You can count on commissioning

Glynn Williams, Grundfos, commissioning
Glynn Williams

It is now more readily understood that correct sizing and careful pump selection can make a significant difference to the overall energy and CO2 output, as well as the need to futureproof these designs.

However, the story doesn’t end there. To achieve the perfect system balance and ensure the highest quality experience from any pump solution investment, it is important to get the pump(s) correctly commissioned. To fulfil all the criteria, an experienced industry partner who can help to ensure that today’s complex pump solutions systems, that have been so carefully designed are optimally commissioned, should be engaged.

This is because without the proper set-up, a lot of things have the capacity to go wrong or to perform significantly below their desired efficiency. This is particularly true when frequency converter driven pumps are used, as without proper commissioning they will not operate effectively or, in the worst case, not at all.

Specialist engineers

Commissioning engineers ensure that all aspects of a building or construction project are properly designed, installed, tested and maintained. They can perform troubleshooting tasks, monitor progress, perform tests, conduct audits, assist in financial improvements and write reports.

As part of the commissioning process, these engineers will provide a start-up report complete with operational data. During commissioning, not only will the pumps be checked to ensure they will deliver the performance required, but all pumps and any allied control equipment and BMS systems, will be fully aligned to deliver the required total pump performance.

It is important to select the right commissioning partners who can combine thorough product knowledge with an understanding of a variety of applications, and an in-depth experience of working with them. This will mean that pumping solutions are perfectly integrated and the system will continue to function optimally.

Good commissioning can also prevent unnecessary breakdowns due to faulty installation, helping to ensure the best long-term performance. 

To get best value from a more complex project commissioning, it should be undertaken in one uninterrupted visit. This means that equipment should be installed, hydraulically charged and connected electrically, prior to the arrival of the pump engineer to site.


Post commissioning, pumps are often forgotten about, only being looked at as part of the servicing schedule. They will of course continue to contribute to the overall M&E performance and their running costs. Which is particularly vital, as 85% of the lifecycle cost associated of a pump over its operational life is attributable to its energy use.

But scheduling recommissioning for central plant equipment such as the pumps at least every five years supports long-term performance.

Glynn Williams, Grundfos, commissioning

Although all pumps will benefit from re-commissioning, the following should however, be considered a priority:

• booster sets

• pressurisation units

• all circulators

• long-coupled pumps

This is because building usage changes over time and affects the overall configuration, use and where the demand sits. Pumps will benefit from a regular overhaul, where the opportunity to examine heating and cooling loads is reviewed.

Time for a check-up?

In this lull before the next heating season gets underway, now could be a good time to re-commission pumps, and significantly decrease both heating bills as well as this equipment’s carbon footprint.

Glynn Williams is Grundfos director of sales, Commercial Building Services

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