Tag: slurry pump maintenance

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. 

Ways to Make Your Slurry Pump Maintenance Even Easier

When it comes to slurry pump maintenance, the main components you should be focused on are the seals. Whether you’re talking about packing seals or mechanical seals, this is the part most commonly replaced in slurry pumps. Keep reading for why that is—as well as some expert tips for prolonging the life of your slurry pump seals and avoiding costly downtime. 

Packing & Mechanical Seals

There’s a good reason seals are the most commonly replaced part in slurry pumps. It’s all too easy for abrasive particles to wear through packing or clog up mechanical seal components. If either of these things happen, the life of your slurry pump’s seal can be drastically reduced—leading to downtime. 

In an industry where downtime can cost tens of thousands of dollars, having to replace a seal should be avoided at all costs. But when it’s inevitable, we have some tips to help speed things along. 

Mechanical Seals

When dealing with mechanical seals, it’s usually the installation that’s the holdup. Component seals are easier to install than single-piece cartridge seals, but still come with their fair share of obstacles. For example, when installing a component seal, you have to decouple the power end and—more often than not—move pump components around. 

With large slurry pumps, this takes a lot of time—time you’re paying for. Because split seals have fewer components, they’re the obvious choice for quick and simple installation. And, while a few years ago you’d be sacrificing on lifespan, advancements in split seals design now negate that drawback. 

The only thing to keep in mind with split seals is that they don’t have the same features that a heavy-duty cartridge seal has. All this means is that you have to be extra mindful of your slurry pump environment. Have a clean flush available, and brush often to limit the amount of particulate that can get into the seal chamber. 

Replacing Packing

When it comes to packing, the most common obstacle is the lantern ring. Because lantern rings can easily get clogged, removing them isn’t easy and takes a lot of time. Not to mention, they can easily get off-axis and bind up in the stuffing box. 

To avoid these problems, a lot of slurry pump maintenance involves leaving the lantern ring in place and only replacing the rings above it. The best way to avoid these problems? It’s pretty simple—don’t use a lantern ring. 

The first three packing rings do the majority of the heavy lifting. The bottom rings mostly serve to keep solids out. If you use a throat bushing with built-in flush ports, you won’t need to remove the lantern ring when you repack! Also, you’ll be able to use less packing. 

Stay on Top of Slurry Pump Maintenance

At Vulcan Pumps, we work faster—and are more flexible—than the competition so you can get back to work. Whether you need USA-made products and parts, industry resources, or sump service, you can rely on us to get the job done right. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out