Effective troubleshooting requires an understanding of the basics of how systems work. Seems simple enough, right? However, some folks might think it’s too simple. How can common-sense advice really impact vacuum system troubleshooting -- or any other troubleshooting for that matter?
Consider when the desired vacuum condition isn’t provided at a process plant. Production often comes to a halt and all eyes become focused on the vacuum pump as the root cause of the problem. Yet, the vacuum pump usually isn’t culprit. If you think about the basics you will see that there are other things to consider. For example: 1) The pump is being operated in a condition for which it never was intended. 2) One or more of the user’s interface points with the pump suction/discharge lines, water supply, process contaminant, etc. are being operated outside of design parameters. Or 3) the vacuum chamber or vacuum lines were improperly specified.
Obviously, each vacuum pumping technology will react differently to various conditions. It’s not possible to offer a “one size fits all” answer to the problem. But you can see that troubleshooting requires an understanding of how things work to ensure you focus on every scenario.
To help you pinpoint problems, the editors at Chemical Processing along with Tuthill -- a maker of pumps, blowers, and vacuums -- have put together a Special Report: Take The Pressure Off Of Troubleshooting. This report will help you succeed at vacuum system troubleshooting, ponder parallel paths and help you do simple things right.