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How to Maintain Mechanical Seals and Prevent Industrial Pump Failure

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Mechanical seals are the primary cause of failure and downtime in industrial pumps. These components contain the fluid within the pump and prevent leakage. If standard protocol and proper maintenance aren't observed throughout the operations, the mechanical seals can fail and affect the performance of the entire pump. Pump failure results in downtime, and it can significantly affect production and lead to losses. To avoid these misfortunes, you need to observe the following as pertains to maintaining the mechanical seals in your industrial pump.

Professional installation Incorrect installation of mechanical seals is one of the main causes of failure. When replacing old or worn seals, you need to ensure that the duty is assigned to a professional. Seals are made of O-rings which are quite delicate and should be handled with care to avoid damaging them. In addition to this, the following should be observed during the installation process.

  • The seals chosen should be compatible with the pump and its hardware.
  • The seal's hardware, that is the bolts and glands, should be tightened evenly.
  • The mechanical faces of the seals should be handled with care during installation as they are fragile.

The best way to ensure that the seals are installed properly is by having it done by the pump maintenance contractor. During the scheduled maintenance, they can inspect the seals together with other components of the pump and replace the faulty or worn out ones.

Protection from excess heat If excess heat is generated during the operation of the pump, it will damage the mechanical seals together with other delicate components of the part. Normally, the amount of heat produced by an industrial pump is not high enough to damage these components. However, if the pump is used beyond the manufacturer's set parameters, the resulting operations may cause the system to generate excess heat. Also, if the seals aren't lubricated, the resulting friction will generate heat and damage the seal faces and O-rings. To avoid excess heat generation, ensure that you only subject the pump to the operations that are recommended by the manufacturer. Also, make sure that the pump's components are lubricated regularly to prevent friction.

Proper storage If you have to store new or used mechanical seals for future use, make sure that you store them properly to prevent unnecessary failure. Proper storage entails cleaning the seals and their hardware, and storing them in and cool environment. You should also disassemble the seals' components and store them individually, taking care not to store the seal faces together as they could end up losing their flatness. Refer to the seals manufacturer's manual for any other specifications regarding their storage.

Mechanical seals are extremely important components in industrial pumps, and their failure can lead to production downtime. Observe these tips to make sure that the seals as well as the pump remain in proper working condition.