Vertical Turbine Pumps: Understanding Vibration Problems You are Likely to Encounter

When using most machines, one of the common problems that might pop up is structural vibration. Vertical vibration are not an exception. Most of them have a motor on the upper side and stand suspended from the discharge elbow of the pump setup. Essentially, this configuration means that they have some room to vibrate, meaning that it is harder to damp and stiffen them. Low levels of damping and stiffening implies that the pump experiences natural vibrations. Thankfully, you can deal with these vibrations and minimise their negative effects by calling in an expert. The following discussion touches on the important things that you must know about vibrations and vertical turbine pumps:

What are the Effects of Vibrations?

Vibrations have an effect on the operation and reliability of vertical turbine pumps. Excessive vibrations often loosen the component parts of the pumps. Bolts, welded joints and fasteners become loose as the vibrations intensify and lead to more maintenance problems. To add on that, the pump also develops leakages since valves and other fasteners become loose.

What is Resonance and How does it Occur?

Scientifically, resonance refers to a situation where an external force or vibrating system forces another machine to oscillate with a higher amplitude at a certain frequency. For vertical turbine pumps, resonance problems result from things like mass, stiffness and damping. The pumps are heavy (lots of mass) and have low stiffness because they are suspended with minimal anchoring support to clamp the machine firmly against the surface. Furthermore, the pumps are made using metal that has low damping capacity. A low damping capacity means that the material is poor at getting rid of the vibrations generated by the pump.

Note that resonance problems can be caused by other factors besides what has already been discussed above. Deteriorating grouting and foundations, opting for motors with more mass and seasonal temperature change affecting pump discharge also cause resonance.

How Do You Measure a Resonance Problem?

It is important to diagnose vibration problems early enough so that you can take the necessary corrective measures in good time. It also helps in the methodical assessment of the problems so that the corrective measures taken do not transfer the problem to another component of the pump. Ideally, it is best to have a frequency-measuring device for continuous assessment of the pump before calling in a professional. A mismatch between the frequency of the vibration and the rotating speed indicates that the vibration problems have culminated into something else like cavitation.

For more information on pump repair, contact a local business.