3 Reasons Seals Fail From Incorrect Installation
There can be many ways in which you unwittingly contribute to the failure of mechanical seals, whether from incorrect installation or otherwise. Here, we discuss three of the main reasons why mechanical seals fail due to incorrect installation - helping you prevent seal failure from the start.
1. Not reading installation guidelines
Mechanical seals are sensitive and can be easily damaged. Therefore, it's crucial to follow the installation instructions before you start installing the seal, such as removing spacers or using cartridge seals before running the pump.
Installing seals on a misaligned pump can cause a host of other issues from start-up failure to coupling or shaft run out. In fact, misalignment can cause up to 50% of all damage to rotating machinery - damaging mechanical seals and eventually leading to seal failure. Make sure that you follow installation instructions carefully and use tools such as laser alignment to ensure the pump is aligned correctly and doesn't with the correct functioning of your newly installed seals.
2. Inadequate seal care
Similarly, operating in unhygienic conditions can also be detrimental to mechanical seals. Should any kind of dirt or oil get on the seal face, whether it's from your fingerprints or a coating of dust, the mechanical seal will be compromised. This can cause damage to the seal face and eventually lead to leakage. Play it safe by reading your installation guidelines closely - this will specify the most compatible lubricant to be used in the correct amount, as well as proper instructions for sanitation - such as washing hands thoroughly, cleaning the areas surrounding the seal with tissue and solvent, and covering your work area to prevent contamination.
3. Too-tight fasteners
Tightening fasteners too tightly causes seal components to distort and leak. And when a seal starts to leak, you might want to prevent it by tightening the fastener even more, which only makes the situation worse! Once seals start leaking, the internal components might break and must be replaced. However, it's worth a try to see if loosening your fastener helps, especially when it's a new leak.
Concerned about why a mechanical seal is leaking or failing?
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