Ways to Prevent Freezing During Cold Weather Pumping

Blog | November 17, 2021 Pump system in cold weather

During freezing weather conditions precautions must be taken to prevent pump system failure and damage due to freezing.

Here are 7 ways to prevent freezing during cold weather pumping:

Drain Volute and Suction Line

During down time make sure the volute of the pump and suction line is drained. This can be done by opening the ball valve at the bottom of the volute. On pumps with the vacuum pump priming system, make sure the priming chamber is drained of all liquid.

pump volute drain

Drain Discharge Lines

Provide drainage in the discharge lines where any low spots will collect liquid during non-operation. This can be done by using quick disconnect hose in the low areas or putting a drain valve in a tee configuration in the low spot. When the system is not in operation the fluid can easily be drained to prevent it from freezing in the discharge lines.

Do Not Start Engine if Volute is Frozen

If freezing has occurred in the volute of the pump DO NOT START ENGINE. The pump volute must be thawed out before pumping can resume. Do not use a high temperature heat source to thaw as a high temperature difference can cause the volute to crack. Heat tracing and insulation, or a high watt light bulb just under the volute or check valve is recommended.

Flow Lines Can Freeze!

It is a common misconception that a line during flow conditions will not freeze. This is not the case, at sub-freezing temperatures everything can freeze. It’s important to remember that the smaller the diameter of the pipe the faster the line can freeze.

Prepare Fuel 

During freezing weather conditions diesel fuel can become very viscous and gel like. Fuel conditioning with anti-gelling agents should be employed. Also using cold weather diesel blend is suggested. Fuel cutting with lighter fuel oils such as kerosene is not a recommended way of fuel conditioning. An improper blend can cause engine damage.

Keep Battery Charged

Use a trickle charger to prevent the battery fluid from freezing. A fully charged battery can help fight off freezing temperatures and ensures the pump will be ready to fire up when needed.

Use an Engine Block Heater

An Engine Block Heater can heat the engine block and its internal fluids allowing the engine to turn over easier. The engine will start easier, use less energy and will reach optimal running temperature sooner. Saving time and reducing potential damage while starting the pump.

Following these tips will help prevent pump system failure and damage due to freezing. In some instances, your projects could require additional freeze protection steps. Rain for Rent can help you avoid costly complications from freezing weather with Freeze Protection Solutions.

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