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Protect your pumps this winter

The wintry weather arrived with a vengeance over the weekend, as many people across the UK experienced snow, high winds and sub-zero temperatures. That’s why now’s the time to start protecting your electro-mechanical equipment to ensure it functions throughout the winter months.

Pumps can be especially vulnerable to freezing conditions, with two major threats – thermal shock and drainage problems.

Thermal shock

It’s not uncommon for a pump switched on from cold to suffer thermal shock. This occurs because the liquid being transferred may have a higher temperature than the components and casing of the pump. The result may be that elements such as the impeller, shell and suction liner crack.

Once the ambient temperature begins to fall, it’s important to protect against thermal shock by warming the pump up gradually with external heat. Users must be careful not to use a blowtorch or other open-flamed device due to fire risk. Safe alternatives such as portable heaters suffice.

Drainage problems

Once a pump is switched off, it’s normal for some fluid to remain in the bottom. If this liquid should freeze and expand then internal components and the casing may crack. Unfortunately, while freezing conditions remain, the ice won’t thaw and the problem won’t be apparent; only when the pump is re-activated does the user realise that there’s a problem.

During winter, pumps need to be immediately drained off via the drain valve once de-activated. The drain valve can be found at the pump’s lowest point, unless there is not one fitted in which case the user should have one installed.

Has a winter pump failure caused you inconvenience and lost production? If so, get in touch with the team at Gibbons. We repair pumps at our Tollesbury, Essex workshop, offering free collection and delivery within a 50-mile radius.

Or if you’re looking for a new pump, we’ll supply one from our extensive range (including submersible pumps, swimming pool pumps and sewage pumps), with next-day delivery as standard.

For all pump repair or order enquiries, call Matthew Gibbons on 07970 676272 or email

Pumps & Controls

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