Proper Bushings and Seal Technology Ensure VTP Reliability

Vertical turbine pumps (VTPs) are used in a wide range of industries, including pulp and paper as well as water and wastewater. And the shafts on these pumps extend deep under the ground — in some cases 2,000 feet.  Because of the often harsh and remote conditions in which these pumps operate, their reliability is paramount.

However, in order for VTPs to be reliable, the bushings and seal technology installed in them must survive for long periods.

A recent article in Pumps & Systems magazine examines the operating and maintenance challenges of VTPs and how users can solve them with a combination of technology for prolonged pump life.

vertical turbine pump mechanical seals
These seals are both for vertical turbine pumps. A mechanical seal for VTPs must be customized for each application’s parameters. Left seal, viewed from the front; right seal, viewed from the back.

What Does VTP Reliability Look Like?

Proper VTP operation and mechanical seal life rely on several factors, including:

  • Selecting the correct mechanical seal
  • Ensuring that these long shafts are supported and any movement is limited
  • Keeping the seal cool and clean

“The removal and reinstallation expenses for VTPs can be significant for long-set pumps that must be disassembled and reassembled on-site. Proper repair engineering, techniques and attention to dimensional integrity pay dividends in extended operational life for the machine.”

Some of the maintenance challenges associated with VTP reliability and shafts include addressing the requirement of withstanding the short-lived and harsh conditions that come with the operations of this equipment. This includes often starting up in dry-run conditions. Dry running causes VTPs to overheat and damage traditional bushings and seals. Another issue is shaft deflection, which causes premature packing or mechanical seal wear, results in flush water leakage, and can lead to difficulty in controlling the flush water usage.

These concerns can be mitigated with shaft stabilization and by selecting the ideal seal technology that can withstand deflection will improve stuffing box/seal chamber reliability.

In short, selecting the proper bushings and mechanical seals help extend the pump’s life and prevent costly repairs.

Check out the full article on to learn more about sealing reliability for VTPs and their shafts.


About the Author
Anna Claire Howard is a contributing writer, editor, and content marketing specialist for Sealing Equipment Products Co. Inc. (SEPCO) and has been since Spring 2019. Before those two big life changes, she was the content marketing specialist for Fluke Accelix; assistant editor for Grand View Outdoors, publisher of Bowhunting World, Predator Xtreme, Whitetail Journal, Tactical Retailer, and Shooting Sports Retailer; managing editor for Media Solutions, Inc., publisher of Gear Solutions, Wind Systems, and Thermal Processing magazines; assistant editor for MSI; and the editorial intern for B.A.S.S., LLC, publisher of Bassmaster Magazine and In these B2B/B2C roles, Anna Claire developed an appreciation for the industrial sector, as well as the operators and technicians who make up the workforce. You can find her on LinkedIn at