Difference Between Predictive and Preventative Pump Maintenance?

Author: Vern Frahm | October 15, 2014 | Category: Equipment Maintenance, Pumps, Troubleshooting

You can extend the overall life of your equipment and mean time between failures (MTBF) with a preventative maintenance program and/or predictive maintenance services. Taking these steps will drastically reduce the number of costly repairs by monitoring the health of your equipment to prevent failures before they happen.

Many operators rely heavily on “reactive” maintenance rather than preventing and planning for future repairs. As we discussed in our eBook, 36 Ways to Kill Your Pump, “reactive” maintenance accounts for unnecessary equipment downtime, increased costs, and equipment instability. So, what's the difference between preventative maintenance and predictive maintenance?photo_1_(5)-052755-edited


Preventative maintenance is any variety of scheduled maintenance to a pump or other piece of equipment. Generally, it includes scheduled routine maintenance, such as laser alignment, equipment calibration, greasing, oil change and analysis, and performance monitoring.

These programs are designed to keep your maintenance costs low by preventing costly failures before they happen. If you need a preventative maintenance checklist, you can download one here.

One of the biggest ways to prevent failures is to make sure your equipment is properly aligned and balanced. Misalignment and pump unbalance are the two most common reliability problems for rotating equipment.

Up to 50% of damage to rotating machinery is directly related to misalignment, which causes increased vibration, premature seal and bearing failure, and increased power consumption. An unbalanced pump causes similar issues, such as vibration, which can be easily avoided with the right preventative maintenance measures.


Predictive maintenance services are used to monitor the condition of equipment over time. Vibration analysis, for example, measures the vibration of the equipment while it is still in service, allowing the technician to see the change in vibrations over time to predict when a problem may occur, and why.

Predictive maintenance should be part of routine maintenance for pumps and rotating equipment that absolutely can NOT go down. It gives operators and maintenance managers a glimpse into the future life of the pump as it's running today, and allows them to plan for repairs and avoid unexpected downtime. 

Look to a preventative maintenance program and predictive maintenance measures to save on annual maintenance costs and unscheduled downtime. We recommend working with your local equipment supplier about scheduling a preventative maintenance program for your pumps, and/or predictive maintenance services to avoid pumping pitfalls.

Be proactive when it comes to pump repair and don't get caught with your pumps down!

Need more information about our preventative and predictive maintenance services? We are happy to help businesses in Wisconsin and upper Michigan. Got a noisy, underperforming pump? Consider our FREE Bad Actor Pump Assessment

Stay ahead of unplanned repairs with the preventative maintenance checklist

Vern Frahm

Vern Frahm

Vern was an integral part of the Service and Repair Group at Crane Engineering. With over 40 years logged at Crane, he was a sought after trainer for our customers. As of 2015, Vern has retired. :)

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