Spills from air operated diaphragm pumps in GA concern manufacturers, from both environmental and profit viewpoints. A spill isn’t easy to clean up and oftentimes, workers will throw a substance like oil-dry or kitty litter on the spill to absorb the liquid. Then someone has disposed of the liquid by shoveling it into a waste container.

It gets trickier when the fluid spilled is hazardous waste. The manufacturer then must pay to have the waste removed and treated prior to disposal. It’s an additional expense to what has already cost the manufacturer in lost time and product.

Spillage of some fluids means additional disposal fees or even fines; these include:

  • Paints, inks, and coatings;

  • Adhesives and resins;

  • Chemicals and petrochemicals;

  • Oils and hydrocarbons;

  • Acids, caustics, corrosives;

  • Resins and polymers;

  • Contaminated water and wastewater;

  • Pesticides and herbicides;

  • Fertilizers;

  • Preservatives;

  • Mercury;

  • Phthalates.

Some fluids are extremely expensive. Losing them is very costly to the manufacturer these include:

  • Drugs and pharmaceuticals;
  • Foods;
  • Cyanotic-based paints;
  • Precious metal-passed fluids;
  • Cosmetics;
  • Perfumes;
  • Printer inks;
  • Beer and alcohol;
  • Blood;
  • Creams and lotions.

What causes spills to occur: Ruptured diaphragms are often the culprit with air operated diaphragm pumps in GA. When the diaphragm tears, fluid fills the air chamber, then it sprays out the muffler. Worse yet, if there are chemical compatibility issues, the air end of the pump is destroyed.

Diaphragms rupture by operating the pump higher than maximum pressure ratings. Sometimes operators raise the air pressure to get the pump to work faster. Doing this leads to leakage, bent inner plates and shaft, and of course, bulging and ripped diaphragms.

How spills could be prevented: Understanding that AODD pump spills are costly and preventable, following are 3 tips to prevent them.

1. Use a Regulator: Regulators are the #1 solution that could be added to diaphragm pumps. It is to an AODD pump what a VFD is to motorized pumps. Regulators control the amount of airflow into the pump, regulating the stroke speed and extending the life of the diaphragm. Over-pressurizing the diaphragm causes it to bubble out and fail faster than operation under normal conditions.

Air compressors are very expensive to purchase and operate over time. No one wants to add more compressors. The addition of small regulators for air operated diaphragm pumps in GA could mean big savings on energy costs as well as the purchase price of a new compressor.

2. Use A One-Piece Diaphragm: A one-piece diaphragm can stand up to more pressure than a standard diaphragm. It has dimples that allow the diaphragm to roll with excessive pressure, thereby providing longer service.

3. Proper Pump Selection: As with any pump, standard air operated diaphragm pumps in GA do not suit all applications. You need to understand the fluid properties, the process, and the limitations of the pump doing the work.

For example, pumping thick fluid with a standard duty pump can lead to failure because it tends to build up on diaphragms, eventually causing failure. In this situation, consider heavy duty ball valve pumps or flap valve pumps.

Containment duty pumps are also suitable for processes where spills are unacceptable – while they don’t prevent against ruptured diaphragms, they do protect against loss of fluid.

Having chronic issues with air operated diaphragm pumps in GA? Ask us about it! We gladly provide technical assistance to businesses and municipalities alike, so call us today.

P.S.  Don’t forget that we also offer engineering services, repairs, and replacement parts.