Your Complete Guide to Maintaining Pump Systems

Pump Maintenance Guide

Proper maintenance can extend the life of your pumps and motors and prevent costly failures. Our step-by-step checklist will help your maintenance team build a consistent preventative maintenance schedule that will save you time and money. 

Developing a Preventative Maintenance Plan for Your Pump Systems

Step 1: Consult manufacturer’s guidelines

Before undertaking maintenance on any particular pump system, consult the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to properly troubleshoot and care for installation.

Step 2: Develop a regular pump and motor maintenance schedule with checklists

Tasks that are scheduled and monitored are tasks that get completed, so be sure to formalize your preventative maintenance procedures at your company. Our sample maintenance checklist (below) can be a good starting point for developing your own maintenance plan. However, you’ll want to consider your own organization’s timing, procedures, and workflows to avoid downtime during critical time frames.

Step 3: Integrate your safety plan and procedures

Make sure your maintenance team understands and follows all proper safety procedures when working on or checking your pumps. Remember that proper isolation is important for hydraulic systems as well as electrical systems. 

Step 4: Get to know your pump systems

Spend some time observing your pump systems to understand how they typically run. This includes, but isn’t limited to sounds, vibrations, temperatures, odors, and pressures.  This will help you in the future to identify unusual characteristics that may signal problems.

Step 5: Don’t forget about your unused inventory

While keeping your active systems up and running is the top priority, it’s also important to take care of items in your storage inventory. There’s nothing worse than pulling backup equipment off the shelf only to find that it’s in disrepair too!


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Sample Pump Maintenance Checklist

Follow all company policies, manufacturer’s recommendations and other safe practices (i.e. lockout/tagout, etc.), and wear proper PPE before beginning work of any kind.

Daily

  • Inspect the area around the pump for leaks of any kind.
  • Inspect and clean filters and/or strainers.
  • Check oil and/or grease for proper level and consistency and look for signs of contamination.
  • Check the shaft seal condition; mechanical seals should show no signs of leaking. Some packing leaking is normal but should not exceed 40-60 drops per minute.
  • Inspect the couplings.
  • Inspect seals and hoses and replace any that are damaged. 
  • Check the inlet pressure to ensure pump suction remains at the proper value.
  • Listen to the pump run; it should be even and smooth. Cavitation can be heard and will sound as if the pump is trying to pump rocks.  
  • Check the pump for excessive vibration and bearing temperature.  Excessive vibration or bearing heat can indicate imminent pump failure.  

Weekly

  • Check the discharge pressure and ensure the pump is running at the design point or near the middle of the curve. Slow degradation of pump performance can indicate Impeller or wet end wear.
  • Check the unloader/regulator and microswitch for proper operating and bypass pressure.
  • Check the hardware for proper tightness. Check the fittings and flanges to prevent leaks. Tighten the loose nuts, bolts, and fasteners to the appropriate torque. 
  • Lubricate the motor and pump bearings per the manufacturer’s guidelines for grease type and schedule.
    • Bearing damage often happens from too much, rather than too little, greasing. If you do overlubricate, remove the vent cap (if there is one) and run the pump for 30 minutes before reinstalling the cap. This lets the extra grease work its way out of the bearing. 

Monthly

  • Inspect the operation of fans and dampers.
  • Check the belts or couplings for proper tension and alignment.
  • Operate and test inactive pumps in inventory.
  • Operate and inspect valves.

Quarterly

  • Rotate any pumps and motors that are not in service or do not operate on a regular basis including those in storage. Inspect them for any dust or dirt build-up and signs of deterioration. 
  • Check that all electrical/motor terminations are tight.
  • Inspect motor vents and windings for dust and dirt build-up and clean according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Inspect starter/contactor for arcing, overheating, etc. 
  • Use a megohmmeter on the windings to check for insulation failure.

Service Pump and Supply Preventative Maintenance Program

We know your team is busy. If you’d like an extra hand managing your maintenance schedule, Service Pump and Supply’s Preventative Maintenance Program may be a good fit for your organization. As part of our program, we’ll work with your team to identify a maintenance plan that makes sense for your company’s unique needs. Then our highly trained service technicians will make sure the work gets done. 

Request a FREE Maintenance Needs Assessment

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