What is in an unusual Noise?

Knowing when trouble is on the way.. a plunger pump noise – March 25

If you are traveling down a highway and suddenly experience a noise emanating from your car, a noise you never heard before, it gets your attention. Your first reaction may be to look at the dash lights for any warning lights. However, if there are no warnings on the dash display and you still hear the noise, it’s time to put on your Sherlock hat and investigate yourself or you can contact a mechanic for assistance. Either way, the noise may be a precursor to a brewing problem which needs to addressed.

Any unusual pump noise should be handled similarly. To a trained ear, most noises coming from a pump can be explained quickly. For example, clicking sounds from the liquid end will likely be related to valves. A knocking noise in the power end could be cavitation or an overload condition. Each sound from a pump may not trigger a system alarm, so hearing any unusual sounds should be investigated quickly to avoid issues from getting worse… potentially leading to more expensive repairs. 

Several years ago, a customer submitted a video of their pump to Chemac, Inc.’s service center.  They were concerned because they started to hear a clicking noise and with all the other noises in the plant, they weren’t certain where exactly the sound was coming from. After discussing the video with the customer, the customer was advised to replace the valves in the pump as they had never been serviced since the pump was put into operation many years before. After the valves were replaced, the pump ran smoothly without any clicking noises.

Is your pump making a strange noise? If so, it may be time to investigate what may be causing the noise before it leads to higher repair costs. The pump, like an engine, is the heart of a process system. Thus, it is of paramount importance to follow OEM maintenance guidelines to make sure it keeps running smoothly for many years to come. If a new noise appears, there is something wrong, it’s time to investigate.