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52 Ways To Avoid Vacuum Pump Problems

52 Ways To Avoid Vacuum Pump Problems

Sunren   |   Updated : 17 Dec, 2022, 12:19 am

Here You will find Solutions For your Vacuum Pump Problems.

Vacuum pumps are governed and influenced by several factors. As the vacuum pumps and their accessories play a major role in the performance of the pumps, periodic inspections of the vacuum pumps and all their accessories, including piping and equipment, are important.

Vacuum Pump Problems

There are several major factors responsible for some of the common problems in vacuum pumps:

  • Process conditions and variations
  • Variation in utility specs
  • Equipment malfunction

Also Consider parameters for a Vacuum pumps to function properly, suction load, temperature, leakage rate, and other processes. It is possible to estimate these parameters using other standards besides those of the Heat Exchange Institute. It is also possible to test vacuum pumps according to these standards. Following the external step, it is necessary to evaluate and resolve the vacuum unit’s problems.

Some of the most common problems in different kinds of vacuum pumps along with suitable troubleshooting guidelines.

Liquid Ring vacuum pump

Vacuum Pump Problems

High horsepower

The causes of high horsepower can be various. The best way to start is to compare actual data with performance curves. Probable causes are:

  • V-belt misalignment and improper tensioning of the belts.
  • The pump is severely overloaded with water.
  • Restriction at the pump inlet or pump discharge
  • Motor problem
  • The pump runs at a speed above the required speed.

Vacuum pump Leakage

Observe the exact location of the leak and the amount of leakage if seal water is leaking from the pump. The most likely areas of leakage are:

  • In this case of a continuous leak from the gland packing area, you can tighten the packing and replace the packing if necessary.
  • In this case of leakage at the body gasket, torque the body bolts evenly, and if the leak does not stop, replace the body gasket.
  • Leakage at the body plugs – Tighten the plugs. In case of persistent leaks, make sure the body and plug threads are not corroded. Replace the plug if the corrosion is severe.
  • Leakage through castings – Causes can be erosion, corrosion, or insertion of a sharp object into the pump.

Noisy pump operation

Noisy pump operation could be due to:

  • In this case, erratic noise and vibration are usually associated with the presence of foreign objects trapped in the pump.
  • The pump is overloaded with water and groans and makes noises due to hydraulic pressure.
  • Sounds like marbles in the pump.
  • Bearing noise could indicate bearing failure.
  • High horsepower and a lot of carryover to the pump.

Vacuum problems

This could be due to:

  • Vacuum surges are often caused by water carrying over from separators or by low points in the line accumulating water that burps over periodically into the pump. Check the inlet line for piping problems.
  • There may be a restriction in the pump inlet piping due to closed or partially closed valves, objects in the line, or a plugged inlet screen. This restriction will cause a pressure drop that gives a low vacuum in the system and a higher vacuum in the pump.
  • Check for correct seal water flow – Excessive or inadequate seal water flow will adversely affect the vacuum level.
  • Variation in seal water temperature – If the seal water temperature is too high, the pump may operate at a reduced capacity. Cool water in sufficient quantities is more important at higher vacuum levels.
  • Variation in pump rpm – If the rpm is low, the pump will run at a lower capacity. Check motor and Vbelt.
  • System leaks – Sources of leaks can include open drain valves, blown gaskets, loose flanges, poorly packed valves, inadequate barometric drop legs on separators, broken pipes, etc. Higher leakage will result in a lower vacuum.
  • Warn pump – This is indicated if vacuum loss has occurred gradually over time. Check to see if any have occurred before the vacuum problem surfaces.

Vacuum pump Vibration problems

A vibration problem can sometimes be cause of a system problem, but can also be the cause of a malfunctioning pump. There are two broad categories of intermittent and continuous events.

Intermittent vibration

  • Make sure there are no liquid slugs or carry-overs from the separator.
  • The vacuum pump can burp over at irregular intervals due to low pockets in the inlet piping.
  • Check for irregular sources of vibration. Vibration can occur if piping or separators are not properly supported or secured.

Continuous chronic vibration

  • The pump should be checked for carryover and excessive seal water.
  • Check the discharge piping or level indicator to ensure that the pump is not operating when it is flooded.
  • The alignment and tension of the coupling or V-belt should be checked. …….
  • Make sure that pump is not immediately subjected to a high vacuum by starting it against blank suction. In this case, the ring is unable to form properly.
  • If the unit is gear driven, make sure vibrations are not from the gear itself.
  • Check pump mounting and alignment. Incorrect shimming, resonating bases and improper grouting can cause unwanted vibrations.
  • Ensure the bearings are lubricated and replaced if they fail.
  • Check the inlet piping for vibrations.
  • Check the pump for excessive wear.


The use of a step-by-step procedure in troubleshooting vacuum pumps and/or systems facilitates the location of the problem and the identification of the appropriate solution. First, it is generally necessary to compare the original design conditions with the existing ones. Any change in design conditions may have a direct impact on the performance of the unit. It is important to troubleshoot the vacuum system once it has been determined that no external factors are causing the malfunction.

Posted By: Kalbro Pumps on 17 Dec, 2022

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