6 Signs Your Mechanical
Seals Are About To Fail
A mechanical seal prevents the water that is being pumped from
entering the bearing housing of a centrifugal pump and reduces
the emission of liquid outside the machine, preventing any visible
leakage. With a mechanical seal, the equipment's integrity is
protected, which makes it last longer.
As mechanical seals are exposed to many different conditions
during pump operation, the risk of pump failure is high - which
can cause unnecessary downtime. Watch out for the following
warning signs and you'll be able to avoid mechanical seal failure
and all its associated costs:
1. Grooves or notches on the seal
If you notice grooves or notches on the face of the seal, it's
a warning sign that your mechanical seal might be under excessive
pressure, which can cause it to fail. This could be from inadequate
lubrication or abrasive materials which can grind a groove into
the seal face.
So, what do you do now?
You'll need to take immediate action. Flush the seal using the
correct seal flush plan (this needs to have sufficient lubrication
at a steady flow). Use seal face materials that can manage abrasive
materials in the process fluid.
2. Squealing or popping sound
If your mechanical seal makes a squealing sound during operation
there may be inadequate liquid to lubricate the seal faces,
which means you should enlarge the flush line or increase the
orifice size. The seal may also split and splutter during operation,
which creates a popping sound that indicates an insufficient
liquid environment for the product.
3. Uneven wear track
An uneven wear pattern usually indicates distortion of the seal
ring due to it being too tight, excessive clamping or too much
pressure. Temperatures that are too high, or where the hard
face is not wide enough, are also causes of uneven wear. Make
sure that your seal runs properly by correctly installing it
and ensuring appropriate operating conditions.
4. Fractured or cracked seal face
A seal face can fracture or crack due to mechanical seal impact
and thermal shock. Avoid over-tightening when tightening fasteners
and maintain a consistent seal flush plan that is appropriate
to the seal and its process.
5. A cracked or chipped seal ring
The seal ring can crack or chip due to incorrect installation
or incorrect handling of seal parts. Make sure that you follow
the recommended installation guidelines to avoid any issues
with the seal ring, and avoid brittle seal face materials.
6. An accumulation of carbon dust on the outside of the
Carbon dust accumulating on the outside of the seal is a sign
of insufficient liquid to lubricate the seal faces, or liquid
film vaporising between the seal faces. Adjust pressure in the
seal chamber as the pressure may be too low for the seal type.
If you're experiencing recurring mechanical seal failures,
please call our toll-free number 1-800- 367-4180. We have experts
on hand to help you choose, install, and maintain a variety