What are the signs of pump cavitation?

What are the signs of pump cavitation.webp | energyhuntsvillesummit

Pump cavitation can partially or completely destroy a bomb unless the problem is detected and fixed early on. There are almost always warning signs before a cavitation becomes severe enough to cause irreparable damage.

There are several types of plants that use pumps, including oil refineries, water treatment plants, power plants, food processing plants, and chemicals.

Read on to learn the signs of pump cavitation and how you can spot it. as red flags of worsening pump cavitation. We first look at pressure drop as one of the first signs of pump cavitation.

pressure drop

Pressure drop is an important factor to consider in pipeline design and engineering. It is not inherently negative, but rather a necessary aspect to understand and calculate in order to optimize system performance. By accurately determining pressure drop, engineers can make informed decisions regarding pipe diameter, pump specifications, valve selection, and other variables to ensure efficient and effective system operation.


Cavitation is always a direct result of air/vapour bubble collapse, an event that always occurs at points where pressure drops within the pump. The intensity of the cavitation caused will depend on the severity of the pressure drop at that location. This may or may not be accompanied by temperature fluctuations as well.

Monitoring Pressure Gauge

Carefully monitoring the gauge for a few cycles should let you know that the pressure is dropping somewhere. Click here to learn how to correct pressure drop across pumps and prevent cavitations from getting worse. Acting early can prevent financial losses, property losses, injuries, accidents, and lost productivity.

Loss of performance

As explained, pressure loss is the direct cause and cavitation is its immediate effect. On the other hand, performance loss is both a direct effect of pressure drops and an indicator of cavitation. If any of your pumps are performing poorly, it could be a warning sign of worsening cavitations. Check for a pressure drop to verify your suspicions. If you find one, keep in mind that you can never ignore a drop in pressure because it will inevitably get worse.

higher power consumption

Pressure drops, also known as pressure fluctuations, force a pump to work at a higher capacity than usual because they need to compensate for the loss of performance caused by fluctuations. Eventually, even the extra time will not be enough to prevent a significant loss of performance, but the pump will continue to draw more and more excess power to work at a constant maximum capacity.

This will continue until the pressure drop is corrected or the pump finally fails. As industrial pumps consume a lot of energy, even under normal circumstances, the electricity bills generated by an overworked and underperforming pump can be alarmingly high. Take them as a sign of cavitation and correct the pressure drop as soon as possible.

Vibrations, rattling noises and impeller damage

Bubbles create damaging shock waves upon collapse, which should first be detected as abnormal vibrations and rattling noises. The intensity, frequency, and force of the vibrations and rattle will continue to increase if the cavitation is not addressed.

Eventually the shock waves will first damage the seals and then the pump itself. You will also see signs of damage to the metal parts of the impeller soon after cavitations become a problem. The worse the damage the impellermore serious is cavitation.

Keep in mind that these are just some of the early signs and effects of pump cavitation, so things will get much worse if the warning signs are not acted on early.

regular reviews

To avoid the detrimental effects of pump cavitation, it is crucial to regularly inspect and maintain the pumps in your installation. close up
By monitoring its performance and performing routine checks, you can mitigate the risks associated with severe pump cavitation.


Understanding and managing pressure drop in process plants is crucial to ensuring efficient operations, maintaining product quality, and maintaining safety standards. By minimizing or eliminating cavitation, energy efficiency can be improved, resulting in lower energy consumption and reduced operating costs for the business.

If pump cavitation is suspected, it is crucial to address the problem immediately by investigating the root cause and implementing corrective measures. This may involve design engineers redesigning the system, modifying operating parameters, or replacing components to prevent further damage and ensure reliable pump operation.