The effect of water contamination on the life of a bearing

Every single component of a pump has to work in tandem in order to ensure optimal function, and the bearings are an integral part of this system. However, presence of water or debris can have a direct effect on the bearings, which then produces a chain-like effect on the deterioration of the rest of the pump system.

Small traces of water being present are one thing, but if there is enough water, it can seriously clash with the existing compounds.Water contamination can lead to oxidation, which produces a corrosive fluid that will lead to gradual damage of your pump parts. Once the bearings start to rust, the breakdown of your pump will soon follow. Rust can’t exist without water, and once water contaminates the system, the acidic nature begins to corrode the bearings. The bearings are unable to withstand this acidic exposure and begin a rapid form of deterioration.

The life of a bearing depends largely on the quality and presence of the lubricant. Bearing lubricant assists in preventing corrosion, reducing friction, and transferring heat. However, water and debris contamination prevent the lubricant from functioning properly. If water enters, it will dissolve in the oil present on the surface and be transferred to every moving part inside the pump or tank, including the bearings. This will seriously affect the motion and begin to create friction, leading to the destruction of the bearing and other parts. Certain destructive, existing elements that the bearings may already be experiencing, such as fretting or etching, are only aggravated with the presence of water.

The cause of water contamination could range from condensation to free water entry. Regardless, the source needs to be addressed in order to prevent the deterioration of your bearings and pump, as moisture can prove to be one of the most destructive causes of failure. Closely monitoring your pump on a regular basis is a good idea in general, in order to observe if any contaminants are present in your system. Scheduling regular maintenance for your pump means that your pump will undergo a series of tests to inspect and measure that everything is in good working order. Oftentimes, certain problems can go unnoticed. These have the potential to evolve into larger problems, which is why regular maintenance and service is an important part of keeping your pump in the best condition.

At London Pump Supply Ltd., we have over 35 years of experience in servicing and installing pumps. Learn more about our on-site or in-shop service that is fast and reliable, performed by trained and certified technicians.