Working on Mud Pumps

Working on Mud Pumps

Lockout the pump before working on it!  Most mechanical rigs are equipped with a safety control valve for the pump located at the pump drive.  Before working on the pump, be sure this valve as well as the pump control valve on the driller’s console are in the closed position.  If a rig does not have the safety valve, remove the air supply hose from rotor seal of the pump drive clutch.  By doing this, the pump cannot be engaged while you are working on it.  Electric rigs have electric controls in the SCR house and driller’s control station that should be locked out and tagged.

Do not tighten leaking unions, valve covers or cylinder head covers while pump is running with pressure.

Before removing the nail from the shear relief valve, release pressure by opening a valve on the discharge line as close to the pump as possible.

Be sure that the shear relief valve is set to release at a pressure not exceeding working pressure of the pump, valves and mud lines.  Do not use allen wrenches, ice picks or other rods made of high carbon steel to replace nails in shear relief valves.  Use only what the manufacturer recommends!

Keep the shear relief valve safety cover in its proper closed position at all times.  When the relief valve pin is sheared due to excessive pump pressure, the sheared ends can fly some distance and cause injury to workers.

There are some parts of a pump that are too heavy for one man to handle, such as liners and cylinder head covers.  Assistance is necessary in handling these items to avoid back injuries and possible mashed fingers or hands.  Use hoists or other means to lift heavy parts.

Never remove or install belts on rod oiler or piston sprayer pumps while pump is engaged.

Extreme care is necessary when using sledge hammers and hammer wrenches on or around pumps.

The working area on and around mud pumps should be kept as clean and dry as possible.

Never attempt to work on a mud pump while the mud pump is in operation.

Mud pump strokes should not be counted by hand.