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3 Simple Ways to Increase the Life of your Clarifier Drive

By Steve Schmidt, June 6, 2016

​Your clarifier is 20 years old and you wonder how much life it has left. Or, you just installed a new clarifier and you want to get as many years as possible out of it. The heart of a clarifier is its drive and here are three simple ways to increase the life of your clarifier drive.


Oil and water don’t mix and when water gets into the main bearing oil bath of your clarifier drive it begins the process of reducing its life. Its not a matter of if water will get in, condensation, washdown and heavy rains will take care of that. 

Oil bath drives are furnished with a drain and since water is heavier than oil, it will sink to the bottom where the drain is located. The water can be easily removed by opening the drain until oil starts to come out. 

The frequency of draining the water will vary. Check it often until you know what your drive takes. A ¼ turn ball valve is a handy addition for easy draining.

​2. Maintain a Regular Lubrication Schedule

Along with keeping water out, it is important to maintain a regular lubrication schedule. Follow the manufacturer's recommendation for type and frequency for greasing and oil changes.

Twice per year (summer and winter) is typical for oil changes. Regular oil changes will allow for debris and contaminants to be flushed from the system.

One area of lubrication often forgotten is the mating surface of the shear-pin sprocket. The shear-pin should be removed, grease applied to the mating surfaces and rotated. A minimal amount of corrosion can cause the mating surfaces to bond and render the shear-pin useless.

​3. Monitor the Gap for Bearing Wear

Keep track of the main bearing wear. With the typical continuous operation of a clarifier there will be bearing wear even with the best maintenance. 

Your drive may have a method of tracking the wear. The Evoqua Envirex® clarifier drive has a series of Stop Blocks positioned above the rotating main gear. The gap between the gear and Stop Block will increase over time as the bearing and strip liner wear. 

 Monitoring the gap according to the specifications furnished in the O&M will allow you to plan for bearing and liner replacement before it becomes an emergency shut-down.

​Evoqua has over 100 years of experience in clarifiers through Envirex® and other OEM brands. Feel free to contact us with any of your clarifier questions.

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