Close Inspection Solves High Thrust Bearing Temperature Problem

Careful analysis identified the issue with this multistage, oil transfer pump.

Written by: Gary Dyson (Hydro, Inc.)
Publisher: Pumps & Systems / August 2014


A multistage BB5 diffuser machine in oil transfer service in the Middle East had been in operation for many years without problems. After a routine maintenance strip down and rebuild, the pump experienced a high thrust bearing temperature of 105 C, which caused it to alarm and shut down. The temperature range had previously been 75 C to 85 C.

This case study describes the method used to solve the high bearing temperature problem and outlines the flow physics that contributed to the high thrust bearing temperature. The customer contacted an engineering services company after the original pump manufacturer failed to remedy the problem.

The company’s forensic approach to this problem involved two distinct methodologies:

  • Diligent and in-depth analysis of site data relating to 
the problem
  • Rigorous scrutiny and analysis of the pump geometry and build against the background

The engineering services company identified several scenarios that could cause this temperature rise, then narrowed down the list to establish a root cause.

Site Data Analysis

The behavior of thrust bearing pads during startup is seldom investigated. The temperature rise of the pads can be attributed to two distinct causes—thrust developed during startup and environmental and oil conditions (see Figure 1).


Figure 1. Behavior of thrust bearing pads based on thrust and environmental conditions (Article images and graphics courtesy of Hydro Inc.)

The significant finding from this data was the temperature rise associated with thrust. The pump could not achieve the temperatures measured prior to maintenance in its current condition. The total thrust bearing temperature includes the oil temperature and environmental conditions.

Based on comparisons with previous site data, both the thrust and oil cooling had altered. Analysis of the temperature data at the motor bearings, which were experiencing oil temperature increases of 10 to 15 C, further supported the conclusion. Continue reading

Optimize High-Energy Pumps With Improved Impeller Design

As new design and manufacturing technologies are developed, end users can affordably upgrade their systems and verify better performance.

Written by: Bob Jennings & Dr. Gary Dyson (Hydro, Inc.)
Publisher: Pumps & Systems / August 2015


The rising cost of electrical power has caused many industrial plants to shift their focus to energy consumption. Plants often run pumping equipment continuously, and much research has pointed to opportunities for cost savings by optimizing pumping equipment.

When evaluating the potential for energy savings, end users cannot consider a pump in isolation. The suitability of the pump for the system within which it operates is vital. Even the best designed and most efficient equipment offers power-saving potential if it is run off its best efficiency point (BEP) in a system for which it is ill-applied.


Image 1. Much research has pointed to opportunities for cost savings by optimizing pumping equipment. (Images and graphics courtesy of Hydro, Inc.)

Many plants have been in operation for more than 40 years, and their operating philosophies have changed over time. Plant improvements have enabled higher throughput, often increasing production by as much as 125-150 percent. Unfortunately, little is done to improve or increase the performance of the support-service pumping equipment, such as cooling water pumps.

As system flow demands increase, the duty point of the pumps is forced to shift far to the right of the BEP, well outside the acceptable operating range (AOR). This causes efficiency and pump reliability to decrease dramatically.

Casting tolerances, surface finishes, and impeller/volute or impeller/diffuser geometry have all dramatically improved during the last 40 years. But because many pumps were installed when the plants were commissioned, the existing pumps were manufactured using techniques that would be considered obsolete today. The result is higher energy costs and reduced reliability and availability, which often cause production delays. Continue reading

10 Key Facts About Reciprocating Pumps

This pump type’s unique system design requirements are often ignored or misapplied, which affects reliability and operation.

Written by: Gary Dyson and Herb Tackett Jr. (Hydro, Inc.)
Publisher: Pumps & Systems / July 2015


Because Centrifugal pumps are widely used, pump and rotating equipment engineers are generally familiar with this equipment’s operating principles, performance curves and selection criteria.



Image 1. While centrifugal pumps are the subject of much training, the dwindling population of reciprocating pumps has led to a loss of understanding of this pump type’s unique system design requirements. (Images and graphics courtesy of Hydro, Inc.)


While Centrifugal pumps are the subject of much training, the dwindling population of reciprocating pumps has led to a loss of understanding of this pump type’s unique system design requirements. Centrifugal pump specifications are now commonly and incorrectly applied to reciprocating pumps, which can lead to significant reliability problems.

End users should consider these 10 key facts about reciprocating pumps that can influence reliability and operation. Continue reading

Photo Contest

Hydro, Inc.’s Employee Hobby/Talent Photo Contest

Submit your photos by November 15th for our Hobby/Talent Photo Contest! You’ll have a chance to win one of three prizes: First place recieves Amazon Echo Spot, second place $50, and third place $25.

Voting will open on November 16th and end on November 22nd. Winner will be announced on November 23rd.

Provide your Name, Hydro Location, and a Caption for your photo and preferred contact information should you win the contest.

This year’s submissions:

"Playing music at Quencers Saloon in Chicago" - Nate Thomas | Hydro, Madison

"Quit wishing, go fishing." - Dennis Wendell | Hydro, South

"A balanced diet is holding a cupcake in each hand." - Tori Chandler | Hydro Scotford

"When my schedule finds me at home in the Denver area on the weekends I can always find a local car show to attend. The car in the photo has a performance chip, pro tune, and upgraded 8mm injectors. 585HP, and estimated top seed of 190 MPH. what a fun toy." - Jerry Goodson | Hydro, Inc.

"Well, here's "Flash" Tom Nichin - weight lifting is the hobby, selfies is the game" - Tom Nichin | Hydro Inc.

"Larry and Young Eagle Program" - Larry Gruber | Hydro Aire

"Harry Weber’s (Golden Triangle President) daughter Genna, grandson Grayson and son-in-law Justin enjoying a Halloween festival. Costumes are Wonder Woman, Clark Kent and Batman." - Harry Weber | HydroTex Golden Triangle

"From my front porch Aurora Colorado about 18 miles south of the Denver international airport" - Jim Truex | Hydro Rocky Mountain

"Sometimes I do stand up comedy for fun!" - Joseph LaChance | Hydro Inc.

"Fall is Football weather and on Sundays when the Chicago Bears play I get geared up in my apron and serve up some food or help serve up some food." - Margarita Hayes | Hydro Inc.

"Pookkalam: floral pattern done with flower petals On the occasion of Onam which is an ancient festival of Kerala; southernmost State of India celebrating rice harvest every year. The floral carpet, known as Onapookkalam or just Pookkalam, is made out of the gathered blossoms with several varieties of flowers of differing tints pinched up into little pieces to design and decorate patterns on floor, particularly at entrances like a flower mat. Lamps are arranged in the middle or edges. It is a work of religious art, typically the team initiative of girls and women, who accomplish it with a delicate touch and a personal artistic sense of tone and blending. This one was created by me and wife, since both kids are away attending higher studies." - Jaishankar Nair I Hydro Middle East

"Camping and Astrophotography Google says Astrophotography is one word. I'll leave it up to you guys to decide. Happy Holidays!" - Chris Miller | Hydro Inc.

"My kids broke the wood & pass red belt test and to move next level black belt." - Anil Singh | Hydro Inc.

"Teaching Zumba is my passion – Pregnant or not" - Laura Vickerman | Hydro Scotford

"Day of shooting my Smith & Wessin 686" - Chester Colvin | Hydro Inc.

"I LOVE doing crafts and taking pictures…, especially in black and white. Color can be really bright and vibrant, but there’s something about black and white pics that just pull at me. This pic represented the beginning of fall and the start of everything magical for the kiddos. Looking at their eyes, I think I may have captured a little bit of the excitement of the upcoming season…” - Jackie Maher | Hydro Inc.

"My hobbies and interests are baking, plants and nature, and art. Instead of choosing one, I combined them all into plant cookie art." - Madeline Horwath | Hydro Inc.

"Sometimes I sing!" Dane Shubert | Hydro Inc.

"Cake baking party with my silly helpers!" - Samira Hryniewiecki | Hydro Inc.

a little brown dog wearing a hat

"Here's winking at you kid." - Joaquin Lopez |

"Home-roasted coffee from home-built roasting machines." - Josiah Carter | Hydro East

"I designed/built the slope by myself (and the grace of God) w/the three retaining walls. Afterwards I laid down the 320 blocks at 65 lbs each to stabilize the slope and provide the grid for the plants. As for the gazebo/ramada it is a pre-cut/drilled kit which I set and mounted in place, except for the roof panels, which can only be done w/four people. We did the latter, last 10/28 in a couple of hours. The following week-end I added the flood lights for the slope and light and fan for the gazebo." - Alex Vago | Hydro Evans

"Hunting in Alberta -- My daughter Megan’s first moose" - Patrick Kelly | Hydro Scotford

Hydro’s Test Lab is the first to be certified by the Hydraulic Institute (HI) Pump Test Lab Approval Program

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-4-49-50-pmWe are very pleased to announce that Hydro’s Test Lab is the first test lab to be certified by the Hydraulic Institute in their new pump test approval program.

The Hydraulic Institute which will celebrate 100 years of industry leadership in 2016 is a prestigious organization which develops and delivers comprehensive industry standards and educational programs.

Special thanks to Hydro’s Jeff Johnson, General Manager of the Test Lab and Ares Panagoulias Test Lab Engineer whose dedicated efforts in working with the accreditation team were critical to the approval of our test lab.

Learn more via Pumps & Systems