Protecting Pump Longevity at a Truck Washdown Facility

All centrifugal pumps have a maximum flow rate beyond which serious pump damage will occur. This can occur inadvertently at Truck washdown stations when truckies attempt to achieve maximum flow rate. At the newly designed Western Victoria Livestock Exchange, this problem has been solved using Maric Flow Control valves. Pump longevity is protected.

When the pump runs off the curve, pump longevity is reduced

Truckies are generally keen to get their trucks washed with the highest volume of water possible, to clean the truck as thoroughly as possible in as short a time as is possible. Unfortunately, this may jeopardise the pump longevity, since excess throttling of the pump may cause the pump to “run off its curve”.

Pumps are selected to operate at the optimum flow rate/pressure point for a specific impeller speed, and this point can be determined from the Pump Curve. The Pump Curve is a graphical representation of flow rate vs pressure, or Pump Head, and is specific to the pump. The pump is “running off the curve” when flow rate exceeds the maximum rate for which the pump is designed. When the pump operates beyond the right-hand side of the pump curve, the likelihood of upthrust damage and cavitation is increased, and pump longevity is drastically reduced.

WVLX (Western Victorian Livestock Exchange)

Pump Longevity has been considered in the meticulously designed Western Victoria Livestock Exchange at Mortlake, in South Western Victoria. The WVLX is a world-class regional livestock selling centre, recently designed to meet the needs of Victoria’s cattle industry. Sitting on 12 hectares, it is a with a capacity to sell 3,000 cattle on any given sale day. Extensive research into the design and functionality of the saleyards has achieved a world-class facility focused on animal safety and wellbeing, environmental sustainability and workplace health and safety.

Protecting the pumps at the truck washdown

When designing the Truck wash at the stock yards, the engineers considered the pump longevity and conserving rain water, as well as the needs of the truck drivers. To maintain the appropriate pump duty, the engineers have  incorporated a Maric valve to restrict the flow at each bay. Fletcher Plumbing & Co Pty Ltd installed the Truck Wash-down facility for the site.  At each bay, they installed a Maric No 25 FF BSP Brass Precision flow control valve delivering a maximum of 92 litres per minute.

The valves protect the pump, they save money and they save water. They are simple and reliable. They cannot be adjusted by an operator attempting to access a higher flow rate. Thus they prevent unintended damage to the pump and maintain Pump longevity.