Author Archive | Greg Pietras


4:50 pm
July 13, 2016
Print Friendly

Maintain Your Pumps on Schedule

Chemical plant for production of ammonia and nitrogen fertilization on night time.

randmTiming is everything, especially when it comes to pump maintenance. Not only will a well-maintained pump last longer, it will require fewer repairs over the course of its lifetime.

Keep in mind, rigorously following OEM-specified maintenance schedules and procedures for pumping systems is crucial to the reliability, safety, and efficiency of your plant’s fluid-handling processes. The best—and most logical—place to find this information is the “Instruction and Operation Manual” (IOM) for the equipment in question.

Although you will, of course, want to refer to and follow OEM-specified schedules for the particular pumping systems at your site, the one outlined here is a good example. It’s taken from the preventive-maintenance section of the applications guide for the 3196 i-Frame series from ITT Goulds Pumps, Seneca Falls, NY ( These ANSI units are typically used to handle hazardous fluids in challenging chemical-plant environments.

This straightforward schedule and the procedures associated with it, however, are not merely suggested or recommended. According to the company, adherence to the preventive-maintenance section of its applications guide is required to maintain the applicable ATEX classification of the equipment.

—Jane Alexander, managing editor

Routine maintenance

  • Lubricate bearings.
  • Inspect the seal.

Routine inspections

  • Check level and condition of oil through sight glass on bearing frame.
  • Check for unusual noise, vibration, and bearing temperatures.
  • Check pump and piping for leaks.
  • Analyze vibration.
  • Inspect discharge pressure.
  • Inspect temperature.
  • Check seal chamber and stuffing box       for leaks.
  • Ensure there are no leaks from the mechanical seal.
  • Adjust or replace stuffing-box packing if you notice excessive leaking.

Three-month inspections

  • Check that foundation and hold-down bolts are tight.
  • Check packing, if the pump has been left idle, and replace as required.
  • Change oil every three months (2,000 operating hours) at minimum.
  • Change oil more often if there are adverse atmospheric or other conditions that might contaminate or break down the oil.
  • Check shaft alignment and realign as required.

Annual inspections
Check the pump’s capacity, pressure, and power. If pump performance doesn’t satisfy your process requirements, and if the process requirements haven’t changed, the pump should be disassembled and inspected, and worn parts should be replaced. Otherwise, a system inspection should be done.

Inspection intervals
Shorten inspection intervals appropriately, if the pumped fluid is abrasive or corrosive, or if the environment is classified as potentially explosive. MT

For more information on a variety of pump issues and procedures, visit


2:30 pm
March 15, 2016
Print Friendly

Reports From NETA PowerTest 2016


Managing editor Jane Alexander joins Gary Parr to talk about her second day at the PowerTest show. Jane’s focus on the second day was the exhibits and three products in particular.



ptestlogoManaging editor Jane Alexander reports from the NETA Powertest show, being held this week in Ft. Worth, TX. Two standout talks sent a strong message about the importance of safety in the world of electrical power systems.