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•C h a p t e r 19

inspection and Testing

General Inspection

Inspection procedures may range from a full-blown witnessed performance and

N P S H string test of an 8,000 hp boiler feed pump at the pump manufacturer's testing
facilities to a cursory visual inspection at the buyer's shop of a 1 hp water pump.
Table 19.1 shows a typical inspection checklist that any major company could issue.

Table 19.1
Inspection Requirements for Centrifugal Pumps

1 2 3
b b Radiograph inspection of impeller
a a Liquid penetrant inspection of impeller
b b Liquid penetrant inspection of casing repairs
C C Impact test
b a Hydrostatic test
b a Performance test
Certified performance test and NPSH curve
Mechanical run test with vibration measurements
Manufacturer's standard mechanical run test
C C Noise level test
a a Dismantling in case of failed mechanical run test
c a Balancing of rotating assembly
c c Hardness test for impeller and casing welds*
I = Centrifugal utility pumps < 50 hp or < 250 psig discharge pressure
2 = All centrifugal pumps > 50 hp or > 250 psig discharge pressure
3 = Process pumps < 50 hp or < 250 psig discharge pressure

a = Visual inspection by company's inspector

b = Certified records examined by company representative
c = Certificates and data supplied by vendor

*If HzS is present in fluid

Inspection and Testing 143

The buyer must determine the inspection procedures he or she wants. If a witnessed
test is necessary, the inspector should be instructed to perform the following tasks:

• Visually inspect castings

• Check welding procedures
• Visually inspect all parts before they are assembled. The castings shall not show
signs of repair by peening, plugging, or brazing.
• Check running clearances on vendor' s inspection records
• Check impeller and rotor balance as recorded on vendor' s inspection records
• Check pump package dimensions
• Witness tests

Hydrostatic Test

Hydrotest the pump casing at 1.5 times its design pressure. The gaskets used for
this test should perfectly match the gaskets used in the pump. Leaks past the gaskets
are not acceptable. Discard the test gaskets after the test.
If any leakage or pressure drop occurs during the test, repeat the test after making
necessary repairs. Test pumps whose medium has a specific gravity of 0.7 or less
with kerosene.
Use dye penetrant solution for the hydrotest if the casing pattern is new or
changed, and/or if the pump media will consistently remain above 500*F. Any dye-
penetration test shall adhere to ASTM E165. If the buyer does not require a witnessed
hydrotest, the vendor shall submit its test data for client review.

Performance Test

The buyer may insist on a performance string test, which shall include the actual
driver, instrumentation, and eventual gear (see Figure 19.1 for setup). Because the
vendor's lack of the electric power required may render this test inconvenient or
impossible, most companies allow the vendor to use a shop driver. The shop driver
often consists of a hydraulic turbine instead of an electric motor. Preferably, the test
shall run at rated speed, but the vendor may run the test at other speeds. In this case,
the vendor should submit the conversion-to-rated-speed calculations to the buyer for
approval before starting the test. The actual string test will then occur at start-up.
The manufacturer usually will use water during the performance test. If the real
pump medium is viscous, the manufacturer shall make the necessary correction,
according to the latest issue of the Hydraulic Institute Complete Pump Standards.
The vendor often submits a list of the test equipment it will use. Upon request, the
vendor shall submit calibration data for this equipment. Typical instruments include:

• An orifice with a differential pressure gauge to measure the flow rate

• Digital tachometer to measure pump rpm
144 Practical Introduction to Pumping Technology

• Double-element watt meter to measure power

• Pressure gauges to measure pump head
• Vibration monitor
• Temperature transmitter and RTD probe
• Sound-level meter

The performance test shall be combined with the mechanical run test, which shall
last a minimum of four hours. The inspector shall check the following data, which
should match the actual performance curve:

• Head against flow

• Power requirements at different flow rates
• Efficiency at different flow rates

The buyer shall select at least five flow rates for inspection. These should include
the following points:

• Shut-off
• Minimum flow as specified by vendor
• A point between rated and minimum flow
• Flow at best efficiency point
• Rated flow
• 110 percent of rated flow

At each point, the inspector shall check the following:

• Pump shaft vibration

• Shaft axial displacement
• Suction pressure
• Discharge pressure
• Flow rate
• Driver input power
• Noise level

If there is a gear in the pump package, the inspector shall check the gear contact
pattern after the conclusion of the performance test. Gear contact shall be consistent.
A contact area of less than 75 percent will affect gear performance.
After the performance test, it is customary to open multistage and barrel pumps to
inspect the rotor assembly. After draining the test liquid, the test crew shall dry all
the pump components.
Inspection and Testing 145





Figure 19.1 Typical Performance Test Setup


It is a good idea to run a NPSH test on pumps 100 hp and larger where the
NPSHA is close to the pump's required NPSH. The suppression test may determine
the NPSH at 3 percent differential head loss or at 0 percent loss if the pump is in crit-
ical service with variable flow. The NPSH shall be plotted at the following flow
rates, as a minimum:

• Minimum continuous flow

• Midway between minimum flow and rated flow
• Rated flow
• 110 percent of rated flow