Hours of Operation:
M-F 8:15 - 5:00pm EST
Memorial Day: Closed Monday May 27, 2013
Cabell Huntington Hospital is a regional, 300-bed medical center and teaching hospital in Huntington, West Virginia. It has more than 400 physicians and 1,000 nurses; patient admissions exceed 23,000 per year.
Cabell Huntington’s main building is heated by two 100-pound steam boilers. Three times a day, the maintenance staff begins its shift with a “blowdown” on each boiler—purging the boiler’s water lines to remove calcium chloride and other suspended solids and minimize the buildup of scale. The boilers are refilled with clean water and run for about eight hours until an operator on the following shift opens the valves for the next blowdown.
Water drained from the boilers is very hot—around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s blown to a roughly eight-foot-deep-by-four-foot-square pit, where it’s mixed with cold water and eventually pumped out through the hospital’s sewage lines. Were hot water the only challenge, Cabell would have had few problems with its pumps. However, because of an unfortunate plumbing decision made many years ago, the same storage pit—and therefore the same pump—is also used to handle sewage. The pump is therefore asked to handle high-temperature water plus whatever solids get flushed into the hospital’s sewage system. According to Randy Ward, Cabell Huntington’s maintenance mechanic, it’s not unusual to find towels and other large items in the system.
For years, Cabell Huntington used standard dewatering pumps in the pit, but they failed regularly, unable to handle either the high-temperature water or the solids encountered during sewage pumping. The hospital eventually replaced these pumps with high-temperature pumps, but they clogged once or twice a week, flooding the basement with sewage and filling the surrounding area with a foul odor. While unpleasant, this also cost the hospital time and money in the repair and replacement of pumps and in the manual labor required to clean up the mess.
Working with BJM distributor Service Pump & Supply Company in Huntington, Ward learned about the Fahrenheit series of high-temperature pumps from BJM, several models of which have shredders that will handle heavy solids. “I never knew that such a product existed,” Ward said. In 2009 Ward purchased a BJM SKF37CF, a hardened cast-iron, 5-horsepower pump that features a cutting impeller with a tungsten carbide tip. The pump has Class R motor insulation with a thermal cutout switch that will allow the stator (part of the rotor system) to operate with a winding temperature of as high as 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Ward, who acquired another SKF37CF as a backup and plans to install it as a secondary, says the pump has operated flawlessly since its installation. “We haven’t had to do anything to it in more than a year. All I do is look down in the pit and see that it’s still running.”