Quantcast Centrifugal  Pump  Protection

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Pumps DOE-HDBK-1018/1-93 CENTRIFUGAL PUMP OPERATION Centrifugal  Pump  Protection A centrifugal pump is dead-headed when it is operated with no flow through it, for example, with a closed discharge valve or against a seated check valve.   If the discharge valve is closed and there is no other flow path available to the pump, the impeller will churn the same volume of water as it rotates in the pump casing. This will increase the temperature of the liquid (due to friction) in the pump casing to the point that it will flash to vapor.   The vapor can interrupt the cooling flow to the pump's packing and bearings, causing excessive wear and heat.  If the pump is run in this condition for a significant amount of time, it will become damaged. When a centrifugal pump is installed in a system such that it may be subjected to periodic shutoff head conditions, it is  necessary to provide some  means  of pump protection.   One method  for protecting the pump from running dead-headed is to provide a recirculation line from the pump discharge  line  upstream  of  the  discharge  valve,  back  to  the  pump's  supply  source.     The recirculation line should be sized to allow enough flow through the pump to prevent overheating and damage to the pump.   Protection may  also be accomplished by use of an automatic  flow control device. Centrifugal pumps must also be protected from runout.   Runout can lead to cavitation and can also cause overheating of the pump's motor due to excessive currents.  One method for ensuring that there is  always adequate flow resistance at the pump discharge to prevent excessive flow through the pump is to place an orifice or a throttle valve immediately downstream of the pump discharge.   Properly designed piping systems are very important to protect from runout. Gas  Binding Gas binding of a centrifugal pump is a condition where the pump casing is filled with gases or vapors  to  the  point  where  the  impeller  is  no  longer  able  to  contact  enough  fluid  to  function correctly.  The impeller spins in the gas bubble, but is unable to force liquid through the pump. This can lead to cooling problems for the pump's packing and bearings. Centrifugal  pumps  are  designed  so  that  their  pump  casings  are  completely  filled  with  liquid during pump operation.   Most centrifugal pumps can still operate when a small amount of gas accumulates in the pump casing, but pumps in systems containing dissolved gases that are not designed to be self-venting should be periodically vented manually to ensure that gases do not build up in the pump casing. Priming  Centrifugal  Pumps Most centrifugal pumps are not self-priming.  In other words, the pump casing must be filled with liquid before the pump is started, or the pump will not be able to function.   If the pump casing becomes  filled with  vapors  or gases,  the pump impeller  becomes  gas-bound and  incapable of pumping.   To ensure that a centrifugal pump remains primed and does not become gas-bound, most centrifugal pumps are located below the level of the source from which the pump is to take its  suction.    The  same  effect  can  be  gained  by  supplying  liquid  to  the  pump  suction  under pressure supplied by another pump placed in the suction line. Rev. 0 ME-03 Page 15


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