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Eccentric reducers and straight runs of pipe at pump suction | Hydrocarbon Processing | September 2010

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Eccentric reducers and straight runs of pipe at pump suction


09.01 .201 0 | Bloch, H. P., Hy drocarbon Processing Staff,
Key words:
Questions relating to proper reducer application in centrifugal pump suction lines date back many decades.
Until his death (at age 84, in 1 995), world-renowned pump ex pert Igor Karassik frequently corresponded with
the writer and other pump users on pump-related subjects. We rarely pass up an opportunity to highlight
some of his ex perience-based comments.
Once, a pump user referred to Fig. 1 and noted that this was quite ty pical of illustrations found in many
tex tbooks. In essence, Fig. 1 indicates that, with a suction line entering the pump in the horizontal plane, the
eccentric reducer is placed with the flat at the top. Av ailable tex ts often giv e no indication as to whether the
pumpage came from abov e or below the pump.

Fig. 1. Illustration of eccentric reducer mounting from


Hy draulic Institute Standards.
Igor Karassik agreed that, if the supply source was from abov e the pump, the eccentric reducer should be
installed with the flat (horizontal) surface at the bottom. Entrained v apor bubbles could then migrate back
into the source instead of stay ing near the pump suction. If the pump suction piping entered after a long
horizontal run or from below the pump, the flat of the eccentric reducer should be at the top. 1
Still, in many older tex ts it has been assumed that the pumpage source originated at a lev el below the pump
suction nozzle. Karassik reminded us that older Hy draulic Institute Standards commented on the suction pipe
slope:
...Any high point in the suction pipe will become filled with air and thus prev ent proper operation of the
pump. A straight taper reducer should not be used in a horizontal suction line as an air pocket is formed in the
top of the reducer and the pipe. An eccentric reducer should be used instead.
This instruction applies regardless of where the pumpage originates. Depending on the particulars of an
installation, trapped v apors can reduce the effectiv e suction line cross-sectional area. Should that be the case,
flow v elocities would tend to be higher than anticipated. Higher friction losses would occur and pump
performance would be adv ersely affected.
In the case of a liquid source abov e the pump suction, and particularly where the suction line consists of an
eccentric reducer followed by an elbow turned v ertically upward and a v ertical pipe lengthall assembled in
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5/5/14

Eccentric reducers and straight runs of pipe at pump suction | Hydrocarbon Processing | September 2010

that sequence from the pump suction flange upstreamit will be mandatory for the eccentric reducer flat side
to be at the bottom. That said, Fig. 2 should clarify what reliability -focused users need to implement.

Fig. 2. Suggested modifications for eccentric reducer


mountings.
Also, whenev er v apors must be v ented against the flow direction, the line size upstream of any low point must
be gov erned by an important criterion. The line must be a diameter that will limit the pumpage v elocity to
v alues below those where bubbles will rise through the liquid.
In general, it can be stated that wherev er a low point ex ists in a suction line, the horizontal piping run at that
point should be kept as short as possible. In a proper installation, the reducer flange will thus be located at the
pump suction nozzle and there is usually no straight piping between reducer outlet and pump nozzle. Straight
pipe lengths are, howev er, connected to the eccentric reducer inlet flange. On most pumps, one usually gets
away with fiv e diameters of straight length nex t to the reducer. In the case of certain unspecified v elocities
and other interacting v ariables (e.g., v iscosity , NPSH margin, pump sty le, etc.), it might be wise to install as
many as 1 0 diameters of straight length nex t to the reducer inlet flange. The two different rules-of-thumb
ex plain seeming inconsistencies in the literature, where both the 5 and 1 0-D rules can be found. HP
LIT ERAT URE CIT ED
1 Karassik, Igor J., Centrifugal Pump Clinic, 2nd Ed., Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1 989.

T he author

Heinz P. Bloch is HPs Equipment/Reliability Editor. The author of 1 7 tex tbooks and ov er 47 0 papers or
articles, he adv ises process plants worldwide on reliability improv ement and maintenance cost reduction
opportunities. His coauthored Bloch/Budris tex t, Pump Users Handbook, is comprehensiv e and v ery widely
used. Find the 2nd edition under ISBN 0-881 7 3-51 7 -5. He can be contacted at
HB@Hy drocarbonProcessing.com.

pipingdesigners.com
03.25.201 4
Great article ... I hav e argued this point with engineers who INSIST that a reducer shall be placed flat side up,
regardless of the source of the pumpage.
Consider this article BOOKMARKED!
I know I'll be pulling it out for reference.
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5/5/14

Eccentric reducers and straight runs of pipe at pump suction | Hydrocarbon Processing | September 2010

Abdul
03.1 4.201 4
Can we use eccentric reducer instead of concentric reducer if we do what will be the effect; is there any
disadv antage?... Coz one of the fitter had used eccentric instead of concentric in PSV connection. Upper side
Big Dia Lower side Small Dia
Please suggest
01 .08.201 4
i want to know that the use of concentric and eccentric reducer.
Pradip Sinha
01 .08.201 4
we hav e 8 nos high pressure pump (capacity 1 56m3/hr,max .pressure 1 5kg/cm2) with a single suction
header.
So, ev ery month one of them pump shaft is being damaged.
I want solution.
Abid Bhatti
1 1 .06.201 3
Thanks for v ery help full article.
Moham ed m etawa
08.25.201 3
thanks a lot .
v arun
06.1 3.201 3
As to why the eccentric reducer should be mounted with flat bottom at bottom for pumpage Source abov e
pump suction is still v ery unclear to me..Kindly elaborate the same
akshay
01 .05.201 3
Dear,
what benefits of eccentric reducer with 1 ",2" pipe at suction of C F pump? also which ty pe of material serv ice &
parameter required in pump (V iscocity ,spe.grav ity ) are more suitable for eccentric reducer?
Mr.Piper007
08.30.201 2
is there any possibility that concentric reducers be used on horizontal line piping?
m ojtaba jav an
06.1 1 .201 2
tanks for this paper.
www.mojtabajav an.ir
CHARLES
02.09.201 2
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5/5/14

Eccentric reducers and straight runs of pipe at pump suction | Hydrocarbon Processing | September 2010

Thanx for y our info. Now i know.


Regards
Shankar
1 2.1 0.201 1
Why should prov ide the eccentric reducer in the pump suction and why not prov ide concentric
reducer????......if any special purpose of prov iding the eccentric????...... pls giv e suggestion.....
02.28.201 1
As to why the eccentric reducer should be mounted with flat bottom at bottom for pumpage Source abov e
pump suction is still v ery unclear to me..Kindly elaborate the same .
Rgds
Anirban
09.23.201 0
Dear Sir,
Please also include some guide line for
(1 ) straight length requirement for v arious ty pes of Pumps i.e. OH2 / BB1 / BB2 / Multistage Pumps and for
ty pe of Suction i.e. single / double suction
(2) If due to Lay out constrain can we go for 3D stratght length for suction
Waitng for y our reply
Thanks,
Kiran
09.21 .201 0
Thank God y ou clarified. There are innumerable references & books propagating the incorrect reducer
connection And there must be millions of incorrect installations. I as a project man (non Mech.) and going by
basic principals had argued with Pump specialists ov er this anomaly when a pump was misbehav ing but was
shown the tex t book.
09.20.201 0
I had the priv iledge to attend a pumping problems class led by Igor Karrasik. I still hav e the course notes and
hav e used them for ov er 30+ y ears.

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