Category: pumps

Which Industries Are Best Served by Slurry Pumps?

When it comes to slurry pumps, there’s a wide variety of applications and industries that come to mind. Essentially, any process that requires the movement of corrosive materials or large amounts of slurry needs a slurry pump. At Vulcan Pumps, we’re dedicated to serving each and every industry that needs us with the best custom solutions and best customer service. 

Industries That Rely on Slurry Pumps

While the list of all industries that require a slurry pump as part of a process is extensive, here we’ll go over a few of the big players we serve at Vulcan Pumps. 


The extraction of coal, valuable minerals, and metals is an essential process in the mining industry, and they’re often extracted in very large amounts. Slurry pumps are what make this process both safer and more efficient so that more material can be extracted. 

Sand & Gravel

The term “aggregate” encompasses a wide variety of construction materials, including sand, gravel, and crushed stone. Slurry pumps make gathering and/or mining these materials safer and faster. 


Sewage that isn’t treated properly can lead to all kinds of complications. That’s why a slurry pump is required to make the treatment process as smooth and thorough as possible. 

Vulcan Pumps: Serving Your Industry with Pride

No one knows slurry pumps like Vulcan Pumps. Our team has decades of experience working in (and with) a variety of industries, and have been creating custom solutions for them for a long time. We’ve gained industry-wide recognition for our solutions that stand up to abrasive and corrosive conditions—conditions that cause other, lower-quality pumps to fail. 

Our pumps are verified suitable for any sump service that regularly faces abrasive, corrosive, or otherwise adverse conditions. Some of our regular industry partners include power generation, mining, steel, oil and gas, and more. 

As part of our custom-crafted pumping solutions, we also offer incredible customer service. As a client-focused company, we believe the two go hand in hand. We create solutions to fit your specific needs, without ever sacrificing quality. We make sure to respect your budget and your timeline. And because everything we offer is American-made and locally stored, our lead-times are quick regardless. At Vulcan Pumps, you can maintain your peace of mind knowing that we put you and your needs first. You’ll always get a custom response and a custom solution. If you’re ready to invest in a high-quality slurry pump that respects your budget and your timeline, get in touch with Vulcan Pumps today. We look forward to serving you.

The Last Gasps of a Dying Slurry Pump. Your Definitive Guide to Pump Failure.

Machinery fails—it’s just a part of life. The good news? Machines very rarely fail without any warning whatsoever. Being aware of the signs of pump failure (both the obvious and the not-as-well-known) will go a long way in helping you avoid costly downtime, and stop problems before they spiral out of control. 

In this blog, we’ll go over some of the main categories of pump failure signs as well as some preventive measures you can take to maintain optimal slurry pump health and efficiency. 

Pump Failure: The Most Common Signs

When it comes to performance issues in your slurry pump, there are three main components that are most likely to be the underlying cause: bearings, seals, and couplings. Knowing what to look for in these areas will put you in a good position to prevent pump failure and avoid downtime. 


Lubrication is a crucial preventive maintenance step. While bearings are lubricated at the factory, they need to be relubricated regularly to avoid serious performance issues. How often your slurry pump’s bearings need to be lubricated will depend on the pump’s specific application as well as how often it’s used. 

Some of the most common signs of pump failure in regard to bearings include more noise than usual during operation, higher vibration readings, and unexpected temperature spikes. 


While mechanical seals thankfully show fairly obvious signs of failure, it’s crucial not to overlook them. It’s estimated that up to 85% of pump failures occur because of seal problems. Typically, a failing mechanical seal will look like process fluid coming from the seal gland. Sometimes it will present itself as a slow drip, and other times it’ll be more of a steady stream. 

One of the most important things you can do to ensure a long seal life starts with the seal itself. Oftentimes, choosing a mechanical seal based on fluid type alone isn’t enough. Review your process conditions carefully and consult a professional to make sure you’re getting the right parts


Where couplings are concerned, misalignment is the biggest threat. Sometimes this means a pump shaft and motor shaft were never properly aligned, but sometimes they fall out of alignment over time due to system vibration. A common sign of misalignment is finding black debris under the coupling area. 

Inspections of the coupling should be performed regularly so you can catch the problem as soon as possible. If any repairs are ever made to your slurry pump, it’s crucial to verify proper alignment, both before the pump is started up and again when the pump has reached operating temperature. 

Avoid Pump Failure with the Right Partner

When it comes to the health and lifespan of your slurry pump, it all starts with investing in the right equipment. Getting a slurry pump designed for your specific application, as well as fitting that pump with the right parts, is one of the best ways to avoid pump failure and ensure efficient production. At Vulcan Pumps, we have decades of experience providing the perfect equipment for applications in a wide variety of industries. We’ll get you what you need while respecting your time and your budget, as well as providing you with industry-leading customer service. Get in touch with us today to start the conversation.

Tips to Increase Efficiency of Slurry Pumps

Regardless of which industry you’re working in—mining, wastewater, mineral processing, you name it—you need a specialized slurry pump system. The fact of the matter is that no two slurries are completely alike. They vary greatly when it comes to things like density and viscosity. So you need a system that can handle it all. 

That being said, there are things you can do to help increase the efficiency of slurry pumps, regardless of how specialized they are. Keep reading for more. 

How to Increase Efficiency of Slurry Pumps

It Starts with the Pump

If you already have a slurry pump system, file this step away for when it needs to be replaced. Efficiency in slurry pumps all starts with the pump itself. As we mentioned above, not all slurries are created equal! You need a specialized pump system built and designed with your application in mind. Working with a partner who specializes in customized solutions is your best bet. 

Particle Impact and Sliding

This is a very common issue, and one that eventually can lead to erosion (which we’ll get to in a minute). Your slurry pump operator should always have this in mind, and should be aware of any issues or potential issues. The earlier you can detect and handle particle impact and sliding, the less damage it will cause. 


Some wear and tear is, unfortunately, inevitable. However, you can take steps to mitigate how quickly or how severely erosion occurs. Because they’re wetted components of your slurry pump, the impeller and casing are extra susceptible to erosion. Monitoring the wear, increasing the case width, or investing in a specialized pump with internal lining can all go a long way in preventing erosion. 

The Head

Keep an eye on the head that your slurry pump is producing for a good idea of how things are running. For water-based slurries, your slurry pump should be producing a head of 10–25% lower than a standard water pump. This number will vary, of course, but be aware of the expected head for your particular pump and keep an eye on the numbers!


The first step to proper slurry pump maintenance is monitoring. Without hard data to refer to, it’s more difficult to know what needs maintaining, replacing, or repairing. And because replacing or repairing typically means a complete slurry pump shut down, preventive maintenance is of the utmost importance. 

Increase Efficiency with the Right Industry Partner

At Vulcan Pumps, we have decades of experience providing customized slurry pump solutions to a wide variety of industries. We’ll work hard to supply the perfect system for your specific application, respecting your timeline and your budget. We provide American-made products delivered with the kind of incredible customer service you expect and deserve. Get in touch with Vulcan Pumps today to start a conversation. We look forward to serving you!

Telltale Signs of Slurry Pump Failure

In a variety of industries, it’s all too easy to overlook one of the most important pieces of machinery in the lineup—the slurry pump. Because your pumps don’t directly add anything, they can significantly impact the overall efficiency of your entire process, for better or worse. 

Keep reading for important information on keeping your slurry pump in tip-top shape!

Signs of Pump Failure

You’ve probably heard of the “golden rule” before—treat others how you want to be treated. The golden rule of slurry pumps, however, is this: Preventive maintenance is always cheaper than emergency repairs. This is a difficult concept for some to grasp, since it can feel like spending money when you “don’t have to” but, believe us, you have to to avoid costly downtime and urgent repairs. 

Noticing and interpreting the signs of pump failure can make a huge difference when it comes to both your process and your pocketbook. 

#1: Your Pump Is Using More Power

One of the best things you can do in just about any industry, from marketing to mining, is track. When you keep track of performance data, you know exactly what’s working and what isn’t—and you know early on when a problem arises. Slurry pumps use a lot of power, but when that power consumption starts increasing, it’s time to look a little deeper. 

#2: Your Pump Is Vibrating More Than Usual

Pretty much all machines vibrate, but excessive vibration is usually a sign that something’s wrong. It could mean turbulent flow, worn bearings, inadequate foundations, and a variety of other issues. Equipping your pump with a vibration monitor will make it much easier to tell when something’s off. Or, alternatively, the operator can keep an eye (or an ear) out for more vibration than usual. 

#3: Your Pump Isn’t Performing Like It Used To

A decrease in performance can mean a lot of different things, but monitoring performance closely can give you some more insight into what might be causing the problem. For example, a gradual decrease in performance over a longer period of time usually means that the liners and/or impellers are worn. 

In addition to monitoring, it’s also important to know your specific slurry pump’s BEP or Best Efficiency Point. That way, you have a baseline for its performance, and can more easily tell when something’s off. 

It All Starts with the Right Slurry Pump

Not all slurry pumps are created equal. That’s why it’s important to partner with the right experts, so you get a pump designed for your specific application needs and you know exactly who to call when you need help. Vulcan Pumps has decades of experience creating customized engineered product solutions for a wide variety of industries. Have questions about how we can serve you? Reach out today.

Why Maintenance Makes for Reduced Pump Downtime

Downtime. It’s a word no one wants to hear, but everyone needs to know. While your initial instinct might be to avoid downtime by whatever means necessary, it can actually play a crucial role in limiting the amount of unplanned downtime you experience. Keep reading for more information. 

Achieving Reduced Pump Downtime with Preventive Maintenance

The gist of our advice is this: taking a little time now to catch and address potential problems will help you avoid lengthy, unplanned downtime in the future. But how often should you utilize preventive maintenance to make sure it’s worth it? And what does preventive maintenance involve? Answering these questions as they pertain to your specific application should be a part of designing (or updating) your maintenance program. 

However, we’ll go over a few things you should be checking regularly—some of which require no downtime at all to keep an eye on. 

Noises You Don’t Usually Hear

One of the simplest things you can look out for when evaluating your pump are unusual noises! When it comes to machine noises, it’s usually pretty easy to tell the normal from the potentially problematic. Keep an ear out and be sure to report any odd sounds as soon as you hear them. 


Unfortunately, corrosion is just a part of your pump’s life—but it can be mitigated, and should be addressed as early on and as best you can. Check the pump casing and pipework for any signs of cracking or discoloration. 


This is another thing you can visually check, often without halting production. Common places for leaks to occur include your pump’s pipework, stuffing box, and around the mechanical seals. Aside from a mess to clean up, leaks can also lead to a loss of pump output. 

Excessive Vibration

When your pump is vibrating more than it should, that’s a surefire sign that something’s off on the inside. Impeller imbalance, pump damage, and motor misalignment can all cause your pump to vibrate more than it should. 


Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of clogs is simply not having the right pump to handle the job. If your pump isn’t delivering the same quantities of liquid it did in the beginning, odds are you have a damaged (or blocked) impeller or valve. 

The Right Pump = Reduced Pump Downtime

Regular preventive maintenance is incredibly important when it comes to avoiding costly downtime—but so is choosing the right pump for the job to begin with. 

Vulcan Pumps creates customized engineered solutions for a wide variety of industries. We can work with you to deliver a slurry pump that meets the demands of the job, fits within your timeline, and respects your budget. Get in touch with us today. 

The High Costs You Can Incur from a Failing Slurry Pump

In just about any industry that involves heavy machinery and expensive equipment, it’s all too easy to adopt an if-it-isn’t-broken-don’t-fix-it approach. Waiting until your slurry pump is failing to address problems might feel intuitive and may seem like the most cost-effective method, but—in reality—you’re costing yourself a lot more in time and money. 

Keep reading to learn more about the potential costs you could incur from a failing slurry pump. 

So, You Have a Failing Slurry Pump—But What’s Really Going On?

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most common slurry pump malfunctions, as well as what they’ll mean for your production process. 


When there’s insufficient NPSH, you run into pump cavitation. Pump cavitation can have a nasty effect on some of the most crucial parts of your slurry pump, including the pump seals, pump casing, and the impeller. The longer you put off addressing pump cavitation, the more likely it is that you’ll have to shell out a lot of money to replace these parts. 

Air Entrainment

The term “air entrainment” refers to any condition that involves your slurry pump pumping liquid that already contains gas. Typically, turbulence in the suction lines is what causes these kinds of conditions, and the turbulence is usually due to improper setup. 

One of the simplest ways to solve this problem—and avoid serious damage to your pump’s impeller—is to use a straight run of pipe on the suction side. This will help minimize turbulence and deliver a more uniform flow. 

Discharge Recirculation

When a slurry pump’s operation is below the recommended BEP, discharge recirculation can occur. This condition refers to large amounts of design flow not properly being pushed out of the discharge. This allows a lot of abrasive slurry to recirculate within the casing. This leads to damage, air pockets (which can lead to cavitation) and serious wear to important pump components. 


Unfortunately, clogs come with the territory—but they don’t always have to. Clogs occur when a slurry pump encounters a bigger solid than what they’re designed to handle. The best way to avoid clogs is to make sure you’re very familiar with what you’re pumping, your slurry pump, and what it’s designed to handle. 

Want to Avoid a Failing Slurry Pump? We Can Help

Running your slurry pump as efficiently as possible is the best way to reduce operating costs and avoid expensive repairs and replacements. That might sound simple, but there are a lot of things to consider when figuring out exactly how to run your pump as efficiently as possible! That’s where Vulcan Pumps comes in. We specialize in high-quality, American-made slurry pumps and custom solutions. 

Ready to increase production and decrease costs? Get in touch with Vulcan Pumps today. 

What Makes for Quality Hot Oil and Hot Water Pumps

Efficiency is extremely important, but nothing trumps safety when it comes to priorities. This is especially true when dealing with hot liquid applications. Are you confident in the quality of your hot oil and hot water pumps? Keep reading for some important information on choosing the right equipment for the job. 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Pump

Choosing the right pump—and the right distributor—is a crucial part of the job. Dealing with high-temperature substances increases the risk of failure in a myriad of different areas, so knowing when a standard pump could handle something versus when a specialty pump is necessary is of the utmost importance. Keep reading for some expert guidance.

Standard or Specialized?

First thing’s first—will a standard pump get the job done, or do you need to invest in something specialized? This, of course, will depend on your applications and how you want things to run. For example, if you’re planning to have your pump run continuously, as well as have it set up with the proper options, a less expensive, standard pump might just do the trick. 

However, if you foresee frequent heat-up and cooldown cycles, other necessary operations and maintenance steps, or the requirement of experienced staff, you’ll want a specialty pump designed for high-temperature materials. 

Pipe Stress

With any pump and with any application, pipe stress is inevitable. But it’s important to keep in mind that, when dealing with higher-than-average temperatures, even more stress is put on the pipes in your system. 

Pipes that are specifically designed to deal with high temperatures will keep things running smoother for a lot longer. These specific designs can include thermal loops, expansion joints, and alignments that compensate for thermal contraction and expansion. 


Just like with pipe stress, corrosion is unavoidable—but made worse when dealing with high temperatures. Above about 120 degrees, corrosion rates increase exponentially regardless of the liquid. Make sure you remember that all liquids become more corrosive with increased temperatures when you’re selecting your pump. 

Quality Hot Oil and Hot Water Pumps

Choosing the right equipment is half the job done, so make sure you choose well. When it comes to high-quality, specialty pumps, we understand that every component matters—including the price. With Vulcan Pumps as a partner, you can get quality and cost-effective hot oil and hot water pumps. You won’t have to worry about compromising efficiency for low lead-time and cost. We’re here to help keep you competitive. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

Common Misconceptions Regarding Pumping Systems

When it comes to pumping systems, there’s a lot that people get wrong. And while some of these things seem small, they can prevent you from truly getting the most out of your system. 

Let’s go over a few common misconceptions, and get into the truth! 

Pumping System Technology Is Outdated

There are outdated pumps out in the world—but the recent technology is more than keeping up. Smart pumps are able to deliver all kinds of data, like performance parameters and activity information. They can also self-adjust pump operations in response to changes in demand. 

Essentially, the modern pump can increase efficiency and decrease downtime—saving you money in the long run. 

Pumping Systems Are Always Too Big

If a pump is oversized, it usually means there’s a safety factor built in, i.e., it’s big to properly account for uncertainty in pressure and flow requirements. This can be helpful considering that an undersized pump will result in low efficiency. Implementing proper commissioning during installation can help limit the effect of an oversized pump. 

Installation Is the Most Expensive Part of Pumping Systems

The initial purchase and installation costs are typically thought of as the biggest investments when it comes to owning a pump—but it’s not necessarily true. The truth is that energy and maintenance make up the majority of the expense. This is due in large part to the long expected lifespan of your typical pump—about 20 years! 

Problem? Your Pump’s Probably the Cause

When operational inefficiency is happening, it’s not uncommon for most people to point fingers at the pump. But pumps actually offer high efficiency naturally—the problem comes in with pump operation. The flow rate and pressure of your pump systems draw a good bit of energy. So the efficiency of your system is directly linked to the type of pump you choose as well as control. 

Get the Most Out of Your Pumping Systems

Few things operate at their maximum efficiency without a few adjustments. Getting to know your pumping systems inside and out will help you avoid the myths we’ve addressed in this blog, and ensure that you get the most out of your equipment!In order to get the most out of your equipment, you need the right partner, too. At Vulcan Pumps, we specialize in designing high-quality pump systems that are made right here in America. We’re ready to work with you and make whatever changes you need for your specific industry and application needs. Because we own our own patterns, we can pour the right material at a reasonable price and lead-time. Get in touch with us, and find out how we can help you today.

Best Practice Tips to Improve Slurry Pump Efficiency

Are you in the market for a slurry pump that delivers? Are you not getting the efficiency you want out of your current slurry pump? Whatever situation you’re in, we have some expert tips on how to maximize slurry pump efficiency and get the most out of your pump. Keep reading for more information. 

A One-Size-Fits-All Approach Won’t Work

Slurry pumps are not easy to process, and little changes in management can make a huge difference. Every slurry pump has a unique viscosity, density, and unique, mixed media characteristics. Getting to know your slurry pump is the best way to figure out how to maximize its efficiency! 

Choosing the Proper Slurry Pump

Because every slurry pump is unique, you’ll want to make sure first and foremost that you’re selecting the right pump for your specific application needs. Picking a non-specialized slurry pump and expecting it to handle the material you’re moving is a recipe for costly downtime. 

Keep an Eye on Erosion

Wear and tear is inevitable, but some of it can be prevented—and you can take steps to slow it down. Certain slurry parts, like the impeller and casing, are more prone to erosion than others so it’s important to keep an eye on them. Increasing the case width could help prevent erosion, and some specialty slurry pumps include erosion-resistant internal lining to address this common problem. 

Particle Scouring

In addition to erosion, particle impact and sliding—or scouring—is a common issue. In fact, the two issues are often connected. A lot of slurry pump erosion is actually caused by particle impact, so it’s important to keep an eye on both. 

Most of the time scouring occurs in the same places and in the same directions, so catching them early is key. Doing regular inspections for minor scouring can prevent a lot of damage down the road. 

Monitor and Maintain

You may have noticed a common theme in these tips—simply monitoring your slurry pump and its performance! Knowing the ins and outs of how your pump is supposed to be performing (and addressing issues when it isn’t performing) is crucial to getting the most out of your pump. 

Preventive maintenance is also very important. When it comes to replacing slurry pump parts, most installations require a complete shutdown of the pump—that means lost time and money. Performing regular maintenance is the best way to prevent larger problems from cropping up later on. 

Ready to Enhance Your Slurry Pump Efficiency?

To truly get the most out of your slurry pump, you need the right partner. Vulcan Pumps has decades of experience creating customized engineering solutions, and are ready to serve your industry. We’ll work with you to provide the perfect solution—one that fits within your budget and your time constraints. Get in touch with us today. 

The Difference Between Pump Repair and Upgrade

When it comes to just about any important machinery in your industry, deciding whether to repair or replace something is no easy decision. Repairing something that should be replaced can end up costing you more in the long run, and replacing it too early can result in the exact same outcome. 

Keep reading for important information regarding these two options—as well as the oft-forgotten option of upgrading your slurry pump—so you can figure out what the right solution is for you. Here’s what to know about pump repair and upgrade. 

Repair, Upgrade, or Replace?

The good news? There are several options for improving your pump’s performance. The tricky part, of course, is figuring out what option will balance cost with that improved performance. 

Improving pump performance can look like a lot of different things, including lower energy consumption, lower parts cost, and improved MTBR or MTBPM. While it’s easy to get distracted by these improvements, there’s one thing that should ultimately make your decision: the bottom line. 

Be sure that you understand the specific economic situation you and your pump are in. If you aren’t sure, check with your accounting department! Working together will help you reach the most cost-efficient conclusion. 

Why an Upgrade Might Be the Best Option

Did you know that upgrades can result in significant savings on maintenance and repair. That means reduced downtime as well as reduced environmental risk. Think of it as a repair—but one that improves the efficiency of your pump beyond how it functioned before. 

Some examples of possible pump upgrades include custom coatings, shaft and seal modifications, bearing-house breather, and bearing isolators. Some of these upgrades will have you seeing a return on investment sooner than others, so which upgrades would be most beneficial to you will depend on your unique situation. 

It’s also important to consider that some of the simplest upgrades can provide immense benefits, meaning you don’t have to make a huge upfront investment to improve your pump’s performance! Several of the modifications mentioned above are great examples of small upgrades that make a big difference. 

Slurry Pump Repair and Upgrade With Vulcan Pumps

When it comes to replacement parts and upgrades, Vulcan Pumps has what you need. Our superior range of professional services puts us far above the competition, and you know you’re getting the highest quality parts for your slurry pump. We’ll provide you with the part or upgrade you need and a worry-free, expert installation. If you’re looking to improve your slurry pump’s performance with a repair, upgrade, or full replacement, look no further than Vulcan Pumps! Click here to get in touch with us about our products and services, or click here to check out more helpful industry resources.