A notorious case is the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak.
In 1968, William Bruggeman reduced the size of the triplex pump and increased the lifespan so that car washes could use equipment with smaller footprints.
The smallest of these plants had about 100 pumps; several plants had over 2000.
Having fewer pump failures means having fewer destructive pump fires. As has been noted, a typical pump failure, based on actual year 2002 reports, costs US$5,000 on average.
For the sake of convenience, these failure statistics often are translated into MTBF (in this case, installed life before failure). In early 2005, Gordon Buck, John Crane Inc.’s chief engineer for field operations in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, examined the repair records for a number of refinery and chemical plants to obtain meaningful reliability data for centrifugal pumps.
In view of that fact, the preface to the 2006 Pump User's Handbook alludes to "pump failure" statistics.
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