If you’ve used the phrase “well that’s summer gone”, then you’ve probably felt a chill creeping into the air. With the autumn months upon us, winter and low temperatures are just around the corner.
Even though pumps are designed to put up with a lot, cold weather can be debilitating for pump systems. As custom tends to pick up for many businesses in the upcoming months, the last thing you need is an emergency or an unexpected breakdown that’s going to cost you time and money.
What causes pump problems in the winter?
There are a number of reasons why pump systems struggle or fail during the colder months. With December being the wettest month in the United Kingdom and February being the coldest, it’s no surprise that systems are subjected to stress when those months arrive.
Weather and temperature have a direct influence on the quantity of fluid that stormwater and wastewater systems will have to store and pump during the colder and wetter months. Blockages or insufficient output capability can put a lot of strain on pumping systems, leading to leakages, overflow and breakdowns.
With more debris likely to be found in waterways and frozen or semi-frozen water entering filter systems, blockages can happen naturally.
Incidents and breakdowns can also occur for temperature regulation pumps such as heating or cooling pumps. Cooling pumps have probably been running throughout the summer months and may need maintenance to ensure they will operate just as efficiently at full power in the future.
In addition to this, if a pump is not required, it can be important to ensure they are turned off. Operating a pump when not necessary is an easy way to waste a huge amount of energy during the winter months.
It goes without saying that winter is the worst time for a heating pump to fail. As heating pumps are not necessarily used all year round, more problems are likely to occur.
Water that has been sitting in the pump since last winter can cause the impellor to seize to the pump housing, resulting in a pump that cannot run. This water can also allow limescale to build up around the mechanical seal making it rigid and brittle.
When the system is pressurised, this mechanical seal will leak and could lead to a significant pump failure.
Although there is no minimum workroom temperature required by law, the Government and HSE advise a minimum of 16º or 13º if physical labour is frequent. The temperature may not be specified but Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 do require employers to provide a suitable workplace temperature.
A leaking system might last a few weeks before it will eventually fail. However, the first step to stopping any common cause of pump failure is prevention.
Why do pumps need maintenance?
The way you maintain your pump systems will impact on the success of your business.
Poor maintenance will mean you spend more than you need, and could even prove dangerous.
Proactive maintenance will reduce energy consumption, save money and increase safety.
Dura Pump worked with a retail park that had spent over £140,000 in 18 months maintaining and servicing pumps before properly reviewing them. Our team rebuilt the eight pump stations and included remote monitoring enabling them to be proactive.
The customer now spends only £17,500 per annum on maintenance and has experienced no pump failures.
How can you make sure your pump systems are maintained?
All pump stations should be serviced a minimum of every 12 months, depending on the use of the pump station. In situations where the station is in high use, it could need inspection as much as monthly.
Booster sets and pressurisation sets, need to be inspected at a minimum of every 12 months. This is the only way to ensure your system is operating at its optimal performance. Regular inspections are, in many instances, also required to remain compliant.
Maintenance is the key to ensuring that your pump’s ability doesn’t deplete throughout the year and especially before the winter. However, knowing exactly what maintenance you pump needs and getting access can prove difficult.
So what’s the solution for making sure your pump is ready for the upcoming season?
Dura Pump’s Proserv Maintenance Solution provides you with proactive pump maintenance across your business, with a variety of different service levels which we use to form a tailored plan to suit your ever-changing needs.
Proserv is available from basic preventative sewage and stormwater pump maintenance with 24/7 technical support, through to a proactive service agreement which extends through the latest energy-saving measures, to the ultimate pump system asset management service.
Our engineers are qualified and experienced in the maintenance of virtually every manufacturer’s products to protect your entire system.
Our comprehensive checklist means we examine every aspect of how your system is working. For heating systems, our expert engineers check the following:
- Operate isolation valves and check the functionality
- Check operation of non-return valves
- Check pressure switch operation – including high and low-level cut-outs
- Check mechanical seals for leaks
- Check motor bearings using vibration meter
- Physical check of the control panel where possible
- Cabling connections
- Check motor electrical condition where possible
- Check condition and pressures of pressure vessels
- Check fault communication with BMS system where fitted
Maintenace with Dura Pump will give you the peace of mind you need and lets you choose the package best suited to you. Choose from Gold, Silver and Bronze and get the maintenance you need. All services provide preventative maintenance and 24/7 technical support.
Prepare for the cold temperature ahead by investing in one of our maintenance packages and make sure your pump system is prepared. Don’t leave it to chance, let the pumping experts at Dura Pump improve the way you work.
Flow the way you need it with Dura Pump
Get in touch with the Dura Pump team today for advice on how to make sure your pumps are maintained this winter. We also have a range of other pump services available, including energy-saving, repairs, supply and installation.