While aligning a Flowserve Booster Pump in Arkansas,  the attempted alignment corrections proved unrepeatable and inconsistent. The centerline of the pump shifted from too high to too low and from too far to the right to too far left. I thought this might be a symptom of pipe stress and suggested to the customer that I check for it. Upon loosening the hold-down bolts,  I noticed that piping lifted the pump right off the base.

Pipe Stress
Figure 1 – Pipe Misalignment

I was authorized to disconnect the piping from the pump. Figure 1 shows that at its worst one pipe was one inch out horizontally and about one and a half inches vertically, and angled to the pump.

We aligned the pump without the pipes connected. The customer was advised to redesign the pipe hangers to provide more support to the piping and reduce the stress on the pump.

It is imperative that once the pipefitting is complete and the piping is reattached to the pump, the alignment and pipe stress measurement with the laser will have to be checked once more.

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, by Carlos Bienes CRL