Sewage pumps have to work hard all year round, continually processing wastewater to remove impurities and sludge, allowing it to be recycled. Because these pieces of machinery play such a crucial role in the water recycling process, downtime can have serious consequences.
If a sewage pump fails and needs to be repaired or replaced, your entire plant could be affected. With that in mind, it’s important to understand how you can prolong the lifespan of your pump and prevent premature failure.
That’s exactly what we’re going to be covering in this article. Read on to find out how you can take care of your pump and keep it in tip-top shape for years to come.
Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. If you want to maximise the lifespan of your pump, regular maintenance is key. Without periodic check-ups and servicing, it won’t last anywhere near as long as it should.
When you consider the cost of installing a brand new pump - not to mention the hassle - it’s clear just how important it is to maintain your pump in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
It’s no different to maintaining your car. If you don’t get it serviced, components within the engine will wear out a whole lot more quickly, costing you more money in the long run. It’s simple: look after your sewage pump and it will look after you.
Before you get started, it’s a good idea to brush up on your knowledge of sewage pumps, how they work and what kind of maintenance they require. Each make and model of sewage pump has different routine maintenance requirements, and it’s important to study those requirements carefully. There are a number of components within any pump that require periodic maintenance, so you’ll have to make sure you cover all bases.
The maintenance requirements of your pump are also likely to vary depending on the way it’s being used. Heavily stressed pumps that work harder will need to be maintained more fastidiously than those that have an easier life. Likewise, the environmental conditions can have an impact on the wear rate of your pump. Special precautions should be taken when operating pumps in extreme heat, for instance. Besides temperature, the viscosity of the fluid being processed, the elevation of the installation and the chosen impeller trim can all impact the longevity of your pump.
It’s hard to predict exactly how long a pump will last, as every installation is different. Well-cared-for pumps can last for 30 years or more, but a lack of maintenance and demanding operating conditions can drastically impact this figure.
Generally speaking, if you stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations, your pump should function correctly for years to come. If you’re ever in any doubt, or your usage requirements are out of the ordinary, always consult an expert for advice.
Besides servicing your pump on schedule, what else can you do to keep it in perfect working order? Our first recommendation would be to carry out regular checks, testing the pump to make sure all is well.
The easiest way to test a sewage pump is to add water to the sump pit, which will raise the float and - if everything is working correctly - trigger the pump. If the pump works as it should and removes water from the pit before disengaging again, you know it’s fully operational.
While you’re there, listen out for strange sounds and be sure to check the overall condition of the pump. If it’s an older model, it’s likely that some parts will be suffering from corrosion. If you notice any, keep an eye on it and consider replacing any parts that have been badly affected. Likewise, if you hear any untoward noises, your pump may be overdue a service or may need repairing. If any parts are faulty, replace them straight away to prevent the pump from failing completely.
As we said earlier, prevention is better than cure. It’s always worth getting your pump professionally inspected if you’re in any doubt about its condition.
Generally, a sewage pump service is done on an annual basis, although this may vary depending on the individual requirements of your particular pump. To complete the job, the tank will need to be emptied and any blockages will need to be removed. This will allow the pump to function more efficiently once it’s been serviced, and should help prolong its lifespan further.
Once the pump has been removed, it’s thoroughly cleaned and inspected to make sure it’s functioning as it should be. Any internal components that are due for replacement will be changed, keeping the pump in good working order. For example, the service engineer will check things like the pump’s seals, shaft, bearings, impeller and rotating assembly, applying fresh lubrication where required. The float switch may need to be replaced, too (generally this is carried out every other year). Once the service has been completed, the pump will be reinstalled and tested - and it should be all good for another year.
If you’re looking to invest in a new pump, ease of maintenance should definitely be high on your list of priorities. The surface-mounted Gorman-Rupp pumps we supply are built with ease of maintenance in mind; their oil ports are easy to drain and fill, and the back cover can be removed easily for inspections, servicing and repairs.
With more than 35 years of experience, Hydromarque is one of the UK’s leading pump system solution providers. Covering the UK and Ireland, we supply, install and maintain an array of pumping stations and associated equipment from top brands like Gorman-Rupp, working with household names like Walkers Crisps, Tata Steel, BP and more.
Our team of highly-qualified engineers is here to help with all of your requirements, no matter how big or small they may be. From designing and installing bespoke systems to maintaining your existing installations, the Hydromarque team has all of your requirements covered.