Pump Troubleshooting



Industrial pumps are designed specifically for use in harsh or heavy-duty applications. They move a range of material types, including water, wastewater, chemicals, oil, sludges, slurries and food.

If correctly installed, they should operate for many years without issue. However as with any mechanical or electrical equipment, regular maintenance is the best defense against costly breakdowns.

Pumps should be checked and lubricated on a regular basis, and any unusual noises or equipment behaviour investigated.

Five key pump checks:

  • Power Source
    If the pump has stopped working, or is operating below expectation, it could be a power issue.

    • Check that the pump is receiving the correct power supply according to factory specifications to work properly.
    • Ensure all electrical wiring is in good condition, with no loose connections and the electrical current is reaching the pump.
    • If you have an air operated pump, make sure that the compressor is in good working order.
    • If the pump is operating on mains supply, assess whether the mains electricity is stable or not. Surges and/or dips in supply can seriously affect pump performance.
  • Sound
    One of the first indications of an underperforming pump is the sound it makes. A change in sound can alert you to an issue with your pump or system. If you hear popping sounds, especially near the impeller, you could be experiencing cavitation. This occurs when there are pressure changes within a liquid, causing tiny pockets of air to form and then implode. This can seriously damage the pump, especially the impeller. Check if there are any signs of cavitation, such as eroded material. While the pump will produce a natural hum, it should not be making any strange noises. If it is, this indicates something is wrong.
  • Alignment & Leakage
    Is the impeller aligned correctly and piping correctly installed? A properly installed pump system does not overly vibrate and shouldn’t generate excessive heat. If there is anything leaking from your pump or fittings, then this can indicate an issue with the pump.
  • Wear & Tear
    General wear and tear will occur as the pump ages. If the pump has been operating for many years, it may need replacing. Check for visible signs of wear and tear such as residue or deposits in the system which have broken off the pump, pipe, valve or fitting interiors.
  • Factory Performance
    You should be aware of how the pump is expected to operate. This will allow you to identify when the pump is not operating to factory specifications and may be starting to fail. Key indications could be not getting the head pressure or flow you think you should.

It can be a complex and time consuming process to figure out why your pump system isn’t working the way it should. Take the stress out of finding the issue by calling the experts at Electrical and Automation Solutions on 07 834 0505. We’ll help you get your system back to peak performance in no time.

Cable Ties – a simple but important piece of equipment

  • Why is it that some electricians leave beautifully bundled wires at the end of the install and others a tangled mess of cables?
  • What is the right way – Let those wires roam free or tie them down?

Bundling wires and cables together is done to:

  • Increase safety. Tangled cables can create a hazard.
  • Make troubleshooting more efficient. If cables are effectively managed,  ( neat, safe and labelled) troubleshooting, upgrades and repairs are easier.
  • Increase product life. Pulling and tugging can take its toll on wires that aren’t adequately supported with ties. Cable management keeps your cables as straight as possible only bending in the gentlest way preserving their life.
  • Professional and tidy. We might be a bit odd, but we take pride in a job well done and great satisfaction from our properly maintained cables and wires.

Cable ties are the tool used to keep cables and wires in a safe, organised and functional format that makes them easy to manage.

What to consider when selecting cable ties:
There are a wealth of different cable ties available in wide range of strengths, maximum diameters, length and widths, temperature ranges and different materials.

The environment in which the cable ties will be used should have a big impact on the cable ties selected. For example, in food and beverage manufacturing a key concern is product contamination. Cable Ties used in this environment must be easily detectable in case they inadvertently contaminate a production batch. Standard cable ties are not easy to detect which is why metal detectable cable ties are used in high risk areas

Other properties of different types of cable ties which can make them more easily detectable include:

  • cable ties with buoyancy for those used in applications near liquid processes,
  • colour which can allow them to be easily picked up in a visual inspection.

Other factors that may affect the choice of cable ties used are the environment in which they are operating. For example, Polypropylene cable ties are chemical resistant while other cable ties are UV stablised making them more suited for outdoor use.


Wires and cables can require different cable ties based on their function too.  Electrical wires work effectively when bundled together with cable ties, however data cables’ performance can be affected if cable ties are too tight,for this reason Velcro is often recommended for bundling data cables.

Cable ties are often thought of as an insignificant piece of equipment, low cost, unobtrusive; but as you can see choosing the correct one can have an impact on the quality of the job done in your plant.

You can trust the Electrical & Automation Solutions (EAS) team to have the knowledge and expertise to use the right equipment for the job – right down the smallest detail – ensuring a quality result for your plant or process.


Measuring devices are critical equipment in your process and plant. Correct measurements are essential in ensuring the quality of your product. Therefore, it is vital that these devices are regularly calibrated to ensure they are operating as they should.

Calibration involves checking the measures taken by a device and comparing these against a traceable reference to ensure they are accurate.

Why calibrate?

  • Product quality
  • Economic reasons
  • Safety
  • Environmental reasons
  • Regulatory requirements

Even the best instruments drift over time. With key decisions often based on these instrument readings it is essential that you can be confident they are accurate.

How often should you calibrate your instruments?
Each instrument Is different. Key factors that will help decide the appropriate calibration interval include:

  • The manufacturers recommendation
  • Past experience
  • The interval currently being used for existing instruments
  • National standards


Device vs Loop Calibration
Device calibration focuses on one specific device. The device is calibrated at install to create a benchmark and is periodically checked for accuracy.

Individual Calibration:


Loop calibration involves looking at the performance of the entire loop and all its components including the sensor, transmitter, wiring, input card etc. These all work together to measure the process parameter.

Loop calibration:



The other key step in the calibration process is the documentation of the results. EAS provides calibration certificates for all work done ensuring that your paperwork is all up-to-date.

It is essential that calibrations are carried out by trained skilled professionals like the Electrical & Automation solutions (EAS) team.  If you need an instrument calibrated or want to discuss setting up a calibration timetable, get in touch with the EAS team today on 07 834 0505.

May 2022 riddle answer

safety in numbers

April 2022 Riddle answer


Newsletter Riddles – March 2022

  1.  Mother in law
  2. An inside job
  3. A fork in the road


Static electricity can cause serious problems within the manufacturing environments from product quality issues to worst case scenario sparks being generated risking fire and explosion.

What causes static electricity?
Static electricity is caused when two materials rub against each other. Typically, the surface of every material has both protons(+) and electrons (-), with their charges being balanced; meaning the overall object has a neutral charge. However, when two objects rub against each other, the charges are separated and an electron or proton can move from one object to the other, resulting in each object becoming either positively or negatively charged. These objects will then attract (or repel) other objects.

So why is this a problem?
If two objects with a different electric potential are placed close together and if the voltage difference is sufficiently high, a spark can occur. Sparks can cause a serious risk of fires and explosions especially in environments where there are flammable materials or in environments where there is a lot of dust or fine powders.

While the creation of a spark is the most serious result of static electricity, static electricity can also interfere with the production process in other ways such as:

  • dust contamination
  • products clinging to each other
  • contaminants getting into product
  • plastic sheets not separating properly
  • potential damage to machinery
  • shocks to operators

What factors affect the creation of static electricity?

  • The weather
    The dryer the air the greater the static build-up. Controlling the atmosphere in your production facility can reduce the risk of static electricity build-up.
  • The type of materials being used
    Some materials are more readily charged than others. For example, materials such as acetate will gain a charge very readily whilst glass will gain a charge less readily.
  • Repetition
    Repeated actions such as constant friction or separation will increase the level of charge found on a material. For example, a plastic web moving over a series of Teflon rollers will increase its surface charge after every roller.
  • Battery Effect
    The combination of many charged items can lead to extremely high charges. For instance, individual sheets of plastic with relatively low surface charges when stacked together can generate extremely high voltages.
  • Change In Temperature
    As a material cools down it can generate charge.

Controlling static electricity
While the generation of static electricity cannot be stopped, its accumulation and dispersal can be controlled through:

  • correctly designing machinery, pipes and filtration systems
  • bonding and grounding of equipment
  • humidity control
  • additives – antistatic additives can be added to liquids such as fuel to increase conductivity and reduce electrostatic build-up
  • Material, flooring and clothing – conductive flooring, shoe soles and clothing can help dissipate static charges from a person as they walk or move around
  • the introduction of Ionisers to your production line.

What are Ionisers
Air Ionisers make the air sufficiently conductive to dissipate static charge. Whatever static charge is present on objects in the work environment will be reduced and neutralised by attracting opposite polarity charges from the air. Because it uses only the air that is already present in the work environment, air ionisation may be employed even in cleanrooms where chemical sprays and some static dissipative materials are not usable.


Some ionisation devices require airflow to operate properly and may incorporate fans in their design.

Static electricity is an invisible hazard in many production environments. If you would like advice on steps to protect your plant from static electricity, get in touch with the EAS team today on 07 834 0505 or [email protected]


In electrical engineering a hazardous area is a place where a fire or explosion hazard may exist due to:

  • flammable gases or vapours
  • combustible dusts or ignitable fibers

which may be present in the air in quantities sufficient to produce explosive or ignitable mixtures.

Where are hazardous areas found?
Places like oil refineries, chemical plants and sewerage treatment plants are areas where hazardous gas vapours may be present; however, many companies don’t realise dust can also create hazardous areas in places such as food and beverage manufacturers, plastics factories and recycling operations.

Typical industries with hazardous areas


Due to the risks associated with these hazardous areas, staff accredited with an EEHA qualification need to take responsibility for installing and maintaining any electrical equipment in these areas.

EEHA qualified people can:

  • identify hazardous areas
  • understand hazardous area drawings
  • understand explosion protection techniques
  • are skilled in equipment installation in these areas
  • are familiar with procedures for breakdowns and the maintenance of equipment in hazardous areas
  • ensure all hazardous area dossiers are updated.

The electrical equipment installed in these areas must also be specifically designed and tested to ensure it doesn’t cause an explosion either due to arcing or its high surface temperature.

When installing electrical equipment in hazardous areas it is essential that:

  • Checks are done of existing hazardous area inspections and drawings.
  • A hazardous area drawing and dossier is created, if it does not already exist.
  • All electrical equipment to be installed carries ICE/Ex certificate.
  • Installation of new equipment is carried out by EEHA qualified electricians.

EAS can coordinate the whole process of maintaining and installing electrical equipment in hazardous areas for you. From inspections, drawings, installation, testing and certification. EAS can deliver you a complete turnkey solution.

If you’re planning a new equipment installation in your plant, which is classed as a hazardous area, or need to conduct maintenance on equipment in hazardous areas; get in touch with the EAS team today on 07 834 0505.

When it comes to safety precautions and installation practices in hazardous areas, our team does not cut corners.