Even If It’s Blue, We’ll Still Have Parts For You!

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CounterPoint™, Volume 3, Issue 2, April 1996

One of our reps told us a story about how he was standing at a wholesaler’s counter one day when a contractor walked in. The contractor was carrying an old B&G Series 100 bearing assembly. Since the part was painted that distinctive blue, our guy knew right away that the pump had come from a Weil-McLain “packaged” boiler. Our friends at Weil-McLain paint just about everything on their boilers that special blue.

This contractor set the bearing assembly down on the crowded counter. “I need one of these,” he said to the counterman. The counterman picked up the part and slowly looked it over. Our rep silently recited the part number to himself. Eleven eighty-eight forty-four, he thought. That’s the most common bearing assembly of all. There are millions of them out there in the field.

But then the counterman set the bearing assembly down and sadly frowned at the contractor. “Sorry,” he said, “but we only have the red ones.”

The contractor shook his head in disgust, and said, “Nuts! Now I gotta go some place else.” He started to walk out, but they caught him in time. Lucky thing!

Don’t Be Clueless

The next day, a wholesaler friend called to tell us about a contractor who wanted to buy a replacement B&G pump.

“I don’t know,” the contractor answered.

“Well, what can you tell me about it?” the wholesaler asked, trying to pry out a clue that would help him solve the mystery.

“It’s red,” the contractor said.

“Hey, that’s a start!” the wholesaler said, encouragingly. “Can you tell me anything else about the pump?”

“Yeah,” the contractor said, “it’s broke.”

We know that life in the field can be difficult at times, and that information is often hard to come by. We also know that there are powerful forces out there that cause identification tags to vanish in the night. It’s not easy being a contractor, especially when you have to replace and old pump or an old part.

You may not always find enough information, but if you pick up on the right clues, your wholsaler and your B&G rep can almost always figure out what you need.

Here are the questions they’ll ask you.

Is there a nameplate?

This, of course, would make life so simple! Look on that baseplate or the bearing assembly for an ID tag, and write down all the numbers you can find.

Is the pump base-mounted or inline?

So there’s no nameplate. Don’t worry because centrifugal force pumps will always wind up in one of two basic families. Some sit on the floor; others hang in the pipes. Which is it in your case? This is a great place to start, because the answer will narrow the field by half.

What is the motor’s horsepower and voltage?

We often punch this information right into the motor. That makes it harder for those forces in the night to remove, so if you can get it for us, it’ll help.

Does the pump have a coupler between the bearing assembly and the motor?

Here again we wind up with two families of pumps. Yours has to be in one or the other. Some pumps have couplers; some don’t. It’s an easy question, and it gets us even closer to that final answer.

Does the coupler have springs?

The larger pumps use couplers without springs. The smaller (usually fractional-horsepower) pumps are the ones that have the spring couplers. We can tell a lot by that coupler, so check it out.

Which way does the motor spin?

Imagine you’re sitting on the motor, and holding onto the pipe with both hands. Look down. Does the motor spin clockwise or counterclockwise? By knowing this, we can tell whether you have a booster or a centrifugal pump, and that helps us a lot.

Is the pump oil or grease lubricated?

Again, this information narrows the field. And don’t think that just because the pump sits on the floor, it has to be grease-lubricated. We once made a line of base-mounted pumps we called the “Universal.” They were big, and they sat on the floor, but they also had oil-lubricated, sleeve bearings. We sold many of these to schools and libraries across the U.S.

Can you read any casting numbers?

These numbers go on the foundry. They may not make sense to you, but they can help us identify what you’re dealing with. And they’re very tough to remove!

What size is the inlet and outlet piping?

Look at the flanges, not the pipe running into and out of the pump. Give us the size of the flanges, and we’ll use this with the other information you’ve provided to really zero in on that pump.

What is the end-to-end dimension from the volute to the back of the motor? And what is the face-to-face dimension  between the flanges?

When all else fails, we look to this important information. By knowing the physical size of the pump, we can hunt it down by these two critical dimensions.

So, don’t worry! When it comes to pumps and parts, we’ll always be able to figure it out. All you have to do is take a few moments and gather the right clues for us.

And remember, if your bearing assembly is blue, or some other color than that beautiful B&G red, don’t give up! Lots of people paint B&G product colors other than our famous B&G red.