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Table 10-1. Typical Failure Modes of Centrifugal Pump Assemblies FAILURE MODE FAILURE CAUSE FAILURE EFFECT Reduction in suction head - Pump cavitation - Loss of pump efficiency Reduction in pump pressure - Pump cavitation - Eventual erosion of impeller, casing - Pump noise and vibration Component corrosion - Incorrect fluid - Excessive flow rate for fluid - Eventual catastrophic pump failure Shaft deflection - High radial thrust on pump Rotor - Eventual shaft and pump failure Shaft unbalance - Impeller wear - Shaft deflection and Misalignment - Stuffing box leakage - Seal leakage - Bearing wear Air leak thru gasket / stuffing box - Damaged gasket - Loss of pump head External Leakage - Seal failure - Worn mechanical seal - Scored shaft sleeve - Stuffing box improperly packed - Depends on type of fl uid and criticality as to time of failure Mechanical noise - Debris in the impeller - Impeller out of balance - Bent shaft - Worn/damaged bearing - Foundation not rigid - Cavitation - Eventual wear of impeller and other components Positive suction head too low - Clogged suction pipe - Valve on suction line only partially open - Suction cavitation - Noisy operation - Low discharge pressure - High output flow rate Pump discharge head too high - Clogged discharge pipe - Discharge line valve only partially open - Discharge cavitation - Noisy operation - Low output flow rate Suction line / impeller clogged - Contaminants - Loss of pump output / reduced flow Worn / broken impeller - Wrong flow rate, contaminants - Loss of pump output / reduced flow Thrust bearing failure - Excessive axial load - Pump failure Pumps 10-5 Revision C

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