At Triplex, we provide Waukesha Positive Displacement pumps for literally hundreds of applications year in and year out. That means we get a lot of installation questions. In today’s post, we’re going to take a quick look at some best practices and things you should keep in mind for your next PD pump install.
Every pump has to have piping coming in to it and going out of it. And while the Pump is usually the “anchor” that installers will use to run their piping, it’s important that we independently support that piping so as to avoid any additional stresses on the pump. This strain can lead to misalignment of the pump and motor, which can lead to excessive rotor wear, as well as bearing and shaft wear.
Especially for pumping applications with low viscosity fluids, we want to make sure that we have check valves in the right spot. If we’re handling low viscosity fluids, especially in applications where there is some “lift”, we’ll want to use a check valve on the inlet side of the pump to keep the inlet line full.
Looking at the outlet side, we should also consider using a check valve on the discharge of the pump to prevent backflow. This is especially true in vacuum applications. A discharge check valve can help facilitate start up by minimizing differential pressure across the pump.
Have you ever tried to service a pump or valve inline? If you find yourself ankles deep in tomato sauce, you’ll wish you had installed isolation valves before and after the pump. And with the Universal 3’s front loading seal feature, it’s easier than ever to service the pump without disconnecting it from the process line. All the more reason to add isolation valves before and after the pump.
Pressure Relief Valves
We’ve written whole posts about pressure relief valves. Especially in PD pump installs, pressure relief valves are absolutely critical. If there is a line obstruction, a PD pump is going to pump until something gives. Hopefully, it’s just your pressure relief valve.
But as a best practice, pressure relief valves aren’t just great for pressure relief, they are great for pump bypass during CIP. Maintaining downstream line velocity required for CIP can be difficult with a PD pump inline, but with Waukesha’s WR60 series of pressure relief valves, we can actuate the relief valve and bypass the pump, killing two birds with one valve.
Strainers & Traps
Having strainers and Mag Traps installed in your process line is all about protecting your pump and maintaining product integrity. On the inlet side, typically we’ll see filters or strainers inline to protect the pump from foreign materials that could damage the pump (maybe a nut, slag, a piece of a failed seal, you name it).
Downstream, we’ll typically see a Mag Trap installed as a best practice. Mag traps use high strength rare earth magnets to “trap” anything that gets past the strainer and through the pump.
Finally, we have pressure gauges. Not only are pressure gauges a great process indicator (with newer digital gauges even able to stop pumps if they see unexpectedly high pressures), but they’re also our best diagnostic tool. A pressure gauge on the inlet can help us ensure we have high enough inlet pressure so we don’t cavitate. A pressure gauge on the discharge can indicate a downstream line blockage or unusual operating condition.
To close this post, remember there is more to a great pump system than just the pump. We want to make sure our piping is properly supported and we’re able to maintain a liquid leg in the pump for challenging suction applications. Make sure you can isolate your pump to service it and you protect your process with pressure relief valves, a strainer, and a mag traps. And as always, if you have any questions about your sanitary pump installation, contact a Triplex Sales Engineer today.