The Top 4 Causes of Bore Pump Failure and How You Can Avoid Them

Generally speaking, a well selected bore pump will be productive and efficient for a long time. A bore pump’s submerged system design and “flooded suction” negates many pumping issues. However, neglecting to monitor the pump’s output over time will mean changes are not detected, which could result in a costly repair to the pump system.

Understanding the makeup of your pumping system is crucial for protecting it from failure, as not all pumps are the same. However, there are still certain common factors that, assuming you have chosen the right pump, can impact your pump’s lifespan. Here, we look at what the most common reasons for pump failure are, and how you can minimize the risk of them happening.

Motor failure

The most common cause of pump failure is actually motor failure. This occurs when the motor itself overheats, most commonly as a result of inadequate cooling from the water passing the exterior of the motor. A pump output delivery needs to match the groundwater inflow to be balanced and sustainable. If the minimum velocity level for adequate cooling (0.15m/s) does not occur then the motor will overheat and fail. If you have low level flow protection and you notice your unit frequently starting and stopping this could be as a result of a reduced groundwater inflow. It is well worth investigating to prevent a motor failure.

Iron contamination

Iron oxidation and iron bacteria are two of the main factors that have a detrimental effect on borehole pumps. When these contaminants accumulate, they begin to clog and corrode the pump’s parts and can eventually lead to complete system failure. If you see red-tinted sludge or threads in your pump system, it is very likely a sign of iron contamination. Cleaning and disinfecting the system is an effective method for getting rid of iron bacteria, and using a liquid solution can help to flush out any buildups of iron deposit. In addition, an in-line filter can assist with capturing and constraining these impurities.

Level of water

One might think that there are no limits to how far down you can draw the water in a bore give that, by definition, a submersible pump is designed to be submerged in water. However, there is a certain point at which the pump’s performance is affected and the pump itself becomes damaged. Your pump will come with its own NPSH-required drawdown limit, but if you’re still unsure, check with the team at MTP so that we can advise you on how to proceed. If your pump is stopping and starting frequently due to low water levels, it may reduce the pump’s lifespan and damage it. Knowing the maximum number of times your pump should be started per day based on its motor diameter is crucial for preventing motor failure. Another thing that can help is monitoring the incoming power supply, since a reduced voltage supply results in an increased amperage draw, which in turn will mean a higher operating temperature.

Unchecked changes in pumping conditions

A well selected pump will typically give many years of good service, however should the pump application change it will almost certainly result in an altered pumping condition. This may cause the pump to try and operate in a less than optimal point and could result in reduced flow, pressure changes and often complete failure. If a bore pump operator is not using a pressure gauge, changes like these can often go unnoticed until significant deterioration has set in.
Setting up a pressure gauge for your pump can be very useful when determining if a change in application has happened. Being able to monitor the power supply, flow, and operational elements of your bore pump can make a big difference when troubleshooting any problems that crop up.

At MTP, we have a team of professional service technicians ready to provide 24/7 emergency pump repair services across all industries. For further information on how you can get in touch with our teams in Sydney, Perth or Kalgoorlie, click here.

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