Shaft seal leakage can be a serious problem with pump equipment. Hazardous material could leak into the environment, or outside contaminants could compromise your process fluid. A leaking shaft seal can also lead to poor equipment performance and additional pump damage if left ignored.
It is important to address any detected leaks immediately to avoid more serious problems. Perform the necessary maintenance and take care of any critical repairs. You should also take the steps to reduce the chances of shaft seal leakage happening during operation. This can be done through proper inspections, testing and maintenance. Here are 6 steps you can take to mitigate shaft seal leakage in your pump equipment:
- Proper Installation
Maintaining a healthy pump system starts during the installation process. Make sure your shafts, impellers and seals are installed and aligned precisely. Doing it right from the very beginning will help you avoid many potential problems down the road.
- Routine Inspections
Some basic external equipment inspections can be done while the pump is operating. You may notice leaks, excessive vibrations or movement that might show poor shaft alignment or a weakening seal. Most pump inspections should be performed while the equipment is shut down for optimum safety. This should be part of your standard maintenance routine. You can thoroughly test the equipment, check shaft alignment and inspect the seal for wear. Make adjustments, lubricate and replace worn parts as needed.
- Use Monitoring Technology
Today’s advanced monitoring and automation systems can really save a pump operator a lot of time and money. You can proactively monitor key variables like pressure, temperature and flow rate. Track the data and look for any outstanding variations or trends. This approach can allow you to catch problems before they happen, or at least recognize them early on—rather than waiting for a major failure.
- Make Proactive Repairs
Through effective inspections and monitoring, you can identify potential pump problems and address the repairs as soon as possible. Don’t wait for something bad to happen. Take care of the repairs now to mitigate the risk of much bigger issues in the future.
- Upgrade Your Equipment
Failures like shaft seal leakage can occur simply because the pump system and its equipment aren’t able to fully handle the application at hand. It may be time to consider upgrading your pump unit or custom-configuring your system design for optimized performance. It may even be something as simple as choosing a more suitable pump or mechanical seal that can better withstand the fluids and pressures associated with your operation.
- Seek Professional Help
It never hurts to have another set of eyes helping keep your pump equipment running its best. You can work with a pump service provider for ongoing maintenance, repair and training services. This can be a great complement to your in-house maintenance plan, or you may find someone you trust to help with all your pump management needs—from installation to repairs.
DXP Pacific is a leading pump service provider and equipment distributor. We work with all major pump brands and can help you optimize your equipment to boost uptime for many years to come. Contact us today to learn more about our services or for help in selecting the best equipment for your process application.