Why did my seal fail or experience short service time?

There are several equipment-related issues which can influence a seal’s operation. If the rotating equipment where the seal is to be installed is out of specification with the original equipment manufacturer’s dimensions, adjustments must be made to return the equipment to its prime operating conditions. A few areas to inspect include:

  1. Seal Chamber – Is there debris or product residue interfering with the proper operation of the seal? Are there sharp edges or burrs which may nick the gland gasket or O-ring? Is the chamber face machined to provide an effective sealing surface where the mechanical seal is installed? Do the seal chamber dimensions provide adequate space for clearance and operation of the installed seal?
  2. Equipment Shaft/Sleeve – Are there deep scratches, sharp edges, or burrs located on the surfaces where the secondary seals (O-rings, grafoils, etc.) will travel over or seal? Is the end of the shaft or sleeve chamfered to allow the seal to slide on without damage?
  3. Alignment – are the radial and axial movements of the equipment’s shaft within the equipment’s operating specifications? If deflection or runout (radial movement) or end-play (axial movement) exceed the manufacturer’s tolerance recommendations, the resulting stresses will negatively impact the installed seal’s performance.

Improper mechanical seal installation will also affect service time. Simple, overlooked situations such as using the incorrect lubricant during installation, a cut or nicked O-ring, over- or under-tightening gland bolts, or neglecting to remove the set clips or tighten the set screws before turning on the equipment can cause damage or failure. To guide you in the mechanical seal installation process, Flex-A-Seal’s detailed installation instructions can be found here.

What are Flex-A-Seal’s repair capabilities?

Flex-A-Seal has a multi-step process to evaluate and repair any seal that comes into our repair department. All seals are cleaned in accordance with the customer-supplied MSDS and are then carefully disassembled and examined for wear and damage. Our repair personnel then prepare an estimate for repair to like-new condition or replacement if the seal is deemed non-repairable. If requested by the customer, Flex-A-Seal engineers will also prepare a seal failure analysis; this analysis may include suggestions for equipment troubleshooting or a recommendation to change the current seal configuration based on the observed operating conditions.

Because Flex-A-Seal is first and foremost a mechanical seal manufacturer, we are fully equipped to handle the machining challenges a potential repair may present. Our engineering, repair, and production staff are all under one roof, working together to ensure every repair is completed to Flex-A-Seal standards within the quickest possible turnaround time.

Does Flex-A-Seal repair competitor seals?

Yes we do! Competitor seal repair has been the pillar of Flex-A-Seal’s repair program since 1983. Our engineering department has built an extensive library of designs for almost every seal manufacturer, past and present. In addition, we have spent years developing relationships with our manufacturing partners to get equivalent, if not superior, materials for our seal repairs. All repairs – whether a Flex-A-Seal or a competitor design – are serviced to the same standards. If it leaves the building in a Flex-A-Seal box, it has undergone all Flex-A-Seal production and quality controls.

Does Flex-A-Seal offer a seal exchange program?

We have worked with many of our customers to establish economical seal repair and exchange campaigns as facilities switch from their current mechanical seal supplier to Flex-A-Seal. Each program is different and tailored to the customer’s specific needs; our goal is to ensure any repair / exchange process is efficient and cost-effective.

Are Flex-A-Seal mechanical seals field repairable?

We provide repair kits for many of our seal styles. These kits are packaged with all components clearly marked and cross-referenced to the seal assembly drawing included in the box. All subassemblies in the repair kits have been pressure-tested at Flex-A-Seal and seal face flatness has been verified to design tolerances. Our kits also include compatible lubricant and basic seal installation tools.

If the seal requires service that can not be provided in the field, our two repair facilities are available to handle all the necessary details. Sending a seal in for repair frees up your maintenance crews to work on other important aspects of your production, as well as gives you the confidence the seal will be returned in like-new operating condition, backed by the Flex-A-Seal warranty.

Learn more about Flex-A-Seal’s Mechanical Seal Repair Program and how we can be your top resource for seal repair and replacement.