9 Crucial Tips to Operate Centrifugal Pumps Safely

Oct 4, 2018

Oct 4, 2018

If you work in an industrial environment, there's a good chance you'll need to operate centrifugal pumps at one point or another. But if you don't know much about centrifugal pumps, you need to make sure you're not putting yourself in harm's way.

Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you remain safe.

Keep reading and you'll learn 9 tips that'll help you operate centrifugal pumps safely. Use these tips and you should be able to reduce the odds of an accident, should you ever need to work with such pumps.

Let's begin!

1. Read the Manual

It's important you read the manual that comes with a centrifugal pump. The company that designed the pump will be aware of some of the things that can lead to harm.

They'll have spent some time writing down things you can do to avoid danger. If you don't take the time to read the manual, your lack of knowledge could prove to be dangerous.

The manual will also let you know what checks you need to make ahead of time, to make sure everything is up to standard. This might include certain lights that state it's safe to use the machinery, for instance.

2. Make Sure Everyone Has the Proper Training

Reading the manual is okay, but you need to make sure everyone knows what can go wrong. If you don't take the time to educate others on the potential risks, then you're creating a situation where others can become injured.

Create a system that ensures everyone undergoes training if they're supposed to work with a centrifugal pump.

You should introduce this training each time there is a new pump installed. That's because the pump could use a slightly different mechanism. This different mechanism might need for the operator to use a different approach to prevent injury.

You might even want to go over this training at certain time intervals. An example might be every three months.

If you're unable to provide this training, you may want to reach out to the company that sells the pump. They may offer a service whereby they'll send someone out to perform the training. This can be helpful as a certified person is providing rigorous training.

3. Check the System for Wear and Tear

If you fail to recognize wear and tear, you could be putting people in harm's way. This is because certain parts of the pump may become less sturdy. These parts may then break and hurt the people that are nearby in the process.

If wear and tear is affecting the machine, it shouldn't be ignored. If you have little confidence in your own ability to repair the machine, hire someone who knows what they're doing.

You'll find that there are companies that specialize in repairing centrifugal pumps. You may even want to reach out to the manufacturer. They might also offer a service wherein they replace machines that are in an untimely state of disrepair.

It's also important that repairs only use high-quality parts. The machine is going to break down sooner than it should if repairs involve low-grade parts. It could also mean that these parts might fail when the pump is in use. This could lead to injury for anyone nearby.

4. Wear Protective Gear

As with a lot of equipment in an industrial setting, it's important to wear personal protective equipment when operating these pumps.

Examples include safety glasses, gloves, and correct clothing. Loose jewelry is a bad idea as it can become tangled up in the machine.

You should also run regular checks to ensure no one is using a centrifugal pump without wearing the correct protective items. If your employer is not willing to supply this gear, consider finding another job.

5. Avoid Overheating

Centrifugal pumps can sometimes become the victim of overheating. This can mean people using the machine may experience burn injuries, as a result.

If you notice that the pump is overheating take a moment to leave it until it has reached normal operating temperature. You'll want to make sure everyone else is aware of this precaution.

6. Only Use the Pump for Its Designed Purpose

Not all centrifugal pumps have the same purpose. For example, some pumps are able to handle corrosive, hazardous fluids and some aren't.

If you use a centrifugal pump for the wrong reasons it'll mean there's a greater chance of the machine failing. If you need some clarification on the purpose of the pump, consider asking your employer.

7. Ensure There's Adequate Ventilation

It's also a good idea to ensure that the pump has adequate ventilation. This can help improve the odds of the machine operating at a normal temperature.

If the machine has adequate ventilation, it also means it's easier to inspect. This makes it easier to check for problems that might lead to injuries.

8. Check Discharge Lines

You also want to spend some time checking the discharge lines.

That's because they can rust internally over time. By checking them, you can ensure that this isn't happening. You can also ensure that the machine is operating efficiently, which can help maintain high productivity levels. When you make these checks, be sure to observe all the components associated with the discharge line too.

If you find this jargon confusing, that's okay. If you want to develop a better understanding of how centrifugal pumps work, you can read more here.

9. Always Perform Startup Checks

Every time someone uses the machine, they need to perform startup checks.

There's no telling what chance events might have affected the machine from when it was last shutdown to now. By performing some startup checks you can identify issues that might lead to injury.

Do You Know How to Remain Safe When Using Centrifugal Pumps?

If you're in a position where you need to operate centrifugal pumps, it's important you know how to remain safe.

In this post, we've reviewed 9 tips you can use to prevent accidents from happening when using such pumps. You need to make sure you've read the instruction manual. You also want to perform checks before you start the machine.

It's important you're always diligent. You might be someone who makes a lot of checks. But all it takes is one forgetful moment to lead to a serious injury.

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