Humankind has invented some amazing things and has also given these fantastic contraptions an overstated sense of complication. In the majority of instances, things aren't that complicated and the centrifugal water pump is a prime example of this.
Like many mechanical inventions, the pump operates on basic principles of physics. Creating a dichotomy between low and high-pressure environments, a water pump can promote the movement of liquid against the constant pull of gravity. Keeping these pumps in optimal condition can be a tricky business, though, with repairs delving into the technical side of the design.
Pumps are made of six main components. Understanding what each is and how it interacts with the pump as a whole is crucial in successfully repairing any unit.
This is where the liquid is housed within the pump. The casing should be able to withstand high levels of pressure as well as the constantly changing levels of pressure in some compartments. While the casing has no active function, it can eventually spring leaks or deteriorate, which can put undue stress on other parts of the pump. Proper maintenance and repair of other components housed within the casing can help to extrapolate its lifetime.
As the spinning blade at the pump end of the shaft and within the casing, the impeller is the component of the pump that physically moves its contents to create a change in pressure. By rotating and moving contents out of the pump chamber, the pressure within is lowered, which promotes the movement of high-pressure material from another compartment to enter. This is the component with the highest level of movement in a pump and, as it is at the end of the full power of the engine coming through the shaft, can be susceptible to deterioration without proper maintenance.
While the seal plays no part in the movement of the matter inside the pump, it does play a critical role in maintaining the pump's integrity. The seal, often a rubber or ceramic material, prohibits any contaminants from the larger mechanism from leaking into the pump. Oil, dirt, and other chemicals can compromise the pump, so deteriorating seals should be replaced immediately.
The shaft is the mechanism which transfers the power from an input engine into the pump, turning the impeller to create the vacuum into which the material is pumped. The shaft is required to withstand the highest forces within the pump and is therefore of critical importance to its functionality. Any power related issues at either the pump or engine end of the mechanism should see troubleshooting begin at the shaft.
The bearing acts as a support to the shaft. The shaft experiences large forces at play on both of its ends, and it is the duty of the bearing to alleviate some of this force and ensure that the shaft remains correctly aligned within the pump. The bearing is fitted around the shaft and provides a cushion between the brute force at each end.
The coupling provides the first point of contact between the driving force (engine) and the pump. It connects the drive shaft of the engine to the pump shaft to transmit power and move the impeller. Issues with the coupling can sometimes be misinterpreted as shaft issues, though the two can often be inspected simultaneously.
Now that you know a little bit more about what makes up a basic water pump, repairing and maintaining them should be more straightforward.
Each of the six components functions on a basic level but when they come together to form a whole they create a mechanism capable of moving vast quantities of liquid in just a short amount of time. The applications are almost limitless.