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Centrifugal Pump Piping Design Layout


Layout arrangement for Centrifugal Pump Piping


The design of a piping system can have an important effect on the successful
operation of a centrifugal pump. Such items as pump design, suction piping
design, suction and discharge pipe size and pipe supports must all be carefully
considered. A typical horizontal centrifugal pump installation is illustrated
in Fig.CPP1, CPP2, CPP3.

Selection of the discharge pipe size is primarily a matter of economics. The cost of
various pipe sizes must be compared to the pump size and power cost required to
overcome the resulting friction head.

1.1 The suction piping size and design is far more important. Many centrifugal
pump troubles are caused by poor suction conditions.

1.2 The suction pipe should never be smaller than the suction nozzle of the pump
and in most cases it should be at least one size larger. Suction pipes should be as
short and as straight as possible.

Suction pipe velocities should be in the 1.0 1.5 metre per second range, unless
suction conditions are unusually good. Higher velocities will increase the friction
loss and can result in trouble some air and vapour separation. This is further
complicated when elbows or tees are located adjacent to the pump suction nozzle.
In that case uneven flow patterns or vapour separation keeps the liquid from evenly
filling the impeller. This upsets hydraulic balance leading to noise, vibration,

cavitation and excessive shaft deflection. Cavitation, erosion damage, shaft

breakage or

permature bearing failure etc. may result.

1.3 On pump installations involving suction lift, air pockets in the suction line can
be a source of trouble. The suction pipe should be exactly horizontal or with a
uniform slope upward from the sump to the pump as illustrated in Fig.CPP7. There
should be no high spots where air can collect and cause the pump to lose its prime.
Eccentric rather than concentric reducers with flat side top should always be used.

1.4 If an elbow is required at the suction of a double suction pump, it should be in

a vertical position if at all possible. Where it is necessary for some reason to use a
horizontal elbow, it should be a long radius elbow and there should be a minimum
of five diameters of straight pipe between elbow and the pump suction as
illustrated in Fig.CPP9.


2.1 Common location of pumps in chemical and petrochemical plant is under the
piperack at grade.

Pumps are to be placed close to and below the vessels from which they take their
suction in order to have net-positive suction head (NPSH) required by the pump.

2.2 Any reduction in suction line size required at pumps should be made with
eccentric reducers, with flat side up to avoid accumulation of vapour pocket.
Changes in direction of suction lines should be at least 600mm away from the
pump suction.

2.3 Pumps should be arranged in line with drivers facing the access gangway.
Clearances and piping should provide free access to one side of the driver and
pump. There must be good access to gland / seal and coupling where most of the
maintenance and adjustments are done.

2.4 With normal piperack column spacing of 6m, it is generally found that only
two pumps of average size can be arranged between the columns, with a preferred
clearance of 1m between the pumps.

The clearance between any structure / steel work and the pump discharge line shall
be 0.75m minimum. For small pumps upto 18 KW, clearance between pumps
should be 0.9m minimum. A space of 2 2.5 m should be provided for working

A typical arrangement of pumps is illustrated in Fig.CPP4, CPP5, CPP6.

2.5 Means of lifting should be provided for pumps or motor weighing more than

3. Steps to do Pump Piping

Step 1 : Collect the P&ID and the pump data sheet.

Step 2 : Study the pump data sheet and collect the similar (capacity / head) pump
dimensions / nozzle position.

Step 3 : Analyse the location and the space provided in the unit plot plan w.r.t.
suction and discharge line routing.

Step 4 : Review the maintenance / operation space around and lifting facility.

Step 5 : Locate the control station, Electrical push button station, Electrical-trench,
process fluid drain, flushing / cooling connection as required for the pump model.

Step 6 : Check elevations of all valve handwheels on suction as well as discharge

line and provide common platform for valve operation, if required.

Step 7 : Make Iso sketch for suction and discharge line with all the items as per
P&ID and discuss with process engineer for any change.

Step 8 : Finalise supports of the line and issue for stress analysis, if required.

Step 9 : Get the stress analysis report for Nozzle loads. Compare the allowable
loads with the actual load for any change & finalisation.

Step 10 : Finalise location of pump / drain or trench / Electrical cable route and
issue civil information to civil for foundation design.

Step 11 : Keep necessary insert plate on the foundation block for support of push
button switch, small lines for flushing / cooling manifold.



A typical horizontal centrifugal pump suction and discharge piping arrangements

is illustrated in Fig.CPP7.

4.2 Pump suction piping shall be as short as possible and shall be arranged so that
vapour pockets are avoided.

4.3 Reducers immediately connected to the pump suction shall be eccentric type
flat side up to avoid accumulation of gas pocket.

4.4 For end suction pumps, elbows shall not be directly connected to the suction
flange. A straight piece 3 times the line size shall have to be provided at the suction
nozzle. This is illustrated in Fig.CPP8.

The effect of elbow directly on suction is illustrated in Fig.CPP9.

4.5 For top suction, pump elbow shall not be directly connected to suction flange.
A straight piece of minimum 5 times the nozzle size shall have to be provided at
the suction nozzle.

4.6 T-type strainers are to be used for permanent as well as temporary to avoid
disassembly of suction piping for strainer cleaning.

4.7 Piping shall be so arranged that forces and moments imposed on the pump
nozzles do not exceed the allowable values specified by the vendor.

4.8 When a suction vessel operates under vacuum the vent connection of the pump
has to be permanently connected to vapour space of the suction vessel to allow
possible filling of the pump with liquid before it is started.

4.9 For pumps handling hot fluid, the first factor concerns the support of pump
piping which often includes large expansion loops for flexibility. When the pumps
are located below the piperack (to reduce possibility of hydrogen leakage over
motor), support becomes easy otherwise the designer should consult stress
engineer for best location of stops and hanger. With the optimum layout and
support, it is to be ensured that the loadings on the pump nozzles are not exceeded
beyond the allowable limits.

4.10 Piping configuration for a group of pumps of similar size shall follow
identical pattern and the stress analysis of one pump piping should be applicable to
the other pumps.

4.11 Auxiliary Pump Piping Arrangements:

The Auxiliary piping are usually cooling water to mechanical seals, bearings,
stuffing boxes, gland quench and lantern ring flush.

When pump fluid is used, a line is attached to the vent connection on the pump
case. The circulated seal fluid has to be sent back to pump stream or referred
through the seal to pump internal clearances.

In viscous or high temperature hydrocarbon liquids, the seal fluid medium

circulates from external source through connections on the pump seal.

Various Auxiliary piping plan is recommended in API 610 for proper selection
according to design requirements.

4.12 Pump vendors usually supply the Auxiliary piping and the neat
arrangements of these piping and its support are to be ensured by the designer
while reviewing the vendor document. Fig.CPP10 illustrates one typical Auxiliary
piping arrangement on the pump base plate.
4.13 A typical arrangement for piping and valves operation is illustrated in
Fig.CPP11 with maintenance and operation access.

4.14 A typical suction and discharge piping arrangement with common

platform for operation of valves connected to two adjacent pumps is illustrated in
Fig.CPP12 and CPP13.


5.1 The basin for the intake of centrifugal pump shall be designed and sized
properly for smooth function of the pump. The recommendations of hydraulic
institute are illustrated in Fig.CPP14.

5.2 The flow of fluid to the suction bell should be even, smooth and stream lined
without any vortices.

5.3 A typical sump with the components and relative dimensions of clearance and
submergence is illustrated in Fig.CPP15.

5.4 For multiple pump installations with high capacity pumps, the analysis of a
proposed intake design are often made by use of a scale model of the intake basin
with all parts such as baffles, screens, gates, separating walls etc.

The large basin is required to ensure low inlet velocity (approx. 2 ft. per sec.) and
to eliminate vortexing at the bell mouth.

5.5 A typical sump pit with pump is illustrated in Fig CPP16. This sump is the
collection pit of waste material coming through a pipeline. A screen at the mouth of
the pump avoids choking / fouling of the pump during operation. The discharge of
the pump may go to a slope tank / pond / waste-removal tanker.
Fig CPP1: Centirfugal pump drawing (Type-1)
Fig CPP2: Centirfugal pump drawing (Type-2)
Fig CPP3: Centirfugal pump drawing (Impeller)
Fig CPP4: Typical pump location plan
Fig CPP5: Typical access for Maintenance
Fig CPP6: Typical pump locations-Elevation
Fig CPP7: Air pockets in suction piping
Fig CPP8: Typical pump suction & discharge piping
Fig CPP9: Elbow at pump suction
Fig CPP10: Typical auxiliary pump piping
Fig CPP11: Maintenance & operation access requirements
Fig CPP12: Typical suction/discharge piping, plan & elevation
Fig CPP13: Typical suction/discharge piping, front view
Fig CPP14: Multiple pump installation (Vertical pumps)
Fig CPP15: Sump dimensions, plan view, wet pit type pumps
Fig CPP16: Typical sump with pump

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