Innovative Vertical Pump Sealing Solutions

Upgrade in Action: HydroSeal 

Vertical pumps have reliability and maintenance considerations unique to their design and application. One of these considerations is the pump seal design. Many vertical pumps rely on packing in lieu of mechanical seals. While it is a less sophisticated design, packing has benefits for vertical pumps, including greater ability to handle fluid with particulates, less sensitivity to misalignment, and greater stiffness and damping provided at the seal location. However, packing also has multiple disadvantages, foremost of which is the need to continuously adjust the packing gland to maintain the desired leakage rate and the requirement that some fluid must leak to the atmosphere. The cost associated with replacing worn components in the packing area is another notable drawback.


In cases where any of the disadvantages associated with packing or a mechanical seal noticeably impact reliability or the cost of operation, upgrading to a seal casing design is an attractive alternative. This is the decision that a pulp and paper mill in the Southeastern US made when experiencing reliability and environmental concerns in their River Water pump system. Faced with the need to install a new sealing device, they decided that the ability to avoid aboveground leakage and eliminate time-consuming periodic maintenance justified the investment in a vertical pump seal casing.

Read the full case study in World Pumps March/April 2024 edition.

Learn more about Hydro’s Hydro South service center and Hydro’s Engineering Services.

Full Day Pump Training- Atlanta (In-Person)

Join Hydro South for a full day of pump training, including both hands-on and classroom learning.

We will focus on the engineered repair of pumps, including pump fundamentals and best-in-class practices for start-up and maintenance.

This course is designed for maintenance supervisors and foremen, reliability engineers, system engineers, process design engineers, and anyone else who is involved with the selection, improvement, operation, or maintenance of pumping systems.

Six CEU credits will be provided for the state of Georgia. Certificates will be provided upon completion.

Registration deadline: July 4

Register Now


Join Hydro at the 2023 TAPPICon conference in Atlanta, GA. Visit us in booth 1024 and talk to our rotating equipment experts on maintenance and reliability solutions we provide for the pulp and paper industry.

Circulating Water Pump Repair & Refurbishment

A major utility company had a Foster Wheeler 60 DF horizontal split case circulating water pump that required repair. They decided to complete the refurbishment during a 14-day unit outage by using the Hydro South service center. The plant had a spare impeller, shaft, and shaft sleeves in inventory. The availability of spare parts usually facilitates an efficient and trouble-free repair. Unfortunately, it was discovered that the parts available were not properly designed for use in the existing pump. Continue reading

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Throwback: Expedited Vertical Pump Repair & Engineered Upgrade

A critical vertical pump for a 750 MW unit was sent to Hydro South in mid-December 2012 for inspection and repair. The massive pump weighed more than 66,000 lbs. and was 32 feet long and 12 feet tall. When the pump was disassembled, Hydro South’s engineers discovered that a large 42” x 68” section of the discharge elbow was broken, allowing direct flow to bypass the turning section and flow directly into the stuffing box area.

The discharge elbow was made of casted cast iron and could not be welded. A replacement of this size would take around eight months to order and receive. Continue reading