How to restart your pump after long shutdowns

Posted on 4 June 2020

Over the past few months, facilities around the country were shut down with little notice. Many business owners were sprung with the news with little notice, allowing no time to prepare equipment or machinery.


As businesses start operating again, and demand for manufacturers and producers continues to increase, it’s important to note problems may arise when starting equipment back up.

Our Global Pumps team have created a guide to help businesses restart pumps and get back to action.

Positive displacement and centrifugal pumps

All pumps require proper attention following long shut down to provide reliable and safe fluid transfer. With these few steps, you can ensure your pump will start problem-free:

  • Check that the pump spins freely

It is imperative that you first check that the pump spins freely on your centrifugal pumps. It is possible that the pump contains solidified product or has mechanical issues from sitting idle.

To check this, lockout the pump, remove the coupling guard and turn the shaft. Most centrifugal pumps should turn by hand, if it doesn’t do not force it. Instead take apart and expect the parts.


  • Check the coupling condition

Since you’ve taken the pump apart, or you’ve removed the coupling guard, check the condition that the coupling is in. Look for evidence of wear, including rubber dust or plastic chunks. If you see either of these, it could be a sign of misalignment - so be sure to re-align before you start the pump up. Check out this blog to learns more about realigning a pump.


  • Top up oil and lubrication levels

Most pumps and motors require lubrication (unless they run-dry). Check the oil and lubrication levels in the pump to see how they’re going - the IOM will have lubrication tips for the specific pump you have.


  • Valves

It’s important that the suction valves are 10-15% open, and liquid is at the pump.

Now that the valves are open, liquid should fill the pump and prime it.


  • Inspect the base

Before hitting go, it’s important to do a final check of the base to ensure bolts are tight and there are no soft feet on the pump or the motor.


Air-Operated Diaphragm Pumps (AOD)

Not only do AOD pumps require attention for the pump itself, but it’s important to also consider the air system.

  • Blow out air lines: check that condensation has not formed in airlines. This could cause rust and debris to be blown into the air valve and pilot valve of the pump/s.


  • Change inline filter element: these filter elements can become dried and clogged, which can affect the air pressure and flowrate meaning the pumps will underperform .


  • Flush the pump: As solids may have settled in the chambers, without a proper slush it could cause damage at the restart. If you cannot flush the pump, consider starting the pump at low pressure to agitate fluid and solids within the chamber. Global Pumps do not recommend flushing the AOD pump with pressurised water or steam.



Global Pumps recommend checking your parts and kits before restarting your pumps. If a failure were to occur, having spares on hand will reduce the downtime and ensure you’re back up and running quicker.


For information on restarting your pump equipment, or to source quality spares, give Global Pumps a call. Our team are on hand to assist you as your team gets back to business.

Tags: Global Pumps, centrifugal pumps, positive displacement pump

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