The Importance of Vibrations For Pumps

                Some reasons why pumps may end up requiring repairs are due to excessive vibrations. Normally, “Properly installed pumps average 0.71 in/sec overall vibration and have 60 months life.”1 There are many factors which can cause a pump to vibrate, such as those relating to parts. The parts may be rubbing, old, worn-out or damaged, a base for the pump being too small. Other potential causes for excessive vibration can be pump cavitation2, imbalance, vibration from other nearby equipment as well as operating the pump at a critical speed. There are many other potential causes why a pump may vibrate, such as operating past a pump’s best efficiency point (BEP), a damaged, bent and/or misaligned shaft or driver and thermal growth, especially in the shaft.3 Regardless, these are only some of the likely reasons why a pump may be vibrating too much. Generally speaking, a pump will have to be shut down if its vibrations reach approximately 200% or more of their field acceptance level4. In some cases, especially if a pump is older or has not been maintained consistently, more extensive maintenance may need to be performed, not just in regard to vibrations from a pump. The specific tools used to determine if a pump is vibrating excessively include computers with data acquisition software, a data analyzer with sufficient channel count, tri-axial and uni-axial accelerometers and an instrumented impact hammer5. Vibration is measured at different parts of a pump, usually depending on its features and intended use. At EMC, we are experts at diagnosing and troubleshooting any issues with pumps and we would be very happy to help you with any issues you may be facing with a pump.

  1. http://www.vibration.org/presentation/centrifugal%20pump%20vibrations%20-%20the%20causes.pdf
  2. https://houstondynamic.com/top-six-pump-vibration-problems/
  3. http://www.mcnallyinstitute.com/02-html/2-09.html
  4. https://www.mi-wea.org/docs/7._Fehniger_Steve-Pump_Vibration.pdf
  5. Same as 4