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Heat is your enemy

When it comes to longevity of your pump and motor, heat is the enemy. Seals leak, plastic fittings loosen, plastic pump parts can deform, ceramic parts may crack due to thermal shock, and motors can fail – all due to heat.

Follow these guidelines to reduce the chances of pump failure due to heat.

  • Cool water at room temperature is best. If hot water is desired for your application, use a heat exchanger to heat the water after it leaves the pump.
  • Bypass water heats up! If the bypass is routed straight back to the inlet, it will heat up fastest. Just a couple minutes in bypass can cause permanent pump damage. The more water in the bypass loop the better, so a bypass routed back to the supply tank is preferred so that the maximum amount of water is in the bypass loop to help slow down the heat buildup. Regardless, never leave a pump in bypass for longer than 5 minutes.
  • Consider using a pressure switch to automatically shut the pump off instead of going into bypass.
  • Many plunger pumps can run dry without damage. However, if a pump is run dry for longer than a couple minutes, it should be allowed to cool before pumping water to avoid thermal shock.
  • Motors can overheat if they are overworked. Check the amperage with a multimeter or install a pressure gauge to make sure your motor is running at or below the rated limits.
  • Motors can also overheat if the environment is too hot. Make sure the ambient air temperature is below 104F. Ambient temperature is normally just the temperature of the room. But if the pump is installed inside a box, then it is important to know what the air temperature reaches inside the box while the pump is used. If the temperature climbs over 104F, then ventilation is required so that the hot air can escape.

Contact our pump experts with guidance when facing issues with heat or other pumping challenges.