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RE: pump cavitation


Christy Bohannon

I agree with you, but in this case, we had the suction line open for over an hour when the pump cavitated. In our current procedure, when the pump is taken off line for maintanence, we begin by opening a line to blowdown and opening the suction line to warm to blowdown. This is when I would have expected to see a cavitation due to light material. The fractionator and blowdown DP is small, so we get limited warming this way. Next we open a spillback line to the fractionator and turn the previously off-line pump on and warm to the spillback line for a while before actually starting the pump. Right when we hit start on the off-line pump, the on-line pump cavitated. This would lead me to believe it is more of an NPSH problem, but during normal swaps, when the off-line pump is warm, we never have a problem. I know this pump is cold, but it is going to the fractionator and not to the suction of the on-line pump. Any thoughts?

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