Installation and Operation of American Turbine Pumps

Table of Contents

American Turbine Installation Instructions - General Information
Well Conditions
Unloading and Checking
Cleaning and Checking

Installation - Oil-Lubricated Pump
Suction and Strainer
Pump Bowls
Discharge Column Assembly, Screw-Coupled
Top Special Column
Discharge Head or Motor Stand
Hollow Shaft Driver

Installation - Product-Lubricated, Open Line Shaft Pumps
Suction and Strainer
Pump Bowl
Discharge Column Assembly, Screw-Coupled
Top Column
Discharge Head or Motor Stand
Hollow Shaft Driver

Short Coupled Pumps

Special Materials

American Turbine Installation Instructions - General Information

An American Turbine Pump is a precision machine, and satisfactory operation is dependent to a great extent upon careful and correct installation. Good, sound, practical judgment must be used by the installer to adapt these instructions to the particular installation. Read the instructions through carefully before starting installation.

Well Conditions

Before any attempt is made to install the pump, the well should be checked carefully to make sure that the outside diameter of the pump bowls and column couplings or flanges will permit installation of the pump with adequate clearance, and also that the well casing is not reduced in size below the surface. If there is any doubt about the size or straightness of the well, the well should be caged and plotted to determine the advisability of attempting to install the pump. If, during installation, the pump is observed to bind up or drag against the side of the well or if the pump will not rotate freely on the load hook swivel, the well is too crooked to properly receive the pump. Installation should be stopped and proper authorities advised of the situation. Noticeable binding does not have to occur for the well to be too crooked to receive a pump. The weight of a pump may be sufficient on deep or heavy installation to force the pump around bends or crooks in a well without giving the installer any of the above indications. Installing a pump in a crooked well will cause excess wear and vibration and void the warranty.

The well should also be sounded for depth to make sure it is deep enough to receive the full pump. The static water level in the well should be measured prior to installation of the pump, and the operating level checked after the pump has been operating several hours in order to determine that the pump has been furnished with the proper depth of setting. The pump bowl should be submerged when the pump is operating.

The well should be developed and test pumped with a pump reserved for that purpose. Sand should not be pumped with the new pump intended for permanent installation due to the abrasive action of the sand and accompanying damage. Pumping sand or other abrasives voids the American Turbine warranty.

If the new pump is to be installed in an undeveloped well, certain precautions must be taken. If the pump is driven by an electric motor (constant speed), install a valve on the discharge to throttle down the pump capacity. If the pump is driven by an internal combustion engine (variable speed), the well should be pumped at a lower capacity (speed) at first, gradually bringing up the capacity (speed) as the sand is pumped out and the well is developed. This action is necessary to keep the pump from breaking suction (pumping off) during initial development. The time interval between breaking suction and resumed pumping allows the sand to settle out in the bowl assembly causing severe damage to the pump and may also damage the well. Once the pump is started, it should not be stopped until the well is developed and free of sand. "Sand locking" of the bowl may occur if the pump is stopped during periods of sand pumping. Sand will settle back in the bowl assembly locking the impellers. Do not attempt to start the pump if it is sand locked. The pump may be unlocked by alternately lowering the raising the impellers with the adjusting nut. If a supply of clear water is available, it will assist in washing the sand out if it is flushed down the pump during this operation. If this fails, it may be necessary to pull and disassemble the pump bowl to unlock the impellers.


Use a permanent or portable derrick of sufficient strength and rigidity to lift the total weight of the pump safely. A safety factor of 6 is considered minimum for all installation equipment. The load hook should have a safety catch or lock and be connected to the traveling block or line with a good, easy working swivel. All hoisting equipment (chain hoist, and windlass or power wench) should be checked to make sure that there is no chance of a "run away" when lowering the load. A power wench should be provided with "power up" and "power down" operation. A "power up" and brake down wench may be able to lift the load but may "run away" in the down direction should the brake not hold. Always set the load down as gently as possible. The heavy sudden shock of stopping the pump by allowing the pump clamps to hit the foundation with any speed may sheer out the threads in the coupling or flange and drop the pump in the well.

The derrick and hoisting equipment should have the following minimum travel and clearance above the foundation:

Column Lengths Clearance
5 ft. 10 ft.
10 ft. 16 ft.
20 ft. 26 ft.

Miscellaneous Tools

2 - Wood or steel pipe clamps with one cable sling long enough to allow 36" clearance above the clamps,
2 - Pipe elevators with bales or cable sling allowing 36" clearance above the elevator,
1 - Wood or steel pipe clamp for use on the suction, bowls and top column where pipe elevators will not work.
2 - Chain tongs to couple up screw-coupled column.
1 - Cable sling or chain of sufficient strength and length to lift entire pump for discharge head installation.
2 - Pipe wrenches to couple up the oil tubing and shafting.
2 - "V" blocks or shaft roller to support shafting for checking straightness.
1 - Dial indicator and stand calibrated in .001 divisions for checking shaft straightness.
1 - 15' length of ¾" rope.
1 - Oil can filled with Light Turbine Oil (SAE 10) oil shaft threads on assembly.
1 - Wire brush to clean up all mating parts.
1 - Paint brush to fine clean tubing and shafting.
1 - Crowbar.
1 - 10-lb. sledge hammer.
1 - Set of mechanic's tools.

A supply of distillate or coal oil should be available for cleaning purposes. If gasoline must be used, add Turbine Oil as a lubricant to keep shafting from galling in shaft coupling. A good grade of pipe joint compound should be provided to lubricate the threads on the column pipe and oil tubing to facilitate assembly and to protect against freezing of these threads for future disassembly.

For oil-lubricated pumps, a supply of Turbine Oil should be secured based upon the following table:

Turbine Oil to be Poured in Each Section of Column During Installation*
Shaft & Tubing Size 10' Column Lengths 20' Column Lengths
7/8" × 1¼ ¼ Pint -
1" × 1½" 1 Pint -
13/16 × 2" 1 Quart 2 Quarts
1½" × 2½" 1½ Quarts 3 Quarts
1 11/16 × 2½" 1 Quart 2 Quarts
1 15/16" × 3" 2 Quarts 4 Quarts
2 3/16 × 3½" 2½ Quarts 5 Quarts
2 7/16" × 3½" 2 Quarts 4 Quarts

*(Plus a quantity to fill the oiler for initial operation)


Viscosity: 95 to 105 Secs. Saybolt universal at 100ºF; 35 Secs. Saybolt universal at 210ºF.
Cold Pour Point: minus 20ºF.
A.P.I. Gravity: 28 to 29.5
Open cup flash point: 340º to 350ºF.

The local oil distributor will recommend and provide a specific brand of oil to meet these specifications. A standard ice machine oil may be used as a substitute until supply of the specific oil can be obtained.


A concrete foundation for the pump should be constructed in accordance with foundation plans furnished by the factory. It should be remembered that a deep well turbine pump is a heavy piece of machinery and the weight is concentrated in a small area. The foundation must be suitable to distribute this concentrated weight to the surrounding soil. Settling of the foundation will cause misalignment of the pump and result in vibration and wear.


Figure 1


Figure 2


Figure 3


Figure 4


Figure 5


Figure 6

Unloading and Checking

The number of boxes and pieces should be checked against the freight bills. Report any shortages to the transportation company immediately. Material too heavy to lift from the freight conveyance should be skidded off. Check all parts for damage. Report any damage to the transportation company and the factory immediately. Confirm all verbal conversations by letter. Uncrate and check all parts against the packing list. 

Cleaning and Checking

Remove the thread protectors from the screw-coupled column and clean the threads with a wire brush. The face of the column pipe should be checked to see that there are no burrs or dents. All column pipe, tubing and shafting joints in an American Turbine pump are butt joints, and the mating faces must be smooth and free from dents, burrs or other irregularities. American Turbine inspection ensures that all material is correct at the time of shipment; however, all faces should be rechecked for hidden damage occurring in transportation or unloading. Remember, a butt joint will not hold fluid under pressure if the faces of the mating pieces are marred in any way. Handle all shafting and tubing and shafting assemblies with extreme care to prevent springing or bending. The protective coating on all machine parts is a non-oxide material and not a thread lubricant and must be cleaned off before the proper compound is applied. Care must be exercised when cleaning the screw-coupled product-lubricated column couplings to prevent the cleaning material from touching the product-lubricated bearings. Petroleum products will damage these bearings.

Installation - Oil-Lubricated Pump 


If the pump is equipped with a separate baseplate, remove the baseplate from the discharge head or motor stand and place upon the foundation. The baseplate will provide a protection for the foundation and give a good base for the elevators and clamps to rest upon. It also will serve as a check to make sure that the entire pump may be installed through the baseplate. Once the baseplate is aligned and grouted into position, it should not be disturbed. When the pump is eventually pulled for service, it will be pulled and installed through the baseplate and it should not be necessary to realign the baseplate unless the foundation has settled or the grouting around the baseplate has been disturbed.

Suction and Strainer

Screw-coupled suction pipe has standard ¼" taper per foot threads. The suction connection in the bowl and in a threaded strainer are also ¼" taper per foot threads. Screw or weld the strainer on the bottom and of the suction. The top end of the suction pipe has a steel lug welded on the outside for the pipe clamps to rest against. Install the pipe clamp under the lug and, using the cable sling, raise the suction into the derrick and lower it into the well. "Tail in" the bottom end of the suction by securing the rope to the bottom end of the suction with a timber hitch knot. Do not allow the strainer to drag across the ground or swing against the derrick. 

Pump Bowls

The pump bowls should be carefully inspected before placing in the well. Rotate the impeller shaft several times by hand to be sure that it does not bind at any point. The impeller shaft should have ¼" or more lateral (end play). Check and record the amount of lateral available in the bowl assembly. This information will be used in the final impeller adjustment. Do not strain shaft in any way that might bend it, and do not lift pump bowl assembly by the shaft. Attach clamp to the top end of the bowl and lift with cable sling. Make sure cable sling is long enough to clear load hook above top of impeller shaft. Use rope to "tail in" bowl. Do not allow bowl to swing in against foundation or any part of the derrick. If bowl assembly is very long and slender, do not remove from crate until it is in a vertical position. Use thread compound on threads. Screw bowl to suction pipe. Lift assembly until clamp holding suction pipe is free of the foundation or baseplate. Remove suction clamp and lower assembly until it is supported on the foundation or baseplate by the clamp attached to the top of the bowl assembly. Rotate the impeller shaft again to make sure that no obstruction has fallen into the bowl, locking the impellers. It may be necessary to use light pressure on a pipe wrench to rotate the shaft in this position because the weight of the impellers and shafting are resting on the bowl shells. Remove the shaft coupling from the impeller shaft and clean the shaft threads and coupling, Use Turbine Oil from the oil can to lubricate the shaft threads and screw the coupling back on the shaft. Stuff a rag in the shaft coupling to make sure foreign particles do not fall down into the coupling during the hoisting operation for the first section of column, Clean the threads and face of the top main bowl bearing. Check to make sure the threads and the butt face of this bearing were not damaged during the bowl installation.

Discharge Column Assembly, Screw-Coupled

Tie a rope to the lower end of the column pipe using a timber or clove hitch, then take a half hitch around the tube, and a reverse double half hitch around the lineshaft at the threads. Attach pipe clamp near top of column pipe (below coupling) and raise the assembly into position over the bowl assembly. As the column sections are being raised from the ground, the lower ends must be kept from dragging in order to prevent the shafts from being bent and the threads from becoming damaged. A pair of clamps, a rope sling, or a small dolly may be used for this purpose. Do not guide the entire assembly by the lineshaft. Cleanliness is seventy-five percent of the success of a good installation.

Do not use thread compound on shaft joints. Screw the shaft faces together until they butt (all shafting threads are left hand). Center the shaft coupling so that an equal amount of exposed threads are observed above and below the coupling. Tighten the shaft coupling by the amount shown in Fig. 7. Use one pipe wrench on the shaft coupling and one wrench on the top shaft. Place one wrench directly above the other and as close together as possible (the top wrench should just clear the shaft threads). One man only should tighten the shafting so that the push on one wrench will be balanced by the pull on the other wrench. The shafting must be handled and assembled very carefully. Now clean up the exposed shafting and shaft coupling and remove any oil or dirt from the bowl main bearing. Check the face of the protective tubing to make sure no damage has occurred during the first column hoisting operation. Lower the column until the protective tubing touches the bearing. Start the protective tubing one or two threads, apply pipe joint compound to the bearings. Do not apply compound until the thread is started in order to keep the compound from getting into the bearing oil groove. Lower the column pipe an additional amount to make sure sufficient slack is obtained to make up the tubing. The protective tubing should screw up by hand or with very light wrench pressure, Never force a tubing joint with hard wrench pressure. If the tubing does not run down on the bearing by hand or with light pressure, either the bearing or the tubing thread is dirty or damaged. To force a connection will reduce the size of the bearing and cause it to freeze on the shaft during operation. Tighten the protective tubing according to the chart in Fig. 8. Make sure the pipe wrench is slightly above the end of the bearing so that there is no squeezing action on the bearing.

On all column sections above the bowls, use a back-up wrench on the lower protective tubing when tightening up the protective tubing. This ensures a tighter joint by stopping any springing action of the tubing, as well as eliminating the possibility of loosening a column pipe connection below the section being installed.

Reclean the bottom threaded end of the column pipe and check threads and face for any damage. Reclean the column connection in the bowl, making sure that dirt or other foreign matter has not fallen on the butt shoulder. Dope the threads with pipe lubricant and lower the pipe into the connection. Let off enough cable slack to allow the pipe to screw into the bowl (pipe threads are right hand). The pipe should spin down to within 2 to 4 threads of butting by hand or with a spin rope. While spinning in the column pipe, watch the top or coupling end. This end should run true. Any eccentricity or "runout" of the column pipe at the coupling will indicate that the pipe is bent. If the pipe is bent, the freight company and factory should be notified. Do not continue with the installation of this section of column. Tighten up the column pipe using chain tongs. Use a backup chain tong locked against the derrick, if possible, on the bowl or other column sections. After the column has butted by hand tightening with chain tongs, "set" the joint by hitting the chain tong handle several times with a sledge hammer used as a ram. Keep the chain tong on the column pipe as close to the coupling joint as possible and convenient. Spacing the tong far apart loses leverage. The first joint is now complete. Check to make sure load hook, cable sling and elevators are still properly connected. Lift up the assembly and remove clamps from the bowl. Lower entire assembly until it is supported on the foundation or base plate by top clamp or elevator.

Perform the following three checks on this section of column before proceeding with the installation:

(1) Check the protective tubing extending up through the column pipe. This protective tubing should be centered with no obvious side pressures evident. If the protective tubing is tight against one side of the pipe, either the protective tubing or column pipe is bent, or the faces of the tubing or column pipe are not seated correctly.

(2) With the shaft box still in place, rotate the shaft counterclockwise with a wrench to make sure no obstruction has fallen into the pump bowl locking it. (If, during the installation, anything is dropped down the column pipe, installation must be stopped, the pump pulled, and the obstruction removed.)

(3) Clean off the shaft and shaft box and then unscrew the shaft box. Lift the shaft box free of the protective tubing and then replace. If the shaft box does not center in the protective tubing but requires pressure against the shaft to force the shaft box into the center of the protective tubing, the first shaft or the bowl shaft is bent or the shaft coupling joint has not seated correctly due to dirt or other foreign matter. If the shaft pulls to one side, mark that side, reinstall the shaft box and rotate the shaft 180 degrees. Remove the shaft box and see if the shaft pulls to the opposite side. If it does, the trouble is in the shafting. If the shaft still pulls to the mark, the trouble is in the tubing or column pipe, or both.

If any of these checks show trouble, do not proceed with the installation. Straighten the shafting or replace the damaged parts. If trouble persists, contact the factory for assistance in checking and correcting the trouble.

After these checks, remove the shaft box and pour in the quantity of Turbine Oil recommended for the particular size of shaft and tubing assembly. Proceed to install the next section the same as the first section. 

Continue installation for all of the standard column pieces.


Figure 7

"A" Diameter
of Shafting
7/8" 1" 1 3/16" 1 1/2" 1 11/16" 1 15/16" 2 3/16" 2 7/16"
"B" Distance
Grip from Shaft
6" 8" 11" 15" 19" 24" 30" 36"

Locate one wrench directly over the other wrench. One man only should tighten shafting with equal pressure applied to each wrench. This procedure will eliminate bending loads that might bend or kink the shafting.

If wrench marks are filed off of oil-lubricated shafting, wrap a rag around the shaft at the bearing to keep filings out of the bearing.

Shafting in product-lubricated pumps that will be handling corrosive materials should be tightened with special wrenches that do not leave wrench marks.


Figure 8

"A" Diameter
of Shafting
7/8" 1" 1 3/16" 1 1/2" 1 11/16" 1 15/16" 2 3/16" 2 7/16"
"B" Distance
Grip from Shaft
6" 8" 11" 15" 19" 24" 30" 36"

Locate one wrench directly over the other wrench. One man only should apply equal tightening pressure to each wrench. This procedure will eliminate bending loads that might bend or kink the protective tubing. Wrenches should be located above and below bearing ends.

Caution: Do not use excessive pressure due to the danger of bell-like distortion at the joint allowing leakage and misalignment.

Tubing threads should run up by hand or with light wrench pressure. Do not force. If tight, reclean bearing and tubing heads and check for thread damage. A forced joint will squeeze the bearing which will result in the freezing or gaulding of the bearing to the shaft.

Top Special Column

An adjustable top column flange is used with the adjustable tubing tension nut assembly. All tubing joints butt, and the distance from the bowl main bearing to the stuffing box is fixed and cannot be varied. The adjustable flange on the top column takes care of any variation between the column pipe length and the protective tubing length. All column pipe joints butt, and the distance from the bowl connection to the discharge head is fixed and adjustment is made in the adjustable tubing nut assembly. If the pump is equipped with the adjustable flange top column, unscrew the flange and packing ring. Clean out all of the non-oxide material from the pipe threads, flange and packing ring. Coat threads with thread compound and replace flange and packing ring.

The top special protective tubing and shafting are shipped separately and not assembled because they are not the same length. The shafting is shipped in a box. Remove the shafting from the box and clean off the non-oxide material. All shafting packed in boxes should be checked for straightness before assembly. A shaft can be sprung in a box by rough handling without apparent damage done to the box. Also check the driver shaft for straightness, along with the top special shaft. It will be used next.

Support the shaft in two "V" blocks or shaft rollers and check as per instructions in Fig. 9. If "V" blocks or rollers are not available. a suitable substitute may be made by cutting a 60 to 90 degree "V" notch in a 2 x 4 crating piece. With the use of the dial indicator, the shaft should run true within .003 to .005. Any reading greater than this can be reduced to the limit by applying pressure to the high side.

The last shaft coupling is above the stuffing box or tension nut assembly, and the drive shaft will be installed after the head or motor stand and driver is installed. Great care should be exercised in assembling and handling the assembly of the top special and driver shaft. Install the shaft in the protective tubing and the shafting and tubing assembly in the column pipe with the motor drive shaft up. Remove the shaft coupling from the last joint of the column installed and screw it on the bottom end of the top special shaft to protect the face and threads during hoisting.

Discharge Head or Motor Stand

Screw the packing ring and top column flange down on the top column, adjusting until the top nipple of the pipe is flush or a fraction above the flange for the discharge head (pipe will be approximately ½" above top flange face). This is the lowest position that the adjusting flange will go without interference between the end of the top column pipe and the discharge head, and will allow maximum upward flange adjustment. Make sure the flange face is clean, free from burrs and paint. Pour in the required amount of Turbine Oil and stuff a rag in the protective tube so that no dirt or foreign matter will fall into the protective tube during the next hoisting operation. Remove the discharge head or motor stand from the skids. Remove the nuts from the studs in the bottom of the discharge head or motor stand and clean up this face. Also, clean up the stuffing box surface, as well as the top motor ring, at this time to keep cleaning fluid and cleansed dirt from entering the pump after the head has been installed. Make sure the blind holes for the stuffing box cap screws are clean and free from paint, dirt or grease so that the cap screws will tighten down on the stuffing box before they bottom in the holes. Raise the discharge head with a four-line cable sling or chain through the two large doors in the head. Some discharge heads are equipped with lifting knobs on each side. These should be used, if available. Make sure that the sling is long enough to clear the load hook from the top of the shaft. In the case where the shaft breaks below the stuffing box, the shaft will extend above the top ring of the head by the amount equal to the height of the driver. Raise the discharge head and lower it into position just above the flange. Screw the nuts up tight and evenly all around. Use a thread lubricant on these nuts and studs. A torque wrench is useful for tightening these nuts. This flange must be tight enough to support the weight of the pump and to withstand all above-ground pressures against which the pump must operate. The head and flange should now be free to rotate as an assembly.


Figure 9


1. Start with the "V" blocks as close to the threads as possible. Check two or more places between the "V" blocks. Straighten to within .003" - .005" runout.

2. Move the "V" blocks to position shown. Check the center of the shaft and the overhanging ends. Straighten to the same runout as in step one.

3. If bending was done in step two, return blocks to original position and re-check step one.

4. Repeat steps until shaft checks within tolerance in both positions without requiring any straightening.

Clean up the stuffing box. Make sure all paint is removed from the tubing butt face and the flanged face. Apply thread compound to the bearing. Remove the rag from the top tubing; at the same time check the face of this tube and make sure no damage has occurred during the head installation. Lower the stuffing box over the shaft. Make sure that the shaft is in the center of the tubing and that side pressures are not necessary to seat the stuffing box and bolt down. Screw in the tension bearing until it butts against the stuffing box. Excess pressure indicates a bent top column pipe or protective tubing or incorrect butt joints of either in the next joint down. (Check Fig. 12 for proper tension.) While applying tension, watch the oil hole fitting in the tension bearing and stop the adjustment with a hole pointed at one of the large openings in the head and make sure that the cap screw holes are aligned. Bolt the tension bearing down securely with the cap screw.

On motor stands with underground discharge connections, it will be necessary to align the motor stand with the underground discharge. In some cases where settings are short and the tubing is large, it may be necessary to remove the stuffing box and motor stand and shift the motor stand with respect to the flange before the motor stand will square up with the underground discharge. Be sure that all faces are re-cleaned and re-coated with pipe compound.

Clean the bottom face and V-groove of the top column flange and the same area of the top face of the packing ring. Remove all of the oil and thread lubricant from this area, as well as from the threads on the pipe. Unwind the ball of packing and twist into a stranded rope. Coat the top column flange "V", face and pipe area well with pipe compound. Wrap the packing into the "V". Wrap the packing in the clockwise direction, looking up at the bottom of the head, so that the packing ring will tighten it and not ball it up. Screw the packing ring up against the flange and tighten with chain tongs. This joint must be packed well and seated tightly to keep it from leaking.

If at any future time it is necessary to pull the pump for repair or to add column extension, it will be necessary to readjust the top column flange and tension.

Clean and check the mating surfaces of the discharge head or motor stand and the base plate. Install the cable sling through the openings in the discharge head or on the lifting lugs and raise the pump and remove the clamps from the top column. Lower the pump until the head clears the foundation or base plate by one-quarter inch or less. The discharge head should be centered in a straight and plumb well. Any tendency for the column or head to move to one side of the well indicates that the well is out of plumb, or crooked. (Pressure should never be exerted to clear couplings, flanges or the head to allow these items to descend into the well.) With the head or motor stand suspended just clear of the foundation or base plate, slip one wedge under each corner of the base plate or head or until contact is made evenly on all four corners. Bolt the head or motor stand to the base plate. Lower full weight of the pump on the wedges.

If the drive shaft breaks above the stuffing box, clean it and install it on the top special shaft. Clamp the dial indicator to the drive shaft so that it traces a circle on the top ring of the head or motor stand just inside or outside the driver bolt circle (see Fig. 10). Using a wrench on the shaft coupling or shaft just above the stuffing box, rotate the shaft a full circle, taking readings at each corner of the head or motor stand (at each wedge). Drive wedges in on the lower corners and knock out wedges on the high corners until the head is aligned within .005 inches. Never align a discharge head with a level. Very few wells are perfectly plumb, and to level the head would put the pump in a bind. When the head is indicated within the tolerances given, the pump bowls and column are free of the side of the well or are resting against the side of the well with the least pressure possible. If the head will not indicate within the tolerances and driving in wedges on the low side also picks up the high side, the well is crooked and has the pump in a bind so it will not swing free. Such a condition will cause undue vibration and wear.


Figure 10

After the head has been aligned, remove the drive shaft if the shaft breaks above the stuffing box. Do not attempt to install the driver over the short drive shaft because of the danger of springing it. This is one of the advantages of this type of construction. The driver may be installed or removed without danger of springing the drive shaft or top special shaft. Leave the shaft coupling on the top special shaft and stuff a rag in the open end of the coupling.

Hollow Shaft Driver

Remove the cover or bonnet from the driver. Remove the clutch or coupling using extreme caution. If the driver is equipped with non-reverse ratchet assembly, make sure that the back stop balls or pins do not drop into the driver or well. It may become necessary to dismantle a vertical hollow shaft motor to retrieve a back stop ball or pin. Using a cable sling or chain, hoist the driver and clean the bottom mounting surface making sure to remove paint, burrs, or other foreign matter that would misalign the driver. If the drive shaft breaks below the stuffing box or tension nut assembly, extreme caution must be exercised in lowering the driver down over this shaft. Any deformation of this shaft whatsoever may spring the shaft and give trouble in operation. If the drive shaft breaks above the stuffing box or tension nut assembly, install the driver before the shaft is installed. Install the four driver cap screws loosely. The drive shaft may now be lowered through the driver. Do not remove the rag from the shaft coupling until the end of the drive shaft clears the bottom of the driver. Then remove the rag and clean the face of the drive shaft and the threads with the rag. Screw the shaft into the coupling and tighten. The driver may be shifted slightly to center it so that the drive shaft is in the exact center of the driver quill. Tighten down the cap screws. If a one-gallon oiler is furnished, the bracket foot will slip under a washer on one of the driver cap screws. Using a wrench on the shaft coupling or the shaft just above the stuffing box, rotate the shaft a full revolution and observe whether or not the shaft remains in the center of the driver quill. If the shaft does not remain in the center, the shaft is bent or dirt or other foreign matter is between the butt faces of the shaft. This should be corrected before continuing installation.

If the driver is a vertical hollow shaft motor, the direction of rotation should be determined before proceeding further. Make sure the motor has the proper lubrication. Grease-lubricated bearings are pre-greased but should be checked. If grease must be added, be sure to remove relief plugs to keep from damaging the grease seals. The oil reservoirs for oil-lubricated bearings should be filled. Lubrication instructions are furnished with the driver or are on a plate on the driver. Wire up the motor and engage the starter momentarily to obtain rotation. Motor should rotate counterclockwise looking down on it. Three phase motors may be reversed in direction of rotation by switching any two of the three leads. Consult instructions furnished with single phase or two phase motors for changing direction of rotation. For right angle gear drives, check rotation of the engine power takeoff. For standard gear drives, the engine should rotate counterclockwise looking at the power takeoff shaft. Special rotation right angle gear drive may be obtained for power takeoff shaft. Special rotation right angle gear drive may be obtained for power.takeoff shafts or engines that rotate in a clockwise direction. With quarter turn V belt or flat belt drive and belt head assembly, either rotation engine or driver may be used with proper placement of the engine. Clean the clutch face and the mating area well, making sure that there are no burrs or foreign matter present. Slip the clutch down over the shaft. The clutch should be a snug fit but not a drive fit on the shaft. Check for eccentricity of the clutch bore by rotating the driver by hand before the key is Installed and watch for any movement of the drive shaft during rotation. Perceptible movement of the drive shaft Indicates that 'the clutch is bored eccentric or that the clutch is not properly mounted. This must be corrected before work proceeds. Install a gib head key in the clutch. It may be necessary to file the key slightly for a proper fit. This should be a snug fit but not a drive fit. Make sure that the gib of the key does not extend above the top surface of the clutch.

Screw the adjusting nut on the head shaft (left hand thread for all adjusting nuts except the ¾" nut which is right hand thread) until it seats on the clutch, and continue tightening the nut (lifting the shaft) until the impellers are free from the bowl shells. Check to make sure that the rotating assembly will rotate free by hand (in very deep settings with large shafting or with drivers equipped with Kingsbury thrust bearings, it may be necessary to use wrench pressure to rotate the assembly). Continue raising the shafting until the impellers are locked against the top of the bowl shell. The shaft will no longer turn freely.-The total lateral movement should equal the lateral measured and recorded when the bowl assembly was checked and examined before installation. Nothing in the design or the construction of the pump will reduce this lateral. If the lateral adjustment checks out less than the measured lateral, check the drive shaft to make sure that the adjusting nut has not run out of threads on the drive shaft and that the keyway is long enough. Also check the shaft coupling or water slinger (on product-lubricated pumps) to make sure that neither one is being pulled up against the bottom of the driver. Back off the adjusting nut until the impellers are free from the top of the bowl shells and the shaft again turns freely. Lock the nut to the clutch with the Filister head screws or key the nut to the shaft with a gib key. Connect up the oiler. Allow about ½ pint of oil to run through the oiler and then set the dripper so that the oil drops at the rate of one drop of oil per minute for 10' of column length, but never less than 5 drops per minute. Start the pump and allow it to operate for a short period of time and check for vibration or any other trouble. Do not stop the pump if it is pumping sand, but otherwise operating normally. Wait until the well has cleared up. Check the impeller adjustment to see if any of the shafting has tightened, thus shortening the shaft causing the impellers to drag against the top of the bowl shells.

Under normal conditions, the foregoing impeller adjustment is sufficient. The high position of the impellers with respect to the bowl shells allows for maximum stretch of the shaft and minimum danger of dragging the impellers on the bottom of the bowl shells, thus wearing out the bowl assembly. If the pump is driven by a vertical hollow shaft electric motor and maximum efficiency is desired, a slight increase in efficiency will be obtained on settings of 200' or less with additional adjustments.

A valve and pressure gauge should be installed on the pump discharge. A well usually takes a relatively long period of time to reach the pumping level under which it normally operates, and unless a valve is used to artificially add in this anticipated drop in water level along with all above ground head, the impellers could be set too low, and then, when the well obtained the full drawdown, the additional shaft stretch would allow the impeller to drag on the bottom of the bowls. Start the pump and close the valve until the pressure gauge gives a reading equal to the above ground head, if any. Measure the pumping level and add to the above ground head, by closing the valve, the difference between the present pumping level and the normal or anticipated pumping level. (One pound of pressure equals 2.31' of head.) Measure the quantity of water pumped and the current drawn by the motor. Stop the pump and lower the impellers by backing off of the adjusting nut ¼" turn. Restart the pump, readjust the valve, if necessary, and measure the water and current. A slight drop in current may be noted. Continue the adjustment until a minimum amount of current with maximum water flow is obtained. If the pump is pumping into a pressure system where there is danger of a check valve sticking shut or the accidental closing of a gate valve forcing full shutoff head on the pump, the valve on the discharge should be gradually closed observing the current drawn by the motor. The current should remain the same or decrease as the valve is closed. Any sharp increase in current during the closing of the valve indicates that the additional pressure on the pump has caused the impellers to drag on the bowl shells. The pump should be stopped and the impellers raised until this condition stops. If the pump has very low or no above ground head with no danger of accidental operation against shutoff head, the valve should be closed to simulate the maximum lift in the well. The valve should be gradually closed until the pressure gauge reading, plus the pumping level, equals the total depth of column setting plus the pump bowls and suction pipe (not over 20' suction lift if more than 20' of suction pipe is used). At no time during the closing of the valve to obtain these conditions should the current rise. If the current does rise, it indicates that the impellers are dragging and unless raised, damage will occur if maximum pumping lift is ever encountered. In closing a valve on the discharge of any pump, the maximum pressure obtainable should not exceed the safe working pressure of the discharge head or motor stand and underground outlet.

Grout the head or base plate in position with a neat cement grout. Make sure the wedges are not disturbed during grouting. If the pump is to be connected to a main, a Dresser coupling should be used. The Dresser coupling will prevent throwing any strain on the pump if alignment is other than perfect between the main and the pump head.

Installation - Product-Lubricated, Open Line Shaft Pumps

In general, the installation of product-lubricated pumps is similar to the installation of oil-lubricated pumps. The line shaft in product-lubricated pumps operates open in the discharge column pipe and the bearings are lubricated by the fluid being pumped. The protective tubing mentioned in the oil-lubricated installation is not used, and all references to this part in the instructions do not apply to product-lubricated pumps.

Base Plate

Same as oil-lubricated.

Suction and Strainer

Same as oil-lubricated.

Pump Bowl

Same as oil-lubricated.

Discharge Column Assembly, Screw-Coupled

All product-lubricated pumps are furnished with a 5' top column and a 5' bottom column. The top column pipe may be easily identified by the flange. If the entire pump is made of 5' lengths of column (high speed) or is set on a 5' increment (165', the bottom column may be selected from the other 5' sections by its length. The bottom section of product-lubricated column measures 4' 11¼" from butt joint in the coupling to the end of the pipe. All other standard 5' column sections furnished with the pump measure exactly 4' 11¼". The bottom shaft and all other 5' sections of shafting measure 5' 0".

Inasmuch as all product-lubricated shafting is shipped boxed, each piece should be checked for straightness as the pump is installed. Shafting shipped in boxes may become damaged or spring during shipment without apparent damage to the box. The shafting should be checked according to previous instructions and Fig. 9. Each piece of shafting should be carefully cleansed of the non-oxide grease because this grease or any other petroleum product will damage the rubber bearings. All shafting with the exception of the top shaft are fitted with rustless sleeves to run in these rubber bearings. Care should be exercised in the handling of the shafting so that these sleeves are not scored or scratched. These sleeves are lock tite, glued onto the shaft so that the center of the sleeve is 12" from the top end of the shaft.

Insert the bottom shaft in the bottom column pipe with the sleeve at the top. Allow approximately 10" to extend below the pipe. Using the "tail in" rope, tie a timber hitch on the pipe and two half hitch knots on the shaft. Tension should be applied to the free end of the rope to keep the half hitch knots tight and to prevent the shaft from dragging or swinging into the rigging or pump. Raise the column and screw the shaft into the bowl coupling as previously described.

Care must be exercised to keep from springing the shaft or marring the shaft face and threads. Tighten and set the column pipe as outlined under oil-lubricated pumps. Lower the assembly until it rests on the clamp or elevator under the coupling. Rotate the shaft to the left, counterclockwise, making sure that the bowls are not locked. The shaft sleeve is a loose fit in the rubber bearing. Move the shaft around slightly and observe whether or not undue side pressure is present forcing the shaft and sleeve against one side of the bearing. If side pressure is present, note the direction and rotate the shaft 180º. If the pressure follows the shaft and is against the opposite side of the bearing, the shaft or the bowl shaft is sprung, or the shaft joint below is dirty or improperly made up. If the side pressure remains in the same place, the column pipe is bent or the pipe joint below is improperly made up. The trouble must be corrected before installation is continued.

Continue installing the balance of the standard sections of column. A bronze spider containing the rubber bearing is furnished for the top section of each column with the exception of the top column. Clean up and check the bottom 5' shaft for straightness. Insert the shaft in the bottom 5' section of column with a rustless sleeve at the top end (the end upon which the lifting clamp is to be attached). Install the bolts and attach the clamp according to the instructions under oil-lubricated flanged column. Tie the shaft to the column pipe with the timber and half hitch knots. Raise the column pipe and shaft and attach to the bowl assembly as previously outlined. Do not allow the shaft to drag when raising the assembly. Lower the assembly into the well. Install one of the bronze spiders in the collar. Observe whether or not any side pressures are necessary to center the shaft when installing this spider. If so, the shaft or the shaft joint, the column pipe, or the column pipe joint is at fault and must be corrected before installation is continued. Check for free rotation of the assembly. Continue with the installation of the remaining standard sections.

Top Column

Product-lubricated pumps with more than 200' of column or with an underground discharge and motor stand are furnished with the adjusting flange and packing ring construction on the top column section. This allows for minor adjustment in the line shaft and column pipe lengths for deep settings as well as providing a means for proper alignment of the motor stand with the underground outlet. The top column pipe is equipped with a butt joint flange for product-lubricated pump with 200' settings or less with above ground outlets. Product-lubricated pumps are furnished with the final shaft connection either above or below the stuffing box. If two pieces of shafting remain, the final shaft connection is above the stuffing box. Neither shaft has a rustless steel sleeve. The shaft with the long running thread and keyway is the drive shaft. Insert the other piece of shaft in the top column pipe and install the top column. If only one shaft remains, the last shaft connection is below the stuffing box. Insert this shaft in the top column pipe with the long thread and keyway up. Make certain that the cable sling is long enough for the load hook to clear the top end of the shaft. The shaft will extend above the top flange of the column pipe, a distance equal to the height of the head and the driver. Great care must be exercised in the handling of this long shaft due to the ease in springing it. The short top column affords no protection for the top portion of the shaft. Make the last column connection and set the assembly down on the top clamp. 

Discharge Head or Motor Stand

Clean up the discharge head or motor stand and bolt to the top column flange as outlined under oil-lubricated head.

For pumps with the adjusting top column flange and packing ring, the head must be adjusted so that the length of the drive shaft equals the driver plus the adjusting nut, plus ¼" to ½" extra length. Remove the bonnet or cover from the top of the driver and measure the distance down through the hollow shaft quill. This distance should be measured from the bottom of the driver ring which mounts on the head up to and including the clutch. Add to this measurement the height of the adjusting nut, plus ¼". If the drive shaft breaks below the stuffing box, raise or lower the discharge head or motor stand until this length of shaft extends above the top ring of the discharge head or motor stand. If the drive shaft breaks above the stuffing box, measure the drive shaft and subtract this measurement from the length of the drive shaft. This will give the distance that the top shaft face should be below the top ring of the discharge head or motor stand. Raise or lower the head until this distance is obtained. If the pump has an underground discharge and motor stand, it may be necessary to go a part of an additional round up or down to align motor stand with the underground outlet. Clean up the adjusting flange and packing ring, pack with lampwick packing and tighten according to the instructions under oil-lubricated discharge head. The packing ring also acts as a lock ring for the top column adjusting flange and must be locked tight to keep the pipe from rotating in this flange.

Remove the packing gland, lantern ring and 5 separator rings from the stuffing box. Clean up the flange face, coat with oil, and slip the stuffing box assembly down over the drive shaft or top special shaft. Check to make sure slide pressure is not necessary to center the drive shaft or top shaft to allow the stuffing box to seat in the discharge head or motor stand. Such pressure indicates a bent shaft or column pipe or incorrect connection below this operation. Bolt into position making sure that the prelubrication fitting, grease fitting hole and the relief drain hole line up with any existing piping arranged for these items. Stuff a rag into the packing area to keep out dirt during the remainder of the installation. Packing is not installed until after the discharge or motor stand has been aligned.

The packing has a tendency to center the shaft and thus cut down the accuracy of the aligning operation. Using a cable sling through the discharge head or on the lifting knob, lower the pump onto the foundation, align the pump as outlined under oil-lubricated pumps.

It will be necessary to remove the short drive shaft If the shaft breaks above the stuffing box as well as the top shaft coupling in order to install the packing. For pumps with 7/8" line shaft, cut 6 rings of packing from the supply of ¼" square cut graphite packing furnished. Pre-cut 3/8" packing is furnished with pumps having 1" and larger line shaft. Twelve rings of packing are furnished with 6 rings used in the initial installation and 6 rings retained as replacement packing. Install a ring of packing and a separator ring alternately. Tamp each ring down carefully. Install the lantern ring on the top ring of packing and snug the packing gland down with a slight pressure on the packing. Upon starting, the packing gland should be tightened in small increments, allowing a slight flow from the drain. It is important to break the packing in slowly and may take several days.

Set screw the water slinger to the drive shaft or onto the shaft coupling. Leave room for a wrench to be applied to the shaft coupling. Make sure that the water slinger is not too close to the bottom of the driver or it will interfere with lateral adjustment.

Install the grease pipe and grease fitting, or grease cup, in the stuffing box connection. Fill the No. 7585 Alemite grease gun. Note on the gun that It requires nine strokes for 1/8 ounce and 36 strokes for ½ ounce of grease. For the original installation, apply grease as follows:   

Line Shaft Size Amount of Grease No. of Strokes
7/8", 1" and 1 3/16" 1¼ oz. 90
1 1/2" and 1 11/16" 1½ oz. 108
1 15/16", 2 3/16", and 2 7/16" 1¾ oz. 126

During normal operation, apply grease at the rate of two strokes every 24 hours of operation. If a grease cup is furnished, the cup is sized for line shaft. For the original installation, fill the grease cup once and discharge into the stuffing box. During normal operation, apply grease at the rate of one turn every 24 hours of operation. Any good waterproof grease such as Shell "Retinex P", or equal, is recommended. A moderate leakage of water through the packing must be allowed to lubricate and cool the packing. This leakage should not be returned to the well because of the danger of contaminating the well with microorganisms which can plug up and ruin the well.

Prelubrication is required for all product-lubricated pumps before starting. Starting a product-lubricated pump without prelubricating the shafting will result in serious damage. In general, it requires five seconds of water flow to prelubricate every 10' of vertical shaft above the static water level. Pumps with open discharge with no separate supply of prelubrication water available must be equipped with a prelubrication tank. In general, the required size of prelubrication tanks are as follows:

Shaft Size Depth to Static
Water Level
Size of Tank
7/8" - 1½" 100' 25 gallons
101' to 200' 50 gallons
201' to 500' 100 gallons
1 11/16" - 2 7/16" 100' 50 gallons
101' to 200' 100 gallons
201' to 500' 200 gallons

The prelubrication tank should be connected to the head through a valve on the same level with the fitting, so that the entire volume of water can flow into the pump by gravity. When starting initially, fill the tank with clear, clean water, open the valve and allow from 50 to 75 percent of the water to run into the pump, and start the pump allowing the balance of water to run into the pump during starting. Adjust the percentage by experience so that the tank is nearly empty when the water reaches the surface. Allow the prelubrication tank to refill from the pump and then close the valve. It may be necessary on some installations to install a butterfly valve in the discharge to create back pressure to fill the tank. Observe carefully the first few starts and notice if any smoke precedes the flow of water from the discharge. No matter how slight the amount of smoke, its presence indicates that one or more of the bearings is not receiving adequate prelubrication, and the prelubrication period or size of tank or both must be increased for proper operation. The pump and prelubrication tank may be set up for automatic operation through solenoid valve and time delay clock, provided the system is made sensitive to the water level in the prelubrication tank. A float switch in the prelubrication tank can be arranged to close the solenoid valve when the tank is refilled and also prevent the pump from starting if the water is not at the proper level in the tank. If the pump is operating against pressure or a separate source of water is available, a connection can be made to the prelubrication fitting so that a small amount of water will enter the discharge column at all times while the pump is idle and eliminate the prelubrication tank.

Hollow Shaft Driver

Same as oil-lubricated.

Short Coupled Pumps

Most short coupled pumps with one piece of column or the bowl assembly attached directly to the head will be shipped assembled, less driver, from the factory. The driver should be assembled according to the water and oil-lubricated instructions. Instructions for the installation of mechanical seals, flanged solid shaft motor couplings and other special features particular to the short coupled pump will be included with each pump. Short coupled pumps should be bolted to the foundation. For short coupled pumps utilizing underground discharge outlets, it is necessary to brace behind the outlet to keep the pressures exerted at the outlets from bending the column between the outlet and the motor stand. All other instructions applicable to the installation of American Turbine deep well pumps are applicable to American Turbine short coupled pumps.

Special Materials

American Turbine pumps can be obtained to fit any and all conditions. Special materials may be required to handle special fluids and such information and recommendations can be obtained from engineering. Special materials, such as all stainless steel or bronze pumps, special coated column, etc., will require special handling and instructions, and these instructions will be furnished with each pump.


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