February 1, 2022

Taking Care of your Spares

By Stan Riddle

Taking Care of your Spares

Rotating equipment, either in storage, or down for long periods of time, should be rotated on a regular basis.

This prevents two things:

  • rust forming in the bearings, gears, etc., due to lubricant settling into the reservoir.
  • false brinelling, which is micro-spalling of the bearing raceways due to impacting. This occurs when vibration is present from nearby machines, forklift traffic, check valves slamming, or anything else that might cause vibration on a non-running machine. This vibration can damage even new bearings and seals.

Machinery operating on a common platform or header should be rotated on a weekly or monthly basis. If this cannot be done, pumps should be rotated by hand, a few revolutions.

Spares stored either in a equipment room, or in a supply room should be:

  • Properly lubricated for storage
  • Rotated by hand, a few revolutions, on a weekly or monthly basis
  • Equipment should be stored on racks or a wooden pallet (or even better, on neoprene isolator pads ) to minimize the effects of vibration from nearby operating equipment), and not on a concrete floor.

Machinery in long term storage outside should be covered overhead. But NOT wrapped in a tarp or shrink-wrap, due to condensation. In addition, the oil in these machines should be sampled annually, to make sure you don’t have water in bearings and gearboxes.

Back when I was collecting vibration data, I would just go around in pump rooms, and rotate the spares by hand while I was there. In some buildings we had a quarterly PM to go to our supply rooms, and rotate equipment.

Is it a little more trouble? Yes. But not as much as having a back-up pump that can’t run!