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Predictive and Preventive Maintenance Section 2

An accurate power measurement reading can also be difficult to obtain. Clip on tap meters are the most common tool available to the Field Engineer who is trouble shooting a pump problem. In most cases this has proven to be accurate. However, as previously mentioned, this tool must be used and applied properly. Clip on tap meters are not accurate enough to determine the actual efficiency of a pump. If accurate horsepower readings are necessary, a torque shaft must be installed but is not very practical in an actual field installation and lends itself to use in a laboratory environment much better. In some critical installations where the user has provided a permanent power monitor, these have varying degrees of accuracy and they must be understood up front. Finally, the properties of the pumpage must be known to accurately determine the actual pump performance. Pumpage temperature (TP ), viscosity, and specific gravity (S.G.), must be known.

When all of the above parameters are known, it becomes a simple matter of calculating the pump performance. There are instances when it proves to be a very difficult if not an impossible task to determine all of the above parameters in the field, therefore, the Field Engineer must rely on his or her ability to understand where a compromise must be made to get the lob done. The basic document the Field Engineer must have is the pump performance curve. With this it can be determined where the pump is performing in some cases without all of the information.


Vibration analysis is the cornerstone of all PPM programs. Perhaps the question asked most often is What is the vibration level that indicates the pump is in distress?". The answer is that there is no absolute vibration amplitude level that is indicative of a pump in distress. However, there are several guidelines that have been developed as target values that enable the analyst to set alarm levels. Also many users have developed their own site criteria that is used as a guideline. Institutions such as the Hydraulic Institute and API have developed independent vibration criteria. Caution should be exercised when applying the published values. ..each installation is unique and should be handled accordingly. When a machine is initially started, a baseline vibration reading should be taken and trended over time.