This article is featured on Utility Megazine 08/20 issue. Link here
Installation and maintenance of pumps within the water and wastewater industry comes with many challenges. Seal fatigue and breakdown inevitably leads to pump downtime and with it the related substantial costs of labour and maintenance. Thankfully, advances in technology have brought proven solutions that can dramatically reduce seal installation time, pump maintenance, and the likelihood of asset failure.
Advanced Seal Technology and Configuration Solutions for Pumps & Rotating Equipment
While mechanical seals only represent a small proportion of the overall acquisition cost of a pump, their failure can amount to significant expenditure. The key to reliability lies in maximising pump life, and this can be effectively achieved with two simple, yet highly-effective, solutions.
The use of split seals and active throat bushing technology offers considerable improvement for overall equipment reliability. Used together they enhance the seal environment with minimal or no-flush water requirements and dramatically decrease the efforts (and costs) spent on pump maintenance.
Split Seal Technology
Split seals are, as the name suggests, ones that are split into at least two elements. They perform the same role as standard mechanical seals and can be utilised in the same locations (on rotating equipment). However, by far the greatest advantage offered is that there is no disassembly of the installation required to fit a split seal and no additional expertise is needed.
Other advantages include:
- Provides a leak-free or virtually leak-free seal for an extended period of time (typically measured in years)
- Eliminates excessive shaft/sleeve wear
- Offers slurry sealing capability
- Minimises the corrosion of assets
- Benefit from less cleanup and fewer issues surrounding disposal
- Decrease flush water usage and the related associated costs
- Significantly increases ROI
Active Throat Bushing Technology
The environment around the seal has a direct impact on its lifespan and reliability. The two biggest issues are contamination and heat. The traditional approach is an external flush – generally water – with the hope that this provides cooling, prevents abrasives from degrading the seal and reduces build-up of solids.
Despite such efforts, it’s common for seals to fail, mainly due to ineffective cooling and poor lubrication.
Active throat bushing is a cutting-edge technology that addresses both the heat and contaminant issues in one simple solution as follows:
- Removes particulate contamination from the stuffing box and away from the seal
- Allows air to escape the stuffing box upon flooding
- Creates effective circulation around the seal to minimise heat buildup
The advantages of this technology are far-reaching:
- Dramatically simplifies operations
- Saves money from constant seal replacements
- Provides environmentally responsible practice
For water and wastewater processing the advantages of these dual technologies are nothing short of remarkable. Both are proven and in use on a global scale, offering substantial savings on energy, running costs and asset maintenance. Such value-driven solutions are an essential element for the optimal operation of a plant’s critical assets.
Sealing Technologies for Water & Wastewater Plants
Here’s an e-book that will provide some options for decreasing sealing installation time and pump maintenance, and keep your pumps running reliably for longer!
- The benefits and drawbacks of various mechanical sealing technologies.
- Split seals and when they are most cost-effective to use.
- How you can keep the seal chamber from overheating, and greatly reduce or eliminate the need for flush in specific situations.
- Learn how other water and wastewater plants have saved energy, man-hours, and money!
Chesterton solutions for water and wastewater treatment operations have been implemented around the world with documented success and recognition. Visit https://chestertonrotating.chesterton.com/en-us/IndustryApplications/Pages/WaterAndWasteWater.aspx to discover Chesterton portfolio of products that effectively decrease sealing installation time and pump maintenance, leading to the reliability and longevity of asset productivity that’s crucial in today’s competitive market.