Pump Testing

Wesley W. Beck

Since the first time a device was used to pump or lift water, pump testing of one sort or another has occurred. Each improvement in pumping devices was accepted only after being tested, which was the proof of its worthiness. As pumping equipment has become more refined, so has the art of pump testing, both in the shop or laboratory and in the field. For very large pumps, model testing is being used to develop the optimum refinement in prototype design.

Every pump, regardless of size or classification, should be tested in some way before final acceptance by the purchaser. If not, the user does not have any way of knowing that all requirements have been fulfilled. What tests to run and what methods to use depend on the ultimate purpose of the tests, which normally have one of two objectives:

1. To check improvement in design or operation

2. To determine if contractual commitments have been met, thus making possible the comparison of specified, predicted, and actual performance

In most cases, the manufacturer supplies a test report and certifies the characteristics of the pump being furnished. Even these can be given a cursory check by the customer from time to time to give a record of performance or an indication of the need for replacement or overhaul. If at all possible, the pump should be tested as installed, with repeat tests from time to time to check operation.

The main object of this chapter is to present a set of procedures and rules for conducting, computing, and reporting on tests of pumping units and for obtaining the head, capacity, power, efficiency, and suction requirements of a pump.

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