December 2005

Engineering Case Histories

Case 30: One cause of a pump not pumping

A stronger pump can block out the weaker one

Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

Throughout this series, it has been shown that – when troubleshooting equipment – it is important to have an understanding of how the equipment operates. Obviously, pumps are no exception. A reoccurring theme in troubleshooting seminars highlights problems the participants have with cooling tower pumps, where one of the pumps isn't contributing its share. Large cooling towers usually have several pumps discharging into a common header, and the pumps are started or shut down as the ambient temperature or cooling demand of the process units change. Arranged in parallel, each of these pumps take suction from a common header, and the discharge flow increases as additional pumps are being starte

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