PumpScout Expert Advice

Pump Expert Advice

We've organized some of the leading pump experts to share their advice on pumps and systems. These experts have written articles about their experiences and advice on saving time, reducing costs, and improving pump and system reliability. Have an article you want to include in this section?

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Why centrifugal pumps break shafts and how to prevent it

Broken shafts are a regular occurrence when operating a centrifugal pump, but it doesn't have to be. This article highlights why pump shafts break and what can be done to prevent the damage from happening.

Helpful tips to extend the life of your pump

Dr. Lev Nelik recommends some valuable steps you can take to extend the life of your pump and ensure its operating under optimum conditions.

Self-priming pumps offer industrial users many advantages

Despite the fact that self-priming, centrifugal pumps offer significant advantages in initial cost, maintenance and operation, few of the pumps are used in industrial plants. This is most likely due to a lack of understanding of the pumps’ operation and design principles.

What the pump was designed to do, and why it doesn't do it

Contrary to popular opinion, a centrifugal pump is not designed to develop one head at a single capacity as requested by the pump purchaser. In fact a pump is designed and produced to supply a whole range of head-capacity conditions as identified on it's performance curve. The pump will operate on that curve only if it is driven at the particular speed for which the curve is drawn. However, the actual conditions on that curve at which the pump will run, will be determined by the system in which it operates.

A practical approach to solving pump problems

Author gives us a practical approach to pump reliability, including advice on how to stop repetitive pump failure.

Is this pump cavitation or something else?

Is this really cavitation I am dealing with, or is it air entrainment or recirculation? The reason for that question is that all three conditions have almost identical symptoms. Air entrainment and recirculation will also cause the same rumbling/rattling noise and high vibration as cavitation, as well as the recognizable impeller pitting damage. The major difference is that cavitation is an NPSH problem, while the other conditions have nothing to do with the suction pressure or NPSH.

Understanding positive displacement pumps

In the many differences that exist between centrifugal and positive displacement pumps, one which has caused some confusion has been the manner in which they each operate within the system. Positive displacement pumps operate with a series of working cycles where each cycle encloses a certain volume of fluid and moves it mechanically through the pump into the system.

Pipe strain and pump reliability

Pipe strain is one of these conditions that the unwary may find difficult to relate to equipment reliability. How could seal and bearing failure have anything to do with the pump piping? The reality is that suction and discharge piping that is incorrectly or inaccurately installed and aligned will create stresses on the pump casings that will detrimentally affect the reliable life of the seal and bearings.

Lost the pump curve?

So now what do you do? As many of you know, this is a fairly common occurrence, particularly with pumps that have been around a long time. Here's some advice on what to do.

Choosing the right slurry pump

"One Size Fits All" most definitely does not apply in this area of pumping. Even when we define a slurry as a mixture of solid particles in a liquid that is usually water, we are still concealing a multitude of applications behind a simple sounding phrase. The variety of solids that are handled in slurry form covers an extraordinary wide range of products and waste material.

Getting started - Four tips for starting the pump buying process

Shopping for a pump can be intimidating. There are hundreds of pump types, multiple pump suppliers and a wide range of prices. Knowing a few key pieces of information before you begin will save you time and money. Pump expert Mike Volk offers some advice on starting the pump buying process.

20 pump industry terms you should know

Understanding the important pump industry terms will save you a lot of time when working through the pump buying process. Here are some of the more common terms that will likely come up during your conversations with pump suppliers.

Understanding Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH)

"Never, in this world of human conflict, have so many been indebted to so few for so much."

These words were delivered by Winston Churchill when he was Prime Minister of Britain, in praise of the Royal Air Force during the early days of the World War II. Today, they could be easily attributed to NPSH and Cavitation. Engineers all over the world are indebted to a very tiny percentage of the operating family of pumps for an over-abundance of analysis, discussion and confusion.