Posted at 23-Jul-2020

Extra pair of hands required for problematic pump blockage

Paul Skade
By Nick Lees
Product Manager, Pumps

I began working at ERIKS 24 years ago in 1996, starting in the Transline stores, which is now known as the Drives Product Business Unit.

I then moved into ...

Read full bio

You’ve probably heard the well-known saying, ‘the customer is always right.’ But in some instances, that’s not strictly true. It’s an extra level of knowledge and insight that really makes the difference, particularly when addressing an issue that has been persistent for some time.

 

A large waste recycling plant was experiencing issues with its current submersible pumps, which due to the nature of the application were continuously blocking, causing the sumps to flood and leak onto public roads leading to serious environmental violations.

The facility had a requirement to pump solid laden water from its drainage system back to its storage tanks, where the water would be screened and reused for the field irrigation process of the site product.

But continual blockages were slowing down the process and causing catastrophic failures. To put it into perspective, when leakages reach the public domain, the Environment Agency intervene, hit the red button and the process comes to a complete standstill – resulting in lost production, increased maintenance and rising costs.

Out of sight. Out of mind

People like submersible pumps. And this customer was no different. They had been facing repeated problems for over three years but persisted with using a submersible pump to operate their application. Even the onsite support, a competitor of ERIKS, continued to supply them as a means of solving the problem. But this wasn’t the most efficient resolution.

Here’s where Hydromarque and ERIKS’ unmatched application and industry knowledge really made the difference.

 

Submersible pumps come with their flaws. Mainly, due to their underground positioning meaning problems are only detected once catastrophic failure has occurred. By then it’s too late. Their positioning also means that confined spaces, such as wet wells, are inevitable.

When working in confined spaces, much more must be considered, with a bigger emphasis on health and safety, specialist training and certification, and personal protection equipment. No stone can be left unturned to ensure the safety of your employees.

Then you have the hire and operation of heavy lifting equipment to remove the pump from its position. All of this comes at additional cost and resource. So surely, it’s not the most efficient method?  

ERIKS specialists inspected the site and, in conjunction with Hydromarque, suggested that by switching to a Gorman-Rupp Super T Series® pump, these ongoing issues would be resolved.

Superior solids handling

The Super T Series is specifically designed for economical, trouble-free operation and is suited for harsh environments such as recycling and slurries. Basically, anywhere where there’s sewage, sludge or industrial effluent. The large volute design allows automatic repriming in a completely open system without the need for suction or discharge check valves.

The Super T Series has also adapted to the changing requirements of today’s ‘new sewage’ with the inclusion of the Eradicator – marketing leading technology purposely-designed to challenge the rise of stringy solids such as sanitary wipes, plastics and hair.

 

The innovative Eradicator system features an aggressive self-cleaning wearplate, incorporating numerous notches and grooves, as well as a patent-pending lacerating tooth that helps break up stringy materials and pass them through the pump without impacting performance.

 “Prove it works and we will have it”

The customer was unconvinced and reluctant to accept the proposal of switching away from a conventional submersible-style pump, solely based on price. But after hearing ERIKS’ impartial viewpoint and Hydromarque’s level of knowledge on the product, coupled with the unrivalled benefits on offer, the customer was persuaded and opted to take the new design on trial.

Shortly, following the agreement, KITE Utility Services, an ERIKS’s approved contractor was called in to fit the installation.

Since the installation, there has been no issues reported, meaning no unnecessary fines from the Environmental Agency and an increase in production, as a result of being offered something outside of the standard product range.

 

The frequency of maintenance has also been reduced, and in the event that it is required, the process is now simpler and safer to conduct. The customer is now enquiring into switching another six of its pumps around the field, which will offer better spares commonality and availability. Hydromarque can even courier your requirement to you if feasible in an emergency.

Providing a level of understanding

Recently, Hydromarque conducted maintenance training on Gorman-Rupp products, providing engineers with a better understanding of how this technology operates and what true benefits it can provide.

From the purpose-built facility in Peterborough, the comprehensive training was based on a ‘seeing it in action makes it easier to understand’ philosophy, and included use of a complete test rig for assembly and disassembly, and simulated blockages, making use of the clear design whereby all content and processes can be observed throughout the entire application.

Forging the right relationships

ERIKS and Hydromarque have a long-standing relationship in delivering the right solution to customers. Based on their previous experiences, the customer was adamant they knew the requirements to gain the best results, but by putting their heads together, with impartiality at the forefront of the decision, that little touch of know-how and expertise added real value to the customers process and made life a whole lot easier for the future.

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