Pumps are comprised of moving parts which include valves, pistons and check valves – all working together against seals and o-rings within the pump. A properly maintained pump typically produces a stable test pressure, but contaminants in the form of dirt and grit, chemicals, can really create trouble for the entire unit. But what can be done to prevent the pump from harmful contaminants?
The largest source of contamination takes place during the venting process when the test is over. You’ve successfully pressurised your equipment, received your data, and it’s time to move to the next task on the catalog. After detaching the vent valve on the pump, the pressure is relieved either via the vent valve to the atmosphere (in the case of a pneumatic pump), or back into the pump’s reservoir in case it is a hydraulic pump. Any contaminants are transported from the process into the pump and will adopt the same path as the vented pressure. How to prevent this?
For pneumatic pumps, there are numerous dirt and moisture traps that are able to help prevent the fluids and contamination from entering into the pump unit. These typically mount on the top of the pneumatic pumps between the pump and hose and catch liquid and dirt as compressed air travels back into the pump. Most of this equipment have a clear acrylic tank so you can notice the contamination, and clean it out immediately before moving further. For hydraulic pumps, the best solution is to install a vent valve in your piping system and affix the contaminated liquid with a suitable outlet that will go into a suitable container instead of taking contaminated oil back into your pump unit.