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The Bearing 411

Picture of a water pump. Bearings play a vital role in the functionality of pumps.

Industry Spotlight: Pumps

It is said that pumps are the second most-common type of machine of earth (behind electric motors, in case you were wondering). So it’s little surprise that we get a lot of questions about how to select bearings for pumps.

Mostly, people just want to know: 1)Why their bearings keep failing and 2) which bearings they should use for the type of pump they’re using.

The choice you make is important because choosing the right bearing can extend the life of your pump and allow it to run more effectively.


Why Do Bearings Fail in Pumps?

Unfortunately, pump bearing failure most frequently comes from a lack of diligence, not fatigue.

It’s not uncommon, for example, to see a bearing with a high contact angle used in radial-load applications. It’s also common to expose the bearing(s) to excessively high temperatures because external loads, shaft fits, and speed weren’t thoroughly considered before installation.

As with all bearings, lack of preventive maintenance reduces the life of the bearing: contamination, corrosion, lubrication error, and more are impact your bearings. You can learn more about preventive maintenance tips in our Common Causes of Bearing Failure blog series:

Which Bearing Should I Use?

Every application is unique and has its own unique set of considerations. However, you can use the following as a guide.

If you’re using:

Centrifugal Pumps – cylindrical roller bearings, single or double row angular contact ball bearings, deep groove ball bearings

Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Pumps – Deep groove ball bearings, angular contact ball bearings

Piston Pumps – Cylindrical roller bearings, tapered roller bearings, needle roller bearings

What If I Have a Difficult and/or Custom Application?

No problem. We have partnered with 18 manufacturers that can provide pump bearings for pretty much any application in industries like: Oil & Gas, Mining, Food Processing, Agricultural, HVAC, and many more.

And, if you can’t find what you need on our website, our Engineering team can help. Just give us a call at 770-385-6366 or contact us online today.