Skip to content

3 Signs You Need to Repair or Replace a Centrifuge Pump


Posted by: Richard Schildwachter on December 14, 2022 at 10:00 AM

While they remain stationary, centrifugal pumps are one of the most critical parts of your centrifuge. So when they stop working as they should, it’s important to swap them out as soon as possible.

However, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Because pumps are difficult to see within your equipment, it can be hard to know if they are pitting, splitting, or have excessive wear. That’s why you’ll want to watch for these signs to know whether or not it’s time to repair or replace your pumps.

1. Higher-than-normal fat ratios

When you test milk during separation, excess fats in skim milk or inconsistent cream concentration can be indicators that your pump isn’t performing as it should. If fat ratios continue to be high or inconsistent, there’s a good chance that your pump is compromised and no longer able to properly separate your product. 

It’s always best to bring in an expert to take a look at your pump and determine the next steps.Dairy centrifuge in a dairy plant

2. Liquid phase won’t move out of bowl

If liquid stays behind in your bowl, it’s often a surefire clue that your pump isn’t able to properly peel liquid due to damage or wear.Close-up of centrifuge pump impeller vanes

When a pump no longer has sharp edges on the peeling outlets, it will impact pumping capacity (not to mention create sanitary issues for your product). The same goes for your pump’s vanes. When these vanes are no longer sharp, they cannot properly peel product appropriately and liquid may struggle to make it out of the bowl.

3. Reduced flow

There’s a chance that reduced flow is caused by debris or product clogging your pump’s inlet. If this is the case, the pump simply needs to be cleaned and re-installed in your equipment.

However, there’s also a chance the reduced flow is caused by wear and tear. When your impeller vanes are worn or compromised, circulation efficiency declines, often leading to the other issues we’ve outlined in this blog.

I need to replace my centrifugal pump — now what?

We’re glad you asked. In many cases, you don’t need to throw out the pumps you have. Our shop crew at our Indianapolis shop have repaired hundreds of pumps to like-new condition, saving some plants as much as $15k.

Rental pumps prevent downtime during repairs 

The wait time for pump repair is minimal, and can be as quick as a few days. While this is a fast turnaround, we never want you to face downtime. Our parts team can help you find a rental pump to use until your pumps are ready for re-installment.

In some cases, pumps are too far gone when we get to them and must be replaced. At Separators, we carry more than 4,000 spare parts (and have a 95% fill rate). We take a lot of pride in being available 24/7, every day of the year to offer same-day shipping on both Separator and OEM parts to help you get back up and running.Centrifuge spare parts sit on metal shelves in warehouse

When in doubt, talk to an expert

Not sure if your pumps are too far gone to be repaired? Give us a call. We’re happy to learn more about your situation before you make the decision between repair and replacement.

Talk to an expert