The winter months of February and March can be the coldest of the year.

Keeping your pumps working and your fluids pumping at full capacity during this chilly period will be business critical.

And if you have pumps located outside, this can be a worry.

Freezing checks
The key concern here is of course, your fluids freezing.

Pumps located outside will be your main concern but do bear in mind that even if your pumps are installed inside (for example, in an unheated warehouse), they may still freeze up.

In the cold weather, water and other thinner fluids will be especially vulnerable but oils, chemicals or fuels may also be problematic.

Icing up in the pump could crack the pump casing (as well as any connections and pipework) and if this does happen, it’s likely the pump will be written off and will need replacing.

Here therefore, I list a number of essential winter pumping health checks I’d recommend you carry out.

1: Check output capacity
The simplest way to check for any issues is to ensure that the right capacity of liquid is still being delivered to where it should be.

If you have any flow monitors, check these against required output and if not, a visual output check should give you a pretty good idea.

2: Check for cracks and leaks
Have a look at each pump’s body housing to check it looks OK and that it’s not cracked.

If you do see a crack or leak, contact Applied Pumps and we may be able to replace your pump.

This is often something we can do within a day, with delivery included.

3: Check pipe connections
Undertake a full visual check of all overflow and discharge pipework and make sure your pumps are not leaking from the shaft seal.

Remember, it is not just about liquids escaping; holes in the suction leg for example will result in the pump drawing air in, and if this does happen, you’ll have lost capacity and ultimately the pump will be damaged.

4: Check temperature
Avoid touching anything here but it is also a good idea to check the temperature of the pump and the motors whilst they are running.

You may have temperature sensors and gauges to help you.

5: Check it sounds right
An aural check will tell you if there are any problems from unwanted vibration.

Unwanted vibration may be the result of a worn or broken bearing in the pump or motor, a relief valve chattering or some other kind of mechanical rubbing or fault.

Seal areas are especially vulnerable here.

Keep an ear out also for cavitating. If the pump is cavitating it simply will not sound right.

6: Check the motor run current
If your motor run current is reading high there could be a problem.

Check therefore that it is running as per the motor dataplate.

To test this, an electrician can put a meter on, to ensure everything is OK.

7: Check nothing has been switched off
Check any systems that may have been switched off for any period of time (perhaps shut down for the Christmas and New Year break).

If something was switch off, it may be the case that someone closed a valve before downtime but this was not reset when everything was switched back on.

Any exterior pumps should be fully drained out before any period of non-use.

8: Check you have spares
As a minimum, you should have spare gaskets and mechanical seals ready to hand.

If you need any spares this is something Applied Pumps can always help with, so do let us know.

9: Check location
To protect for the future, it is also a good idea to think about pump location.

This will help you avoid future flooding or freezing and you can also look at the idea of adding cabinets around your pumps or perhaps rain covers.

10: Check you’re healthy and safe
Check also everything in accordance with your organisations Health & Safety policy.

Any worries – Applied Pumps can help
If you need pump replacements or parts of any kind, then we are here to help.

We maintain a range of industrial pumps and pump spares and because we’re centrally located, we can UK deliver, often within 24 hours.

To ask a question or make any enquiry, please call me Steve Ball on 01246 260157.

If you’d rather get in contact by email, then it’s steven@appliedpumps.co.uk

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