Getting the Best Life Expectancy from your Bell & Gossett Base Mounted Pumps
You have invested in the best pump in the world, Bell & Gossett. Think of this purchase as purchasing a new car. You would make sure that new car would get proper maintenance including oil changes and would let the dealer know of any abnormal operations of the vehicle. This would give you the best possible life expectancy of that new vehicle with minimal effort.
The same holds true for that world class pump you purchased. It needs to be maintained and taken care of similarly to that new car to ensure the best life expectancy. Here are a few easy things you can do to maximize the life of your pump:
Proper lubrication is essential to maximizing the life expectancy of your pump. In years gone by almost all pump motors and bearing assemblies used a Lithium based grease. That is not true anymore. Almost all equipment manufactured since December 2014, including replacement bearing assemblies for older pumps will use a polyurea based grease. Bell & Gossett recommends using ExxonMobil PolyRex EM, Chevron SRI NLGI2, or Shell Gadus S5T1002 polyurea based greases. These newer greases are not compatible with the older lithium-based greases and should not be mixed. Remove the bearings and old grease if you need to change from lithium to polyurea. Please follow the pump specific IOM for lubrication intervals. Note that the VSX and eHSC pumps do not require periodic greasing unless you are removing the bearings for maintenance reasons.
All motor manufacturers have also changed over to polyurea based greases. Please follow the specific motor manufacturers recommendations on lubrication intervals as described in their Installation, Maintenance & Operation manual (IOM).
As discussed in other Deppmann service tips, shaft alignment is critical to maximizing the life expectancy of your base mounted pump. Misalignment can cause premature bearing failure, coupler failure and excessive vibration which all contribute to premature mechanical seal failure.
Watch the video below to view our service technician, Shane Lombard, show you how to quickly straight edge align a 1510 pump.
Deppmann completes a shaft alignment on the pumps purchased from us as part of the initial startup service. To maximize the life expectancy, you should periodically check under the pump coupler for black or orange shavings or dust. These telltale signs will let you know the alignment is off and should be checked. Other signs of misalignment could be apparent through vibrations present in the pump/motor set.
You should listen to the pump when it is new to establish a baseline for noise levels in the pump and motor. As a maintenance item, the pump should be listened to and compared to the initial baseline noise of when the pump was new. Abnormal sounds can be grinding, whining, cavitation (sounds like the pump is pumping gravel or marbles) or howling. When pumps are operated using Variable Frequency Drives (VFD’s), the motor can make a certain whine noise as it accelerates and decelerates. This is a normal part of the VFD operation. If any new or abnormal noise shows up, it should be checked out by a qualified technician.
A new pump should be observed under operating conditions to help you understand what is normal. These can include pump suction and discharge readings, pump amp draw readings, and if operating using a VFD, what is the normal range of speeds that the pump operates within? These parameters can be logged for future comparisons to let you know when there may be an issue.
In conclusion, there are a few simple steps you can take to give your B&G pump investment the longest life expectancy. As part of the Deppmann startup process, we visit the site, perform an alignment (laser or straight edge depending on the motor size and specifications), record an initial set of gauge readings, and amp draw readings for each base mounted pump. These are provided to the equipment purchaser. In some cases that purchaser may be a contractor or wholesaler. This initial set of readings can be used as an original baseline to compare any readings that you may have taken since installation.
If you have any further questions about your B&G pumps or systems, please reach out to us at 800-589-6120.