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General Plunger Pump Maintenance Tips


An important part of the plunger pump preventative maintenance program is the proper use of the correct lubricants. Sludge pumps in general require proper lubrication to operate correctly. Obtain and use the correct lubricants as recommended below:

Pump Break-in Lubrication

- Clean dirt and dust from connecting rod, eccentric and driving flanges prior to starting.

- Connecting rod oiler should dispense 5 to 6 drops per minute.

- Change gear oil and clean magnetic drain plug after the first 100 hours.

- During operation, loosen and re-adjust the packing gland every 15 minutes - 3 or 4 times.

Pump Gear Lubrication

- An extreme pressure, heavy duty industrial gear lubricant is recommended for all use in the gear boxes on these pumps.  For general use with ambient temperature between 32°F and 100°F, the viscosity should be in the range of 700-1000 SSU at 100°F.

- If extreme pressure lubricants are not available, fill with hypoid type gear oil of the proper grade, depending  on the ambient temperature:

      TEMP. F.                     GEAR OIL NO.

      Below 32°                    SAE 80

      32° - 100°                    SAE 90

      Above 100°                  SAE 140

- Check oil level every week by removing upper plug in oil drain line.  Unit should not drain line.  Unit should not be in operation while checking or adding oil.

- Change oil after first 100 hours of operation and every 3 months thereafter.  This reducer is equipped with a magnetic drain plug to remove metal particles from the oil.  Be sure to clean this plug before replacing.

-Unless shown otherwise, all the following items are to be lubricated with the same oil as shown in Item 2.

Plunger Pump Eccentric Rods

- Set oilers to disperse two drops of oil per minute.

Plunger Crosshead

- Fill plunger as required to half cover the wrist pin with oil.

Plunger Trough

- Keep small quantity of oil in trough to lubricate the plunger.

Main Shaft Bearings

- Grease bearings every 3 months using a good grade of lithium base bearing grease.  Pump should be in operation when lubricating, to avoid excessive pressure on seals.  (Follow bearing manufacturer’s instructions).


- See motor manufacturer’s instructions for type, method and frequency of lubrication.

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