Is it OK to load the cargo through the Framo pump instead of drop line?

John Ratcliffe
John Ratcliffe

I work on a 34 year old tanker with 15 framo pumps, 14 for cargo tanks. Standard Operating procedure is to load through the pumps until going into the last 2 sets of tanks where pressure becomes an issue ( this is at <10,000 bbls per hour) Drops are only used to keep sister tanks even and ONLY after 4' of cargo is showng on saab to prevent a static charge

The old versions of Framo pumps were of two types with respect to the loading of the cargo.

  • One that was fitted with an anti-rotating unit; and
  • The one that was NOT fitted with anti-rotating units 

Loading through the Framo pumps without anti-rotating units was not allowed.

This is because as we load the cargo through it, the impeller of the pump would rotate in opposite direction which could damage the pump seals, impeller or even hydraulic motor because of additional back pressure created by pump rotating in the opposite direction.

With the anti-rotating unit fitted in the Framo pump, we could load the cargo through the pump as the anti-rotating unit would not allow the impeller to rotate in opposite direction.

But this system was a long time back. The Framo pumps have seen many technological changes since then. 

The modern Framo pumps rotate only in one direction. So even if we load through the pump, it is fine. But there are some rules for this.

Rule #1: If a drop line is installed it is highly recommended to use the drop line and avoid loading through the pump.

Rule # 2: For loading through the pump, follow the instructions provided in the Framo manual.

Rule # 3: Never exceed the cargo pressure to more than 8 bar measured at the top of the pump (pump stack).

Once these rules are followed, it should be safe to load through the pump (through discharge line). 

This blog may be of further help on the topic of Framo pumps.

A Basic But Helpful Guide On Framo System