Do you hear a hissing sound coming from an air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pump at your plant? It could mean your pump is due for new pilot valve O-Rings. Is your pump cycling once but won’t come back? You may have bent actuator pins, improperly installed air valve gaskets, or something else on your hands.
In any case, both of these signs of erratic operation are clues that you need to troubleshoot your AODD pump — and do it soon. Otherwise, erratic operation could lead to pump damage and costly downtime at your plant. Consider the case of a clogged suction, which results in dry running the pump if left unchecked. Depending on the pump’s elastomer type, dry running an AODD pump could cause stress on the diaphragm. For example, if you have a PTFE diaphragm and you run the pump dry, the result is similar to bending a credit card. Once you create a crease, it will eventually flex to the point of breaking. Avoid dry running an AODD pump with a Teflon elastomer for extended periods of time if possible.
Fortunately, in the event of failure, Versamatic pumps are some of the easiest to fix on the market. You just have to know what you’re looking for. Refer to the following tips to troubleshoot your pump quickly and get your equipment back up and running in no time.
PREVENTING ERRATIC OPERATION OF YOUR AODD PUMP
Next, verify the air inlet line size and air pressure are right for your application. On the suction side, it’s helpful to keep the suction line off the bottom of the tank and ensure it remains clean and debris-free.
AVOIDING ERRATIC PUMPING DURING OPERATION
During operation, erratic pumping can occur for several reasons, including application, environmental, and operator issues. Here are a few common problems — and their solutions — that will help your AODD pump run smoothly.
Problem: Clogged Suction, Discharge Lines or Manifolds
Solution: Clear debris from the pump and prevent it from coming back by installing a filter on the suction side of the pump. This will help keep larger than expected debris from entering the pump, potentially causing issues with the sealing of the check balls and seats. Including a filter will also prolong the life of the diaphragms by keeping them clean and clear of solids.
Problem: Lack of Air or Too Much Air Supply
Solution: While Versamatic metal AODD pumps can handle upwards of 125 psi, the sweet spot is much lower. Traditionally, the optimum pressure point is between 60 and 80 psi. This gives the chambers enough time to fully fill prior to evacuation on the discharge stroke increasing the pump's efficiency.
Problem: Iced-Over Exhaust
Solution: This can be remedied by installing a dryer prior to the pump air inlet or simply by extending the exhaust of the pump, allowing for the cool compressed air to expand away from the center section.
These are just a few simple solutions to common erratic operations problems you might run into. Plant personnel who are looking for more detailed sales and service advice may reach out to their distributor or contact Versamatic for parts and accessories or any other needs.
If you’re experiencing other issues, such as leaks or suction problems, read the first two blog posts in our troubleshooting series: Easy AODD Pump Troubleshooting Tips Part 1: Leaks and Easy AODD Pump Troubleshooting Tips Part 2: Suction Malfunctions.
As always, check out our other resources for accessing detailed information about your specific pump, service manuals, parts information, maintenance recommendations and more.