Troubleshooting Guides


Leopold® FilterWorx® Rapid Gravity Granular Media Filter System

Observation Possible causes(s) Actions(s) to be taken
Higher filter effluent turbidity. Particles not being captured in the media due to incorrect upstream chemistry. Perform jar testing to optimize the chemical dosage and filter performance. Use a filter index test to simulate filter performance.
Particles exit the filter at the end of the filter run. Decrease filter run time by backwashing the filter sooner.
High Initial Headloss. Surface blinding of the media. Remove fines from the top of the media by skimming a portion of the surface.
Filter media is not clean. Extend the backwash to make sure the filter media is clean.
Dead spots in filter during water backwash. Media is not being thoroughly cleaned. Make sure there is enough backwash flow rate. Increase the backwash rate or use more backwash pumps.
Mud has accumulated in the filter. Break up the mud by using a water or air lance and increase the backwash flow rate.
A foreign object, such as plywood, media bags, etc. was left in the filter media. Use a probe, such as a thin rod, to probe the media. Dig down into the media to remove the foreign object.
Filter takes too long to ripen. The backwash has cleaned the media too much. Decrease the intensity of the backwash or shorten the backwash time.
The backwash has broken down the particle size. Decrease the intensity of the backwash, or add polymer to the backwash water at the end of the backwash or to the initial influent flow into the filter. Allow the filter to sit idle for a period of time to allow the particles to re-agglomerate.
The filter media has not compacted from the backwash. Add a low-rate backwash after the high-rate to compact the media or allow the filter to sit idle for a period of time.

Leopold® Clari-DAF® Dissolved Air Flotation System

Observation Possible causes(s) Actions(s) to be taken
A. There is no flow to the air saturator vessel or the flow is erratic. Pump rotation is incorrect. Rewire phases on motor to achieve proper rotation.
Pump is air locked. Bleed air out of pump and re-prime.
Valves in recycle line are closed. Open the pump isolation valves.
Flow meter not operating properly. See manufacturer's manual in SECTION 8.
B. The level in the saturator does not stabilize or is very erratic. Level sensor loop is not operating properly. Check the level sensor loop. Verify that the signal generated is constant by holding a natural magnet along side of the sensor while it is removed from the level tube. The pumps must be turned off to check this.
Recycle pump is air bound. Refer to symptom G.
Pressurized airline throttling valve. The valve is opened too far if the level in the saturator continuously triggers the low-low level.
C. Over time, the air saturator operating pressure has increased and no changes to the valving have occurred. Blocked nozzles. Nozzles will clog eventually and the operators will have to drain the Clari-DAF® basin, remove the nozzles and clean the pipe work similar to the initial start-up procedures in SECTION 3.
D .The level in the saturator has been depleted and the recycle system is "boiling" within the reaction zone. Recycle pump is not running. Check the power to the pump. If there is power, the motor may be bad.
Refer to symptom A.  
Compressed air regulator. The operator has set the air compressor regulating valve at too high of a pressure. The operator must now restart the recycle system as described in SECTION 3.
E. The level in the air saturator has gone past the high limit and there is no sludge built up on top of the Clari-DAF® clarifier. Air compressor. Check to see that the air compressor is operating.
Isolation valves. Check to see that the proper air saturation vessel compressed air isolation valve is opened.
Pressure regulator. Verify that the pressure regulator is not blocked and that it is set for the operating pressure of the system. If the regulator valve is set too low, the pressure from the recycle pump will force the check valve on the airline closed and no air will enter the air saturator.
Dispersion header isolation valve. Verify that the dispersion header valve is open.
Saturator effluent valve. Verify that the saturator effluent valve is open.
F. The dispersed air within the Clari-DAF® cell appears to be pulsing out of one end or the other. Recycle pump. Check to see that the recycle pump is pumping steadily. Refer to symptom B.
G. The recycle pump is creating a noise similar to marbles banging around within the casing. Cavitation. The recycle pumps are cavitating. Shut the pumps down and bleed the air out of the system by opening the priming plug. If the situation rectifies itself and then reoccurs at a later date, check the suction side pipe work for leaks that could draw air into the system.
H. The dispersion cloud appears insufficient. The bubble mass has decreased and the treatment has diminished. Saturator level. Check to see that the level in the saturator is within specifications (readable on the visual level indicator). If not, refer to symptoms D and E.
Clogged dispersion nozzles. If there are pockets of no bubbles, refer to symptom C. Several nozzles in a row may have clogged creating an inefficient area. Shut down the system. Remove and clean the dispersion nozzles.
Dispersion nozzle size. Check the recycle rate and make sure the percentage is within 8% to 10%. If the percentage is less than 8%, the operator must change the fixed orifice dispersion plates for larger ones.
Refer to symptom C.  
I. There is no sludge built up on the Clari-DAF® cell. Refer to symptoms D and E.  
Chemical feed system failure. Check to see that there is not a failure within the chemical dosing facility. Make sure there is chemical in the holding tanks. Verify that the pump is operating and check the tubing inside the peristaltic pump. Replace any worn or damaged tubing. Make sure the chemical injection port is not clogged
Flocculator operational problem. Make sure that the flocculators are operating properly. The bearings should be checked for failure.
J. The skimmers have not operated during the last cycle. Skimmer drive. Check the power to the motor. If there is power, the motor may be bad.
Mechanical binding. Check the unit for binding. Binding will cause the unit to shut down on overload.
Cycle timers. Check to see that the timers did not fail or are properly set. Refer to the wiring diagrams in the Controls O & M Manual.

Leopold® Clari-Vac® Floating Sludge Collector

Troubleshooting Guide for Hydraulics

Observation Possible causes(s) Actions(s) to be taken
Loss of prime. Air leaking into pipes. Check position of priming valve (ball valve).
Orifices may be obstructed with solids when discharge of siphon pipe in sludge trough is not submerged. Back-flush by opening ball valve and re-prime pipe.
Loss of flow capacity. Air pocket in top of siphon pipe. Re-prime pipe. If recurs frequently, gas is possibly being released from sludge. Re-prime on regular basis.
Orifices plugged with solids. Back-flush by opening ball valve and re-prime pipe.
Cannot prime. Priming valve is closed.
  • Valve handle should be parallel with valve.
  • Check that the valve seal plate is tightly closed.
Neoprene seal in the bucket may be damaged. Replace if necessary.
Priming pump may be full of water. Empty if necessary.
Debris may be entering priming pump motor.
  • Remove debris and keep dirt out of priming pump tank assembly.
  • Make certain priming pump drum clamps are locked securely and ensure that all fittings are tightly in place.

Troubleshooting Guide for Guidance System

Observation Action(s) to be taken
Uneven tracking (bridge is not tracking parallel to walls). Check bridle cable lengths. The cables must be kept the same lengths to cause the sludge collector to track straight.
Check that the spring-loaded guide wheels are adjusted to approximately the same position with equal spring force against side walls.
Crabbing (occasional twisting of unit). Examine side walls where guide wheels track. Tracking surface should be fairly smooth with no large protrusions or recessions.
Ensure that a header pipe is dragging at high spots on the floor of the tank. De-prime pipes by opening the ball valves. Then operate unit and determine if crabbing occurs at the same locations. If the crabbing no longer occurs, then re-prime pipes and remove ballast (water) from floats nearest the dragging header to slightly raise the floating elevation. If crabbing continues to be a significant problem at the same location, then a large object may be present on the tank floor and it will have to be removed when the tank is drained.
Determine if crabbing repeats itself at same locations. If crabbing is non-uniform then it is most likely due to large differences in sludge loading on headers or wind gusts. This should not be a significant problem.
Flat spot on guide wheel (guide wheel not rolling freely). Check for tight axle in bearing, damaged or excessively worn bearing.
Check guide wheel tracking. Side of wheel should be horizontal with water surface. Make sure beams tying float pairs together are fairly level with the water surface.

Troubleshooting Guide for Drive System

Observation Possible causes(s) Actions(s) to be taken
Sludge collector stops before end of travel. If alarm condition indicated, check torque clutch for overload. Determine if there is an obstruction. Remove and/or correct.
Drive cable hits limit switch lever. Adjust switch lever (wires) to avoid interference.
Overload alarm at end of travel. Dogs (switch trips) not positioned correctly.
  • Dogs must be positioned to trip switch before unit hits end walls.
  • Check end of travel limit switch on drive.
Drive cable slips on sheave. Loose cable. Tighten cable per installation instructions in Div. 2.
Cable too tight. Tighten cable per installation instructions in Div. 2.
Grease or oil on drive sheave and/or cable. Remove with solvent.
Excessive groove wear in drive sheave. Loose cable. Tighten cable per installation instructions in Div. 2.
Grease or oil on drive sheave and/or cable. Remove with solvent.
Cable too tight. Tighten cable per installation instructions in Div. 2.

Troubleshooting Guide for Worm Gear Speed Reducers

Observation Possible causes(s) Actions(s) to be taken
Overheating (200°F and above case temperature). Reducer overloaded (operating in excess of HP rating). Remove overload conditions. Compare thermal HP rating with actual load and replace with a unit of sufficient capacity.
Insufficient oil. Adjust oil level to oil level plug or dipstick designation (if provided). Reducer capacity can be determined from reducer nameplate or Browning worm gear speed reducer "Important Instructions" sheet (also printed in Browning catalog).
Too much oil. Excessive heat generated by the churning action of the high oil level. Adjust oil level to oil level plug or dipstick designation (if provided). Reducer capacity can be determined from reducer nameplate or Browning worm gear speed reducer "Important Instructions" sheet (also printed in Browning catalog).
Dirty or contaminated oil. Flush reducer and refill to proper level.
Wrong grade of oil. Flush reducer and refill to proper level.
High surrounding ambient temperature. Increase air circulation. Equip reducer with a fan. Replace reducer with a unit of higher capacity.
Excessive belt tension. Adjust belts to proper tension.
Excessive noise and vibration. Improper installation. Check foundation bolts and tighten as required. Check C-face mounting bolts for tightness. Use lock washers on all bolts.
Worn bearings. Check bearings for wear and replace worn bearings. Replace all seals. Flush reducer and refill with oil. Check allowable output thrust loads and output overhung loads. If excessive, correct these conditions or replace with a larger unit.
Drive under-designed causing premature excessive gear wear. Redesign drive and replace with a unit of sufficient capacity.
Improper connection with other machinery. Inspect input and output drives and ensure that these drives have been properly engineered. Check for loose bolts, nuts, and screws and tighten where needed. Check shaft keys for proper fit. If coupling connected, check alignment.
Excessively high speed. Check Browning catalog for recommended speed. Redesign drive.
Excessive input and/or output shaft and play. Worn bearings. Check bearings for wear and replace worn bearings. Replace all seals. Flush reducer and refill with oil.
Loose end cover bolts. Check end cover cap screws and tighten where necessary.
Excessive backlash. Worn gear(s). Replace worn gear(s). A new worm gear may be mated with an old worm, if the worm shows little evidence of wear. If the worm needs to be replaced, worm gear should also be replaced. Black or blue color, distortion of worm indicates no oil, low oil level or excessive load. Bronze dust on worm gear hub indicates reducer run without oil.
Worn keys. Replace worm keys. Inspect keyways for wear. An oversize key may be required. Distortion of key or keyway indicates excessive torque load.
Oil leakage. Too much oil causing leakage at breather plug. Adjust oil level to oil level plug or dipstick designation (if provided).
Clogged breather causing leakage at seal(s) or pipe plug. Remove and clean breather plug.
Seal damage. Replace seal. Under severe operating conditions, install two seals on each shaft.
Loose bolts. Check and tighten where necessary. Use Permatex.
Breather plug in wrong hole. Breather plug location can be determined from Browning worm gear speed reducer "Important Instructions" sheet (also printed in Browning catalog).
Input vertical mounting, input shaft down. Requires two seals on worm shaft.
Premature bearing failure. Low oil level. Adjust oil level.
Excessive overhung load. Remove condition causing excessive overhung load.
Input or output shaft breakage. Excessive overhung load. Remove condition causing excessive overhung load.
Improper positioning of overhung load. Move overhung load closer to reducer case.
Reducer overload (torque load and/or overhung load). Remove overload condition. Check keys and keyways. Distortion of either indicates excessive torque load.

Troubleshooting Guide for Mounted Bearings

Observation Possible cause(s) Action(s) to be taken
Noise (high pitch). Misalignment. Correct alignment. Replace unit with a Browning self-aligning bearing.
Noise (low pitch). Bearing brinelled. Replace bearing.
Noise (intermittent rumbles and rattles). Too much shaft-to-bearing bore clearance. Use proper-size shaft. Replace bearing with correct-size unit.
Dirt in bearing. Purge bearing with grease. If necessary, replace unit.
Loose machine parts. Tighten machine parts.
Bearing gas excessively hot. First start after re-lubrication (grease redistribution). Allow machine to cool and restart.
Over-lubrication. Use less lubricant.
No lubricant. Add lubricant.
Excessive load. Check bearing loads. Replace with a larger unit. If thrust load is caused by shaft expansion, an expansion-type bearing should be used.
Bearing over misaligned Correct alignment.
Excessive speed. Replace with a heavier series unit.
Excessive vibration. Unbalanced machine parts. Balance machine parts.
Loose machine parts. Check and tighten machine parts.
Improper shaft-to-bearing bore fit. Check shaft size. Replace unit with correct bearing.
Bent shaft. Straighten or replace shaft.
Bearing brinelled. Replace bearing.
Shaft binds when rotated. Bent shaft. Straighten or replace shaft.
Misalignment. Correct alignment. Replace unit with a Browning self-aligning bearing.
Dirt in bearing. Purge bearing with grease. If necessary, replace unit.
Rotation interference. Check clearance of rotating parts.
Wear of shaft seat. Too much shaft-to-bearing bore clearance. Correct shaft fit. Use new shaft.
Poor shaft finish. Use new shaft. Smooth-turn or grind shaft to next smaller standard bore and install new bearing.
Shaft rotation in bearing bore. Loose set screws. Tighten set screws.
Eccentric locking collar initially tightened in wrong direction. Tighten eccentric locking collar in the direction of shaft rotation.
Improper fit of shaft-to-bearing bore. Replace bearing with correct size unit. Replace shaft.
Excessive wear in bearing housing bore. Bent shaft. Straighten or replace shaft. Replace bearing.
Unbalanced machine parts. Balance machine parts or replace bearing with a larger self-aligning unit.

Troubleshooting Guide for Chain Drives

Observation Possible cause(s) Action(s) to be taken
Chain climbs sprocket. Chain does not properly fit on sprocket. Check for sprocket oversize bottom diameters and replace it if necessary.
Chain badly worn. Replace chain.
Sprockets badly worn. Replace chain and sprockets (on some drives, sprockets can be reversed).
Insufficient chain wrap. Redesign drive to get more teeth in contact with chain. Design a Browning drive tightener into the drive to accomplish additional chain wrap.
Excessive chain slack. Take up for proper slack or adjust centers.
Material build-up in sprocket tooth pockets. Clean the sprockets. Provide a cover to protect drive from foreign material. Sprockets with "mud reliefs" may be helpful.
Sprocket out of pitch. Replace sprocket.
Excessive drive noise. Sprocket misalignment. Check alignment and correct.
Inadequate lubrication. Provide the correct "type" lubrication as dictated by the drive specifications. Where correct lubrication cannot be applied, Browning LL chain may provide a satisfactory solution.
Chain or sprocket(s) badly worn. Replace chain and/or sprocket(s). Driver sprocket should be hardened.
Chain pitch size too large for drive. Redesign drive and replace.
Moving parts rubbing stationary parts. Tighten and align supports, casing and chain. Remove dirt or other interfering matter.
Excessive wear on link plate and/or sides of sprocket teeth. Drive misalignment. Realign drive.
Chain breakage. Chain speed too high for pitch and sprocket size. Redesign a smaller pitch drive.
Shock loads. Remove condition causing shock load.
Material build-up in sprocket tooth pockets. Clean the sprockets. Provide a cover to protect drive from foreign material.
Inadequate lubrication. Provide the correct "type" lubrication as dictated by the drive specifications. Where correct lubrication cannot be applied, Browning LL chain may provide a satisfactory solution.
Chain or sprocket corrosion. Protect drive from corrosion-causing conditions.
Badly worn sprockets. Check sprockets for wear and replace.
Misalignment. Correct alignment.
Chain clings to sprockets. Badly worn sprockets. Check sprockets for wear and replace.
Chain whip. Excessive chain slack. Take up for proper slack or adjust centers.
Heavy pulsating loads. Reduce loads or redesign to a heavier drive.
Chain gets stiff. Inadequate lubrication. Provide the correct "type" lubrication as dictated by the drive specifications. Where correct lubrication cannot be applied, Browning LL chain may provide a satisfactory solution.
Corrosion. Protect drive from corrosion-causing conditions or replace chain with Browning stainless steel chain.
Material build-up in chain joint. Provide a cover to protect drive from foreign material or replace chain with Browning multi-flex chain.
Broken sprocket teeth. Cast iron sprockets. Replace with Browning stock steel sprockets (available hardened in pinion sizes).
Excessive shock loads. Reduce shock loads or redesign and replace with a larger drive.
Misalignment. Correct alignment.
Sprocket hardened excessively. Replace sprocket.
Non-symmetrical wear on sprockets or rollers. Shaft not parallel or not in same plane. Realign shafts.
Wear on inside of roller plates or side of sprocket teeth. Sprockets offset or not parallel. Realign drive.
Wear on tips of sprocket teeth. Chain elongated excessively. Replace chain.
Excessive vibration. Broken or missing roller. Repair or replace chain.
Premature chain elongation. Inadequate lubrication. Provide proper lubrication.
Drive overloaded. Redesign drive.

Troubleshooting Guide for Skimming Mechanism

Observation Possible cause(s) Action(s) to be taken
Skimmer blade fails to raise or lower when required. Stationary trip arms located 10" - 12" below the water are not engaging the Reset/Trip levers of the skimmer lock-arm mechanism. Adjust the trip arm pipes.
Trip arm is missing or the Reset/Trip lever is broken off the lock-arm mechanism.
  • Replace missing or defective part.
  • If the blade will not lower when the skimmer lock-arm assembly rotates, adjust the position of the counterweight forward toward the skimmer blade.
Skimmer blade drops quickly with a shock.  
  • Adjust counterweight position further from blade on the slide arm.
  • Check for missing counterweight.
Non-uniform blade operation.  
  • If one end of the skimmer blade is rising or dropping excessively sooner than the opposite end, check alignment of sludge collector and trip-arms. First, ensure that unit is tracking straight and not skewing as it transverses the tank. For adjustment refer to Section 2.2.12 then check that Reset/Trip levers are engaging trip arms simultaneously or nearly so. If not, adjust arms by loosening U-bolts and sliding them in the slots provided to rotate arms to align.
  • Check position of counterweights. For adjustment see Section 3.1.8 paragraph (e).
Skimmer blade is too high or too low.  
  • Check that pipes are fully primed.
  • Check that floats are balanced.
  • Check that skimmer beams and blade are attached securely.
  • After checking above items and blade needs to be aligned, adjust vertical elevation of the blade by means of the slots in the blade-mounting bracket.
Non-uniform depression of tipping scum weir. Sludge collector is not tracking straight when approaching tipping weir.
  • Check that top edge of weir is fairly level.
  • Adjust as per Section 2.2.12.
Depressor wheels are not uniformly adjusted equal distance in front of floats.
  • Adjust using slotted holes.
  • Determine whether or not spring is missing from tipping weir, replace if necessary.
Excessive water leakage into scum trough. Neoprene end seal wipers not tight. Adjust for tight seal.
Spring from tipping weir is missing or broken. Replace spring.
Scum trough floods quickly when tipping weir is depressed. Scum discharge line is plugged.
  • Check that weir is depressed so that not more than approximately a ¾" nape of water flows over it. If necessary, adjust dog on drive cable so that the sludge collector stops to cause the correct depression of the weir.
  • Clean the line.
Scum withdrawal capacity is not great enough. Increase flow rate from scum trough.