Bell & Gossett’s VSX pump streamlines maintenance at Milwaukee’s VA Medical Center


Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Administration Medical Center

Milwaukee, WI


The Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Administration Medical Center in Milwaukee plays an important role to veterans in need, not only in the Milwaukee area, but across the state of Wisconsin. In 2018 alone, the VA treated 857,415 patients. In order to focus on providing critical services to patients, building operations must run smoothly at all times.

On the facility’s 10th floor where the hot water heating system is located, centrifugal horizontal split case pumps were installed in 2016 to address the building’s need for a system that could handle a heavy water flow. The facility team soon discovered seal deterioration on the pumps and rebuilt the pumps multiple times, even going so far as installing a gantry to support removal of the split case top. However, due to the pump room’s tight workspace, more drastic improvements were necessary. The medical center facility team knew it needed a long-term solution to address performance and maintenance issues related to the pumps.

Bell & Gossett manufacturer’s representative, Hydro-Flo, in Brookfield, Wisconsin, presented a solution to the VA’s pump room challenge: the VSX vertical split case pump.

With the VSX’s capacity for higher temperatures and pressure fluids, the bearings and mechanical seals can be replaced without removing the rotating assembly on either side of the stainless-steel pump. As a result, the VA has reduced expected downtime for servicing the pump, swiftly transforming a two-person job into a manageable task for one. The vertical design also accommodates the small size of the maintenance room, taking up about 40-percent less space than the old pump configuration.

The new vertical split case pump in the VA’s mechanical room met the facility’s need for a high flow pump. The pump’s compact size reduced pump room footprint, and its maintenance-friendly design streamlines upkeep.

“It ended up being a smaller suction of discharge, fit better on the pad and everything was so much smaller compared to the old horizontal split case,” said Hydro-Flo’s John Davidson. “The VA is very happy with this pump. It’s a lot quieter, it’s performing great and they’re looking forward to (the maintenance process).”

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