Water hammer has the potential to cause significant damage to pumping systems. Most in the pumping industry have a tale to tell about burst or collapsed pipes, or broken or damaged valves, pressure gauges and even pumps.
Solving the water hammer problem requires either mitigating its effects or preventing its occurrence altogether. To this end, there are a number of solutions to consider when designing a pumping system, including electronic motor control.
Electronic motor control devices such as soft starters and variable frequency drives can be used to control the speed of the pump during starting and stopping. This allows for a more gradual increase or decrease in pump speed, preventing water column separation, flow reversal and sudden check valve closure – a few of the primary causes of water hammer.
Controlled starting and stopping of pumps also offers other advantages, including reducing mechanical stresses on the system and electrical supply caused by DOL / ATL / electromechanical starting. This results in reduced maintenance and extended life. Soft starters and VSDs can also provide a range of advanced motor and system protection functions as well as monitoring & control options. For example:
- Pump/motor overload protection to detect burst pipes
- Undercurrent protection to detect blocked pipes
- Phase rotation protection to prevent reverse rotation of the pump
- Phase loss protection to prevent damage from power disturbances
- Instantaneous over current protection to prevent pump damage due to debris
- Automatic timers and schedulers for control of operation
- Operational logs and recording
If you’d like to learn more about the science of water hammer, how electronic motor control could solve your water hammer issues, and the importance of selecting a control device with direct acceleration & deceleration
control, download a free copy of our Eliminating Water Hammer white paper today.