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Installation and maintenance of pumps within the water and wastewater industry comes with many challenges. Seal fatigue and breakdown inevitably leads to pump downtime, and with it the related substantial costs of labour and maintenance. Thankfully, advances in technology have brought proven solutions that can dramatically reduce seal installation time, pump maintenance and the likelihood of asset failure.

While mechanical seals only represent a small proportion of the overall acquisition cost of a pump, their failure can amount to significant expenditure.

The key to reliability lies in maximising pump life, and this can be effectively achieved with two simple, yet highly effective, solutions.

The use of split seals and active throat bushing technology offers considerable improvement for overall equipment reliability.

Used together, they enhance the seal environment with minimal or no-flush water requirements and dramatically decrease the efforts (and costs) spent on pump maintenance.

Split seal technology

Split seals are, as the name suggests, ones that are split into at least two elements.

They perform the same role as standard mechanical seals and can be utilised in the same locations (on rotating equipment).

However, by far the greatest advantage offered is that there is no disassembly of the installed pump required to fit a split seal and no additional expertise is needed.

Other advantages include:

  • Provides a virtually leak-free seal for an extended period of time (typically measured in years)
  • Eliminates excessive shaft/sleeve wear
  • Offers slurry sealing capability
  • Minimises the corrosion of assets
  • Decreases flush water usage and the associated costs
  • Significantly increases ROI

Chesterton is the leader in split seal technology with the largest installed base globally.

Active throat bushing technology

The environment around the seal has a direct impact on its lifespan and reliability, with the two biggest issues being contamination and heat.

The traditional approach is an external flush – generally water – with the hope that this provides cooling, prevents abrasives from degrading the seal and reduces the build-up of solids.

Despite such efforts, it’s common for seals to fail, mainly due to ineffective cooling and poor lubrication.

Active throat bushing is a cutting-edge technology that addresses both the heat and contaminant issues in one simple solution as follows:

  • Removes particulate contamination from the stuffing box and away from the seal
  • Allows air to escape the stuffing box upon flooding
  • Creates effective circulation around the seal to minimise heat build-up

The advantages of this technology are far-reaching:

  • Dramatically simplifies operations
  • Saves money from constant seal replacements
  • Provides environmentally responsible practice

For water and wastewater processing, the advantages of these dual technologies are nothing short of remarkable.

Both are proven and in use on a global scale, offering substantial savings on energy, running costs and asset maintenance. Such value-driven solutions are an essential element for the optimal operation of a plant’s critical assets.

Chesterton solutions for water and wastewater treatment operations have been implemented around the world with documented success and recognition.

This partner content is brought to you by Chesterton. Visit chestertonrotating.chesterton.com/en-us/IndustryApplications/Pages/WaterAndWasteWater.aspx to discover the Chesterton portfolio of products that effectively decrease sealing installation time and pump maintenance, ensuring asset productivity that’s crucial in today’s competitive market.

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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