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A turquoise centrifugal pump sits unused on the working floor of a heavy industrial business

While it’s not always true, we can mostly say that the bigger the industry, the bigger the equipment that powers it. For businesses throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, big business means big centrifugal machinery.

You depend on your centrifugal pump to power productivity and revenue, day in and day out. But with machines of this size, that spin this rapidly, identifying the noise of a failing component or bad bearing above the general racket can be impossible. 

So, is your centrifugal pump broken? Does it need replacement parts or is that just how it sounds some days? Let’s dig in.

Troubleshooting Centrifugal Pumps & Other Centrifugal Machinery – A Cornerstone Guide

When it comes to troubleshooting centrifugal pumps, you need more than a trained ear—you need a team of heavy machinery mechanics and expert techs on your side. Since 1995, Cornerstone Mechanical, Inc., has kept machinery operating at peak efficiency throughout Texas. 

As masters of corrective, predictive, and preventive maintenance, we know the difference between a slight wobble and a poor coupling alignment. Here are some tips and tricks for troubleshooting your centrifugal pumps and other spinning machinery.

Step 1 – Power Down 

In most cases, when you suspect something wrong with any piece of heavy machinery, the best course of action is to shut that machine down. Centrifugal machinery—small or large—can be dangerous. 

Furthermore, trying to suss out the problem on your own could accelerate failure or worsen the problem. Starting the machine up again could even result in the need for a full replacement in certain circumstances.

The best first course of action is to shut the machine down and call the pros. If that’s not an option for your operation, then observing the issue and documenting it can help the pros identify the issue once they arrive. 

Step 2 – Get a General Idea of the Issue or Symptoms

While not always reliable, certain issues lead to familiar symptoms. Once we’ve observed and documented the symptoms, we’re better able to pair them with a likely culprit. In pumps and other types of centrifugal machinery, these are the most common symptoms and causes.

Intense Vibrations

Vibration is the enemy of nearly all heavy equipment, but in centrifugal machinery especially, intense vibrations can be killers. Unusual vibrations can come from nearly too many places to count, including from a broken impeller, clogged impeller, or a coupling misalignment. For businesses that rely on clarification centrifugation, an unbalanced bowl is frequently to blame. 

Poor Flow

Low flow is the bogeyman of centrifugal pumps. Here again, due to the high number of likely causes, you’ll want to call in the pros for a complete inspection. 

Poor or limited flow can be caused by:

  • Air Pockets
  • Clogged Suction
  • Worn, Clogged, or Broken Impellers
  • Debris
  • Vortexing
  • Excessive Suction Lift
  • More

No Flow

If you’re getting no flow at all from your centrifugal pump, any of the issues listed above could be to blame. Here, air pockets in the pipes are the most likely cause. That said, it could be something simple. In some cases, a motor may be set to run in reverse—an obvious but all too common oversight. 

Unusual Or Excessively Loud Noises

This is a dangerous category of issues to speculate about. That said, there are a few common causes of louder-than-usual machine operation. Clogged and broken impellers can lead to an increase in decibels, as can an unbalanced bowl, air in the pump, or even pump cavitation. 

In some cases, where there’s noise, there may also be friction. Worn bearings and bent/broken impellers or impeller shafts may increase the noise and the heat inside your centrifugal pump.

Step 3 – Call In The Pros

With so many possible problems to consider and high demands on your time and productivity, there’s little sense in attempting to diagnose the issue yourself. The most expedient solution for getting back to work is calling a centrifugal pump repair company like Cornerstone Mechanical.

With nearly 30 years of experience, our corrective maintenance technicians can diagnose, repair, or even rebuild your centrifugal pump for optimal reliability and long-term performance. 

Don’t pay your guys to stand around, and don’t lose hours of production time to waiting. Instead, call Cornerstone Mechanical at (214) 570-9498 or contact us online.

Step 4 – Keep Your Centrifugal Pump Healthy & Functional

At Cornerstone, we think that the best kind of emergency is the avoided kind. Emergency repairs are more expensive, more urgent, and more frustrating than regular maintenance. 

Additionally, with frequent tune-ups and checkups, your machinery runs more efficiently. That efficiency quickly translates into higher earnings, lower utility bills, greater output, and more congratulations from management at quarter’s end. 

Regular preventive maintenance or predictive maintenance ensures that your machine is ready to work hard, day and night, whenever you need it. Get your centrifugal pumps installed properly and then schedule regular maintenance—two services that Cornerstone Mechanical happily provides throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.

Let Us Diagnose & Repair Your Centrifugal Pumps & Machinery

The complexity, size, and power of modern industrial machinery make professional diagnosis and repair an absolute must. While this or that problem may persist for weeks or months, even minor issues can worsen out of the blue, endangering your workday, your equipment, and even your personnel.

Don’t bet the farm on quick fixes or “Redneck Engineering”—not when your bottom line and the lives of your colleagues are on the line. Professional help creates professional results for professional organizations. Get help with your centrifugal pump by calling Cornerstone Mechanical today!

From Centrifugal Pumps to Cooling Towers, We’ve Got You Covered!

Don’t see your equipment in the list above? No worries! With the latest technology, decades of experience, and highly-trained technicians, we can work on just about anything! Keep your doors open, your machines humming, and revenue flowing with Cornerstone Mechanical’s suite of maintenance services. Call us today and let us know how we can help your equipment.

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