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Problems with Hale mechanical pump seals?

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  • Problems with Hale mechanical pump seals?

    Our 2001 engine has a Hale Q flo 1,250 pump being rebuilt. The mechanical seal gave out. In disassembling the pump they found several tablespoons of sand. The claim is being made that we must be drafting gravel and that why the pump died an early death.

    Our 1990 engine with a similar Hale pump without the mechanical seal has never had a problem. Never had any leaks or other issues. Both engines have relatively low hours and both draft from the same dry hydrants as necessary. Pumps are flushed after use but for some reason the sand in the newer pump did not flush away.

    We suspect a design flaw or failure with the mechanical seal. Has anyone else experienced premature problems with their Hale pumps?
    Remember, it IS as bad as you think and they ARE out to get you!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jim917
    Our 2001 engine has a Hale Q flo 1,250 pump being rebuilt. The mechanical seal gave out. In disassembling the pump they found several tablespoons of sand. The claim is being made that we must be drafting gravel and that why the pump died an early death.

    Our 1990 engine with a similar Hale pump without the mechanical seal has never had a problem. Never had any leaks or other issues. Both engines have relatively low hours and both draft from the same dry hydrants as necessary. Pumps are flushed after use but for some reason the sand in the newer pump did not flush away.

    We suspect a design flaw or failure with the mechanical seal. Has anyone else experienced premature problems with their Hale pumps?
    It sounds like this 2001 Mechanical Seal vs 1990 adjustable Packing, correct?

    If it is then it is a specification issue. IMO. If it was supplied the way it was specified with the mechanical seal you got what you asked for. Take it for what it is worth. Mechanical seals are a ceramic material making the seal to the shaft and the adjustable packing can be tightened.

    If the sand and grit ate the seal up, you need to replace it. (and whatever else got damaged) We have a Hale AP50 on our tanker and had to rebuild the pump last year due to the mechanical seal going bad.

    If they found sand in the pump what else did they have to replace? The tolerances on impellers are also tight. Sand in the area of the impeller spinning at 1000's of rpms will do bad things. Water and sand abrasive is what they use in metal working. No matter what, sand in the pump is bad. Something had to happen to allow it to get there and that is an operational issue. Flushing will hopefully stop the damage from continueing but damage has already started while it was pumping and sucked up the sand.

    I am not a pump expert, but have some knowledge from our own experiences.

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    • #3
      seals

      I don't run Hale but have dealt with them in the past and in the military as well. Mechanical seals have the advantage od not requiring constant adjustment and supposedly replacment of packing during the life cycle of run ning the pump. However, I find that mechanical seals are prone to failure from what you describe and from overheating due to cavitation or other abuses. The replacemnt process of a mechanical seal is, in my estimation, more troublesome than replacing or adding packing. Just my two cents.

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      • #4
        LVWRENCH, We have run Hale pumps for 40+ years. They are very good pumps. When the "mechanical" seal was introduced, we steered clear of them due to the exact concerns that you posted. We often draft from ponds & rivers and it is almost impossible not to get some sort of debris in the pump. The adjustable packings are "much" more forgiving. The Hales will still pull an incredible draft even when the packings are a little out of adjustment. They also will withstand the heat better.
        As far as replacing them goes, they are not that difficult anymore. On older pumps, they were a bear to work on just because of the space that they put them in! Today, at least on our Hales, it may take about an hour for the total job.
        You've got a good pump, just a crappy seal design. Unfortunately you're going to have to monitor it and just replace it. Hopefully, before any other pump damage is done!
        Good Luck

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MaximI
          You've got a good pump, just a crappy seal design. Unfortunately you're going to have to monitor it and just replace it. Hopefully, before any other pump damage is done! Good Luck
          That's the exact problem we face. Because of the crappy design, it retains more or the typical sediment you find in any drafting situation and unfortunately the damage is done before you even know it. The first symptom is when the seal starts puking out water suddenly.

          Well, the next step is to check with Hale and see if they will cover any of the expense.

          For those of you with mechanical seals, watch out and flush frequently!
          Remember, it IS as bad as you think and they ARE out to get you!

          Comment

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