Pumps are the backbone of a manufacturing facility, safely and efficiently keeping fluids flowing. Air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps are no different. When an AODD pump fails, the effects can be catastrophic to both worker safety and the plant’s bottom line.
To help keep your AODD pumps running longer, you should use the following components:
- Filter Regulator: A low-cost insurance option for your pump, filter regulators offer protection for diaphragm pumps powered by compressed air by controlling the incoming volume and pressure. Filter regulators are also essential in ensuring clean, dry air is powering the pump. With both O-ring seals on the pilot valve assembly and energy-efficient, tight tolerances on the main air valve, it’s important to keep the compressed air dry and debris free.
- Valves: Lost product can be expensive, messy and potentially dangerous. When a diaphragm pump needs servicing, it’s important that you isolate the pump from the system prior to disassembly. The closer the valves are installed to the pump manifolds, the better. After the valves are closed, you can safely disconnect suction and discharge manifolds.
- Gauges: When troubles arise, it’s good to have as much system information as possible. With the correct gauges in place, it can assist you in troubleshooting the pump for spikes in pressure, worn air-side components, thermal expansion or check valve failure.
When you receive your pump, check for damage on the carton. After you verify the contents within (i.e., pump, literature and accessories), direct yourself to the service and operating manual. Inside the manual, you’ll find everything you need to know about your pump, including safety information.
Preventative Maintenance (PM) Checks
Don’t wait for failure to occur. Develop a PM plan that includes regular service of the following:
- Airline filters
- Leaking suction or discharge fittings
- Rhythmic cycling
Once you’ve been able to track a failure or two, it will allow for the understanding of your pumps mean time between failure (MTBF). Assuming the failures weren’t a fluke but rather, due to wear, then you should be able to put together a PM plan for inspection and replacement of components. Remember, there are an infinite number of chemicals, temperatures and pressure duty points, each application’s MTBF may be a little different.
For quick and easy AODD pump maintenance, check with your pump manufacturer or local distributor for complete air side and wet side repair kits.
What to Check for in Older Pumps
Generally, if the pump is running and an excessive amount of air isn’t leaking out the exhaust during high head conditions, then the pump should be fine. Where you could see issues is when the pump is left idle with or without fluid inside.
When fluid is left in the pump, solids can settle or product can harden—both equally as damaging to the diaphragm when the pump is restarted. If you’re pumping a product that contains solids, or may harden, it’s beneficial to disassemble and clean the pump before restarting. If your pump sits empty and idle for an extended period of time, you’ll want to inspect the diaphragm, balls, seats and seals for cracking or deterioration due to heat and humidity.
Choosing an AODD Pump Manufacturer
Like any piece of equipment, AODD pump parts can prematurely fail if not operated properly. To avoid unplanned downtime, be sure to choose an AODD pump manufacturer that values quality and offers exceptional technical guidance.
SANDPIPER is a market-leading AODD pump manufacturer offering products engineered to handle the toughest applications and training support options to effectively extend pump life. Our team is also focused on improving pump efficiency, helping increase your company’s profits. Sandpiper pumps are designed to be user-friendly for quick and simple disassembly when AODD pump maintenance is needed. This helps get your pump back up and running, minimizing downtime, disruptions and costs.