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Finding your bearings from the pump

There’s not a huge amount that can be done to maintain bearings. There is, however, a lot that can be done when choosing and installing them. That means that pump users need not know too much about them, but pump maintainers (like us) do. However, here are a few interesting points to give you the background.

Which types of bearing, types of mounting, and methods of lubrication to choose are decisions usually made by the manufacturer, according to the type and application of pump.

When mounting ball and roller bearings it’s very important to use skill and cleanliness to prevent premature failure. Incorrect mounting techniques or methods, dirty hands or tools, and contaminated grease or oil can cause bearing damage.

If the bearings are specified and installed correctly but are failing too quickly, then there are a number of options we consider. Problems are usually caused by overloading of the bearings, for a number of reasons:

  • Shaft or bearing housing is out of tolerance (either wrong diameter or not straight)

  • Pump and motor are misaligned

  • A rotating element is unbalanced

  • Pump is operating off best efficiency point

  • Outside diameter of bearing is cooled (causing it to shrink, which increases the interference)

  • Cavitation

  • Water hammer

  • Vibration

  • Extended shaft

Replacing a failed bearing isn’t the entire solution - the underlying issue also needs to be fixed. In any case, we always replace the bearings when the seals have failed, because any water leakage into the bearing harms the lubrication.

We supply, install, maintain and repair all types of pumps. Our understanding of bearings in pumps is critical in providing solutions to pump-related challenges.


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