Older Pump Upgrades: Reduce Maintenance and Improve Safety

Alvin, Texas

Despite some fertilizer application pump designs still being operational without updates since the 1960’s, many customers have recently been upgrading their work horse Uraca pumps to the most updated design. The overall improved economic conditions have increased demand for production and pushed some older pumps to their design limits. Upgrades are much less costly than purchasing new machines and with the upgrades Uraca pumps could last another 50 years plus. The two most notable design improvement since 1965 include:

  • Spring loaded stuffing boxes– for reduced maintenance
  • Crank end safety upgrade– for operational safety of old units

The crank end safety upgrade prevents overloading older pumps and is required with any update package. Customers have pushed some of the older designs to their limit ranges in an effort to meet demand. For this reason, plants must take care to ensure that older pumps have critical safety devices installed in any old pumps. Some older units may have been idle for years or have been exposed to non-oem parts/service. Thus, the safety upgrade is an absolute requirement. If you’re operating pumps from the 1970s or earlier, please contact Chemac, Inc. to evaluate your pumps and get updated information.

Customer feedback from the field, from customers using the new spring loaded stuffing box design in URACA Ammonia pumps, report exceptional packing life time approaching the life times of the older design screwed gland packing boxes using Babbitt rings with oil injection.  The older designs reached packing life time in excess of 36 months.  The new style spring loaded stuffing boxes require no adjustments and incorporate new special hard coated plungers.  The new design requires less maintenance and reduces unnecessary wear from overtightening vs the previous design. Packing life times are have reached well beyond most customer expectations for the new design… some longer than two years.  The new upgrade is available on all older URACA Ammonia pumps with some slight modifications as the spring loaded design is a slightly longer stuffing box to accommodate high and low pressure packing springs. If your packing life is too short, there must be something wrong.  For more information please contact either Joe Geronimo or Chris Schneider from our contact page or call 1-800-217-8677.

If you are operating any older pumps, please check to make sure you have the latest design for your application. This is especially important if the plant has increased production and the pumps are needed to increase output. Safety and maximum productivity is our goal. Let us know how we can help.


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