Successfully Installing a Vertical Turbine Pump

By: Michael Roach

Sustainable Design Architects

In healthcare facility design or during a hospital renovation, the engineer often selects vertical turbine pumps to serve tower water systems. This leads many people to ask if sole plates are required on vertical turbine pumps. First of all, let me explain what a sole plate actually does. A sole plate is a heavy steel plate, which is grouted into a concrete foundation. The plate typically has predrilled holes located for the specific piece of equipment which is being mounted on it. This plate provides a solid and level support structure between the equipment and the concrete base (see image). It is very important that this plate be precision leveled when used in a vertical turbine pump application. The sole plate must be grouted into the concrete base to maintain the correct position.

In the past, sole plates have not typically been “required in specification” but they make a successful installation much more likely.  BSA LifeStructures requires sole plates in our specification on vertical turbine pump applications to assure that the installation has the best opportunity for success. 

Vertical turbine pumps can provide decades of dependable service if they are installed properly and maintained by knowledgeable staff. One key component which is often overlooked is the importance of having the pump installed plumb. The housekeeping pad installation does not typically meet the desired guidelines of being flat, smooth and level. Proper installation of a sole plate can resolve this condition. The sole plate should be installed as level as possible and it should be properly grouted in place so the installation is permanent and secure. After the precision level sole plate is installed, the pump head can be installed. The sole plate is just one piece of a successful vertical turbine pump installation, but it can be vital to the successful operation of your facility. 

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