How often does your submersible pump wear out and need to be replaced? Are chronic pump failures taking up too much of your maintenance team’s time? Corrosive materials in the water you are pumping can cause these issues and more. Corrosive fluids are common in many wastewater applications, including chemical plants, food/beverage production, metal plating operations, paper processing, etc. If you’re experiencing more downtime or higher maintenance/repair costs, a stainless steel submersible pump may cure these common headaches.
Many substances dissolved in common wastewater fluids can be highly corrosive when pumps are exposed to them for extended periods. The higher the concentration of these substances in a liquid, the worse the corrosion will be. Some common examples include salt, sodium hydroxide (better known as lye or caustic soda), phosphoric and nitric acids, sodium hypochlorite (bleach), chlorine, peracetic acid, and hundreds of others.
Stainless Steel Submersible Pumps for the Cure
Cast iron pump components corrode quickly when exposed to these chemicals, particularly if there are high concentrations or elevated temperatures. However, stainless steel submersible pumps withstand corrosion far longer because of their higher chemical resistance. Stainless steel submersible pumps offer longer service lives to reduce maintenance, repair, and replacement costs substantially. And, you experience less downtime!
Companies in a wide range of industries have turned to stainless steel pumps to solve their corrosion-related pump problems. For example, because of the acidity of the waste media involved, a California winery relies on BJM’s SKX Series pumps in their “green” wastewater treatment and release system. These pumps have non-clog impellers designed for high volume and lift performance. All wear and “wet” parts such as impeller, wear plate, and pump housing are made of cast 316 stainless steel.
Similarly, a leather tannery once used self-priming trash pumps to transfer the manufacturing run-off from a concrete sump to its treatment plant. However, the highly alkaline or highly acidic chemicals in the liquid caused the pumps to shut down frequently. The tannery replaced its self-priming pumps with BJM’s SKX37 pumps. The BJM pump have been operating reliably for more than five years.
Tips for Submersible Pump Selection
When weighing the options for stainless steel submersible pump purchases, consult the chemical resistance references available on the web, such as Graco’s Chemical Compatibility Guide or Cole-Parmer’s Chemical Compatibility Database. Materials like steel, aluminum, thermoplastics, etc. receive ratings from A (excellent) through D (severe effect, not recommended for any use) for their compatibility with various chemicals in various concentrations and at various temperatures. These references help you determine if the chemicals in your application are compatible with cast-iron pumps. For those that aren’t, a stainless steel pump is necessary.
Also, consider the grade of stainless steel used in a pump’s design. This can have a significant impact on the pump’s longevity. Pumps constructed with wetted parts made of 316 stainless steel typically offer far better corrosion resistance than those made with 304 stainless steel. For example, 316 stainless steel gets an “A” rating for its resistance to ammonium fluoride (a chemical breweries use for sterilization), but 304 stainless steel gets only a “D.”
Do your applications require pumping corrosive liquids? The designers at BJM Pumps have been developing the solutions you need to handle corrosive liquids since 1983. To narrow down the list of pumps that are optimized for corrosion resistance, visit our online Product Selector Guide. Answering five simple questions will guide you to a short list of suitable options. Then, contact us at 860-399-5937 or request more information and we’ll work with you to make sure you get the pump you need for your specific application.