Quick ‘n Easy Checklist To Make Sure Your Centrifugal Pump Runs Beautifully On Startup

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. For many industries, plants and facilities had to shut down with very little notice, making it hard to prepare! It’s crucial for maintenance teams to employ proper checks before starting their systems to ensure centrifugal pumps don’t fail during start-up. We’ve made it easy for you or your team to conduct these important maintenance checks before startup and outlined the process to follow to make sure your pump runs beautifully when you do go back online.

Your centrifugal pump maintenance checklist:

✓ Have you checked the impeller, pump shaft and internal casing for any signs of wear including erosion or pitting? If required, repair this with a two-part alloy epoxy putty or replace component parts as required.

✓ Is there any sign of wear and tear on the shaft bearings or thrust bearings? Replace if necessary.

✓ Have you checked wear ring clearance with feeler gauges and replaced any rings if required?

✓ Is there any sign of leakage or flush water on the mechanical seal?

✓ Is there any damage on the impeller key?

✓ Are threads in good condition? Unscrew the impeller shaft securing nut to find out. If required, retighten.

✓ Have you removed all dirt and residue and lubricated the pump and driver? Check your manual for specific lubrication requirements for your pump.

✓ Are there any signs of axial or longitudinal movement on your drive motor shaft/coupling? Rotate the shaft and listen for bearing noise – replace if required.

✓ Any dampness or wear on the drive motor windings? A full motor strip may be required to check rotor and stator conditions. Otherwise, grease any unsealed bearings.

✓ Record the date of maintenance checks and any parts that you replaced.

Pump start-up procedure

1. Unlock and remove chains from inlet/outlet valve wheels and make sure valves are open and there is liquid at the pump. Outlet valves should be 10-15 percent open. Now that you’ve opened the suction valves, check that the pump is primed and vented. (Learn here when and how to prime your pump.)

2. Check for any leaks by expelling air from the line and pump.

3. Remove the coupling guard and turn the shaft coupling to make sure the shaft rotates.If there is resistance, check the pump for any built-up solids or mechanical issues. Now the coupling guard is off, check the condition of the coupling for signs of wear. Re-align the pump if necessary.

4. Check the base to make sure all bolts are tight, with base plates level and no soft feet on the pump or motor.

5. Reconnect the motor.

6. Remove any warning notices on the pump and restore breakers.

7. Start the motor and the record current drawn when starting and when running. Check and record the discharge pressure.

8. Last but not least, make sure the pump is running smoothly with no unusual vibrations or noise.

Now that you or your maintenance team has completed all the necessary checks and followed the correct start-up procedure, you can operate your facility as normal – with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your pumps are primed and ready to go.

If you need help with maintenance checks before getting your pump back online, call our toll-free number at 1-800-367-4180. Our experts are on hand to help you choose, install, and maintain your equipment. And to answer questions about things you’ve previously tried gone wrong!