calls for 20 horsepower to move 300 gallons per minute with a 13inch impeller. It should be noted that a force equal to the area of the expansion joint (which could be a lot larger than the normal piping size) times 124 .3 = 3248.781.70 x 168 = 545.60 foot-pounds per minute 545.54 water horsepower out of the pump 20 x 1. all you would need would be 12. If an expansion joint is installed in the piping between the pump and the nearest point of anchor in the piping.781. and subsequent bearing problems.73 hp out / 20 hp in = 0. Piping should be arranged with as few bends as possible. If bends are necessary use a long radius when ever possible Valve stems. If an elbow must be installed be sure it is in a plane at right angles to the pump shaft to prevent an uneven flow to both sides of a double suction impeller. This means that our actual efficiency is 12. If the pump were 100% efficient. This is especially critical in double-ended pump designs as the turbulent inlet flow can cause shaft thrusting.64 efficient A few things you should know about your pump's piping system • • • • • • There should be at least 10 diameters of pipe between the suction of the pump and the first elbow. Just plug the new number into the formula and multiply the pump curve bhp by the same number.64 or 64% efficient Suppose the specific gravity of the fluid you are pumping is different than 1.6 / 33000 = 16. Pipe from the pump suction flange to the pipe rack.70 pounds per minute 3248. not the other way around.33 x 1.3. not at right angles.0 (cold water).54 / 26 = 0. T Branches and elbows should be installed perpendicular to the pump shaft. The top of the reducer should go straight into the suction flange. Make sure eccentric reducers are not installed upside down at the pump suction. but motors and pumps are not 100 % efficient because of friction losses and heat generation.73 horsepower motor to drive the pump and it would do the job. the change would look like this: 300 x 8.

The optimum pipe size will consider the installed cost of the pipe (the cost increases with size) and the pump power requirements (the power required increases with pipe friction) o Try to limit the friction loss at design flow to 2-5 feet for each 100 feet (12 meters for each 30 meters) of pipe). A foot valve is often installed in the suction piping to aid priming. Suction piping should be at least one size larger than the suction flange at the pump. they should be installed between the check valve and the pump. Both a check and gate valve should be installed in the discharge piping with the check valve placed between the pump and the stop valve to protect the pump from reverse flow and excessive back pressure.5 meters) of the pump discharge to prevent too much surging of fluid in the system when the discharge is throttled.• • • • • • • • • • • • • the pressure in the piping will be transmitted to the pump proper. A horizontal suction line should have a gradual rise or slope to the pump suction. Cast iron pumps should never be provided with raised face flanges. Full-faced gaskets must be used with cast iron flanges. Be aware that radial forces are being generated in the pump housing from the pressure in the piping system acting on the volute area. Suction piping must be kept free of air leaks. Do not install them if the pump is operating against a high static head because failure of the driver would allow liquid to rush back suddenly causing water hammer. The optimum control valve location is within five feet (1. the pipe flanges should be of the flat face type and not the raised face type. If an expansion join or non-rigid coupling must be used. Pipe couplings that do not provide an axially rigid connection have the same affect. The installation of check valves should be avoided in the suction piping although they are often used to reduce the number of valves that have to be operated in switching between series and parallel pump operation. Manually operated discharge valves that are hard to reach should have some facility for quick closing. This is especially true for vertical turbine and submersible pumps that are not designed for use with a foot valve. Foot valves should be of the low loss flap type rather than the multiple spring variety and have a clear passage for the liquid at least the same area as the suction piping. it is recommended that a pipe anchor be installed between it and the pump. If steel suction or discharge piping is used. It is always a good idea to increase the size of the suction and discharge pipes at the pump nozzle in order to decrease the head loss from pipe friction. A sprocket rim wheel and chain or a remotely operated motor are two alternatives you might consider. 125 . If increasers are used on the discharge side to increase the size of discharge piping. The magnitude and direction of the forces is dependent upon the piping arrangement along with the areas and pressures involved.

The elastomer ( the rubber part) There are two temperature limits for a mechanical seal: o You must not exceed the temperature of the seal components. but we had the seal failure because we exceeded the temperature limit of petroleum products. In almost every case this will cause a seal failure. If possible you should contact the manufacturer for specific recommendations and limits. Here are some of the most important: • • • Selecting materials .) and restricts the movement of the seal components. petroleum lubricating oil cokes between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit (120° C. I have spent the past twenty seven years lecturing about seals and pumps and during that time have picked up a number of rules that are worth remembering. and Iodine. The list would include Bromine. These Halogens will penetrate the Teflon® 126 .To prevent the settling of solids you need a minimum velocity of about 4 to 7 feet per second (1. As an example. in this application would not have been subjected to its temperature limit. It also includes any barrier fluids that are used to circulate between dual mechanical seals. Halogens are easily identified because they end in the letters " INE". The seal faces must stay together. A Viton® O-ring.5 to 2. Any other condition is called a seal failure and is always correctable The following is offered as a guide when dealing with mechanical seals in general. o A few rules of thumb for mechanical seals Before selecting your mechanical seal design there are three things you want to remember: • • • All of the seal materials must be chemically compatible with any fluids that will be pumped through the system and that includes solvents. Chlorine. cleaners or steam that might be introduced into the system to flush or clean the lines. Many fluids will change from a liquid to a gas. Astatine. Good seal life is defined as running the mechanical seal until the carbon face is worn away. If they open the seal will leak and allow solids to penetrate between the faces where the solids will eventually destroy the lapped surfaces. o You must not exceed the temperature limit of the fluid you are pumping. As an example Ethylene Propylene rubber cannot seal hot fluids in excess of 300° degrees Fahrenheit ( 150° C) without taking a compression set and eventually leaking.5 meters per second) o Velocities of no more than 10 feet (3 meters) per second are recommended in the suction side piping to prevent abrasive wear. Fluorine. solid or crystal at elevated temperature. Halogens will attack Teflon® coated elastomers . to 150° C.

valves. Two hard faces are also recommended in the sealing of hydrocarbons that have to pass a "fugitive emissions" test. shape. The problem is Ozone attack. Test the O-Ring by immersing it into the sealing fluid for one week. strainers. in this fluid. Caustic is another common cleaner and caustic contains a high percentage of water also. or appearance. A typical shelf life for most Buna compounds would be one year. If a round O-Ring becomes square in operation (compression set) it is almost always caused by excessive heat. If the O-Ring changes weight. This is the elastomer that is most often used in Rubber Bellows Seals.. Use two hard faces if the product has a tendency to solidify between the seal faces. • • Carbon and most hard face materials have an expansion rate of about one third that of stainless steel. Never use " glued together" elastomers in a split seal or any "dynamic" application. A hard spot will be created that will interfere with the movement of the dynamic elastomer. open the lapped seal faces. The elastomer must be compatible with these fluids also. expansion joints etc.• • • • coating and attack the base rubber material causing it to swell and split the Teflon sleeve or coating. Hard faces are recommended if you find that it is impossible to keep the seal faces together and solids are present in the sealing liquid. be sure to consider any cleaners or solvents that might be flushed through the lines or that could come into contact with the seal. flanges. Never use plated or coated hard faces in these applications. Determine the correct O-Ring by one of the following methods: • • • • • • Look up the chemical in published O-Ring charts provided by all reputable seal companies. Coke 127 .The Faces. Dupont's Kalrez® or a similar product. Use a universal O-Ring compound such as Green Tweed's Chemraz. so it is a very common problem. Chemical attack of the elastomer will usually cause a seal failure within five to ten days. Selecting Materials . Ozone is produced by the sparking from electric motors. Most Viton® compounds are attacked by water. hard one. it is not compatible with the fluid. Be sure to check if you have the correct one. Chemical attack is usually recognized by a swollen and soft elastomer while high heat will produce a shrunken. Remember that steam is another name for water and the steam cleaning of lines is very common in the process industry. or any other elastomer. You will find a chart in the chart section of this web site Check to see if the plant has any experience with O-Rings. in another seal application. The swollen elastomer will "lock up" the mechanical seal and in some instances. Buna "N" (Nitrile) is an elastomer that has a short shelf life. When choosing an O-Ring. O-Rings can also be found in filters.

If the base material is not corrosion resistant to the pumping fluid and any cleaners or solvents used in the lines the corrosive will go through the coating and attack the base. Needless to say glue or epoxy is not a sensible solution to differential expansion problems. 128 .• • • • • • particles forming between the faces will pull pieces of carbon out of the carbon/graphite face presenting a leak path for fugitive emissions. Keep in mind that black elastomers will also be attacked by oxidizing agents because of their carbon content. Coatings are used for wear resistance and low friction. sulfur trioxide. Alpha sintered Silicone Carbide is also available and is Silica free. The most common oxidizers are oleum. These oxidizing agents will combine with the carbon to form Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide. you can probably use a seal manufactured from 316 stainless steel components. To get corrosion resistance the outer coating must be at least 1/8" (3 mm) thick. because of its superior corrosion resistance is the preferred material for solid Tungsten Carbide faces also. or bronze. The springs or bellows. If you are going to select plated Tungsten Carbide as a face material. but never in a cartridge design unless some method has been provided to insure that the cartridge sleeve is square to the shaft. steel.The Metal Parts. must be manufactured from Hastelloy "C" to avoid problems with Chloride Stress Corrosion. 99. Plating or coating a seal face will not give it corrosion resistance. Nickel base. however. Ceramic vs. Selecting Materials . stainless steel. • • Be sure to use low expansion metal such as Carpenter 42 or Invar 36 in your metal bellows seal face holder if the product temperature can exceed 400° Fahrenheit (205°C). Reaction bonded Silicone Carbide has excellent wear characteristics. If your pump is manufactured from Iron. ceramic is a good choice for oxidizing chemicals. use only the nickel base Tungsten Carbide. strong bleaches and nitric Acid. Cobalt base is too hard and can crack with normal seal face differential temperatures. You cannot use any form of carbon in these applications. These low expansion steels will prevent the carbon or hard seal faces from leaking between the face and the metal holder. but contains up to 17% free silica which can be attacked by many chemicals including caustic. causing the plating to come off in sheets. Although many carbon graphite compounds are available unfilled carbons are the best because they are corrosion resistant to almost all chemicals except oxidizing agents and some de ionized water applications.5% would be a much better choice.). Sealing Limits • Use only stationary mechanical seals (the springs do not rotate with the shaft) if the face surface speed exceeds 5000 feet per minute ( 25 M/sec. 85% ceramic should never be recommended as a hard seal face as it can break with as little as a 100 degree Fahrenheit (55 C) temperature difference.

) in a radial or axial direction. clean. Use motion seals on mixers. The easiest product to seal is a cool. Any good quality. Split seals will work in these applications. lubricating liquid. sleeve bearing equipment and any rotating device that has motion greater than 0. The O-Ring is the only elastomer that can seal both vacuum and pressure. sewage. explosive.).• • Use O-Ring balanced seals in vacuum applications down to 10-2 inches or one millimeter of mercury (1 Torr. agitators. The practice of using "one direction" seal balance is commonly employed by most seal companies and should be avoided for both safety and reliability. All problem chemicals can be placed into several categories. Pump seals do not work well in these applications because the hard faces are too narrow and the internal seal clearances are too tight. O-Ring seal can seal stuffing box pressures to 400 psi (28 bar) and temperatures to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205° C). most raw products) In addition to these chemical categories there are other sealing problems that include: o High pressure o Hard vacuum o High speed o Excessive motion Dual seals should be balanced in both directions to prevent failure when barrier fluid pressure changes.15 mm. If you know how to seal these categories you should have no trouble making seals work in your applications : o Products that crystallize (caustic or sugar solutions) o Viscous products (asphalt or molasses) o Products that solidify (polymers or chocolate) o Products that vaporize (hot water or benzene) o Film building liquids (hot petroleum or plating solutions) o High temperature fluids (heat transfer oil or liquid sulfur) o Dangerous products (fire hazard. bacteria) o Non lubricating liquids (solvents or hot water) o Gases and dry running applications (hydrogen) o Dry solids (cake mix or pharmaceuticals) o Corrosive fluids (acids or strong bases) o Cryogenics (liquid nitrogen) o Slurries (river water. but they must be turned around for best operation.005" (0. There is a compound of Dupont's Kalrez® that is satisfactory to 600 degrees Fahrenheit (370° C). Application • • • • • • A Balanced O-Ring seal will not vaporize the product at the seal face if the stuffing box pressure is at least one atmosphere above the products vapor point. The coolant will be directed to only one side of the seal and since a stationary seal does not rotate the sliding components the differential temperature can cause the faces to 129 . radioactive. but it is not acceptable at ambient temperatures (it gets too hard). Do not use flushing fluid as a coolant in stationary mechanical seals. balanced.

Do not use rotating. o Thermal expansion can cause seal face loads to alter and seal face flatness to change. Do not attempt to recirculate back to the suction side and cool the stuffing box at the same time.• • • • • • • • • go out of flat. Plated faces can have the hard coating crack off and filled carbons can have the binder melted out in high heat.000034") inches or 1. When using a jacketed stuffing box it is best to install a carbon bushing in the bottom to act as a thermal barrier the pumping fluid and the seal. The solids will prevent the inner seal from moving forward as the faces wear and if the barrier fluid pressure is lost. Visible leakage occurs at about 5 light bands. As the face wears the seal must move into the slurry where it will eventually "hang up" and leak. Air trapped in the stuffing box can cause the seal faces to run hot and in some instances destroy the elastomer. In these applications centrifugal force is throwing solids into the lapped faces and if there is excessive pressure in the system the seal faces will be blown open. In the case of stationary bellows seals it could cause a bellows rupture. It is all right to dead end fluid in a stuffing box if a jacketed stuffing box is being used. If this should occur between the seal faces. 130 . "Back to Back" double seals in dirt or slurry service. Cyclone type separators or "in line filters" are not a good method of cleaning up the fluid in the stuffing box. Very few seals will ever see discharge pressure. o The corrosion rate of all liquids increases with temperature. but will provide the necessary cooling to the shaft so that it will not transmit stuffing box heat back to the bearings. The best way to cool a seal is to use the jacketed stuffing box that came as a part of the pump. This jacket will not only cool down the seal area. Technical • Seals lapped to less than three helium light bands ( 0. but not as good as the jacketed stuffing box. Do not be tempted to put the mechanical seal outside of the stuffing box to keep the springs out of the fluid. Be sure to vent vertical pumps back to the suction side of the pump. The use of steam in a Quench gland is another solution. o The elastomer (rubber part) has a temperature limit determined by the compound used. they can be blown open. solids will penetrate the inner seal faces. o Many products will change from a liquid to a solid or gas in the presence of high temperature. When choosing the pressure range of a mechanical seal be sure to consider the stuffing box pressure not the pump discharge pressure.0 microns) should not show visible leakage. Heat affects a seal several ways: o The faces can be attacked.

If they are to be used as a support bearing you should cut the clearance down to 0. Carbon throat bushings should have a shaft clearance of 0. as the face load will change when the impeller is adjusted. o Use a stationary seal design. Most petroleum base and other oils have a low specific heat (0. as the abrasive particles will imbed into the soft carbon. It is not necessary to lubricate seal faces at installation. Use only cartridge or split seals in these applications. o Use a metal bellows. Do not relap the carbon face unless it is an emergency. Packing a pump would be like running your automobile with the emergency brake engaged. (0. The car would run. Vibration can be either harmonic or caused by poor lubricating fluids (slip stick) Use only non fretting seal designs.07 N/mm2) when the carbon is fully worn away. 131 . Elastomer seals do not experience this vibration problem because the elastomer touching the shaft is a natural vibration damper. Avoid oil as a barrier or buffer fluid between two mechanical seals.4) and combined with poor conductivity (0. You must never guess as to how much to compress a mechanical seal. If you divide the Brinnell scale by ten (10) it is almost equal to the Rockwell "C" scale. Both rotating and stationary metal bellows seals require vibration damping. You cannot balance an inside seal by removing material from the carbon face. To get seal balance you must do one of the following: o Use a stepped sleeve with rotating seals. Seal face opening is a common seal failure. The balance is not perfect. (0.5 of water) makes them a poor choice compared to fresh water. Open impeller pumps require impeller adjustment. they require no stepped sleeves. Check to see if your seal has a problem in keeping the faces together because of the spring winding.001 inches/ inch (0. a clean heat transfer oil would be your best choice.002 mm/ millimeter) of shaft diameter. Balanced mechanical seals consume about one sixth the horsepower of packing.002 inches/inch (0.001 mm/millimeter) of shaft diameter.2 N/mm2) when the carbon is new and 10 psi. Seal face hardness is a confusing subject because of the various measuring scales employed. If the product you are sealing can vaporize between the faces and cause freezing then you must remove any lubricant that might have been placed there by the manufacturer. but the fuel consumption would be high. Shafts and sleeves cost too much to ignore this severe problem. o Let the carbon slide in a case that is sealed to the shaft.0. Single spring seals are wound in either a right or left handed direction.2 . but good enough. If oil is mandatory.• • • • • • • • • • • • A typical mechanical seal face load would be 30 psi. If you must relap in an emergency never use lapping powder. The two most common are Rockwell "C" and Brinnell. Either take the information from the seal print or calculate the correct length from the above information. Do not use seals that locate against a shoulder or set screw to the shaft. When the faces open solid particles imbed them selves into the carbon face and will be driven in even further during the lapping process.

Contact the seal manufacturer for his recommendations concerning speed. If you use unbalanced seals the heat generated by this type of seal is usually excessive for convection cooling. O-ring seal designs can tolerate three to four times the "run out" capability of sliding or pusher seals incorporating wedges. If convection is not satisfactory. U. A special carbon with an imbedded organic is made to satisfy these applications. If you decide to have them repaired send them back to the original manufacturer. The following information has been explained in detail in previous technical papers. Alpha grade silicone carbide or tungsten carbide are much better choices. o Hot petroleum products if you are concerned about fugitive emissions. astintine & iodine o Where color contamination can be a problem. be sure to purchase the parts from the original manufacturer. o Some de-ionized water applications. face combination and pressure limits for convection cooling. A special carbon is used for cryogenic and hot dry air applications. MATERIALS • • • Carbon seal face. Oil on the seal faces can cause the faces to stick together during long periods of non running. Any form of carbon is usually not acceptable in the following applications: o Oxidizers. It might save you a seal or pump failure.cups etc. Take a few minutes and look at the following. A quick reference to prevent potential seal and pump problems: The biggest advantage of experience is you have hopefully learned what can get you into trouble.• • • • A convection tank can often be used between two balanced O-Ring seals.. fluorine.5 is not a satisfactory hard face in hot applications because of its poor thermal conductivity. If you do not intend to run the equipment soon remove any oil that might be on the seal faces during the assembly procedure. This information is not available from the manufacturer because of product liability problems. Ceramic grade 99. diameter. 132 . chevrons. If you decide to repair your mechanical seals in house. and in these applications the needed moisture is not present. they combine with carbon to form CO & CO2 o Halogens (most of them end in the letters "ine") chlorine. Moisture is needed to make the graphite release from the carbon-graphite mixture. bromine. a pumping ring or forced lubrication is another option. It is important that the seal be rebuilt with the original materials and it must meet the original tolerances. but I still see the same problems re-occurring on a daily basis.

Sodium Hydroxide (Caustic). Sulfate (high PH) is the most common and ethylene propylene can be used for the O-ring material if the temperature is below 300°F (150°C). Do not use it with: o Acetaldehyde. Freon 113 -114 114B2 . and stress. but in other instances a very high pressure is involved. but ethylene propylene rubber is still your best choice as long as the temperature does not exceed 300°F (150°C. For the first few days the seal will work very well because the elastomer has become "slimy" and moves easily.) The material is too hard at these lower temperatures. Ammonia + Lithium metal solution. Caustic. Kalrez is a good choice. Grade 747-75 fluorocarbon is O. Nickel base tungsten carbide can cause galvanic corrosion problems with stainless steel shafts. DI water. Red Fuming Nitric Acid.115 . Black Liquor.PCA . • • • • Ammonia compressor. Aqua Regia.K. APPLICATION Remember that chemical attack can be accelerated by temperature. 133 . and White Liquor. if the water is cold. Lye. If the temperature is too high. If you choose the wrong elastomer it will be attacked by the fluid and break down.Liquids. Fuming Sulfuric Acid.142B. use Neoprene for the O-ring because the fluid is a combination of ammonia and petroleum oil. High pressure applications also require a heavy duty seal design. In any case. Boiler feed pump applications vary a great deal. This also includes steam cleaning or flushing the lines with water based caustic solutions. The metal selection depends upon the temperature and stress. In some cases they are nothing more than a simple hot water application.• • • • • • • Ethylene Propylene Rubber O-Rings will be attacked by petroleum products and this includes any petroleum grease that might be put on the O-ring during the installation process.TF. Reaction bonded silicone carbide is not satisfactory for caustic or most high PH materials. If the concentration is over 50% Monel metal will probably be needed. (315°C. Ethylene Oxide. Black liquor. KEL-F. The elastomer will then "swell-up" and lockup the moveable seal components. Ethyl Formate. Fuming Sulfuric Acid. Magnesium Hydroxide. Past plant experience is your best indicator of what seal and pump materials to use. as found in paper mill applications can be either sulfite or sulfate. FC 75. White Chemraz is not recommended for most high PH fluids. White Chemraz is not recommended in these higher temperature caustic applications. Viton® O-rings are not generally satisfactory in water based fluids.). cooling is needed in the stuffing box to insure long seal life. Green Sulfate Liquor. fluid concentration. Kalrez® grade 3018 is not satisfactory if the temperature is below 600°F. Potassium Hydroxide.C318 .

Do not put any grease on the seal faces. but flushing with a small amount of cold water seems to be the only satisfactory solution to this application. Watch out for moisture outboard of the seal. Pipe line applications almost always involve high pressure. This holder is also frequently used as a vibration damper to prevent seal face separation problems caused by "slip stick.• • • • • • • • • • • Ethylene Oxide will penetrate into most elastomers and explode out the other side of the O-ring. CONVERTING FROM PACKING TO SEALS Horizontally split pumps: • • Suction recirculation will not work if the stuffing box is at suction pressure. If the pump is trying to "lift" paper stock it will almost always cavitate. so two seals should be used in any case. Most single stage designs fit into this category The face of the stuffing box must be resurfaced to get a good gasket seal. Most metal bellows seal designs incorporate a low expansion holder (Invar 36 or Carpenter 42) to retain the carbon face. High temperature applications. Paper stock always requires a small amount of flushing water. The seal area must be cooled. If you want to seal fugitive emissions you will have to go to two hard faces. Products that freeze (cryogenic). You cannot use suction recirculation and centrifugal force to separate the stock from the water because of the stock's low specific gravity. Even the best of carbons show some blistering in these applications. Alloy 20 metal is usually needed for these applications. Coat the O-rings and all clamped surfaces with Zinc Oxide paste to prevent corrosion at these locations." If you lose cooling in these applications the pump shaft expands at a rate three times that of the low expansion steel vibration damper and can cause the seal faces to be pulled open. Salt water. Creavey and & 76 style. Sulfuric acid. Ethylene Oxide is a dangerous product. Dual seals with a pressurized water barrier fluid have been used in this application. and non contacting gas seal seem to be the current choice. Hot oils. Coking is always the problem. a metal bellows seal will not eliminate the need for stuffing box cooling. Water is a good choice for this barrier fluid. In other words. Coking is a function of temperature and time and is independent of the presence of oxygen. Heavy duty seals should be used in these applications. Dual seals with anti-freeze circulating in a convection tank is your best bet. It will freeze also. Use two seals and pressurize between them. Latex balls up between the seal faces. 134 . Halogens attack most carbon faces and will penetrate the Teflon® encapsulated O-rings like Vanway. Kaoline (china clay) will penetrate lapped seal faces because the solids are less than one micron in size. You will need two seals with a pressurized barrier fluid between the seals. Any leakage will cause severe corrosion as the product is diluted.

Quenching. but not if the application alternates between them. o Single stage. It's worth the problem. This can be a big problem with the thin metal plates found in metal bellows seals. you know the materials are alright. You only have to seal the bearing cavity in this application MISCELLANEOUS • • • • • • • • Discharge recirculation can act as a sand blaster against the seal body. Do not use any type of set screw on non-metallic shafts. Troubleshooting hints o Are other seals working in this application? If they are. Now you must decide what is different about this application. centrifugal force will throw the liquid to the outside leaving the solids against the seal components. You will definitely need a pumping ring if you are going to use a convection tank. Seal set screws are normally manufactured from corrosion resistant materials and are therefore softer than normal set screws. Most can seal either a pressure or a vacuum. flashing will occur when the stuffing box pressure drops. Be sure to seal between the sleeve and the impeller. 135 . Seals must be clamped to the non metallic shaft or sleeve. and ruin the bearings. Dual seal barrier or buffer fluid. An excess of water or steam can easily get into. You can run into this problem in some mixer applications. Paper stock is a good example of this. Suction recirculation is not affective in the following: o Duriron pumps. You will need either a stationary mechanical seal or some type of self aligning feature to seal these pumps successfully. Oils should be your last choice as a barrier or buffer fluid because of oils' low specific heat and poor thermal conductivity. Split seal designs. Some sleeves terminate under the seal. The gasket can then rub against the side of the seal interfering with its movement. This means they can slip if reused. o If the fluid is close to its vapor point. because of their semi. This is a potential leak path after a mechanical seal is installed. o If the specific gravity of the solids is lower than the fluid. If the solids float. You can substitute hardened set screws in most cartridge seal applications. be sure to have it extend outside the stuffing box face and then trim it flush after the halves are tightened together.open impeller design. Flyte sewage pumps can be converted to a single mechanical seal if a special adapter is made.• • • • • If you are making a new gasket between the casing halves. Sometimes a new gasket will extrude into the sides of the stuffing box when the two halves of the pump are bolted together. Check that you will not have a corrosion problem if the sleeve and shaft are different materials. double ended pumps where the stuffing boxes are at suction pressure.

Condensate or low pressure steam is a better choice. Never cool a bearing housing because it will shrink and over compress the bearing. o Multi stage designs. Cool only the bearing oil. The next time that you look at the pump discharge gauge. What is the best pump and seal technology? The "Best Technology" phrase comes up in recent government regulations and every day plant conversations. file the tips and re balance the assembly. Materials able to handle the full temperature range of the product you are sealing. Be sure to level the pump when you do an alignment. discoloration. Bearing lip or grease seals have a useful life of less than 90 days and will cut and score the shaft because of fretting corrosion. So what is the best Mechanical Seal and Pump Technology available today? Here is my opinion: SEAL TECHNOLOGY Materials • • • Identifiable face materials compatible with the fluid to be sealed and any cleaners or solvents put through the lines. Do not circulate shop water through the cooling jacket on a high temperature pump. You must subtract a positive suction head to determine what head the pump is really creating. Pumping off of the best efficiency point will not excessively deflect the shaft with the following centrifugal pump designs: o Double volute casings. If you trim the impeller. 136 . o Diffuser or turbine pump designs. Be sure to install a thermal bushing in the end of the stuffing box to get effective temperature control in the seal area. remember that the pump pumps the difference between the suction and discharge heads. CENTRIFUGAL PUMPS • • • • • • • • • Do not let the welder use the pump as an electrical ground. Flushing the system with steam or a cleaner seldom flushes out the stuffing box of the pump. You can ruin the seal or bearings in the process. or corrosion that is not relevant to this application.o Has the seal been repaired? You may be looking at a rub mark. Viton® compatible with water. Make sure you come into the bottom of the jacket and out the top to vent any air that might be trapped in the jacket.

Seal should be located close to bearing support. 137 .• • • • Hard faces that are not sensitive to temperate change or caustic cleaners. No glued elastomers in split seal configurations. Meet fugitive emission standards. Vibration damping of the seal face. Back up sealing. Stationary configuration for non-cartridge applications. OTHER • • • • Packaging to survive a one meter drop. Simple installation. No stainless steel springs or bellows. Faces in compression. Tandem configuration in dual seal designs. Built in seal face vent for vertical applications. Eliminate all elastomers if possible Short length leaving room for a shaft support bushing. Sealing fluid located at the outside diameter of the seal faces Leak detection capability Independent of shaft finish and tolerance Compensate for thermal expansion and adjustments. No elastomer in the seal face. The elastomer should move to a clean surface as the faces wear. Wide operating range Low hysteresis. Non fretting designs. Self aligning design for stationary cartridge versions. Trapped gaskets. Equal & opposite clamping of stationary face. A method of supporting the shaft in the event of a bearing failure. Hydraulically balanced designs for low heat generation. Built in pumping ring for cartridge dual seals. Independent of shaft tolerance and finish Static elastomer located away from the seal face Cartridge sleeve sealed at wet end. Finite element analysis of all components. No spring loaded elastomers. Springs designed out of the fluid. Design • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The seal should shut with spring and system hydraulic pressure. Unfilled carbon graphite seal faces No elastomers with shelf life. Two way balance in dual seal designs. No rotating "back to back" designs.

Adequate bearing retention (no snap rings). Adjust impeller from the wet end to prevent seal face load change. based Japanese automobile manufacturers has a unique method of troubleshooting any type of mechanical failure. Suction specific speed number below 8500. (solids can't get in until the faces open) 2. Why did the faces open? • The set screws holding the rotary unit slipped due to a combination of vibration and system pressure.BEST PUMP TECHNOLOGY • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Low shaft diameter to length ratio (less than 60 L3 /D4) . Oil cooling availability. Why was the seal installed on a hardened sleeve? • This was a packing conversion and a stock sleeve was used. Large operating window C or D frame adapter to simplify driver to pump alignment Centerline design for thermal expansion. Dynamically balanced rotating assembly. Set screws are not supposed to slip. Oversize stuffing box. Why did the seal fail? • The lapped faces opened and solids penetrated between them. 138 . A new method of troubleshooting centrifugal pumps and mechanical seals: One of the U. Why did the set screws slip? • The seal was installed on a hardened sleeve. Duplex metal impeller. S. Positive bearing sealing. 4. Double volute to prevent shaft deflection. As an example: 1. 3. The system is called the "Five Whys". It is a simple but powerful concept. Low NPSH. Impeller specific speed number selected for the application. Impeller investment cast. Oil level indication. nothing has been solved until the question "why ?" has been asked at least five times and a sensible answer has been given for each of the "why" questions.

5. In the above example the float got stuck on a corroded rod. the failures will stop. Why did it get too hot? 139 . Why didn't it have enough suction head? • The level in the tank got too low. Why was the pump cavitating? • It did not have enough suction head. 2. 3. Why couldn't the mechanic tell the difference between a hardened sleeve and a soft one? • They were both stored in the same bin. Why did the seal start to leak? • The elastomer got hard and cracked. Why did the level in the tank get too low? • I don't know. You have not finished five "whys" so you better go find out why the level in the tank go too low or the problem is going to repeat its self. Now you get the idea! Needless to say you may have to go further than just five "whys". One more example should do it: 1. Why did the seal fail? • The pump was cavitating and the vibration caused the carbon face to crack. Once that problem is corrected. 6 Why were they stored in the same bin? • Because they had the same part number. 3. 7. 2. 4. giving an incorrect level indication. Let's try another example: 1. Why did the elastomer get hard and crack? • It got too hot. Why did they have the same part number? • They should have had different part numbers.

the soft packing stabilized the shaft to prevent too much deflection. Why was it running under a vacuum? • A Goulds pump impeller was adjusted backwards to the back plate and the impeller pump-out rings emptied the stuffing box. Design and maintenance practices will be discussed in other papers in this series. and will cause premature seal and bearing failure.• The pump stuffing box ran dry. 5. In an effort to save flushing water and to conserve power. 4. Operation practices that cause frequent seal and bearing maintenance problems Wouldn't it be wonderful if the plant operation and maintenance departments could work independently? The fact of the matter is that there are three types of problems we encounter with centrifugal pumps and poor operation is one of them. I hope you make good use of it. Here are some of the common reasons why a pump is run dry: 140 . He has since been retrained This is a powerful trouble shooting technique. 6. If you are curious. The mechanic confused the impeller adjustment method. many of these same pumps have since been converted to a mechanical seal and the radial stabilization the packing provided has been lost. In the following paragraphs we will be looking at only those operation practices that can. Why did the stuffing box run dry? • It was running under a vacuum and it was not supposed to. Why was it adjusted backwards? • Most of the pumps in the facility are of the Duriron brand and they normally adjust to the back plate. When pumps were supplied with jam packing. The bad operating practices include: Running the pump dry will cause over-heating and excessive vibration problems that will shorten seal life. Seals and bearings account for over eighty five percent (85%) of premature centrifugal pump failure. the other two are design problems and poor maintenance practices.

P. Some systems were designed for a low capacity positive displacement pump and have since been converted to a 141 . Discharge valves are shut before the pump has been stopped. wear rings and bearings. • • • • Starting the centrifugal pump with a shut discharge valve is standard practice with many operation departments. The level in the suction tank is changing. corrosive or both. Running the tank dry at the end of the operation cycle. Changing the flow rate of the liquid causes shaft deflection that can fail the mechanical seal and over-load the bearings. throttling or opening a valve will cause the pump to move to a new point on the curve as the tank fills. the pump moves to a different point on its curve. the tank is empty. Some pumps are equipped with a recirculation valve that must be opened to lessen the problem. but many times the valve is not opened.P. Running on the steam that is being used to flush the tank. He may think that there is an adequate level. Many operators have stopped venting for that reason. Operating off of the best efficiency point (B. Remember that the pump pumps the difference between the discharge and suction heads. The control rods for the float switch will often "gum up" or corrode and give a false reading to the operator. Any upset in the system such as closing. This translates to excessive heat that will affect both the seal and the bearings as well as causing the seal faces to open. If the suction head varies. Emptying the tank for steaming or introduction of the next product. Sump fluids are often dirty.E. and the possibility of the impeller contacting the volute when the shaft deflects. This will cause a vacuum in the suction tank. Pumping to the bottom of a tank will cause the pump to move to a different point on the curve as the tank fills.E. Another point to remember is that if the bypass line is discharged to the suction side of the pump the increased temperature can cause cavitation. After a system has been blocked out the pump is started with one or more valves not opened.• • • • • • • Failing to vent the pump prior to start-up. when in fact. impeller.). • • • • Starting the pump with the discharge valve closed to save power. Tank vents sometimes freeze during cold weather. Dead heading the pump can cause severe shaft deflection as the pump moves off of its best efficiency point (B. and in some cases could collapse the tank. Starting the standby pump without venting it.). The concern is to save power without realizing the damage that is being done to the mechanical seal. or the bypass line is clogged or not of the correct diameter to prevent the excessive head. Venting a hazardous product can cause a lot of problems with the liquid disposal.

• • centrifugal design because of a need for higher capacity. but most of the time they are used to get rid of unwanted solids. Some seal glands (A. The level in the tank is also critical. • • • • • Cooling-heating jackets should show a differential temperature between the inlet and outlet lines. It should be above the tank inlet line or no convection will occur. Seal environmental controls are necessary to insure long mechanical seal life. This is causing unnecessary down time and excessive operating expense.P. Increasing the flow will often cause cavitation problems. If the discharge piping is restricted because of product build up on the inside walls. This is one of the reasons that it is important to take periodic flow and amperage readings. Centrifugal pumps must discharge to the top of the tank to prevent this problem.) seal designs will fail if this differential pressure is lost. but not functioning. As an example.I. Some convection tanks are pressurized with a gas of some type.E. The amount of flush is determined by the seal design. Operating people frequently shut off the quench to stop the condensate from leaking. building a film on the faces etc. The steam is often used to keep the product warm to prevent it from solidifying. those designs that have springs in the product require more flush. There may or may not be a differential temperature depending upon the flow rate. type) are equipped with a quench connection that looks like the seal is leaking water or steam. The line coming out of the top of the seal to the side of the tank should be warmer than the line from the bottom of the tank to the bottom of the seals. If a convection tank is installed. Barrier fluid is circulated between two mechanical seals. this differential will be lost and seal failure will shortly follow. the pump will run throttled. It is important that operations understand their function and need because many times we find the controls installed. If the jacket clogs up. getting too viscous. Seals should run until the sacrificial carbon face is 142 . there should be a temperature differential between the inlet and outlet lines. Many original equipment (O. Flushing fluids are used for a variety of purposes. The flush can be closely controlled with a flow meter or throttling valve. If there is too much steam pressure on this quench connection. As an example : • Mechanical seals have an 85% or more failure rate that is normally correctable. It is important to check that the stuffing box has been vented in vertical pumps. The vent should be coming out of the seal gland and not the stuffing box lantern ring connection. There are some additional things that all operators should know to insure longer rotating equipment life. otherwise the system is running backwards and may fail completely. the excessive leakage will get into the bearings causing premature failure. crystallizing.M.

E. There are five different causes of cavitation. If you use two hard faces or dual mechanical seals in slurry applications. High head. Learn about the affect of shaft L3/D4 on pump operation. adjusting the open impeller for efficiency will shorten the seal life.) is on a particular pump. The popular Durco pumps adjust to the back plate causing a compression of the seal faces that can create mechanical seal "over heating" problems. but in more that 85% of the cases the seal fails before this happens. A great deal of caution must be exercised if a flushing fluid such as caustic is going to be circulated through the lines or used to clean a tank. You should know where the best efficiency point (B. you will not need flushing water with its corresponding product dilution. Both the elastomer and some seal faces (reaction bonded silicone carbide is a good example) can be damaged.E.P. with a mechanical seal installed.• • • • • • • • • • • worn away. Here are a few common misconceptions that cause friction between maintenance and operation departments • • • • • Shutting the pump discharge valve suddenly. All ceramics cold shock. Know how the pumped product affects the life of the mechanical seal and why environmental controls are necessary.E. The pump must come into the shop to change a mechanical seal. If you are not using cartridge seals. Most original equipment seal designs cause shaft damage (fretting) necessitating the use of shaft sleeves that weaken the shaft and restrict pump operation to a narrow range at the B. Mechanical seals should be positioned after the impeller has been adjusted for thermal growth. low capacity consumes a lot of power. You should be aware that washing down the pump area with a water hose will cause premature bearing failure when the water penetrates the bearing case. 143 .P. In most cases the seal will open as the impeller is being adjusted to the volute. Durco pumps are the best example of the exception to this rule. Cycling pumps for test will often cause a mechanical seal failure unless an environmental control has been installed to prevent the failure. If the elastomer is attacked. This is important on any pump that is operated above 200°F (100°C) or you will experience premature seal failure. will blow the seal open. The stuffing box must be vented on all vertical centrifugal pumps or otherwise air will be trapped at the seal faces that can cause premature failure of many seal designs. the failure usually occurs within one week of the cleaning procedure. and how far it is safe to operate off the B..P. Some elastomers will be affected by steaming the system.

Avoid the temptation to "radio" these readings. Water entering the bearings through the lip or grease seals is a major cause of premature bearing failure. If someone is adjusting the impeller make sure he is resetting the seal spring tension at the same time. As you wander around the plant look out for painters that paint the springs of outside and double mechanical seals. After the failure. In the military and many modern plants. If the operator recognizes cavitation he can tell the maintenance department and help them with their trouble shooting. It is O. Stop the leak and you have eliminated the reason for the hose. If the pump is getting hot or making excessive noises. A few more thoughts on the subject • • • • • • • • • Operators should receive proper schooling on the trouble shooting and maintenance of pumps. If the operator knows how the pump works he will have no trouble figuring out the solution to his problem.K. to use an oversized impeller because throttling back will save power. The pump is not producing enough head to satisfy the application? 144 . the operator and the maintenance mechanic are often the same person. but there is always time to fix it. Keep the water hose and all other forms of cooling off of the bearing casing. Cooling a bearing outside diameter will cause it to shrink and the bearing will get hotter as the radial load increases. Too often he is told to keep the flow gage at a certain point. report it immediately. A great many motor and electrical problems are caused by these same wash down hoses.• • If you use metal bellows seals for hot oil applications. it does no good to tell maintenance that it was making noise for two weeks. Most water wash downs are used to dilute and wash away seal leakage. or between two values without understanding what is actually happening with the equipment. Do not let cleaning people direct their "wash down" hoses directly at the pump. If you are the floor operator it is common knowledge that taking temperature and pressure readings is very boring. you will not need the stuffing box cooling jacket operating. From hot to failure is a very short trip. There is a trend to putting two seals in a pump for environmental reasons and the painting of springs is becoming a common problem. especially on those gages that are located in hot or awkward locations." Try to keep this in mind when the pressure is on to get the equipment running again. Maintenance's favorite expression is "there is never time to do it right.

It's always slower. o A variable frequency motor is running at the wrong speed. If the suction head increases. This means that throttling is a normal condition in most plants. the pump head will decrease to meet the system requirements. if the head increases the capacity must decrease. Put a tachometer on your motor to see its actual speed. These two numbers multiplied together must remain a constant. In other words. o The impeller is running at too slow a speed o You are running an induction motor. o Physical damage often occurs during the assembly process when the impeller is driven on or off the shaft with a wooden block and a mallet. There is something physically wrong with the motor. Most pumps are oversized because of safety factors that were added at the time the pump was sized. o Damage can occur if the impeller to volute. The solids can chip off pieces of the ceramic that are passivating the impeller. It may be too low. erosion.This is the first paper in a four part series about pump troubleshooting. causing the pump to run on the left hand side of its curve. o Erosion occurs when solids enter the eye of the impeller. the suction side including the piping and source tank. Keep in 145 . The original clearance could have diminished with thermal growth of the shaft. causing localized corrosion. Check the voltage of the electric motor. A centrifugal pump always pumps a combination of head and capacity. If the pump is not meeting the system curve requirements the problem could be in the pump. o Check the speed of the driver if the pump is driven by something other than an electric motor. or somewhere in the discharge system. The pump will pump where the pump curve intersects the system curve. Their speed is different than synchronous motors. corrosion or some type of physical damage. o Your pulley driven pump is running on the wrong pulley diameter. Likewise if the head decreases. or back plate clearance is too small and the shaft experiences some type of deflection. Many impeller designs do not have a nut cast into the impeller hub to ease removal. The pump curve was created using a variable frequency motor that ran at a constant speed. The impeller is damaged. Check the bearings etc. THE PROBLEM COULD BE IN THE PUMP ITS SELF • • • • The impeller diameter is too small. the capacity must increase. Let me begin by pointing out that there are a couple of things you must keep in mind when troubleshooting centrifugal pump problems: • • • • • The centrifugal pump always pumps the difference between the suction and discharge heads. If the suction head decreases the pump head will increase to meet the system requirements. The damage could be caused by excessive wear.

This can happen with closed impellers on double ended pumps The second stage of a two stage pump is wired backwards. Lower specific speed numbered impellers are used to build higher heads. You should have heard a loud noise when this happened. A discharge recirculation line should have been used in place of the balance holes to reduce the axial thrust. most of what you will be pumping contains entrained solids. Here are some examples of shaft displacement: o Operating the pump too far off the BEP. The impeller specific speed number is too high. The impeller has been installed backwards. 0. 146 .017" (0. o The rotating assembly was probably not dynamically balanced. Wear is a common symptom of this condition. The pump reverses when the second stage kicks in.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • mind that some open impellers adjust to the volute (Goulds) while other designs adjust to the back plate (Duriron). o Pulley driven applications. o Misalignment between the pump and driver. o The shaft could be bent. Leaving off the inducer can cause cavitation problems that will interfere with the head. Inducers are almost always needed with high specific speed impellers. This can allow the rotating impeller to hit the stationary volute. or normal impeller wear could be the cause. The open impeller to volute clearance is too large. Check valves are notoriously unreliable. Impeller balance holes have been drilled between the eye and the wear rings of a closed impeller. The impeller is clogged. the normal thrust towards the volute has bent the snap ring designed for bearing retention. o Pipe strain. An impeller inducer was left off at the time of assembly. With the exception of finished product. The double volute casting is clogged with solids or solids have built up on the surface of the casting. This is a major problem with closed impellers. The pump is running backwards because the discharge check valve is not holding and system pressure is causing the reverse rotation. or they can crystallize with a change in fluid temperature or pressure. thermal growth. o A large impeller to cutwater clearance can cause a problem called discharge recirculation. This excessive clearance will cause internal recirculation problems. If the impeller is positioned too close to the cutwater you could have cavitation problems that will interfere with the head. The reverse flow is interfering with the product entering the impeller eye. In an ANSI and similar design centrifugal pumps. The impeller is loose on the shaft. This is a common problem with pumps installed in a parallel configuration.5 mm) is typical. A bad installation. Remember also that some products can solidify. The impeller is running backwards The shaft is running backwards because of a wiring problem.

If you are pumping a product at 200°F (100°C) or more you should use a centerline design volute to prevent excessive wear ring wear as the volute grows from the base straight up. engaging the wear rings. o Air is entering the stuffing box between the sleeve and the shaft. 147 . centrifugal pumps must be full of liquid at start up. You need a volute casing instead of a concentric casing. O-rings are the only shape that seals both pressure and vacuum. This happens if you convert a double ended pump from packing to a mechanical seal and fail to install a gasket or o-ring between the impeller hub and the sleeve. pumping from a condenser hot well etc. As the carbon face wears the spring load holding the faces together diminishes. Air is coming directly into the pump. It cannot meet the system curve requirements: The pump was not selected to meet the system curve requirements because no system curve was given to the pump supplier. o Air is coming into the suction side of the pump through a pin hole in the casing. o Air is coming into the stuffing box through the pump packing. A high suction tank level is reducing the differential pressure across the pump increasing its capacity. A wear ring is missing. Needless to say this can only be determined by inspection. Volute casings are much better for producing head. o Air can enter the stuffing box if the gasket between the two halves of a double ended pump is defective or does not extend to the stuffing box face. o Air is coming into the stuffing box through an unbalanced mechanical seal. This happens with a negative pressure at the suction side. Negative suction happens when the pump is lifting liquid. You have the wrong size pump. The pump pumps the difference between the suction and discharge heads. they should be of the O-ring design. o The pump was not primed prior to start up. or product out. When this bubble forms it shuts off all liquid coming into the pump suction. With the exception of the self priming version. A bubble is trapped in the eye of the impeller. It was probably left off during the installation process. This could cause the pump to lose its prime. The eye is the lowest pressure area. Unlike other designs. You cannot vent a running pump because centrifugal force will throw the liquid out the vent leaving the air trapped inside. o If you are using mechanical seals in vacuum service.• • • • • • • • • • • The wear ring clearance is too large. o This is a common problem if the shaft L3/D4 number is greater than 60 (2 in the metric system). o You should replace the rings when the original clearance doubles. The open impeller was adjusted backwards and now the close fitting "pump out vanes" are creating a vacuum in the stuffing box. Any small gaps between the face of the stuffing box and the split at the side of the stuffing box will allow either air in.

There is a problem with the piping layout. This can cause unnecessary shaft thrusting. A gasket with too small an inside diameter has been installed in the suction piping restricting the liquid flow. o The fluid is vortexing at the pump inlet because the sump level is too low and the pump capacity is too high. The return line should terminate below the liquid level. The pump was sized from a piping diagram that was thirty five years old. o A piping to pump reducer has been installed upside down causing an air pocket. o A piece of pipe of reduced diameter has been installed in the suction piping. It is reducing the head on the suction side of the pump. There should be at least ten diameters of pipe between the elbow and the pump suction. 148 . Concentric reducers can cause the same problem. If this is a problem in your application you might want to consider a self priming pump in the future. The higher the pump speed the bigger the problem. THE PROBLEM IS ON THE SUCTION SIDE OF THE PUMP.• • At replacement time the same size pump was purchased because no one had calculated losses in the system. There have been numerous piping changes and additions since the original layout. • • • • • • • • Air is entering the suction piping at some point. The suction lift is too high. o There is too much piping between the pump suction and the source tank.. The loss of head in a globe valve is many times that of a gate valve. A gasket in the suction piping is not centered and is protruding into the product stream. o Piping was added on the inlet side of the pump to by-pass a piece of equipment that was installed on the floor. You may need a booster pump or an inducer. o There is an elbow too close to the pump suction. THE PUMP COULD BE CAVITATING. o The liquid source is being pumped dry. o Air is coming into the system through valves above the water line or gaskets in the piping flanges. When it rains the drop in atmospheric pressure causes the inlet fluid to vaporize. o Air is being pumped into the suction piping to reduce cavitation problems o Fluid returning to the sump is being aerated by too far a free fall. but nobody knows it. A globe valve has been substituted for a gate valve in the suction piping. The vapor pressure of the fluid is too close to atmospheric pressure. In many instances additional pumps have been installed and this pump is running in parallel with them. o Multiple pump inlets are too close together. Suction piping should never run parallel with the pump shaft in a double ended pump installation. The pump inlet is too close to the tank floor.

grass can be pulled into the suction inlet. Look for corrosion in the piping caused by a hole in the liner. showing a higher tank level that does not exist. o The suction is being throttled to prevent the heating of the process fluid. The pump inlet temperature is too high. increasing its capacity and lowering the head. o A high suction tank level is reducing the differential pressure across the pump. Maybe you can use an inducer or booster pump to increase the suction pressure. The piping inlet is clogged. o Steam or some other hot cleaner is being circulated through the lines. Look for this problem in boiler feed pump applications. o The suction piping collapsed when a heavy object either hit or ran over the piping.• • • • • • • • • • • Two pumps are connected in series. The suction piping diameter has been reduced. o A discharge recirculation line is heating the incoming fluid. PROBLEMS ON THE DISCHARGE SIDE OF THE PUMP INCLUDING THE PIPING 149 . This is a common operating procedure with fuel pumps where discharge throttling could cause a fire or explosion. The problem is in the tank connected to the suction of the pump. but has now grown large on the pump side of the screen. A filter or strainer is clogged or covered with something. Intermittent plugging of the suction inlet. A foot valve is stuck. A small clam or marine animal cleared the suction screen. o Loose rags can do this. o The sun is heating the inlet piping. o The pump capacity is too high for the tank volume. lowering the suction pressure. o The tank is being heated to deaerate the fluid. The piping should be insulated to prevent this problem. or the sea. river. o If the suction is from a pond. Hard water is a good example of this problem o A liner has broken away from the piping wall and has collapsed in the piping. o The tank float is stuck. o A foreign object is stuck in the piping It was left there when the piping was repaired. o The operating temperature of the pumped fluid has been increased to accommodate the process requirements. o Solids have built up on the piping walls. A check valve is stuck partially closed The foot valve is too small. but it is heating the fluid up too much. The first pump is not sending enough capacity to the second pump. o There is not enough NPSH available for the fluid you are pumping. o The tank vent is partially shut or frozen. You should direct this line to a reservoir rather than the pump suction.

coming on when the tank level drops. Units in the discharge piping should not normally be shut off. The head will be low until the accumulator is recharged. the suction side including the piping and source tank. The pump will pump where the pump curve intersects the system curve. the capacity must increase. the pump head will decrease to meet the system requirements. These two numbers multiplied together must remain a constant. or somewhere in the discharge system. if the head increases the capacity must decrease. The pump discharge is connected to the bottom of the tank. The head is low until the level in the tank increases. 150 . Likewise if the head decreases. They should be running at the same speed with the same width impeller. If the pump is not meeting the system curve requirements the problem could be in the pump. A centrifugal pump always pumps a combination of head and capacity. The pump is not producing enough capacity to satisfy the application? Let me begin by pointing out that there are a couple of things you must keep in mind when troubleshooting centrifugal pump problems: • • • • The centrifugal pump always pumps the difference between the suction and discharge heads.• • • • • • • • • • Two pumps are in connected in series. If too many units are being by-passed in the discharge system the head will decrease as the capacity increases. The first pump does not have enough capacity for the second pump. A discharge valve (manual or automatic) is opened too much. This will occur if the pump discharge piping is entering into the top of a tank and discharging at a lower level The pump must build enough head initially to take advantage of the siphoning action. Connections have been installed in the discharge piping that have increased the demand that increases capacity. The pump is acting as an accumulator. A bypass line has been installed in the pump discharge increasing the capacity and lowering the head. In other words. Piping or fittings have been removed from the discharge side of the pump reducing piping resistance. they should be bypassed to prevent too much of a change in the pump's capacity. If the suction head decreases the pump head will increase to meet the system requirements. This can happen if an extra storage tank farm is being by-passed because the storage capacity is no longer needed. If the suction head increases. Consider the possibility of a siphon affect in the discharge piping.

causing the pump to run on the left hand side of its curve. The open impeller clearance is too large. A low suction tank level is increasing the differential pressure across the pump decreasing its capacity. A bubble is trapped in the eye of the impeller. Air is coming into the pump suction through an unbalanced mechanical seal. Someone gave the pump distributor a wrong system curve THE PROBLEM IS ON THE SUCTION SIDE OF THE PUMP • • • • • • • • • • • • • There is too much piping between the pump suction and the source tank. A foreign object is stuck in the piping It was left there when the piping was repaired. The piping was collapsed by a heavy object that hit the outside of the piping. The impeller has been installed backwards The shaft is running backwards.• Most pumps are oversized because of safety factors that were added at the time the pump was sized. Check the voltage and frequency The impeller is damaged. Loose rags can do this. A check valve is stuck partially closed Solids have built up on the piping walls. Showing a higher tank level that does not exist. Intermittent plugging of the suction inlet. A foot valve is stuck The tank float is stuck. The pump is the wrong size. Remember that both the head and capacity change with speed. There is an elbow too close to the pump suction. A globe valve has been substituted for a gate valve. You are using a variable speed motor trying to produce a flat curve. The pump was not primed prior to star up. The wear ring clearance is too large. Air is coming into the pump suction through the packing. A wear ring is missing. A liner has broken away from the piping wall and has collapsed in the piping. You may need a concentric casing rather than the volute design. The impeller to cutwater clearance is too large. The tank vent is partially shut or frozen. This means that throttling is a normal condition in most plants. A filter or strainer is clogged. The impeller is clogged. 151 . The impeller specific speed number is too low. THE PROBLEM IS IN THE PUMP ITS SELF: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The impeller diameter is too small The impeller width is too narrow The impeller speed is too slow. The second stage of a two stage pump is wired backwards.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • A small clam cleared the suction screen. A discharge recirculation line is heating the incoming fluid. A reducer has been installed upside down. The larger one is shutting the check valve of the smaller pump. The first pump does not have enough capacity for the second pump. The fluid is vortexing at the pump inlet because the sump level is too low. Maybe you can use an inducer to increase the suction pressure. A bypass line has been installed in the pump discharge. but has now grown large on the pump side of the screen. Air is coming into the system through valves above the water line or gaskets in the piping. The piping was collapsed by a heavy object that hit the outside of the piping. The vapor pressure of the fluid is too close to atmospheric pressure. When it rains the drop in atmospheric pressure causes the inlet fluid to vaporize. They should be running at the same speed with the same width impeller 152 . There is not enough NPSH available for the fluid you are pumping. The tank is being heated to deaerate the fluid. Extra pumps have been installed into the existing piping They are connected in parallel. A check valve is stuck partially closed. but it is heating the fluid up too much. Air is being pumped into the suction piping to reduce cavitation problems Fluid returning to the sump is being aerated by too far a free fall. Multiple pump inlets are too close together. A gate valve has been substituted for a globe valve in the discharge piping. but are not producing the same head. There is a restriction in the discharge piping. Two pumps are in parallel. An orifice has been installed into the piping to restrict flow. An orifice has been installed in the discharge piping to reduce the capacity or produce a false head. The discharge valve is throttled too much. PROBLEMS ON THE DISCHARGE SIDE OF THE PUMP INCLUDING THE PIPING • • • • • • • • • • • • • Extra piping has been added to the system to accommodate extra storage capacity. It should be insulated to prevent this problem. The suction lift is too high. The pump capacity is too high for the tank volume. The suction is being throttled to prevent the heating of the process fluid. The operating temperature of the pumped fluid has increased. Piping was added on the inlet side of the pump to compensate for a piece of equipment that was installed in the shop. The sun is heating the inlet piping. Piping or fittings have been added to the discharge side of the pump. Two pumps are in connected in series. Two pumps are connected in series. The first pump is not sending enough capacity to the second pump.

The head is too high when the tank fills. The pump is acting as an accumulator&emdash. Buying to a standard. Efficiency is always gained at the expense of maintenance. This inefficient use of power will translate to a higher heat environment for the seal along with all of the problems associated with shaft deflection. The head is increasing and the capacity is decreasing as the tank fills.P. Here are a few of the more common selection problems we find with centrifugal pumps: • • • • • • Buying the same size pump as the one that came out of the application. In either case the larger of the two pumps will be adversely affected. available.coming on when the tank level drops. Purchasing a larger pump because it will be needed in the future.H. Many boiler feed pumps require a flat curve so that the pump can put out 153 . Pump selection practices that cause high seal and bearing maintenance problems: Purchasing well designed hardware does not bring automatic trouble free performance with it. We often find pumps installed in parallel. or the larger pump will throttle the smaller one causing it to run off the best efficiency point. Efficiency means tight tolerances and smooth passages that will eliminate reliable double volute designs and keep the maintenance department busy adjusting tight tolerances to maintain the efficiency you paid for.K. or it will run throttled if it is feeding the smaller pump. That's O. or making a decision based on efficiency.P.) and you will spend a lot of production money for the additional power that is needed to run against a throttled discharge valve or orifice installed in the discharge piping. This will cause the pump to run off of its best efficiency point (B. When a mechanical seal is being used the shaft L3/D4 number is almost always too large. but no one knows it because the second pump was installed at a much later date and no one has bothered to trace the piping.E. Standards were written for packed pumps.S.• • The pump discharge is connected to the bottom of the tank. but the odds are that it was too big because of the safety factors that were added at the time of purchase. If the old pump was the correct size. deflecting the shaft. Pumps in parallel require that they have the same diameter impeller and that they run at the same speed. The very best equipment will cause problems if it was not designed for your particular application. Will raise the operating cost to unacceptable levels (Power = head x capacity) as the pump is run against a throttled discharge valve. When pumps are installed in series the impellers must be the same width and they must run at the same speed or the higher capacity pump will either cavitate because the smaller capacity pump can not feed liquid at the proper capacity. and believing that these two some how relate to quality. The capacity should be looked at if the higher capacity pump might exceed the N. Using a variable speed motor to compensate for a pump curve that is not flat enough. Series and parallel installation problems.

Thrust bearings being retained by a simple snap ring.P. We see this same need if we are pumping a varying amount of liquid to a very high constant height. See another paper in this series for information about "Internal recirculation".S. Failure to request a "center line design" when pumping temperature exceeds 200°F (100°C) it will cause pipe strain that will translate to wear ring damage and excessive mechanical seal movement. Makes seal replacement a nightmare unless you are using split or cartridge designs. Some one has to make the calculations and "walk the system". Because of typical L3/D4 numbers being very high. o If the entrained solids have a low specific gravity. The mechanical seal has been installed in a packing stuffing box that is too narrow to allow free seal movement.P. The pump should have been designed with a separate bearing case and a "C" or "D" frame adapter installed to connect a motor to the bearing case. will cause you to end up with a different kind of cavitation problem. or in the case of an exponential system curve such as we find in a typical hot or cold water circulating system. If you look at a typical pump curve you will observe that the best efficiency point (B. however: o If you are pumping at or close to vapor point. Chart recorders installed on both the suction and discharge side of the pump will give a more accurate reading of the present head if they are left on long enough to record the differences in flow. Varying the speed of a pump is similar to changing the diameter of the impeller. Specifying a desired capacity without knowing the true system head.H. Double ended pumps installed in a vertical position to save floor space. or any other restriction that might be present in the piping. o If you are using a double suction pump where the stuffing boxes are at suction pressure. The trouble with this method is that it will also record a false head caused by a throttled valve. o If you are using a Duriron pump that adjusts to the back plate. an orifice. High temperature applications have several special needs: 154 . You can't guess with this one.P. Requesting too low a required N. Beyond 65% of its rated efficiency most centrifugal pumps thrust towards the pump volute.E. the pump back plate should have been manufactured with a large diameter seal chamber. This means that if you vary the speed of the impeller. The use of "inline" pumps to save floor space.) comes down with impeller size to form an angle with the base line (capacity line) of the graph. If a mechanical seal was specified. There are some exceptions to this. Many of these designs are "close coupled" with the motor bearings carrying the radial and thrust loads. In most cases the stuffing box recirculation line should be installed from the bottom of this large seal chamber to the suction side of the pump or a low pressure point in the system. the wear rings act as "steady bearings" after the pump is converted to a mechanical seal. The present pump is not a reliable guide because we seldom know where it is pumping on its' curve.E.• • • • • • • • • varying capacities at a constant boiler pressure (head). the pump always runs off the B. The thin snap ring has to absorb all of this axial thrust and most of them can not do it very well . except in the case where the system curve intersects the pump curve.

0143 ¼ ST D 0.0027 0 0 1 9 .67 . A stainless steel shaft to retard heat transfer to the bearings.091 .01736 .00437 . but never the bearings.0037 4 6 0 7 .269 . Pipe Data Carbon and Alloy Steel .109 .178 .083 .197 .31 .675 XS 40 80 10S 40S 80S .031 . s e No.071 .Stainless Steel Identification Outsi Pipe de Steel Wall Inside Size Diam Iro Thickn Diame Stainle Inch ess (t) ter (d) .0024 .04069 155 .045 .02849 .065 .141 .57 .42 .215 Transverse Internal Area Area of Meta l (a) Squa Squa (A) re re Squar Inch Inch e Feet es es Extern Weig al Weig ht Surfac Mome ht Wate e Sectio nt of Pipe r n Inertia Poun Modul (l) ds Poun Sq.74 .178 .088 .083 .104 .106 .710 .106 .132 .141 .155 .101 .85 .097 .061 .032 .540 XS 40 80 10S 40S 80S .074 .01395 ST D 3/8 0.0005 .054 .03407 220 .0008 8 0 1 8 . A cartridge seal design that allows open impeller adjustment after the pump has come up to operating temperature.0007 .0016 .065 . A centerline design to compensate for thermal expansion.01032 .065 .0009 . No.307 .016 .0009 .395 .0002 .622 .132 .140 .036 .410 .025 .0005 .157 .233 .220 .423 .54 .674 .840 ST 40 80 5S 10S 40S .54 .95 .158 .125 .0013 .493 .0119 3 9 5 7 .220 .42 .0086 3 5 8 2 .0012 5 4 5 2 .364 .405 XS 40 80 10S 40S 80S 0.01227 . Sched.0004 .167 . Siz e ST D 1/8 0.178 .141 .356 .126 .19 .00523 .00602 .0033 0 1 2 1 .0072 0 0 3 9 .0010 0 8 0 6 .02554 ½ 0.545 .02160 .68 0. us per Inches per ds foot foot per of foot pipe .24 .49 0.0058 6 3 2 6 .172 .33 .124 . Ft. A coupling that will compensate for axial expansion. A method of cooling the bearing oil.217 .106 .o o o o o o A jacketed stuffing box that isolates the pumpage from the stuffing box contents by a carbon bushing to retard heat transfer.092 .072 .056 .119 .191 .302 . ss n es Inche Pip Sche Steel Inches Inches d.0027 .057 .

0170 1.63 3 1.2346 .435 .68 2.797 .065 .275 .050 .278 1.76 5.0046 2 .2913 .10 70 1.530 1.04667 .0060 0 .344 .435 .569 8 .282 1.42 8 .500 1.296 1 .799 5 1.27 3.0010 3 .1947 .86 .049 .0113 4 .03 6 1.1903 .0104 0 .1328 .599 .84 3.497 2.719 0 .0242 4 .294 .435 .0089 1 .44 .0030 0 .1405 .3099 .478 .102 .718 0 .836 5 1.188 .4110 40 ST 80 D 160 1 ½ 1.2136 40 ST 80 D 160 XS 1 ¼ 1.0370 4 .11512 .815 .065 .234 0 .250 .050 XX S 5S 10S 40S 80S .187 .1250 .D 160 XS XX S 80S .1038 .220 .083 .2839 .433 0 .0221 2 .0154 3 .13 1.230 .920 .896 .957 .466 .53 4 .344 .0122 5 .433 5 .4824 .383 6 .0245 0 .344 .442 1.200 .308 .708 .81 2.882 .0579 2 .83 9 1.66 .252 1 .1056 .649 .497 4.074 .344 .140 .04780 220 .201 1 .0073 4 .3421 .304 0 .0447 9 .1606 .1251 .05 7 .10036 .3262 .0037 1 .266 .0019 6 .11032 40 ST 80 D 160 XS 1 1.31 9 1.0020 6 .179 .881 5 1.05772 40 ST 80 D 160 XS ¾ 1.94 2.610 1.0011 8 .0042 6 .1605 .1662 .06 8 1.0499 9 .344 .281 .0141 4 .660 XX S 5S 10S 40S 80S .09 .00 3.682 1.147 .148 1.066 .08531 .3912 .1579 .2468 .471 7 .86 1.864 0 .374 7 .435 .40 8 .0036 2 .113 .358 1.435 .275 .4118 .47 1.5678 1.5977 156 .154 .638 8 .1934 .458 .255 3 .46 1 2.497 3.546 .065 .824 .05267 .2598 .273 .900 XS XX S 5S 10S 40S 80S .288 .40 1.0200 8 .315 XX S 5S 10S 40S 80S .250 3 .28 1.275 .122 .28 3 1.0170 9 .742 .275 .0049 9 .497 6.664 8 .145 .0016 3 .0003 5 .191 .608 .521 7 .0873 4 .612 .533 0 .613 3 .613 8 .100 .69 .630 2.10 29 .185 1.219 .434 .71 .409 .770 1.884 .72 .231 .250 .0097 1 1.11 1.064 .0065 6 .065 .05655 .275 .22 2 2.160 .220 .49 5 1.5078 .07055 .0043 8 .170 6 .133 .375 .41 .63 .0526 9 .76 7 1.21 .493 9 .42 .109 .945 2 .0127 7 .3411 1.109 .07 60 .07603 .312 .413 0 .275 .128 .09 .765 .332 6 .497 2.109 .097 1.344 .497 .668 5 .338 1.325 7 .435 .0021 1 .504 3 .0076 6 .963 .555 .022 .87 1.0756 9 .380 1.400 1.0296 9 .252 4 .2418 .17 2.320 0 .382 1.

02 1.898 157 .503 .58 3.260 3.0458 7 .047 .276 .226 .834 3.318 3.32 18.375 XX S 5S 10S 40S 80S .916 .709 2.068 2.810 3.916 .424 ST D 3 ½ 4.65 6 .233 10.53 5.0171 0 .18 5.214 4.438 .469 2.61 2.963 5.9 6 6 1.46 9.0123 2 .92 2 5 5 3.724 2.9873 1.032 5.178 1.84 1.51 6.622 .311 1.0378 7 .8679 1.047 1.438 .178 5.72 1.120 .95 8 3.916 .500 D 120 NS 160 5S 10S 40S 80S .54 6 2.87 1.950 .353 2.02 8 .500 XX S 5S 10S 40S 80S .471 7 .120 .753 .61 1.916 .728 0 1.28 .788 6.120 .25 4 2.178 1.997 40 ST 80 D 160 XS 3 3.334 3.02 1 1.120 .50 4.02 7.7 .0155 6 .083 .776 0 1.48 3.68 0 3.203 .0513 0 .39 3 6.237 .58 10.6 2.600 3.0233 0 .622 .0606 3 .687 1.216 .894 5.7 .622 .891 0 1.73 0 8.11 12.083 .109 .871 2.15 14.07 1.20 5 5.69 2.23 8 3.7100 .301 1.79 1 5 8 9.378 2.98 3.624 2.530 1.960 2.041 1.50 2.22 8 3.58 1.98 4.0375 5 .178 1.178 1.067 1.6657 .2 .548 3.000 XS 40 80 5S 10S 40S 80S .48 4.80 .624 3.0801 7 .27 4 2.140 4 40 ST 80 4.35 5 2.826 3.0274 9 .364 1.01 6 4.1 04 9.62 3.0989 7.1024 2.260 4.67 8 3.0579 6 .026 3.047 1.552 2.394 3.36 2.300 .88 .771 .95 3 2.19 0 2.66 10.337 .323 2.97 9.0 4 3 0 13.46 4 8.5 45 11.125 1.916 .39 6.436 2.97 .157 2.083 .0884 11.77 4 5.334 4.70 4 2.0066 5 0 40 ST 80 D 160 XS 2 2.753 .375 .60 5 5.9799 1.45 1.47 7 2.178 1.0253 8 .07 .638 1.94 5 4.40 8 4.65 4 3.249 1.753 .29 3.900 2.622 .178 1.20 2.753 .33 7.78 8 4.00 4.0332 2 .755 4.300 1.4939 .25 14.760 3.531 4.88 8 .47 4.0400 2 .27 22.46 6 1.4992 .271 5.88 6 8.047 1.0205 0 .07 5 1.65 5.76 4 5.5606 .2652 .17 12.03 4.979 1.065 .65 19.245 2.0771 1 .0288 5 .4204 .939 1.03 1.344 .0246 3 .03 9 1.876 3.64 3.083 .0294 2 .622 .3149 .339 1.162 1.154 .01 13.438 1.104 40 ST 80 D 160 XS 2 ½ 2.280 3.0617 0 .822 3.6868 1.753 .993 3.017 3.77 .753 .24 1 1.924 2.610 14.064 1.54 1.875 XX S 5S 10S 40S 80S .7309 .622 .635 2.916 .225 2.7435 1.34 7 7.78 3.0687 0 .45 3 4.79 7.35 1.15 5 11.761 3.81 4.218 .65 14.50 5.46 3 2.

69 16.3 40 2.134 .456 1.70 20.9 7 32.674 XX S 3.7 0 13.071 7.57 7.6 1 12.3329 .562 .64 43.734 1.090 ST 40 D 80 XS 120 160 6 6.2006 .625 140 XX S 160 ST D 40S 80S 8 .1 9 16.875 .06 23.734 3.500 .3474 .4 4 22.0 2 20.2204 .96 38.97 28.7 6 14.0 165.456 1.36 24.109 .258 2.1810 .719 .864 6.625 .77 19.3855 .3171 .2239 .500 .7 4 28.456 1.109 .6 6 43.407 8.26 8.97 13.791 6 .1 6 50.258 2.329 8.7 162.39 14.456 1.8 5 51.3 5 14.875 6.3 2 15.40 10.35 53.23 1 2.357 6.0 7 23.76 72.30 0 6.55 9.431 9.4 8 51.258 2.56 38.109 .295 5.152 4.69 24.22 14.28 7.734 1.813 4.55 35.70 28.258 2.16 1.40 7 5.0 1 18.60 9.125 8.065 5.0645 .576 4.1 5 18.04 32.812 .3601 .563 4.750 5.59 5 6.69 6 11.212 13.03 33.432 .54 3.95 3 9.95 60.451 7.81 20.10 1 1.33 7.734 1.61 22.16 8.62 1 8.80 2.73 105.40 22.75 12.10 15.178 6.2 4 31.258 .375 .30 9.49 88.6 4 2.625 XX S 5S 10S 40S 80S .1015 .4 8 12.1136 .719 .813 7.734 1.5 0 10.1558 .67 7.456 2.2819 .9 9.51 28.906 8.5 9 .35 72.496 12.981 7.734 1.1308 11.73 30.58 1 8.2532 26.80 .1650 .7 121.39 45.277 .8 9 26.1469 .148 .313 4.3018 .7 7 21.81 20.78 18.86 8 2.93 13.813 .406 .16 13.47 22.1390 .250 10.0542 ST 40 D 80 XS 120 160 5 5.61 58.33 5.41 57.3784 .49 49.734 1.498 3.134 .0 3 47.94 1 6.3553 .047 4.625 7.280 .38 1.62 20..322 .456 1.3 1 9.3 140.40 28.187 7.258 2.761 5.48 158 .14 32.59 16.001 6.258 2.0901 6.29 10.345 5.437 7.71 67.28 27.42 74.250 .456 1.063 22.346 8.91 6 3.2673 .63 6.68 16.29 18.16 20.258 2.83 17.5 1 54.0716 .5 153.258 6.98 17.57 36.594 .73 3 5.36 7.3 11.0798 15.258 2.78 27.029 5.897 .8 4 19.39 50.14 40.258 2.58 24.17 21.8 4 55.9 4 45.4 6 40.947 8.88 7.85 14.1529 .9 6 17.407 6.131 8.425 15.51 11.97 66.563 XX S 5S 10S 40S 80S .65 37.44 35.11 2 7.02 5S 10S 20 30 40 60 XS 80 100 120 8.40 5 10.72 9.58 35.1263 .77 14.258 2.187 4.501 5.796 12.67 25.54 8.258 2.72 63.9 3 21.2578 .28 5 4.09 6.61 1.

6 4 37.1 3 115.406 .1 3.688 .090 12.75 S 160 0 ST D XS .5922 .814 2.2 3.11 9.1 3.5 3 60.250 .814 2.5 9 80.6013 .54 53.33 37.6 641.4176 .03 89.1 3 56.562 .500 4.312 12.24 10.2 4 30.750 10.338 56.2 7 52.9 0 7 37.6 159 .500 .8 4 68.4 279.4732 . 10 111.338 122.7058 .500 . 64 96.180 .53 27.000 1.4 140.250 12.8 7 14.8 286.0 38.7 137.062 10.43 45.814 2.7972 .77 49.1 20.8 3.1 561.338 30.22 60.4 160.15 25. 80 113.5185 .814 2.00 44.500 10.42 73.1 2 36.719 .2 9 85.63 107.1 324.338 74.76 34. 57 117.9 0 16.96 26.626 11.30 21.7 5 121.0 76.125 10.9 2 22.20 32.5992 .814 2.7 3.29 40S 80S 10 5S 10S 20 30 ST D XS 40S 40 80S 60 80 100 120 XX 140 S 160 12 12.2 367.8 248.5603 .814 2.8 399.65 28.29 104.48 54.25 51.00 48.312 9.9 1 41.5 3 .75 .2 3.5731 .5592 122.4 9 139.1 3 64.6 700.750 8.338 100.38 43.5475 .52 65.6 3.6 6 71.062 8. 16 101.07 49.307 .0 244.52 34.8438 .338 109. 86 114.844 1.000 11.17 33.134 .0 3.3 15.338 22.92 46.000 1.35 31.50 46.6 3 34.750 11.0 7 11.5 3 36.5 2 26. 93 108.814 2.814 11.89 3.36 5.0 3 31.04 41.165 . 43 106.66 39.24 40.3 2 125.8185 .4989 .4 191.338 62.338 39.156 .375 .59 2.365 .9 3.482 10.3 361.3 300.3941 63.13 29.7 212.814 2.250 .43 77.126 6.1 0 18.9 113.6 9 78.0 2 86.438 12.04 34.020 9.74 64.2 4 21.8 3.74 49.0 3.5 400.6 7 160.390 12.7528 .4 6 5S 10S 20 30 40 60 80 100 120 XX 140 10.4481 .39 36.96 34.49 8.6 3 26.98 24.1 4 90.814 2.8373 .125 1.71 14.17 7.594 .7 7 19.90 39.8 6 74.7773 .420 10.7854 .136 10.814 2.4 475.5 2 80.5 8 15.7 3.19 18.250 10.82 12.562 9.43 74.5 21.15 88.1 4 .6303 .338 88.844 1.338 47.374 11.32 68.56 53.2 8 82.7372 .338 19.330 .0 8 47.338 43.750 9.5 781.7 6 86.6677 .938 11.95 35. 50 120.06 24.65 52.57 29.

500 15.25 245. 96 122.021 9 1.9217 .77 63.189 4.2 36.2 70. 1.61 54.05 52.189 4.059 6 1.6 144.688 14.712 47. 96 1.500 . 72 115.8956 257. 58 144.750 .17 62.16 10.08 81.58 73.58 82.8 36.250 1.4 8 56.594 .665 3.7213 . 50 135.8 159.624 13.227 2 1.5 89.312 .8 132.2 8 189.8522 . 78 143.57 83.6 194.375 .665 3.42 69.4 5 44.665 3.670 15. 28 128.003 5 .8 146.1 75. 5 27.2 61.189 4.500 .812 8.665 3.250 15.0 59.500 13. 1.156 .77 107.5 220.34 12. 92 152.6827 162. 0 23.406 13.62 58.665 3.57 63.250 .000 14.8 46.64 55.1 80.9 383.1 4 48.312 .5 6 65.04 47.124 11.43 106.01 42.0 5 18.312 13.3 549.83 4.376 15.2 1 24.3 1 192.375 .4 929.7 5S 10S 18 18.189 4. 72 169.188 6.73 36.6 417.500 11.2 4.75 58.175 1.3 5 31.665 3.2 562.124 13. 69 182.1 3 130. 52 137.2 27.250 13.656 . 1.189 32.712 40.670 367. 14 140.60 3. 0 1117.89 59.031 1.189 4.5S 10S 10 20 30 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 ST D XS 14 14.7 31.07 27.012 4 . 15 145.331 4 1.189 4.624 15.8 2 192.6 255. 8 1760.268 4 1.562 13.3 91.9394 .8020 .665 3.76 6 4.03 60.5 116.7 4.289 5 1.624 10.00 ST D 10 20 .6 1027.8956 .665 3. 44 160.8 0 13.376 13. 69 185. 73 128.8 429.5 170.9 932.2 806.7 8 72.1 678.7 473.94 1 4.5 0 136.188 .500 12.90 31.665 23.094 1.188 .6 3 147. 85 191.3 98.000 12. 87 98.71 45.1 731.665 3.938 1.250 .0 236.78 8. 62 103.3 291.6 4 245.250 4 240.9940 .438 1.1 483.50 79.12 76.9575 .2 4.5 48.05 106.74 80.12 62. 72 188.8 5 150.189 4.00 .694 17.176 6 1.3 824.702 17.4 61.500 2 243.189 4.6 45.665 3.670 9.4 372.189 4.8 562.3 2 50.9 95 1 17.6 2 40.46 55.09 85.00 .64 57.594 15.438 .1 0 1.188 .189 4.9758 .86 53.27 62.6 160 .73 66. 3 1893.844 1.4 1155.375 17. 28 132.1 1 63.4 1 24.3 314.165 .7 9 170.2 5 83. 8 1364.2 117.21 9.189 4.6 6 21.3 7 15.3 678.2 2 38.665 3.45 45.0 7 55. 88 135.59 104.6 1 164.5 194.4 2 16.9 8 31. 49 109.250 .812 11.688 13.165 . 5 1555.938 13.124 12.75 42.3 8 18.7612 .9394 .44 72.0 53.376 13.665 3.712 70.812 12.5 22 9 17.712 58.39 105.6 5S 10S 10 20 ST 30 D 40 XS 60 80 100 120 140 160 16 16.312 .18 50.310 3 1.4 3 223.219 1.339 3 1.3 69. 65 176.712 35.

30 XS 40 60 80 100 120 140 160

.438 .500 .562 .750 .938 1.156 1.375 1.562 1.781

17.124 17.000 16.876 16.500 16.124 15.688 15.250 14.876 14.438

17.3 4 20.7 6 24.1 7 27.4 9 30.7 9 40.6 4 50.2 3 61.1 7 71.8 1 80.6 6 90.7 5 11.7 0 13.5 5 15.5 1 23.1 2 30.6 3 36.1 5 48.9 5 61.4 4 75.3 3 87.1 8 100. 33 111. 49 12.8 8 14.9 2 17.0 8 25.4 8

53 237. 13 233. 71 230. 30 226. 98 223. 68 213. 83 204. 24 193. 30 182. 66 173. 80 163. 72 302. 46 300. 61 298. 65 290. 04 283. 53 278. 00 265. 21 252. 72 238. 83 226. 98 213. 82 202. 67 367. 25 365. 21 363. 05 354. 66

3 1.646 7 1.623 0 1.599 0 1.576 3 1.553 3 1.484 9 1.418 3 1.342 3 1.268 4 1.207 0 1.136 9 2.100 4 2.087 6 2.074 0 2.014 2 1.969 0 1.930 5 1.841 7 1.755 0 1.658 5 1.576 2 1.484 9 1.407 4 2.550 3 2.536 2 2.521 2 2.462 9

930.3 1053. 2 1171. 5 1514. 7 1833. 0 2180. 0 2498. 1 2749. 0 3020. 0

82.15 93.45 104.6 7 138.1 7 170.9 2 207.9 6 244.1 4 274.2 2 308.5 0

1 102.7 7 101.1 8 99.84 98.27 96.93 92.57 88.50 83.76 79.07 75.32 70.88

4.712 4.712 4.712 4.712 4.712 4.712 4.712 4.712 4.712

103.4 117.0 130.1 168.3 203.8 242.3 277.6 305.5 335.6

ST D XS

5S 10S 10 20 30 40 60 80 100 120 140 160

20

20.00

.188 .218 .250 .375 .500 .594 .812 1.031 1.281 1.500 1.750 1.969

19.624 19.564 19.500 19.250 19.000 18.812 18.376 17.938 17.438 17.000 16.500 16.062

574.2 662.8 765.4 1113. 0 1457. 0 1703. 0 2257. 0 2772. 0 3315. 2 3754. 0 4216. 0 4585. 5

39.78 46.06 52.73 78.60 104.1 3 123.1 1 166.4 0 208.8 7 256.1 0 296.3 7 341.0 9 379.1 7

131.0 6 130.2 7 129.4 2 125.6 7 122.8 7 120.4 6 114.9 2 109.5 1 103.3 9 98.35 92.66 87.74

5.236 5.236 5.236 5.236 5.236 5.236 5.236 5.236 5.236 5.236 5.236 5.236

57.4 66.3 75.6 111.3 145.7 170.4 225.7 277.1 331.5 375.5 421.7 458.5

5S 10S 22 ST 22.00 D XS 10 20 30 60 80 100

.188 .218 .250 .375 .500 .875 1.125 1.375

21.624 21.564 21.500 21.250 21.000 20.250 19.75 19.25

766.2 884.8 1010. 3 1489. 7 1952. 5

43.80 50.71 58.07 86.61 114.8 1 197.4 1

159.1 4 158.2 6 157.3 2 153.6 8

5.760 5.760 5.760 5.760 5.760 5.760 5.760 5.760

69.7 80.4 91.8 135.4 117.5 295.0 366.4 432.6

161

120 140 160

1.625 1.875 2.125

18.75 18.25 17.75

33.7 7 58.0 7 73.7 8 89.0 9 104. 02 118. 55 132. 68 16.2 9 18.6 5 27.8 3 36.9 1 41.3 9 50.3 1 70.0 4 87.1 7 108. 07 126. 31 142. 11 159. 41

346. 36 322. 06 306. 35 291. 04 276. 12 261. 59 247. 45 436. 10 433. 74 424. 56 415. 48 411. 00 402. 07 382. 35 365. 22 344. 32 326. 08 310. 28 292. 98

2.405 3 2.236 5 2.127 5 2.021 1 1.917 5 1.816 6 1.718 40 3.028 5 3.012 1 2.948 3 2.885 3 2.854 2 2.792 1 2.655 2 2.536 2 2.391 1 2.264 5 2.154 7 2.034 6

3244. 9 4030. 4 4758. 5 5432. 0 6053. 7 6626. 4

250.8 1 302.8 8 353.6 1 403.0 0 451.0 6

150.0 5.760 493.8 9 5.760 550.3 139.5 5.760 602.4 6 132.7 6 126.1 2 119.6 5 113.3 6 107.2 3 188.9 8 187.9 5 183.9 5 179.8 7 178.0 9 174.2 3 165.5 2 158.2 6 149.0 6 141.1 7 134.4 5 126.8 4 6.283 6.283 6.283 6.283 6.283 6.283 6.283 6.283 6.283 6.283 6.283 6.283 96.0 109.6 161.9 212.5 237.0 285.1 387.7 472.8 570.8 652.1 718.9 787.9

ST D XS

10 20 30 40 60 80 100 120 140 160

5S 10S

24

24.00

.218 .250 .375 .500 .562 .688 .969 1.219 1.531 1.812 2.062 2.344

23.564 23.500 23.250 23.000 22.876 22.624 22.062 21.562 20.938 20.376 19.876 19.312

1151. 6 1315. 4 1942. 0 2549. 5 2843. 0 3421. 3 4652. 8 5672. 0 6849. 9 7825. 0 8625. 0 9455. 9

55.37 63.41 94.62 125.4 9 140.6 8 171.2 9 238.3 5 296.5 8 367.3 9 429.3 9 483.1 2 542.1 3

10 26 ST D 26.00 XS 20

.312 .375 .500

25.376 25.1 505. 3.512 2077. 85.60 219.1 6.806 159.8 25.250 8 6.806 190.6 75 2 2 102.6 6 25.000 30.1 500. 3.477 2478. 3 216.9 6.806 250.5 9 74 4 4 136.1 9 40.0 490. 3.408 3257. 7 212.7 1 6 87 8 0 27.376 27.1 588. 27.250 4 61 27.000 32.5 583. 26.750 4 21 43.2 572. 0 56 53.7 562. 5 00 4.087 6 4.050 1 3.976 1 3.902 8 2601. 0 3105. 1 4084. 8 5037. 7 92.26 110.6 4 146.8 5 182.7 3 255.0 7 252.7 3 248.1 1 243.5 3 7.330 7.330 7.330 7.330 185.8 221.8 291.8 359.8

10 ST D XS 20 30

28

28.00

.312 .375 .500 .625

30

30.00

10

5S 10S

.250 .312

29.500 23.3 683. 4.746 2585. 79.43 296.1 7.854 172.3 29.376 7 49 5 2 98.93 8 7.854 213.8

162

ST D XS

20 30

.375 .500 .625

29.250 29.1 677. 29.000 0 76 28.750 34.9 671. 0 96 46.3 660. 4 52 57.6 649. 8 18

4.706 7 4.666 4 4.586 9 4.508 2

3206. 118.6 293.7 7.854 255.3 0 7.854 336.1 3 5 3829. 157.5 291.1 7.854 414.9 8 4 3 5042. 196.0 286.2 2 2 8 281.3 6224. 1 0 3898. 9 4658. 5 6138. 6 7583. 4 8298. 3 5150. 5 5599. 3 7383. 5 9127. 6 9991. 6 5569. 5 6658. 9 8786. 2 10868 .4 12906 .1 105.5 9 126.6 6 168.2 1 209.4 3 230.0 8 123.6 5 134.6 7 178.8 9 222.7 8 244.7 7 118.9 2 142.6 8 189.5 7 236.1 3 282.3 5 335.0 5 332.3 6 327.0 6 321.8 1 319.1 8 377.6 7 376.2 7 370.6 3 365.0 3 362.2 3 425.9 2 422.8 9 416.9 1 417.2 2 405.0 9 8.378 8.378 8.378 8.378 8.378 243.7 291.2 383.7 474.0 518.6

ST D XS 32 32.00

10 20 30 40

.312 .375 .500 .625 .688

31.376 31.0 773. 5.369 31.250 6 19 4 31.000 37.2 766. 5.326 30.750 6 99 3 30.624 49.4 754. 5.241 8 77 4 61.6 742. 5.157 0 64 2 67.6 736. 5.115 8 57 1 33.312 36.3 871. 6.052 33.250 7 55 4 33.000 39.6 868. 6.029 32.750 1 31 9 32.624 52.6 855. 5.939 2 30 6 65.5 842. 5.849 3 39 9 72.0 835. 5.805 0 92 0 35.376 34.9 982. 6.825 35.250 8 90 7 35.000 41.9 975. 6.777 34.750 7 91 1 34.500 55.7 962. 6.681 6 11 3 69.4 948. 6.586 6 42 2 83.0 934. 6.491 6 82 8

10 ST D XS 34 34.00 20 30 40

.344 .375 .500 .625 .688

8.901 8.901 8.901 8.901 8.901

303.0 329.4 434.3 536.9 587.7

10 ST D XS 36 36.00 20 30 40

.312 .375 .500 .625 .750

9.425 9.425 9.425 9.425 9.425

309.4 369.9 488.1 603.8 717.0

Identification, wall thickness and weights are extracted from ANSI B 36.10 and B36.19. The notations STD, XS, and XXS indicate Standard, Extra Strong, and Double Extra Strong pipe respectively. Transverse internal area values listed in "square feet" also represent volume in cubic feet per foot of pipe length.

163

00e-6 1. Table of Fluid Properties (Liquids and Gases) Symbols: p (greek letter rho) = Density (units are mass/volume).g. Calculation should be here.03e-6 1. If you're more familiar with dynamic viscosity µ (greek letter mu). meters).32 26. (L3/T) means that the variable has units of cubic length per time (e.3 1.204 1.15e-4 The equations used in this program represent the Moody diagram which is the old-fashioned way of finding f.00355 0. v (greek letter nu) = kinematic viscosity (units are length squared/time).9e-6 1. or Java is disabled in your browser.94 1. Fluid Liquids: Water Water Seawater SAE 30 oil Gasoline Mercury 70 40 60 60 60 68 1. Customary Unit) for mass is the slug.15e-7 T (°F) Density (slug/ft3) v (ft2/s) T (°C) Density (kg/m3) v (m2/s) Gases (at standard atmospheric pressure.0045 4. f is independent of 164 . then it may help to know that v = µ/p.52e-6 1.936 1. (L) means that the variable has units of length (e.66e-5 1.26e-5 0. The SI (metric) unit for mass is the kg.6e-7 1.S.2 1000 1030 912 680 13600 1. The English (U.63e-4 1.52e-5 1.99 1.e. or Java is disabled in your browser. Moody Friction Factor Calculator: Your browser does not support Java.25e-6 20 5 16 16 16 20 998. Note that for laminar flow.Your browser does not support Java. m3/s).00233 0. 1 atm): Air Carbon Dioxide Nitrogen Helium 70 68 68 68 0. so long as you are consistent.64e-4 8.51e-5 8. The Moody friction factor (f) is used in the Darcy-Weisbach major loss equation.00226 3.77 1.05e-5 1.166 1.2e-4 4.17e-6 4.16 0. You may enter numbers in any units.27e-4 20 20 20 20 1. Calculation should be here. i.83 1.65e-5 1.23e-4 1.g.

flanged Regular 90°.0 2. However. threaded Long radius 45°. old 20 yr. 1/2 closed Gate. unlined 10 yr. forward flow Swing check.1 17 2 infinity Tees: Line flow.2 0.2 1. Hazen-Williams Coefficients.7 0.0 K Fitting Elbows: Regular 90°.5 0.5 10 2 0.15 0. A more complicated equation which represents a slightly larger range of Reynolds numbers and e/D's is used in Design of Circular Liquid or Gas Pipes. threaded Branch flow. clay (good condition) 165 . flanged Line flow. old Concrete/Concrete-lined: Steel forms Wooden forms 140 120 Tin 130 107-113 89-100 75-90 64-83 C 140 130-140 100 Material Copper To top of page C 130-140 120 140 130-140 140-150 145-150 140-150 110 130 110-140 Galvanized iron Glass Lead Plastic Steel: Coal-tar enamel lined New unlined Riveted Vitrif. you must still enter an e for the program to run even though e is not used to compute f. threaded 0. old 40 yr. Minor Loss Coefficients. flanged Long radius 90°. old 30 yr. threaded Long radius 90°. flanged Branch flow. backward flow 180° return bends: Flanged Threaded 0. 3/4 closed Swing check.3 1. threaded Regular 45°.4 K Table of Hazen-Williams Coefficients (C has no units) Material Asbestos Cement Brass Brick sewer Cast-Iron: New.2 0.26 2.2 0. and Surface Roughness: Table of Minor Loss Coefficients (K has no units) Fitting Valves: Globe. threaded 0.9 1. fully open Gate.e. fully open Gate 1/4 closed Gate. fully open Angle.

glass Commercial Steel or Wrought Iron Galvanized Iron Cast Iron Asphalted Cast Iron Riveted Steel Drawn Tubing Wood Stave Concrete Major Loss Calculation for Water in Pipes using Hazen-Williams Friction Loss Equation: Your browser does not support Java. k is a unit conversion factor: k=1. The Darcy-Weisbach method is generally considered more accurate than the Hazen-Williams method.0e-4 to 3.001 to 0. Calculation should be here.5e-4 2. k=0. especially among civil engineers.0e-3 0.think of it as energy per unit weight of fluid) due to friction between the moving fluid and the duct.6e-4 1.0e-4 to 9.5e-6 1. It is also known as friction loss.0e-4 8. Hazen-Williams is simpler than 166 .8e-4 to 9.03 5.318 for English units (feet and seconds).0e-3 1. condition) 120 Table of Surface Roughnesses Material To top of page Surface Roughness.2e-4 9.0e-4 to 3.0e-4 3. However. the DarcyWeisbach method should be used.0 4.85 for SI units (meters and seconds) Rh=hydraulic radius=D/4 for circular pipe The Hazen-Williams method is only valid for water flowing at ordinary temperatures (about 40 to 75 oF).003 to 0.Centrifugally spun 135 Wood stave (avg.5e-5 1.0e-3 0. or Java is disabled in your browser.5e-4 4. the Hazen-Williams method is very popular.5e-4 5.0e-4 0.01 PVC. plastic. For other liquids or gases.0e-6 6.0 1. Major loss (hf) is the energy (or head) loss (expressed in length units . e feet meters 0. since its friction coefficient (C) is not a function of velocity or duct diameter.

Calculation should be here. The Darcy-Weisbach method is generally considered more accurate than the Hazen-Williams method. Major Loss Calculation for Fluid Flow using Darcy-Weisbach Friction Loss Equation: Your browser does not support Java. Hazen-Williams is only valid for water at ordinary temperatures (40 to 75 oF). (L3/T) means that 167 . velocity. or diameter. (L) means that the variable has units of length (e. or Java is disabled in your browser. You may enter numbers in any units.806 m/s2 Major loss (hf) is the energy (or head) loss (expressed in length units . especially among civil engineers. More Discussion and References. It is also known as friction loss. Calculation should be here. g = acceleration due to gravity = 32. More Discussion and References. or Java is disabled in your browser.g. so long as you are consistent. velocity. the Darcy-Weisbach method is valid for any liquid or gas. since its friction coefficient (C) is not a function of velocity or duct diameter. Additionally.think of it as energy per unit weight of fluid) due to friction between the moving fluid and the duct. meters). The Hazen-Williams method is very popular. Hazen-Williams is simpler than Darcy-Weisbach for calculations where you are solving for flowrate.Darcy-Weisbach for calculations where you are solving for flowrate. or diameter. Q=VA Flowrate Calculator Your browser does not support Java.174 ft/s2 = 9.

elbows. Calculation should be here. John Wiley and Sons. Pressures can also be computed in terms of gas columns. L. etc. Inc. Hydraulic design handbook. editor. or Java is disabled in your browser. Or. the water column equivalent to 40 psi can be computed. 1999. Calculation should be here. Munson. B. m3/s).the variable has units of cubic length per time (e. W. D. and T. 168 . References All fluid mechanics textbooks discuss static pressure. Introduction Engineers and others often need a conversion between pressure and height of fluid column. F. 1998. if a swimming pool is 4 m deep. hm has units of energy per unit weight of fluid which is the same as length. Your browser does not support Java. For further information.R. Minor Loss Calculations for Fluid Flow Minor loss (hm) is the energy (head) loss due to fittings (valves. Young.g. For instance. Mays. so we have included some built-in values for gas density. see Discussion and References. H.). or Java is disabled in your browser. 3ed. the pressure at the bottom can be computed. if a fire hydrant must operate at a static pressure of 40 psi.. A sampling of references follows. Static Pressure Calculation Your browser does not support Java. Okiishi. McGraw-Hill Book Co. Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics.

Q=Flowrate. Energy Equation for Fluid Flow Your browser does not support Java. etc. A=Flow Area Rectangular: A=Area=WH.) and major (pipe friction) losses. and K. Major losses can be computed using either the Darcy-Weisbach method or Hazen-Williams method. elbows. Bedford. V=Velocity. B. WCB/McGraw-Hill. V. The steady state energy equation for a fluid moving in a closed conduit is written between two locations at a distance L apart.174 ft/s2 = 9. one knows the flowrate and pipe diameter (or duct area) and is interested in determining the downstream pressure after a certain length of pipe. Calculation should be here. Design of Circular Liquid or Gas Pipes and Design of Circular Water Pipes can be used for non-circular ducts Cross-sections: Equations: For both geometries: Q=VA. All of the losses would be solved for (minor and major). D=Hydraulic Diameter=D2-D1 References 169 . L. See Discussion and References for further information. 9ed. then the energy equation would be used to solve for the unknown pressure or whatever is unknown. Non-Circular Duct to Circular Pipe Conversions Using these conversions. Wylie. Often. The energy equation is also valid for open channel flows. g = acceleration due to gravity = 32. P=Perimeter=2(W+H).806 m/s2 If you know discharge and diameter (or area). Fluid Mechanics. or Java is disabled in your browser.. 1998. D=Hydraulic Diameter=4A/P Annular: A=Area=PI(D22-D12)/4.Streeter. E. go to Q=VA to compute velocity. W. The loss term hL accounts for all minor (valves. The greek symbol "rho" is density (it is next to the g in the equation).

or Java is disabled in your browser. i. The Manning Equation is the most commonly used equation to analyze open channel flows. you must multiply the velocity by the actual area of the duct. The product A/P is also known as the hydraulic radius. From the hydraulic diameter output from either (a) or (b). Manning's n Coefficients for Open Channel Flow 170 .Your browser does not support Java. For uniform steady flows. Therefore. The actual area is computed on this page. The channel can be any shape . Calculation should be here. (a) and (b) will not compute the correct flowrate since they compute area based on a circular crosssection. Rh. rectangular.e. the energy grade line = the slope of the water surface = the slope of the bottom of the channel. etc. If velocity is entered in cm/min. The units in the Manning equation appear to be inconsistent. the value k has hidden units in it to make the equation consistent. not flowing under pressure.circular. and diameter will be output in cm. Manning's Equation Calculator Your browser does not support Java. this page can be used to determine the geometry of the duct. S is the slope of the energy grade line and S=hf/L where hf is energy (head) loss and L is the length of the channel or reach. Calculation should be here. If you wish to determine the cross-sectional geometry of a non-circular duct. the cross-sectional geometry can be converted to an hydraulic (equivalent) diameter using this page. It is a semi-empirical equation for simulating water flows in channels and culverts where the water is open to the atmosphere. then you must also enter height in cm. then width and height will be output in inches. not the flowrate (flowrate can only be converted to velocity if the actual duct area is used. however. The Manning Equation was developed for uniform steady state flow (see Discussion and References for Open Channel Flow). not the area based on hydraulic diameter). then flowrate will be cm3/min. Then. Using this page: If you have a non-circular duct. or Java is disabled in your browser. However. and was first presented in 1889 by Robert Manning. If you enter width in cm. you can use a) Design of Circular Liquid or Gas Pipes or b) Design of Circular Water Pipes if you know the velocity. triangular. Enter all values in consistent units: If you enter diameter in inches. velocity (not flowrate) can be computed using a) Design of Circular Liquid or Gas Pipes or b) Design of Circular Water Pipes based on the hydraulic diameter.

075 0. Farmland Light Brush Heavy Brush Trees Metals Brass Cast Iron Smooth Steel Corrugated Metal Non-Metals Glass Clay Tile Brickwork Asphalt Masonry 0.030 Clean and Straight 0.014 0.025 Finished Concrete Unfinished Concrete Gravel Earth Planed Wood Unplaned Wood a.035 Stony.009-0.025 0.011 0.022 Clean 0.009-0.035 Major Rivers Sluggish with Deep Pools 0. Cobbles Floodplains Pasture.022 0.015 0.011 Corrugated Polyethylene (PE) with smooth inner walls Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) with smooth inner walls Corrugated Polyethylene (PE) with corrugated inner walls c 171 .035 0.013 0.015 0.018-0.014 0.030 Weedy 0.012 0.Material Manning n Natural Streams 0.025 0.013 0.012 0.010 0.040 Material Manning n Excavated Earth Channels 0.050 0.029 0.025 Gravelly 0.15 0.b d.016 0.012 0.e 0.