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Maintenance and Repair of Centrifugal Pumps

written by: Willie Scott • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 11/1/2011 Centrifugal pumps ha e been used in industry for a hundred and fifty years or more! "hey are used to con ert the energy from the pump dri er to #inetic and potential energy into the fluid$ ia the impeller! "hey are used aboard ships to circulate seawater and freshwater cooling for the main engine!

% ship&s engine room contains se eral different types of pumps including centrifugal pumps! 'n the ne(t few sections$ the maintenance of centrifugal pumps is e(plained! )ere we will ha e a loo# at the procedure to strip$ inspect and reassemble a centrifugal pump$ forming part of the planned maintenance schedule on board ships for the purpose of maintaining the e*uipment in optimum operating condition! "he first section gi es an o er iew of a typical centrifugal pump operation

Overview
%s we saw earlier+ the centrifugal pump was de eloped in the mid 1,00-s$ although it was used in a crude form before then! "he main design change was by .ohn %ppold in 1,/1+ he replaced the impeller straight anes by cur ed blades! "he pump con erts mechanical energy from the dri e to #inetic energy$ with this being transferred to the fluid as pressure! "his ta#es place due to the two main components of the pump: the impeller and the olute! "he rotating impeller con erts the input of mechanical energy to #inetic energy$ while the stationary olute con erts this to pressure! "he fluid to be pumped enters the pump through the suction pipe no00le$ where it is drawn directly to the impeller 1eye2 located in the center of the impeller! "he impeller spins the fluid tangentially and radially with centrifugal force outwards! "he cur ed blades create a low pressure at the eye that allows more fluid to be drawn from the suction no00le to the impeller!  So basically$ the pump operates on the transfer of mechanical energy from the dri e motor from where it is con erted to #inetic energy that is transferred to the fluid as pressure energy! "he rotation of the impeller with its cur ed anes draws the fluid from the suction no00le+ throwing it outwards$ e(pelling it through centrifugal force from the discharge no00le! % s#etch of a hori0ontal pump is shown below!

! 6pen pump suction and discharge pipe drain al es to bilge and when water ceases to flow+ crac# open the pipes / pump flange <oints carefully to ensure that pump has drained off and is safe for opening! /! =i( a shac#le to lifting pad eye abo e pump and hang chain bloc#+ ensuring SWL of bloc#$ slings and shac#les are satisfactory! >! ?se a center7punch to match/mar# coupling and casing$ then remo e the coupling bolts! @! 4isconnect$ fi( i/d tag and remo e motor supply cables+ taping o er bare ends with insulating tape! ./C and stagger <oints when repac#ing gland! .! Connect shac#le and sling to motor eyebolt and lift motor clear of pump using o erhead chain bloc#! Lay motor on its side out of harm-s way$ protecting machined surfaces on both pump and motor coupling hal es against damage! 3Cardboard and mas#ing tape is *uic# and efficient method!9 A! 4isconnect all e(ternal fittings from pump casing e!g! cooling pipe$ pressure gauge$ oil reser oirs and air coc#! 10! Bemo e bolting from top co er and remo e co er! Scrape off old gas#et and chec# mating surfaces$ and renew gas#et on assembly! 3Light smear of grease on gas#et / faces9 11! "he pump shaft with impeller can be lifted out of casing! 12! 4ismantle the impeller$ and remo e the wear ring! 1:! Bemo e the gland pac#ing and disregard+ replacing it on rebuild! Bemember to cut ends of pac#ing at . Removal of Pump for Inspection and Maintenance 1 'solate pump electrical circuit brea#er on main switch board and attach a warning notice! 34o 5ot 6perate78en at Wor#9! 2! Switch off and loc# pump supply at its local supply panel! %ttach a warning notice to pump local supply panel! :! Close suction and discharge al es$ chain and loc# hand wheels! .

 Centrifugal Pumps Fitted on Board (Images Taken from National Center for ppropriate Tec!nolog" #e$site%  Inspection Procedure for Pump and Motor Pump 1! 'mpeller$ pump shaft and internal olute/casing can now be inspected for erosion$ pitting and wear! 2! 'f re*uired rectify pitting or erosion in the impeller and casing with two D part alloy epo(y putty! 3See my article in the Beference section9 :! Chec# main dri e shaft bearings and thrust bearings for wear and replace if re*uired! .! Chec# wear ring clearance using feeler gauges+ in my day at sea it was general practice is to replace with new rings at ma<or o erhaul! /! Chec# impeller / shaft #ey and #eyways for damage and undue wear$ ?nscrew impeller shaft securing nut and chec# threads are in satisfactory condition+ retighten to manufacturers tor*ue settings! >! Ei e all parts a good clean remo ing any dirt/ medium residue before re7 assembly using new parts as re*uired! @! Fnter date of o erhaul and parts renewed in the pump maintenance record card! &rive Motor 1! Erip motor dri e shaft /coupling firmly and chec# for e(cess a(ial and longitudinal mo ement! Botate shaft at speed by hand$ allowing it to run to a stop whilst listening for e(cess noise from bearings! %ny doubt on either counts$ the bearings should be replaced! 2! 8egger chec# motor windings to ensure no dampness is present and windings are in good condition! %ny suspect readings indicate a full motor strip to chec# condition of rotor and stator! .

! Beconnect motor! /! Bemo e danger notices from pump power supplies and reinstate brea#ers! >! Start and record current drawn by the motor under starting and running conditions! Chec# and record the discharge pressure! .:! 'f these chec#s are satisfactory$ grease bearings as re*uired! Some bearings are now sealed for life and will not re*uire greasing!  Procedure to 'tart t!e Pump 1! ?nloc# and remo e chains from inlet/outlet al e wheels and open both al es full! 2! 6pen air coc# and e(pel air from line and pump while chec#ing for any lea#s :! "urn the shaft coupling and ensure shaft is free to rotate! .