a technician troubleshoots common metering pump problems

4 Problems with Metering Pumps

Metering pumps play an important role in moving liquids from Point A to Point B. When they stop working, the clock starts ticking as you frantically try to figure out why. Causes can range from faulty internal components to improper setup.

However, and by far, troubleshooting after the initial setup is one of the most frequent problems you’ll encounter. Read on to learn more about the top four metering pump problems and the two most common installation challenges.

1. Poor Longevity

No matter the industry or application, metering pumps play a mission-critical role. When they stop working, the ensuing operational shutdown costs time and money.

Inferior materials and components are the primary cause of a shortened metering pump lifespan. Poor-quality pumps use cheap plastic parts and components that inevitably wear away after some time.

2. Overly Complex Pumps

Believe it or not, it’s entirely possible to over-engineer a metering pump—and not in a good way. When it comes to reliability, simplicity is better. Some over-engineered pumps have springs that often fail after repeated use.

JAECO pumps offer a simplistic design that limits failure points. Fewer parts mean fewer chances for things to break.

3. Lack of Service and Support

Manufacturers that don’t support their pumps or provide prompt service can cause huge issues down the road. If something goes wrong at a later date, it’s much easier to work with a U.S.-based manufacturer who can provide immediate support.

4. Long Lead Times

Ordering a metering pump from a seemingly cheaper overseas manufacturer comes with several hidden risks. In addition to the potential for inferior materials and cross-contamination, you’ll most likely have to deal with long lead times—and this is on a good day. Supply chain and shipping issues can add weeks, if not months, to the delivery date.

Common Troubleshooting Problems

The two most common troubleshooting problems you’ll find on a metering pump are inline check valves and an incorrect supply line that floods the suction. The pump needs to be below the supply to ensure positive pressure. Other issues include:

Improper placement—Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions with regard to the placement of the metering pump. Extreme temperatures and installation too far from the supply vessel can cause various metering pump problems.

Poor or no suction—Blockage issues and suction piping are two common reasons for no or poor suction levels. It’s important to keep suction lines as straight and short as possible to ensure proper suction. You can also consider sloping them to avoid pockets of vapor.

Pump motor won’t start—There are several causes for a pump motor not starting properly:

  • Blown fuse
  • Low line current
  • Tripped breaker or blown fuse
  • Control device open circuit
  • Motor damage

Pump delivers too much capacity—This issue is often caused by too much suction pressure or insufficient discharge pressure. Consider increasing discharge pressure to solve the problem.

Pump losing oil or discolored hydraulic oil—A ruptured diaphragm is the most common cause of this issue. You will need to discard the hydraulic oil and then flush the gearbox thoroughly. Once done, add new hydraulic oil.

How to Avoid Metering Pump Problems

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Performing simple and routine maintenance will help ensure trouble-free performance for many years or decades to come. Regularly check seal integrity and oil levels and consider inventorying replacement parts, such as check valves for quick fixes.

When initially setting up, be sure to read the manufacturer’s manual and carefully follow the installation and operation instructions. A properly installed and set up metering pump will work as intended and be free from some common initial start-up issues. If at any point in the future you start to experience problems, one of the first things you should do is check the manual to see if there is a prescribed fix.

Trouble-Free Operation With JAECO Metering Pumps

Some metering pump problems aren’t entirely avoidable—such as a tripped circuit breaker or improper placement. However, others are. Inferior components and lack of support/service can lead to costly operational shutdowns. To avoid these common problems, look for a metering pump manufacturer that uses high-quality parts and provides support throughout the product life cycle.

At JAECO, our 100% American-made pumps are built to last and are completely field serviceable. When you call our customer support department, you’re talking to the engineer who put the pump together and can help solve your troubleshooting challenges.

Click below to learn more about our pumps and the value you can expect from JAECO.


My Account