Tag: pump

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!

Why Maintaining Your Slurry Pump Matters

When it comes to demanding industries like mining, steel production, and power generation, it’s not uncommon for slurry pumps to reach their breaking point before being taken care of. Unfortunately, even though this method of maintenance can lead to serious problems with machinery as well as costly downtime, too many industry professionals opt for this short-sighted way of doing things. 

Keep reading for some expert advice on slurry pump maintenance, and how it will save you time and money in the long run!

The Importance of Maintaining Your Slurry Pump

Aside from helping you avoid even costlier repairs and downtime in the future, proper slurry pump maintenance is crucial to getting the best possible performance out of your machinery. With the proper monitoring, you can be sure you fix little problems before they become big ones. 

Make sure you’re looking out for strange sounds, spikes in things like vibration or temperature, leakage, and more to keep your slurry pump in tip-top condition!

How to Maintain Your Slurry Pump to Avoid Failures

There are several specific things you can keep an eye on to avoid machine failure. Keep reading for a short checklist of things you can look for on your maintenance rounds to make your slurry pump last as long as possible. 

Premature Bearing Failure

Inadequate gland seal maintenance is one of the biggest contributing factors to bearing failure. Applying the right lubrication consistently—and adjusting the seal regularly—can help you avoid premature failure. 

Vibration as an Indicator of Health

Because all machines vibrate, slurry pump vibration can act as one of the earliest indicators of health. When monitoring your slurry pump’s vibration, you’ll want to be on the lookout for any changes. An exponential growth curve in vibration readings typically indicates that the machine is nearing the end of its life—while a sudden spike in vibration typically means a problem that could be solved. 

Throatbush Wear Rate

The throatbush has the shortest life compared to other components in your slurry pump. This means it has a significant impact on the overall efficiency and lifespan of your slurry pump. Adjusting and fine-tuning the throatbush can extend the life of your pump by 50%. 

Use Preventative Maintenance to Extend the Life of Your Slurry Pump

Don’t operate like other companies in your industry. Take the preventative maintenance approach, extend the life of your slurry pump, and avoid costly downtime with maintenance know-how and a trusted maintenance partner. Contact Vulcan Pumps today. 

How Do I Know My Slurry Pump Is Up to the Task?

A slurry pump is a non-negotiable when having to pump slurry, which often comprises a mix of difficult-to-move solids and fluids. This is because of the abrasive nature of slurry—and the operational toll it often takes. For this reason, standard water pumps can’t stand up to the harsh wear and tear. Plus, in the grand scheme, slurry pumping costs carve out a significant portion of industrial operational pumping costs (even at a smaller overall pump distribution): some estimates being up to 80%. With everything that depends on quality slurry pumps, how do you know that a pump can handle the pressure?

How the Slurry Pump Is Made Matters

It stands to reason that pump make matters—and that holds true, if not more so, for slurry pumps. 

The materials slurry pumps move, coupled by the space they occupy (sump, discharge point, pipeline, etc.), increases the chance for higher wear rates. Typically, this results in larger, thicker, and heavier pumps (when compared to water pumps) in order to handle the materials present. Some may also incorporate heavy-duty internal liners and/or weightier components for the same (or similar) reason. 

But slurry pumping is anything but a one-size-fits-all model. The diverse application and pump-performance requirements among industries and sites necessitate an equally diverse arsenal of pump size, types, and mounts. This is all the more reason why custom submersible and slurry pumps are a must—not a maybe. 

Similarly, overall quality is of the utmost importance. If quality is sacrificed for cost-efficiency or another consideration, the over-time effects can be more than felt: They can be paralyzing. Maintenance may need to be called in year-round (increasing costs) or there may even be an all-out pump breakdown (decreasing production). 

Other Considerations

Slurry pumps don’t exist in a vacuum. What this means is this: Things external to (and involved with) the slurry pump need to also be regularly assessed. For instance, pump systems rely heavily on adequate motor power availability. With so many mills functioning on variable speed drives, taking an involved and real-time look at pump pressure and flow in regards to time has to happen. This information helps work out considerations like adequate and optimal pump size for the mill, plant, or site. 

Additionally, pipe sizing, floor sump space, gland seal pressure, and gearbox cooling are other considerations to have in order to inform your decision-making—and ensure pump systems are operating optimally. The correct pipe sizing reduces friction and wear. Well-sized floor sumps are able to deal with site-specific volume. A proper gland seal size ensures a constant flow of gland water throughout operational conditions. The gearbox needs to be properly calibrated to avoid overheating, especially at increased altitudes and temperatures. 

Have Your Pump Perform

Again, as for the pump itself, durability is a stand-out feature. For pumping slurry, you want a well-rounded pump—one that continually performs, offers resistance to wear, provides needed power, is easy-to-maintain, and is applicable to the pumped material. Specific pumping conditions and requirements will often inform what pump will work where. For instance, pumps may differ depending on pump rate (steadfast vs. intermittent), as well as the amount of heavy mechanical wear present in conditions. 
Vulcan Pumps offers a completely U.S.-made pump and pump components that differ in metallurgies based on conditions at hand (including 28% chrome iron, ASTMA532 for abrasive). Reach out to learn more about what we can do for pump systems—from high-quality product to ongoing support.