Tag: slurry pump

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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

Why Is a Slurry Pump Necessary Over a Standard Water Pump?

Slurry pumps and water pumps are not one and the same, which rings true for other pumps as well. Each serves a different purpose, which helps to inform why they’re not interchangeable systems. But why, exactly, is a slurry pump necessary over a standard water pump in certain, specific applications? Read on for the full answer. 

Know the Difference Between Slurry and Water Pumps

As mentioned, a slurry pump differs from a water pump in many key ways. First, slurry pumps and water pumps (as their names suggest) pump different materials. Slurry pumps pump mixtures of fluids not present when pumping hot water, hot oil, or thermanol, which can include or involve gravel, copper, sand, alcohols, acids, petroleum, abrasive mixtures, and more. Slurry pumps are specially made to handle these abrasive and/or caustic materials, having replaceable, durable, and robust pump parts. 

On the other hand, hot water pumps are able to bear high temperature pressure, but don’t have the hydraulic capacity to pump solid or slurry particles effectively. Hot water pumps also lack the ability to stand up to the highly abrasive and corrosive nature of slurries. 

Why a Slurry Pump Works for Intended Use

What makes a slurry pump so effective at handling slurry? It has many wear-resistant properties, including a bigger impeller diameter, bearings, shafts, and internal system. It also typically boasts heavy-duty construction—much more so than standard water pumps possess. 

Due to this, slurry pumps can transport solid and slurry materials more effectively and efficiently. The other core component to slurry pump success is the utilization of centrifugal force. Centrifugal force propels material(s) outward from the center of the pump. Centripetal force does the opposite: It propels material(s) toward the pump center. However, slurry pumps have to perform on a centrifugal basis. This is due to the way in which forces produce velocity to the slurry, which fast tracks material transportation. Operationally, a centripetal pump would render ineffective for slurry, causing the slurry and solids to conglomerate together rather than flow freely. 

Means for Slurry Pump Implementation

There are three main ways to pump slurry based on what the specific situation calls for. These are semi-dry, dry, and wet. Semi-dry installations are almost exclusively used for dredging applications that utilize horizontal pumping orientation. Dry installations are when pump drive and bearings stay out of slurry, and the “wet” end is free from liquid and stands on its own. Here, the wet end comprises the impeller, shell, suction liner or hub, and shaft sleeve. For wet installations, which Vulcan Pumps specializes in, the slurry pump and drive are wholly submersible. This is essential for a range of slurry pump applications, including those done underwater. 
Vulcan Pumps’ HDS submersible slurry pump is built for long-lasting use through quality assured, U.S.-made manufacturing. Contact us for more info on this product, and how our locally inventoried parts and fast lead-times can benefit your operation.