Understanding the Meaning of Remanufactured Centrifugal Pumps


If you bought 10 experts that work with industrial, centrifugal pumps into one room and asked them the difference between a refurbished and a remanufactured pump or if rebuilt and reconditioned are simply different terms for doing the same repairs… you will get 10 different answers. We know because we had 10 of our leading engineers, mechanics and project managers take a survey for what term best describes a used centrifugal pump that has been brought up to “ truly like new” condition. Each member of our team ranked each word by order of which they felt best defined the work we do on a centrifugal pump that is being prepared for service. As you can see by the total scores, by and large members of our team view remanufactured as having the highest quality out of the 4 words, with rebuild being the second. 

Power Zone Table 1

What does repurposing a pump mean?
We found while taking the survey that another common word being used in the oil & gas industry, mining, energy, and even agricultural sectors is repurposed. While Remanufactured, Rebuilt, Refurbished and Reconditioned all mean more or less the same thing, the word Repurposed means something completely different. In a sense, any time we sell a piece of equipment, whether it is new, used or rebuilt, we are repurposing it. Basically, it means we are putting it into a different operation, or a different “purpose”, then it was originally built for. 

The question that really came from the survey and research done around the subject was, even though by enlarge a remanufactured pump is viewed to sound like it has the highest quality, does it really mean anything different than reconditioned? Although it is difficult to get consensus across all industries on this, we realized that by comparing what we hold as the remanufactured standard is a good place to start because it includes a rigorous process to guarantee the centrifugal pump is up to the identical standards of a new centrifugal pump. Calling any industrial equipment remanufactured leaves little room for a quick paint job, or replacing a few gaskets.

By our standards, a remanufactured centrifugal pump will include repairs that bring it back to brand new conditions. Meaning they can be installed in any application a new pump can be installed, from a new power generation plant or a municipal water or wastewater plant. The limitation is not the repairs done, but rather the type of pump it is to begin with. 

That being said it is important to be able to clearly identify what brings any industrial pump up to “new” standards. Simply telling the supplier you want to purchase a pump that it supplied remanufactured doesn’t guarantee you will get more than a “paint job”. Of course, we would love for you to buy your next pump from us but in case you don’t we still want your operation to go smoothly so here is our standard for preparing a centrifugal pump for operation.

Stage 1: Inspection & Documentation of Centrifugal Pump
Documentation throughout inspection is important because a reputable company will happily provide a full report of what they have found while inspecting the pump. 

  1. Document the original condition of the pump.
  2. Disassemble the pump and every part of the pump.
  3. Remove rust and old paint wherever present.
  4. Thoroughly inspect every part for corrosion, erosion, wear, or cracking.
  5. Document the condition of each component.
  6. Reverse engineer the design of each component for future reference. 


Stage 2: Repair or Replace
This can range from simple things like wear rings and casing rings, to complex things like getting new impellers built. Below gives you an idea of what is done and this is where inspection and documentation is so important for ensuring your purchasing or operating a centrifugal pump that is truly ready for service. This can be a confusing process so we tried to simplify it by marking repairs from Always to Never and everything in between. This is helpful if you already have the documentation and are getting your pump repaired or purchasing a used pump and want to know if the supplier is giving sound recommendations or is doing necessary repairs. 

Common Centrifugal Pump

This leads to perhaps the most important aspect of choosing who you will buy your next centrifugal pump from and if you can be guaranteed it is operating at 100% capacity. Here are 11 key elements to ensuring your pump is literally as good as new.It is important to understand that because a repair is not done or “almost never” done it certainly doesn’t mean the pump is not 100% up to new specifications but rather that following thorough inspection, the parts that just about never are required to be repaired or replaced are in full working condition. This is a good sign for projecting a longer life for the pump. 

Stage 3: Balancing, Assembly, & Testing A Centrifugal Pump

  1. Balance the rotating components individually.
  2. Document the updated condition of all components.
  3. Assemble the rotating assembly.
  4. Balance the rotating assembly. 
  5. Assemble the rest of the pump, like installing the rotating assembly into the pump, installing the bearings and seals, and installing all the covers on the pump.
  6. Perform air test on the pump to ensure there are no leaks.
  7. Thoroughly clean the outside of the pump.
  8. Prime and paint the pump with a high-quality product.
  9. Assemble a full remanufacture report of all the work done on the pump.
  10. Perform a functionality test, and sometimes a performance test, on the pump using water and Power Zone’s full test facility. A function test ensures the pump works, and a performance test actually measures the efficiency and NPSHR of the pump.
  11. Assemble a full test report of how the pump was tested and what the results were. 

Why should I buy a remanufactured centrifugal pump rather than a new centrifugal pump?
It would be easy to wonder if after everything is included, repairs are made, and the pump is put back together if there are any cost savings by investing in a used pump. Even with every necessary step, there is always a large cost reduction in buying a remanufactured pump. Sometimes more value is also in the reduced lead time. It is common for the lead time on a newly manufactured centrifugal pump to be 20 to 35 weeks and a typical lead time for preparing a remanufactured pump including Multi-Stage Horizontal Centrifugal Pumps, Multi-Stage Vertical Centrifugal Pumps, Single Stage Vertical Centrifugal Pumps, and Single Stage Horizontal Centrifugal Pumps is 6 to 8 weeks. It is also important to note that on all multi stage horizontal and vertical as well as single stage horizontal and vertical all in corrections, repairs, and assembly should always follow the same detailed process.

There is a big quality advantage in getting the pump rebuilt by a proven company such as Power Zone. This certainly doesn't mean there are not other extremely reputable companies but always make sure they scrutinize every single aspect of the pumps and are not offering “just a paint job”. 

We wish you the best with the purchase of your next industrial pump and hopefully, it is from us! Please subscribe for new articles and videos and leave your questions and any additional thoughts in the comment section below.