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The Basic Rules of Pump Piping

January 13, 2017

Pump performance is affected by the usual suspects, with fouled liquids and poorly maintained equipment topping the proverbial bill. Design flaws, especially those related to the pump piping, also play a significant role in whole system efficiency. After all, this water conveyance system is a team player, a cooperative endeavor. In other words, the pump and its pipework must be designed according to the basic rules of pump piping.

Observe Diameter Rulings

Fluids create congestion when they're forced into a restrictive channel. Avoid congestion and maximize flow by using pipes that are sized properly. A wide diameter conduit on the suction side adheres to this guideline by sticking to a width that's at least as broad as the inlet channel. Better yet, select a pipe diameter that's one notch greater than the pump inlet size, for this dimensional boost will increase system performance by regulating suction velocity. Typically, this flow rate should be maintained between 2 and 2.5 meters per second.

Length Guidelines

The basic rules of pump piping place great emphasis on pipe runs, the uninterrupted length of each pipe section. It's in this section that fluids are conveyed predictably, and it's here that flow uniformity reaches its zenith. With that system uniformity factor in mind, restrict suction pipe length to approximately 5 to 10 times the measured diameter of the inlet piping. This value dictates the maximum run of the suction piping. Potential pressure drops are curtailed by obeying this rule.

Governing Air Elimination Methods

In controlling suction and inlet design regulations, fluid performance is maintained, but which fluids are welcome here? Liquid mediums are definitely welcome, solids are filtered, but a gas is not meant to exist here. Air creates vortices in the flow. Air generates flow-interrupting pockets in the liquid medium, and it is air that hamstrings pump performance. Eliminate this system attenuating gas by following the above pipe sizing considerations. Additionally, provide supplementary fluid volume, a tank filled overhead that will cancel air entrapment incidents.

The laws of fluid dynamics blend seamlessly with common-sense design practices to facilitate these rules. Keep sharp bends and elbow joints at a distance from the pump. A good rule of thumb involves using the aforementioned 5 to 10 times’ pipe diameter guideline. Finally, distribute the fluid load throughout the piping, not the pump. In following this and the above rules, the pump mechanism will function properly and last many years because the piping is proving a properly sized and regulated liquid load.

Parker Pumps

29B Ormond Rd., East Geelong VIC 3219

Phone: (03) 5229 7443

Email: sales@parkerpumps.com.au

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