By Michelle Segrest, Contributing Editor

Mohamed Eissa is a pump expert. He specializes in installation, operation and troubleshooting. He said it is not enough to know everything about the pump. All pump engineers must also have expert knowledge of specific valves for specific applications, because valves play a significant role in the safe operation of pumps.

“Valves help us run pumps safely,” the Field Service Engineer explained. “Check valves protect pump components from back pressure while a choke valve helps us to adjust the pump in its operating range to avoid pump overload and underload. It keeps the pump in the specified operating range.”

Solving problems with pumps and valves is something Eissa does every day. He remembers many specific problems that required troubleshooting.

“When working with a pump application, I opened a gate valve before start-up, and after one hour of operation I noted increases in motor temperature, vibration, and pump discharge pressure,” he explained. “So, I checked the valves and found a malfunction. After discovering a damaged valve my team was able to solve the issue. If I had not been monitoring the pump, the pumps may have fallen in the well due to the increase in differential pressure, which is more than burst pressure. Another problem that could have occurred is that motor temperature may have increased and broke the motor’s insulation.”

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Background and Experience

For the past eight years, Mohamed Eissa has specialized in pumps and valves as a field service engineer in the areas of water, wastewater, mud drilling, and crude oil, with special emphasis in electrical submersible pumps for artificial lift applications.

His experience extends to major equipment manufacturers such as Borets Weatherford Egypt. He began his professional career with Hydrotech Egypt as an agent for ITT and Xylem pumps. He then became a sales engineer that specialized in the installation, operation, troubleshooting, and workshop inspection and repair for API Goulds, Sweden Flygt, Germany Seepex, England Godwin and Pulsafeeder American dosing pumps and vertical voggle pumps.

With Hydrotech he gained practical experience in several disciplines including the preparation of technical reports, field tests for vibration analysis, temperature measurements, pipe strain, and alignment. He provided technical support for anything having to do with pumps and valves. He also coordinated pump selection for specialized applications, and gained experience with mechanical seals, and bearing failure analysis; he learned how to troubleshoot the failure of electrical motors and controls. This experience led him to work with electrical submersible pumps with Hultic limited Borets, a start-up, with variable speed drives and switchboards.

“As a field service engineer, my responsibility is to lead the pump assembly operations in oil wells, work on the start-up and commissioning, and troubleshoot operation,” Eissa said. “I am also responsible for monitoring the well until it is stable, adjusting the pump operation and ensuring it stays within its operating range to avoid the up or down thrust by any change frequency or choke against the pump by the choke valve.”

He also monitors and surveys running wells, to ensure safety 24 hours per day.

Some of Eissa’s high profile projects include surveying a well with a huge petroleum company in Egypt and working with another large client to reduce groundwater in tourist areas such as the Pyramids and the Abo Al Hole. He has started huge production wells of 12,000 BPD with lift of more than 3,000 meters. He is certified in electrical submersible pump installation, operation and troubleshooting and also has certification in mechanical power engineering.

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Maintenance & Safety Tips

Eissa stresses the importance of proper maintenance of pumps and valves. “My best maintenance tip for pumps, depending on the type of pump, involves a thorough surface pump check,” he explained. “This includes checking the bearing temperature, the motor temperature, and the vibration daily. Oil should be checked monthly with the oil changed, if needed. On a yearly basis, check the O-Rings and change the mechanical seals, if needed.” 

For submersible pumps, Eissa recommends checking the running parameters daily. Yearly, operators should check all the pump and motor protections, check the surface equipment, and change any damaged part as needed. Also, the pump should be backwashed annually.

For valves, start by purchasing the most high-quality valves available. “Change the gasket, or gate, to be sure the rubber is not damaged or eroded. Some technical and maintenance personnel may forget to give the gate rubber attention,” he said.

“It is important to use the proper tools for each pump and valve, based on the manufacturer’s instruction,” Eissa advised. “Take care of pumped fluids as they may be a hazard. Also, immediately take care of any sudden pressure. Be sure to insulate all electrical parts before working with pumps or valves.”

With his diverse experience in pumps and valves, Eissa has some advice for other end users. “When working with pumps and valves, especially original equipment, use careful maintenance to try to avoid any problems, especially after the warranty period,” he said. “Take care of your client by talking to him regularly and provide him with clear instruction for safe operation.”

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