Proper Pump Installation

June 23, 2006
Establishing a firm foundation for your pump installation

About the author: Joe James is a manager for product and market training for Goulds Pumps, He can be reached at 315.568.7037.

One of the key factors in obtaining a reliable pump installation is the foundation. A properly and well-installed machine can provide years of trouble-free operation, whereas an insufficient job can create a costly maintenance nightmare and lead to otherwise unnecessary repairs.

A firm foundation

The job of the foundation is to provide rigid support for the machine and sufficient mass to absorb vibration. Ideally, foundation pads would be poured at the same time as the floor, creating one cohesive surface.

However, this combination can cause problems when the result is a large expanse of flat concrete with foundation pads sticking up in various places. These obstacles would make it difficult to maneuver machinery and other items throughout the area.

In addition, the facilities where the pumps are located are often upgraded and modernized. These changes require foundation pads to be installed after the floor is complete.

A few simple guidelines should be considered when planning foundation pads in order to insure that they provide rigid support and added mass.

Foundation pad preparation

Firmly attaching the pad to the floor is an important step to a successful foundation. In order to accomplish this, the following steps are necessary:

  • Prepare the floor by chipping the surface down to the aggregate;
  • Completely remove/clean grease, paint or any other coatings or contaminants that would hinder the new concrete from adhering to the existing floor;
  • A reinforcement rod should be installed in the floor to create an even better attachment.

The rules regarding the size of the foundation are not the same for every pump.

  • For centrifugal pumps, the mass of the foundation should be equal to three times the mass of the machine.
  • In terms of a reciprocating pump, the rule is five times the mass of the machine.
  • The rule for vertical pumps is five times the mass of the rotating assembly. The mass includes all of the rotating parts, such as the shafts, impellers, coupling and the motor rotor.

Though there are other things that can be considered in the overall foundation design, these few tips can go a long way toward creating a strong foundation and a successful pump installation.

About the Author

Joe James