Pump refurbishment: 4 reasons it's not being done right
Part of a well-planned maintenance programme is a pump refurbishment. However, no two pump refurbishments are ever the same, so what can you do to ensure you're getting value for money?
1. Consider the alternatives up front. For example, in many cases belt-driven pumps are just not economical to refurbish because of the energy savings available on modern pumps. A good pump refurb company (alright, I'm talking about us!) will always consider the options before just overhauling the pump.
2. Look at the cause of failure, assuming it has failed. If a pump has been running happily for many years and then something's changed in the system, causing it to fail, just refurbishing it won't make the systemic problem go away. Sounds obvious, but it's more common than you might think to forget that a change somewhere else in the system can do something as simple as change the duty point of the pump, causing early failure.
3. Address the common problems. With experience you learn where the failure points are on specific manufacturers' pumps, or on particular applications, so when a pump comes in to be refurbished these points can be strengthened. For example, a particular model of pump (mentioning no names) often has problems with the mechanical seal housing, bearing housings and pump shaft, so we always re-machine the housings, bore them out and fit stainless steel inserts. By re-machining the inserts we can actually give a finer result than the original manufacture, so it's a double win.
4. Specify parts carefully. If the pump refurbishment company doesn't know details about the application of the pump, generic parts will be used that may not directly be suitable. A badly specified seal is one of the problems that happens a lot with refurbished pumps. For example, a high liquid temperature will impact on the type of seal. Going into a bit more depth on this (skip this last bit if you're not too au fait with the technical side on pumps) you can sometimes reduce the water temperature to save cost on the refurb. For example, a primary hot water pump may reduce in efficiency as it gets older due to wear on the pump head, which reduces the flow, so the water temperature has to be increased to maintain the required system temperature. By refurbishing the pump you may increase the flow back to where it should be and so reduce the water temperature again. That's a triple win!
You know what a good pump refurbishment company looks like. They actually care about more than just the pump itself, taking a wider view of the system as a whole and seeing what else can be done to maximise value and minimise cost. So thanks for checking us out - contact us for all things pump-related!