Predictive and Preventive Maintenance Section 1

This overview of Predictive and Preventative Maintenance (PPM) is intended to assist the pump users who are starting a PPM program or have an interest in the continuous improvement of their current programs.

There are four areas that should be incorporated in a PPM program. Individually each one will provide information that gives an indication of the condition of the pump; collectively they will provide a complete picture as to the actual condition of the pump.

There are six parameters that should be monitored to understand how a pump is performing. They are Suction pressure (Ps ), discharge pressure (Pd), flow (Q), pump speed (Nr ), pumpage properties, and power. Power is easiest measured with a clip on amp meter but some facilities have continuous monitoring systems that can be utilized. In any event, the intent is to determine the BHP of the pump. When using a clip on amp meter the degree of accuracy is limited. It should not be used to determine the efficiency of the pump. Clip on amp meters are best used for trouble shooting where the engineer is trying to determine the operating point of the pump.

The most basic method of determining the TDH of the pump is by utilizing suction and discharge gauges to determine PS and Pd. The installation of the taps for the gauges is very important. Ideally, they should be located normal to the pipe wall and on the horizontal centerline of the pipe. They should also be in a straight section of pipe. Avoid locating the taps in elbows or reducers because the readings will not indicate the true static pressure due to the velocity head component. Avoid locating taps in the top or bottom of the pipe because the gauges can become air bound or clogged with solids.

Flow measurements can be difficult to obtain but every effort should be made to do so, especially when trouble shooting. In some new installations permanent flow meters are installed which make the lob easier. When this is the case, make sure the flow meters are working properly and have been calibrated on a regular schedule. When flow meters are not installed, pitot tubes can be used. Pitot tubes provide a very accurate measure of flow, but this in an obtrusive device and provisions must be made to insert the tube into the piping. The other method of determining flow is with either a doppler or transitime device. Again, provisions must be made on the piping for these instruments, but these are non-obtrusive devices and are easier to use than the pitot tube. Caution must be exercised because each device must be calibrated, and independent testing has shown these devices are sensitive to the pumpage and are not 100% accurate.