Maintenance and Storage
Pumps tend to be reliable as long as you use the right pump for the right project. More importantly, you need to ensure that you properly maintain your pumps to keep them working for as long as possible. This will save you money and lost work time both during operations and when the pumps are in storage. Creating a checklist is a great way to help ensure you’re properly maintaining the different parts as well as setting up and storing your pumps.
MaintenanceProper maintenance begins with taking care of the different components of the pump and giving each of these components regular checks to ensure they are not damaged or too worn out to work properly. Make sure to regularly check the following:
- Hoses and fittings, including verifying they are the right size and have the right accessories for the connection.
- Strainers should have the proper hole sizes for the pump; they should be equal to or smaller than the first strainer that comes from the pump.
- Establish maintenance, pre-operations, and post operations, based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Make sure to include checks for chemical applications.
As you prepare a pump for use, complete the following tasks to ensure it will keep performing as you expect:
- Inspect hoses to make sure they don’t have kinks, leaks, or wear that could weaken them.
- Inspect the fittings to make sure that they have the right suction.
- Ensure that the pump is never left to run without water flowing through it. Even though some pumps can handle it, getting into the habit can seriously damage most pumps.
- Verify that the pump mounting is properly set up before you begin using it.
- If the pump uses fuel, check the engine oil before you start it. If the pump uses electricity, make sure that it is properly secured.
- Verify there is a strainer on the end of the suction hose prior to use.
- Ensure the pump case is completely filled with water before you begin using the pump if the pump needs to be primed.
- After use is done for the day, flush out the pump with clean water and drain the housing unit to remove debris, salt, and sediments from the pump. This will help prevent water from freezing in the pump, which can result in serious damage and failure of the pump.
For every day that you use the pump, make sure to include post operations inspections so you can quickly address problems. You should still verify the components the next morning before you begin, because it will reduce the risks that a potential problem will get missed.
StorageStorage is a lot simpler than maintenance, but it is equally critical. The first place to start is with the manufacturer’s recommendations for storage. Use that as the start of your storage checklist.
- Conduct all end-of-day checks and tasks.
- Prior to storing the pump, make sure the fuel valve is off and the pump is drained of all water. If you can’t drain it, add a little anti-freeze to keep the water from freezing.
- Either drain the carburetor or add a gasoline stabilizer if the system is powered by a fuel.
- Seal all of the suction and discharge ports so that nothing can get into the system.
- If the pump has a water-cooled seal, add half a pint of lubricating oil to the pump’s discharge opening to minimize corrosion.
- For self-priming pumps, make sure they get a thorough cleaning with fresh water. Even if the water was primarily clean or if you were moving salt water, sediment and salt can cause damage when not removed from the pump.
- If you are pumping salt water, make sure the pump does not have an aluminum housing. Make sure these pumps are properly identified during storage so that workers don’t take the wrong pump and inadvertently harm the system.
- Make sure all of the accessories required for the pump are stored close to it and are properly labeled for the next use.
Each pump will require its own set of storage checks. Make sure it’s clear which checklists go to which pumps to ensure they are properly stored.