Repair or Replace?

How to Know When It's Time for a New Industrial Pump

To repair or to replace a damaged or malfunctioning pump? A question that arises at an untimely moment. Having reliable advice is critical. Your decision will not only have immediate implications for the bottom line, but also for safety, operational efficiency, and long-term cost-effectiveness. 

GPM serves companies across a range of industries – from mining and manufacturing to aerospace and power generation. We represent world-class manufacturers like Flowserve, Sundyne and Tsurumi; offer unparalleled pump repair services; and manufacture the GPM-Eliminator™, the world’s toughest slurry pump.

Click here to contact us. Or keep reading for general advice that will help you decide whether to repair or replace.


The symptoms of a pump problem can be obvious or subtle. The most obvious symptom is, of course, loss of performance in a pump (or no performance at all). Outright pump failure indicates a major problem.

Subtler symptoms of an issue include a vibrating pump, noisy pump or overheating. If your pump is hot, making noise or vibrating, these are indicators of something wrong with the pump and/or with the system. Address the issue proactively to avoid a surprise failure.

Record the symptoms and document what was happening in the time preceding its onset. Did you change anything with the system? Has the pump been noisier than usual? Was the pump sized and installed correctly? Review past performance logs, if available.

Performance issues are often due to improper installation, faulty sizing, or internal problems like an imbalance or damaged shaft, bearing or seal. (Watch for a future report on surprising things that can lead to a broken pump.) Unfortunately, it’s difficult to discern at a glance what the problem is and what will be required to remedy it.

After a pump starts acting up, you have two options that will significantly increase your chances of determining the root cause of failure. (GPM would be happy to assist you with either option.) One, have the pump properly inspected by a trained field service technician. Two, pull the pump and send it to an authorized repair facility.

Under no circumstances should you take the pump apart in an attempt to “find the problem” unless you are a trained pump field service technician. Doing so will drastically reduce the odds of being able to diagnose and repair the problem.


After you’ve got a definitive diagnosis, determine whether repair is an option.

If you have a GPM-Eliminator™, the answer is usually “yes.” Our pumps are so durable and so overbuilt, we can almost always repair them. With other pumps, it depends. Many common pump issues can be fixed with a minor repair or with replacement of a small (yet critical) part.

Common fixable issues are included in the GPM guide: Repair or Replace?

Click here to download the GPM guide: Repair or Replace?