It is very tempting to analyze one pump and then apply the resulting maintenance tasks to all pumps that are similar. However, caution should be used in this approach. It’s not as simple as “cut & paste”. The operating context for the similar pumps may be completely different.


A water pumping system configured with a duty (pump A) and a standby pump (pump B) system has been analyzed with full RCM process applied. Tasks, frequencies and a few redesigns were generated from this analysis. There is a high proportion of run to fail decisions associated with pump A because there is no loss of primary function - water continues to be delivered to the downstream process via pump B which automatically starts when the duty pump fails.

The temptation to apply the same maintenance to all identical or even similar pumps is quite alluring in terms of time saved.

However, all the other pumps are configured with no standby function. If you take a few moments to think about this it will become clear that simply applying the tasks derived for pump A (duty pump) are not necessarily applicable to a stand-alone pump.

The maintenance decisions you reached with regard to pumps A and B were based on no operational consequences occurring when primary function is lost because the standby pump would be brought online. This, clearly, is not the case when any of the stand alone pumps lose primary function.

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