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API Piping Plan 32

REV 1.0 Definition:


A primary seal flush plan that originates from an external source at a higher pressure than the stuffing box pressure of the pump being sealed and is piped to the flush port on the primary seal flange or stuffingbox tap.

Objective:
To lubricate the primary product seal and dissipate heat generated by this seal using a product other than the pumpage. This plan is usually found when process conditions are very dirty and a clean fluid is needed for proper seal performance. This plan can also be used in very hot services when vapor pressure of the pumpage is close to the seal chamber pressure and options for increasing the margin between the two are limited.

Line Up Procedure:
The following steps outline the checks required before, during and after start-up of the equipment. 1) Check to make sure any valves in the external seal flush line are open. These lines should remain open until the pump is isolated and pulled for service. 2) Check the gauge on this line making sure it is recording a positive pressure. 3) If a flow meter is present, check for a flow indication. 4) Proceed with opening all valves for service. 5) Check for leaks around valves and orifice unions in the external seal flush line. 6) Start pump per normal procedures. 7) Once running, check to make sure the seal flush line is the same temperature from its origin to the primary seal flush port on the primary seal flange. It should be the same temperature as the pump case. [Caution: Use caution if the pumping temperature is above 150F.]

Preventive Maintenance and Troubleshooting:


The primary seal external flush line should be checked on normal operator rounds. Check the temperature on the seal flush line using a temperature indicator. This line should be the same temperature as the pump case from its origin to the flush port on the primary seal flange. [Caution: Use caution if the pumping temperature is above 150F.] The typical mode of failure in this flush plan is a clogged orifice or a closed valve in the external seal flush line. During this mode, you will feel the following when you touch the external flush line on a particular piece of equipment.

When the external seal flush line is clogged in a hot or cold service, you will find the external seal flush line its usual temperature with a positive pressure indication on the gauge in the line. The only indication of a no flow condition will be right at the primary seal flange where the external flush connects to the flush port. The line will be hot at the seal flange, but will cool as you back up toward the origin of the flush.

Solution
Upon finding the above situation, you should check for closed valves in the external flush line. If the valves are open, tap on the orifice union in this line to see if it will open and flow properly. Check to make sure your source of external flush has not been shut down or isolated in a remote area. If the above attempts are unsuccessful, begin procedures to shut the equipment down in an orderly manner.

Shut Down Procedure:


Once the equipment has been prepared for maintenance, remove the seal flush line and check for foreign matter clogging the line. This matter will usually be found in the union housing the orifice that regulates flow in the external seal flush line. In the event you cannot find a problem, contact your maintenance or BW/IP personnel for further assistance.