Tag: slurry pump failure

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.

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.