VFD Pump and Pump Motor Failure – Field Service Highlight

In this video, we had a customer with a failed VFD pump who needed to get their flow control system up and running again quickly. We sent out one of our expert field technicians to inspect the damage, diagnose the problem, and get our customer’s industrial pumping system back on track.

What are the benefits of a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)?

A variable frequency drive (VFD) is a power supply for your pump that controls its output pressure and speed. Without a VFD, your industrial pump’s AC motor operates at a single constant frequency of 60 Hz. If you add a VFD to your pump, though, you can alter the frequency of the electricity applied to the pumping mechanism and thus affect how much energy it is using.

There are several key benefits associated with using a VFD, also known as an adjustable speed AC drive or inverter drive. For one, as mentioned above, you can better control the output pressure and speed of your pump, which is useful if material such as sludge and slurry is passing through your system, since these materials can vary wildly in density and thickness. A VFD ensures that your motor is always providing enough energy to suit the task at hand, minimizing the risk of blockages or leaks.

SEE ALSO: Field Service Highlight – Finding Boiler Leaks in a Cleaver-Brooks Boiler

The other benefit of a VFD pump over fixed-speed pumps is that a VFD pump doesn’t have to use the maximum amount of energy at times when demand is not at its peak. This saves on electricity and also minimizes wear and tear on the pump as well as the flow control system as a whole.

VFD pump and pump motor failure diagnostic

Our technician found that our customer’s VFD had failed because the pump motor had caught on fire, leading to a failure of both the pump motor and the drive. Both would need to be replaced. After diagnosing the issue and collecting information on the make and model of the motor and drive, our specialists could provide a price quote for replacing the components and getting the customer’s pump system working again.

Common causes of pump motor VFD failure

A VFD is a useful tool for saving energy and maximizing efficiency throughout your whole flow control system. However, like any other tool, it can wear down and break, especially if it isn’t properly maintained.

One of the most common causes of VFD failure is poor environmental conditions. Dust, debris, and moisture from your pump’s environment can build up inside it the same way it would in a computer. Moisture can cause circuit board corrosion, for example, and dust and particulates can clog cooling vents. Loose connections and aging components can also cause VFD faults—especially in capacitors, which age quickly compared to other components and are extremely temperature sensitive. To keep your VFD and pump system running smoothly and extend its lifespan, be sure to perform regular maintenance.

Learn more about our services for pump systems

At Chiller Systems Service, we put the right people, equipment, and service on your case to get the job done right. We’ve been servicing HVAC and pump systems for clients all throughout the metro Denver area since 1997, delivering rapid and responsive services to minimize disruption, and we use innovative XOi technology to deliver remote support and diagnostics and empower our team and our customers. If you have a VFD that is malfunctioning or has broken down, get in touch with us and experience our dedication to complete customer satisfaction:

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