Want to keep your commercial HVAC system performing at top levels? Watch out for these common HVAC pump problems.

Key Takeaways:

  • Your commercial HVAC system contains a pump that’s responsible for delivering a consistent flow of heating and cooling. 
  • If your HVAC pump malfunctions, it can cause your entire system to stop working. 
  • Those who are proactive about HVAC system maintenance are well-equipped to identify and address HVAC pump problems before they escalate. 
  • Partnering with an expert commercial electrical services contractor enables you to receive regular HVAC system maintenance and avoid pump problems and other issues.  

Your commercial HVAC system has a pump that delivers a steady flow of heating and cooling. The pump helps prevent system failures, but the pump itself can still fail without notice. If your HVAC pump stops working, your whole system can fail. 

It pays to be diligent when it comes to your HVAC pump. If you identify any common HVAC system pump problems in their early stages, you can address them before they lead to serious system damage. 

Now, let’s look at six of the most common commercial HVAC pump problems and how to address them. 

1. Leaky seals

Your commercial HVAC system pump has an unknown lifespan, and there are several reasons why this is the case. First, a seal may stop working if it is exposed to excessive heat or chemicals. Or, if you inadvertently let your seal run dry, it could be susceptible to damage and associated leakage. There’s the risk that severe heat could completely destroy your seal and cause leakage, as well. 

Routine maintenance makes a world of difference in terms of avoiding HVAC pump seal leaks. A commercial electrical services contractor can conduct regular maintenance to verify your pump is sufficiently lubricated. If they find a fatal issue, the contractor can replace your HVAC pump before it causes your system to malfunction. 

2. Defective pump shaft

You need a commercial HVAC pump shaft to keep your system going. But, if the shaft moves out of its proper position or is overloaded, it can break. There may be instances in which the shaft is exposed to excessive heat, which will cause the shaft to become discolored and eventually wear down, break, or otherwise hamper your system’s performance. 

It is a good idea to regularly assess your HVAC system’s belt drive and pulleys for any signs of wear and tear. A belt tension gauge should also be used when you install your system. And don’t forget to look for a damaged fan or fan clutch, since the pump shaft must be properly mounted to the fan at all times. 

3. Cavitation

Pump cavitation refers to a collection of low-pressure bubbles in the liquid that flows through your HVAC system. If left unaddressed, cavitation can cause damage to your system’s impeller, as well as reduce your pump’s lifespan. It can also increase the risk of damage to your system’s seals and bearings. 

To guard against cavitation, you may need to raise the Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) energy on the suction side of your HVAC pump. This may require you to reduce the temperature of the liquid being pumped, the number of elbows and valves, and/or the length of the pipe. In some cases, you may need to increase the pipe diameter, too. 

4. Vibration

Extreme vibration can occur due to a mechanical or operational issue with your commercial HVAC system’s pump. Common issues that lead to extreme vibration include bad bearings, a clogged impeller, or an unbalanced rotor. 

If you notice extreme vibration from your HVAC system, look at the lubrication of your pump’s bearings. If the bearings look worn out, replace them immediately. 

5. Oversized pump

It can be tempting to pick up an oversized pump for your HVAC system, but an oversized pump does not always provide optimal results. An oversized pump will start up and shut down more frequently than a regular one, which will make it wear down faster.

Verify the size of your HVAC system’s pump at installation. If you already have a system in place with an oversized pump, monitor your pump’s performance. If the pump starts to deteriorate, replace it with one that is the right size based on your system. 

6. Rust and corrosion

Your HVAC system pump’s impeller may be prone to rust and corrosion that causes damage. There are also deposits that can build up inside of your pump, resulting in clogging. A spoilt pressure cap can cause your HVAC pump to rust, as well. 

Assess your HVAC system’s pressure cap regularly. Moreover, flush your pump to confirm there are no deposits that are otherwise clogging it. 

There is no telling when any of the aforementioned HVAC pump problems will occur, but building managers who are proactive with HVAC system maintenance can protect against these issues and make sure their systems stay in peak working order. 

Of course, if you’re dealing with HVAC pump problems, you can partner with an expert. This allows you to benefit from comprehensive insights into HVAC pump problems, how to address them, and how to prevent them from recurring. It also gives you an opportunity to upgrade your HVAC system, so you can get one that will meet your commercial requirements going forward. 

Get expert help with your HVAC pump

If you believe your HVAC system’s pump is defective, Universal Electrical Services can provide assistance. We can inspect your system and help you correct any pump problems right away. To learn more or to request a free consultation, contact us today.