Failure in Condenser Water Pump Impeller Investigation

In year 2011, PowerQ received a call from a long-term client for an urgent site inspection. The client reported that the condenser’s 3 out of 5 pumps failed. They were concerned about these failures as it will significantly hamper the total tonnage of the cooling plant.

In response to this event, the client requested PowerQ to conduct inspections to determine the possible cause of this failure and to recommend further actions. PowerQ inspected the failed impellers and found the causes.

There were holes and minor cracks in the impeller. In accordance to that, PowerQ’s Mechanical Engineers surveyed the systems including the pipings, cooling towers, strainers, water quality, chemical treatment dosage etc. PowerQ had performed measurements. Finally, equipped with various data, a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) was performed .

The root cause was found to be a localised failure due to water contamination along with mud and sediment debris. This could be the reason the impeller had eroded.

Recommendations were made that is to install an automatic sand filter with regular blow down and an automatic dosing system. Finally, the impellers were replaced, the shaft aligned and balanced. After this rectification, there were no other failures reported.

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Updated on

June 11, 2018