3 Inspection Tips For Submersible Pumps

When you install a submersible pump, you hope that it will last for several years without heavy maintenance costs. However, factors such as rugged operational conditions can take a toll. Preventative maintenance will help extend the life of a submersible pump, while contributing to smooth operation at optimal levels and less costly repairs. Here’s three key inspection tips to help you extend the life of your submersible pump:

1. Monitoring through alarms
Any submersible pump can be installed with sensors that will sound an alarm if the pump reaches failure threshold. There are several types of alarms that can be set up, from a seal failure alarm in the control circuit to sensors that detect motor temperature or high fluid levels. The pump’s operational requirements and specific application will help you determine what type of sensor to use.

One of the most important things to monitor on a submersible pump is the mechanical seal chamber. We advise installing a seal failure sensor in the control circuit. This works with the seal minder probe to detect the amount of moisture in the mechanical seal chamber and sound an alarm if too much moisture enters the chamber. With this early warning system, you can schedule timely inspection and maintenance of the pump. If the alarm goes off, a sample of the oil in the seal chamber should be taken to determine the amount of water in the seal chamber. If the fluid is discoloured or has an elevated level of contaminants, the mechanical seal should be replaced.

2. Pressure and flow checks
A start-up report specifies the flow and pressure output of the pump. This flow and pressure should remain the same throughout the operation of the pump. A pressure gauge can be located close to the piping discharge to measure the psi performance level of the pump in the piping system – any change between current operation and start-up can indicate hydraulic issues. Check for clogging in the pipes, stuck check valves or any changes in the fluid entering the sump basin, such as excessive solids or a change in chemicals used. You can also check for changes to the piping system or control valve settings.

3. Visual inspection
Many submersible pump issues can be detected through visual inspection. By looking closely during your preventative maintenance checks, you should be able to see issues such as debris clogging up the pipes or suction inlet, pump housing or impeller, or any visible signs of damage to the pump. You can check for any undue effects caused by chemical usage or erosion, as well as see signs of dents, corrosion or abrasion. Make sure that solids or sticky substances are not attached to the pump elements or sump basin. Last but not least, check for fraying or tearing of the electrical and sensor cables and ensure they are properly supported.

Have you been doing most of your preventative maintenance in-house, but seen an unexplained change in pump performance? We’re here to help. Call our toll-free number on 1-800-367-4180. We have experts on hand to help you install and maintain a variety of equipment. And to answer questions about things you’ve previously tried gone wrong.