Safe, Effective Pumping: In order to understand safe operation, it’s necessary to understand the application first.

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Courtesy of Griffin Dewatering

Whether it comes to pumps on a construction site or in an industrial process, the number one goal is to make sure it is operating and running with minimal need of attention. But as with any other equipment, it’s necessary to understand the basic priniciples of safe operation in order for this to occur. In order to understand safe operation, it’s necessary to understand the application first. Whether the pump is pumping hot oil versus clean water from a tank versus a chemical mixture, the operator needs to understand how the pump is being used in order to understand handling and PPE precautions. Selfpriming trash pumps are widely used in the industry. One of their main operating requirements is for liquid to be in the volute to achieve prime. If there is limited fluid in the volute and it continually recirculates, it changes from liquid to steam. There are countless cases of people opening a port on the pump and the steam rushing out burns the operator. How much flow or pressure is going to be generated by the pump? This energy has to go somewhere and could be critical to the piping design and operation as well as the pump. These performance factors also affect the operating parameters of the unit. A pump operating too fast or too slow can present vibration, heat and noise problems that will need to be addressed. Lockout /tagout principles apply not only to electricity, but any source of stored energy. If a valve is opened on a high-pressure pump system, depending on the operating parameters, it could cause injury if someone is not aware of the energy that is being released.

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