The pump (conventionally sealed) is leaking. What should I do?

The seal surface needs some amount of lubrication in order to maintain a good condition of the seal. If too tight, heat will develop against the shaft. Leaking fuel pumps have long been a common problem. As a leading pump manufacturer, we understand the issues, we use the best suppliers and materials in the world when it comes to seals.

Based on our experience, up to 10 drops/h should be regarded as normal leakage. If it exceeds this, the shaft seal is damaged and a replacement is recommended.

To help keep the engine room cleaner, we can supply a drain connection that will lead the excess lubricant to a suitable tank.

The best way to avoid leaking pumps is to install IMO OptiLine pumps. They have no seal and thereby no leakage. They are designed to be used in all oil systems where leaking causes problems.

IMO has stated that 10 drops/h of leakage from the seals should be regarded as normal leakage when pumping HFO. If we are changing over to MGO/DMA which could be as thin as 1.4 Cst at 40 C what will happen?
The seal surfaces need some amount of lubrication in order to maintain good condition of the seal. The amount should not exceed 10 drops/h. If so, the shaft seal may be damaged and the customer should consider changing it. This is the case for HFO. However, if you are pumping low viscosity oil like MGO/DMA, there will be an increase in leakage if the seal is worn. Since MGO/DMA has a low flashpoint (60C), it also poses an increased risk for fire in the engine room.
HFO can be very thick and dirty. Is there a possibility of clogging in the stream around the magnetic coupling?  When it happens, what is the counter measure?
If the pump and pipe that leads the oil to the pump are totally clogged with cold HFO, the pump will not operate. The high viscosity makes it impossible for the pump to turn. Generally, you would have a heating device on the pipe (steam or oil heating tubes) for HFO. We would suggest that you connect the same heating device to the pump in order to keep the oil inside the pump at a reasonable temperature.
How fine should the suction strainer mesh be for HFO and oil?

For practical reasons, at suction side, a strainer with 0.8-2 mm is recommended. It should be large enough to avoid a big pressure drop (not exceed 0.1 bar of pressure drop).

For ACE magnet coupled pumps, a strainer with a mesh size of 0.5 mm can be used.

When using HFO that contains more sulphur than usual, would there be a limitation of viscosity?  Does too much sulphur eat at the material of inner magnetic coupling? Would that damage or shorten the lifetime of the pump?
A little more sulphur is not any problem. Magnet casings are of stainless steel and resistant to corrosion from HFO with some sulphur content. IMO can guarantee usage with OptiLine pumps down to 1.4 cSt. 
What is the maintenance on a magnetic coupled pump? We heard that the maintenance required on OptiLine is only every 4 to 5 years, and this is only when the bearings need to be exchanged. Is this correct?
Yes. Note that the pump is built with many of the same parts as a standard pump (material, screws etc), so the maintenance time for those parts is the same for magnetic coupled pumps as for standard pumps.
How long will the magnets last? As long as the OptiLine pump, approximately 15 to 20 years, right? Or will the magnet slowly die out (fade) as the years goes by?
The magnets do not fade at all during the time intervals normally under consideration for the lifetime of a ship.
How long before the pump should be opened for inspection?
We recommend that you inspect the bearings and screws after four years. The warranty for the pump is for five years or 40,000 running hours. Bearings are designed to last a long time, however the cost of the bearing is relatively small so we recommend you should change them when you open the pump. We provide a kit which contains a ball bearing, gaskets and O-rings to be used when opening the pump.
How much is the effect decreased with a magnetic coupled pump, compared to a traditionally coupled pump?
It can vary from 5 to 20% according to the magnets size relative to the pump. 10% as a rule of thumb.
How much is it estimated that the steam heat tracing heats the magnetic coupled pump? How long is it recommended that the steam heat is warm before we start the pump?
We don’t have a base calculation for heating. The electric motor can go free until the motor protection is triggered, if at all. When the magnet is idle, it heats more than tracing and closer to the heat you want. Tveksam förklaring!/HG
How will the pump behave with temperatures as low as 30C? If you calculate with an IF-700 oil at 3360 cSt and for an IF-380 oil at 1590 cSt.

The fastest way to heat up the pump is to open the flow valve so that the oil flows through. However the warming may be so fast that you have to tighten the valve again within about three minutes.

If you have problems with cold, thick oil, follow the examples of Aura Marine and Alfa Laval, allowing heat throughout the system, wrapping flat heat cable, stainless steel for steam or copper for thermal oil, around everything in the entire system. It is not enough to heat only at the pump if everything backs up before and after the pump.

If the pump just starts to slip and fails to feed?
Let the pump slip, turn it off to allow the magnets to connect, then try again to see if the magnetic heating has softened the oil enough to start pumping.
How long can the electric motor spin freely?
The electric motor spin free until the engine protection is triggered, if at all.
Can particles in the HFO get stuck and stop lubrication of the magnetic coupling?
The system is designed to let particles pass. Actually, the magnetic coupling cooling channel is bigger than the space within the most narrow space in the pump.
How does the ball bearing handle bad HFO?
Ball bearings are sufficiently generous in size so that relatively large particles can pass through.
Why is there only one ball bearing?
The screws act as ball bearings. The oil is pressed through the pump against the wall and screws. This forms a layer that is self balancing while it lubricates.