Centrifugal Pumps Basic Concepts Of Operation, Maintenance, And Troubleshooting

- Dec 13, 2017 -

Auxiliary Components

Auxiliary components generally include the following piping systems for the following


Seal flushing , cooling , quenching systems

Seal drains and vents

Bearing lubrication , cooling systems

Seal chamber or stuffing box cooling, heating systems

Pump pedestal cooling systems 

Auxiliary piping systems include tubing, piping, isolating valves, control valves, relief

valves, temperature gauges and thermocouples, pressure gauges, sight flow indicators,

orifices, seal flush coolers, dual seal barrier/buffer fluid reservoirs, and all related vents

and drains.

Definition of Important Terms

The key performance parameters of centrifugal pumps are capacity, head, BHP

(Brake horse power), BEP (Best efficiency point) and specific speed. The pump curves

provide the operating window within which these parameters can be varied for

satisfactory pump operation. The following parameters or terms are discussed in detail in

this section.



Significance of using Head instead of Pressure

Pressure to Head Conversion formula

Static Suction Head, hS

Static Discharge Head, hd

Friction Head, hf


Vapor pressure Head, hvp

Pressure Head, hp

Velocity Head, hv

Total Suction Head HS

Total Discharge Head Hd

Total Differential Head HT

Net Positive Suction Head Required NPSHr

Net Positive Suction Head Available NPSHa


Power (Brake Horse Power, B.H.P) and Efficiency (Best Efficiency Point, B.E.P) 

Specific Speed (Ns)

Affinity Laws


Capacity means the flow rate with which liquid is moved or pushed by the pump

to the desired point in the process. It is commonly measured in either gallons per minute

(gpm) or cubic meters per hour (m3/hr). The capacity usually changes with the changes

in operation of the process. For example, a boiler feed pump is an application that needs

a constant pressure with varying capacities to meet a changing steam demand.

The capacity depends on a number of factors like:

Process liquid characteristics i.e. density, viscosity

Size of the pump and its inlet and outlet sections

Impeller size 

Impeller rotational speed RPM

Size and shape of cavities between the vanes

Pump suction and discharge temperature and pressure conditions

For a pump with a particular impeller running at a certain speed in a liquid, the only items

on the list above that can change the amount flowing through the pump are the pressures

at the pump inlet and outlet. The effect on the flow through a pump by changing the

outlet pressures is graphed on a pump curve.

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