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Recommended Practice for ESP
Dismantle, Inspection & Failure
Analysis (DIFA)
Table of Content
Section Content Page
1.0 Purpose 2
2.0 Post Failure 3
3.0 Pre-Pulled Requirements 3
4.0 Pulling the ESP 4
4.1 Critical Pull Observation 4
4.2 Disassembly of the ESP at well site 5
5.0 Dismantle, Inspection, & Failure
Analysis (Difa) 10
5.1 Preparation 10
5.2 Cable 11
5.3 Pumps 11
5.4 BOI/GS 16
5.5 Protector(s) 17
5.6 Motor(s) 21
5.7 Downhole Monitoring Device (Sensor) 26
6.0 Root Cause Analysis (RCA) 26
7.0 Difa Report Format 28
7.1 Cover 28
7.2 Table of Contents 29
7.3 Distribution 29
7.4 Well Information 29
7.5 Trend Analysis 29
7.6 ESP Identification information 30
7.7 Dismantle Inspection Findings 30
7.8 Summary of Results 30
7.9 Recommendations 30
7.10 Photograph Gallery 30

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Recommended Practice for ESP
Dismantle, Inspection & Failure
Analysis (DIFA)
Introduction
This document outlines the “standard” for
dismantle inspection and failure analysis (DIFA) of electric
submersible pumps (ESPs). The local engineering manager shall
authorize a DIFA for any pulled ESP equipment. The electric
submersible pump vendor is responsible for conducting and
producing the DIFA and DIFA report, respectively. However,
significant portions of the required data must be provided by
customer. Customer, and its affiliates, shall be a partner in
reviewing and approving the DIFA and DIFA report.
11.1. Purpose
The purpose of this standard is to determine the root cause
of an ESP failure. Identification of this root cause should
lead to operational and/or equipment modifications which
ultimately result in improved runlife performance. It is
imperative that the analysis commence prior to the pulling of
the failed equipment. It is equally important that the DIFA
recommended changes be implemented by customer, its affiliates
and the vendor. All too often, maximizing run life is not
accomplished because ESP failures are not properly identified.
Many factors must be investigated and documented to determine
the ultimate cause of failure. The first flaw discovered in
the failure of an ESP system is often times given full
responsibility for the failure. This identified method of
analysis can result in a much shorter average run life in a
given well and/or field. Maximizing run life of ESP's can be
accomplished through proper analysis of failure modes and
investigating all aspects of the ESP system. This process can
take many hours and/or weeks, particularly if the field is
being analyzed for the first time. It is important to note
that when investigating a single failure, one must also take
into account the entire field operation and procedures along
with the complete history of ESP performance in that field.
Customer personnel shall be responsible for the administration
of this standard in the respective business units. Each
manufacturer shall have a specific “DIFA Procedure” that
meets, or exceeds, the requirements as outlined in this
standard. Any variation from this standard must be approved by
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a customer representative prior to commencing a failure
analysis program.
11.2. Post Failure
When the ESP equipment has failed, it is important that all
relative information be captured. The following items, if
available, shall be captured and quarantined for inclusion
into the DIFA.
 All motor controller/VSD operational data.
 Amp charts, or amperage data.
 Downhole monitoring data.
 SCADA or life of well system, data (e.g. LOWIS, ESP Watcher,
Wellview, Xspoc, etc.). This data shall include any surface
processing equipment data that may be relevant.
 Histories of choke settings inclusive of choke setting at
time of failure.
 Production data (oil, gas & water).
 History of actions taken prior and after the shutdown (e.g.
number of restart attempts, etc.)
 Well ESP failure history (if available), inclusive of
previous DIFA reports from the same well.
 Chemical treatment history.
 Initial sizing and design reports
 Installation reports
 Any daily field reports that may detail sequence of events
or equivalent
11.3. Pre-Pull Requirements
Prior to pulling the equipment, all parties should be advised
that the pulling of the failed equipment is an integral part
of determining the cause of failure. Any unusual events, or
items, should be captured as part of the pull report. All key
electrical readings should be checked and recorded prior to
commencing pulling operations. In addition to the standard
items supplied by the service company for pulling ESP
equipment, the following items are required to be available
during pulling operations:
12 each, 1 pint, wide mouth, plastic sample bottles.
24 each, 1 quart, plastic bags (zip-lock type).
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36 each 2” x 6” cards to be used as identification markers
in photographs.
Permanent markers.
Grease sticks (yellow or white) to circle/identify critical
items.
Digital camera to take pictures of any/all unique items.
Pressure monitoring equipment (5-25 psi capability) – to
check protector/seal shaft seals and ascertain if any
pressure is between motor and lower protector/seal chamber
while pulling. Fittings to be specified by vendor.
New shipping caps and shipping caps gaskets (plastic and
steel). Used shipping caps may be used if in a “like-new”
condition.
The most recent downhole schematic (including the completion
profile); wellbore profile to include pump setting depths
(MD & TVD), etc.
The most recent ESP run report
Any/all well intervention history (inclusive of critical
well file information, installation report, etc.)
Approved pull procedure detailing responsibilities
throughout the ESP retrieval process
Note:
Prior to commencing the pull, the company representative shall
review how the protector/seal will be pressure checked in the
field. This item cannot be captured after the protector/seal
has been disconnected from the motor interface.
11.4. Pulling the ESP
4.1. Critical Pull Observations
The following items should be monitored throughout the
pulling of the equipment.
Wellhead feed through mandrel (mechanical and electrical
condition)
Monitor cable for mechanical damage
Monitor cable for any electrical „blowouts‟
Monitor cable for out-gassing. If this is considered a
possibility, the maximum pulling speed should not exceed 6-10
stands per hour.
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Confirm number of retrieved cable bands are the same as
during the installation
Condition of any/all splices in the cable, inclusive of the
motor lead extension (MLE) to cable splice.
If any splice is suspected of being a problem, the point of
the splice should be noted on the pull of the report.
If the MLE to cable splice is noted as problematic, the cable
shall be cut approximately 2‟-4‟ (~ 1 meter) above, and
below, the splice and retrieved for further evaluation.
Condition of Pothead Entry Point. NOTE: The pothead should
NEVER be disconnected in the field. The MLE should be cut 1-3
feet (~ 0.5-1 meter) above the pothead connection.
Discoloration of any pump or motor housing which would
evidence extreme temperature. Items noteworthy include:
o Blue/black coloring
o Paint blistering
o Melted lead from the MLE
Plugged intake with debris or collapsed intake screen. (Take
samples if debris is found)
Corrosion of cable and/or equipment
Obvious signs of impact to housings or cable
Obvious signs that the housings are bent
Note and/all electrical arcing damage and exact location.
Signs of MLE cutting into housings due to vibration.
Condition of cable and protectorlizers (or cable clamps).
Any obvious signs of tubing damage (corrosion, holes, collar
splits, etc.).
4.2. Disassembly of the ESP at the Well site
It is critical that valuable data be captured during the
disassembly of the ESP. Customer shall have the right to
approve/disapprove the evaluation process of any samples taken
during pulling the ESP, inclusive of the evaluation company
(laboratory, etc.).
4.2.1 Cable/Feedthroughs/Pigtails
Examine the well file prior to pulling the ESP and
determine the number of splices (if any) in the ESP cable and
the number of bands/cable clamps installed during the
installation of the ESP.
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 Conduct a megger test through the feedthrough prior to
disconnecting from the lower pigtail. Note the readings on
the pull report.
 Record the serial number of all penetrators and penetrator
connectors. Quarantine the penetrators and penetrator
connectors for possible further examination.
 Examine the feedthrough on the lower side of the tubing
hanger. Inspect for any signs of possible mechanical damage.
 Examine the lower pigtail to feedthrough connection. Insure
the feedthrough and pigtail were properly connected (it will
be necessary to refer the appropriate feedthrough
manufacturer for the proper make up procedure).
 Disconnect the feedthrough from the lower pigtail and conduct
a megger test. Note the readings on the pull report. Make
note if any fluid is found in the connector when
disconnected.
 Give particular attention to any unusual signs of tension on
the feedthrough and pigtail. Confirm there was some amount of
slack left for thermal expansion; note in the pull report.
 Closely inspect the splice from the lower pigtail to ESP
cable. Examine the splice for signs of excessive heat,
mechanical damage, etc.
 Inspect the ESP cable for mechanical damage while pulling the
ESP.
 If the location of the splices are known, or become visible
(typically, splice locations are easily identifiable),
closely inspect the splice for any signs of damage or
potential failure.
 Items to note as the ESP is pulled:
o Is the cable “out-gassing”?
o Loss of bands or cable clamps.
o Excessive swelling of the cable.
o The condition of the cable armor
 Heavily corroded?
 Is the armor broken?
 Is the armor parted from longitude type stress?
 When the cable has been disconnected from the motor, complete
a megger test and note results on the pull report.
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4.2.2 Check-Valve & Tubing Drain Valve
If a check-valve and tubing drain valve were installed;
note the distance from the pump to the valves on the pull
report. Indicate the type of check & drain valves that were
installed. Take digital photographs of the valves, if
warranted.
Items to evaluate.
 Did the tubing pull wet?
 Was the check valve plugged or fully operational?
 Retrieve any debris samples from the top of the check valve
and/or drain valve, if present.
 Quarantine the valves for future examination.
4.2.3 Pump(s)/Discharge Head
Key items to observe during the disassembly of the
pump(s) (take photographs of any unusual items):
Debris in the head/intake of the pump? If debris is present –
collect samples, place in a plastic bag and label.
Debris between pump sections (if more than one pump section
was installed).
Discoloration of the pump housing(s)?
Shaft(s) rotation observations
o Check shaft rotation from top end of the top pump before
disassembling.
o Check shaft rotation of each pump section from the bottom
end as each pump section is removed (with pump in a
horizontal position).
o Check shaft side play (radial stability) at each end of
each pump section.
o Does the shaft rotate freely?
Does the pump or pump trim show demonstrate evidence of
corrosion? (Trim is defined as the nuts, bolts washers,
etc.).
If the equipment was flame spray coated for corrosion
protection, is the coating showing signs of degradation or
damage from installation/pulling?
If the pump(s) were shimmed with loose shims in the
couplings (some compression type pumps), place the shims in
a plastic bag and label appropriately. DO NOT tamper with
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shaft extension screws or captive shims. Note on pull
report.
Was the o‟ring heat set? Insure that the o‟ring remains with
the discharge head for future examination.
Place new or cleaned shipping caps on the pump(s). Use new
o‟rings or gaskets as needed.
4.2.4 Intake/Gas Separator
Key items to observe during the disassembly of the intake
or gas separator:
Check for excessive side play at both ends of the shaft.
Is the shaft setting height correct?
Did the shaft fall out of the intake?
Were the intake ports plugged? If so, take a sample of the
debris.
Did the intake have a screen? If so, observe the condition
of the screen. Was it collapsed? Was debris plugged into the
screen? If so, take a sample and place in a plastic bag,
identifying appropriately.
Was the o‟ring heat set? Insure that the o‟ring remains with
the intake/gas separator for future examination.
4.2.5 Protector(s)/Seal(s)
It is critical that the shaft seals be checked prior to
disassembly of the protector/seal to motor interface.
Using the pressure checking equipment as required for the
type of equipment being utilized – check to confirm if any
pressure is contained between the protector (seal)/motor
interface point. Pressure checking equipment consists of the
proper tool to connect to a drain/fill location at or near
the head of the motor/seal interface. The check shall be
read on a pressure gauge (0-50 psi).
If a seal is found to be leaking, capture the leak with a
photograph.
Capture fluid samples while disassembling the protector/seal
from the motor. Observe for well fluid contamination and
note on the pull report.
Captured well fluid samples shall be returned to the
vendor‟s service center for further examination during the
equipment teardown.
When disconnected from the intake, observe if there is any
material in the head of the protector/seal.
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Check the shaft for radial stability.
Note:
Drain all labyrinth chambers prior to laying down the
seal/protector. Consult with the manufacturer‟s field service
technician.
Place new or cleaned steel shipping caps on the protector/seal
and place in a shipping box or on a proper supporting surface
on a trailer.
4.2.6 Motor(s)
Key items to observe during the disassembly of the
motor(s) (take photographs of any unusual items):
NOTE: Do NOT disconnect the pothead from the motor. If at all
possible, cut the MLE at least 3 feet (~1 meter) above the
pothead or above the upper most thrust bearing in the
protector/seal. This will allow examination of the cable
condition where it passes by the thrust bearing in the
protector/seal.
Discoloration of the motor housing(s)?
Electrical readings of the motor.
Attempt to “smell” the motor oil and note if the oil has a
“burnt” smell.
Capture fluid samples from the motor head & base as well as
any connection points (if tandem motors). Observe for well
fluid contamination and note on the pull report.
Captured well fluid samples shall be returned to the
vendor‟s service center for further examination during the
equipment teardown.
If tandem motors; observe the connection point between the
motors. Make note of any unusual events such as bent
connection points, cracked insulators, etc.
If a sensor/gauge was installed, give particular attention
to the connection and observe for any signs of leaks or
mechanical damage. DO NOT disconnect the gauge from the base
of the motor. The motor should be returned with the gauge
still connected.
Observe rotation of the shafts and make note on the pull
report how the shaft turns.
Place new, or cleaned, shipping caps on the motor(s) (only
steel shipping-caps to be used on motors; plastic shipping-
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caps are not acceptable). Place the motor in a shipping box or
on a proper supporting surface on a trailer.
4.2.7. Downhole Monitoring Devices (Sensors)
DO NOT disconnect the gauge from the motor if at all
possible. If the gauge must be disconnected at the well site,
proceed with the following steps. Key items to observe during
the disassembly of the gauge from the motor (take photographs
of any unusual items):
Note any impact loading on the bottom of the gauge.
Observe the connection point when disassembled from the
motor.
Observe for well fluid contamination.
Place new or cleaned shipping caps on the device. Use new
gaskets or o‟rings as needed.
5.0 Dismantle, Inspection & Failure Analysis (DIFA)
5.1. Preparation
The dismantling of the ESP shall be conducted in a
controlled environment where extensive observations can be
completed. It may not be necessary to dismantle all pieces of
the ESP. Each component shall be evaluated for bench testing
prior to commencing the dismantling of the respective
component. Customer shall determine if a component shall, or
shall not, be dismantled based upon test data and data
supplied by the manufacturer. Customer shall have the right to
approve/disapprove the evaluation process of any samples,
inclusive of the evaluation company (laboratory, etc.). Prior
to commencing dismantle operations, identification cards shall
be prepared. These cards shall contain the following
information for each component and should be visible in any
photographs taken of the component:
Well Identification
Component Identification
Serial Number
Date of dismantle
In addition to the standard tooling to disassemble the ESP,
the following tools/items shall be available:
Original sizing data (hard copy to be present at dismantle
if available)
Pull & Run Report.
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Field service reports (if any) during the period of
operation.
Operational data captured immediately upon failure of the
ESP (inclusive of all relevant well file information)
Any/all samples taken during the pull of the ESP
Magnifying glass with high intensity lamp.
Calipers to measure bearings/bushings/pump stages, etc.
Long jaw calipers
Shore “A” hardness tester
Drop gauge
Hole Mics
Metal ruler and tape measure
Magnet
Multiple flashlights with high intensity beams
12 each, 1 pint, plastic sample bottles.
24 each, 1 quart, plastic bags (zip-lock type).
36 each 3” x 6” cards (blue or white preferred) to be used
as identification markers in photographs.
Permanent markers.
Dry air source or nitrogen (avoid using compressed air that
is not properly dried).
Round plastic containers for storing items such as shaft
seals, etc.
Digital Camera.
5.2 Cable
In many cases, the cable is examined and tested separately
from the ESP equipment dismantle. Customer shall reserve the
right to witness any testing and repair that may be done to
the cable.
5.3 Pump(s)
The following provides the minimum requirements for
dismantling the pump section(s) of an ESP. Required reference
documents, or information from vendor:
 Stage compression details
 All major wear surfaces dimensions and tolerances as follows:
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Mixed flow impeller
Balance Ring
Ring Groove
Vane
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Radial flow impeller
 Skirt
 Bore
 Hubs
 Sleeves
 Bushings
Shaft settings
Pump Test Report (new)
Prior to disassembling the pump section, the shaft shall be
checked for rotation. If the shaft rotates, customer shall
determine if the pump shall be placed on a pump test bench and
tested prior to dismantle. If possible, flush the pump prior
to testing and collect any samples that may be flushed from
the pump. Also, prior to disassembly, ask that a new pump
stage be provided for comparison purposes. The new stage will
allow a visual comparison in key areas of the pump stage.
Pump Dismantle
Verify the pump serial number on the nameplate.
Inspect the condition of the pump housing
o Check for scale buildup, collect samples if present.
o Inspect the housing for corrosion and/or holes in the
housing. If holes are present, note the location relative
to the bottom end of the pump.
o Check for mechanical damage (dents, vibration from the
cable, scratching and bends).
o Visually inspect the housing for straightness (flop test).
o If the pump(s) have a flame spray corrosion coating,
visually inspect the coating and note any areas where the
coating is not intact.
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o Check for any signs of heat that would result from spinning
diffusers.
Shaft Settings & Inspection
o Check the shaft for ease of rotation (typical nomenclature
is: free, rough, hard or stuck).
o Confirm the shaft is rotating at the opposite end of the
pump.
o Take the appropriate head and base measurement for the
shaft settings. Compare these to the manufacturer‟s factory
settings.
o Push the shaft to the down position and take measurements;
repeat in the up position. This will determine the shaft’s
axial movement. Compare to the manufacturer‟s factory
settings.
o If applicable attach a dial indicator on the inside of the
shaft spline, or on a coupling, to measure run-out when the
shaft is rotated. Repeat this procedure on either-end of
the pump. Compare to the manufacturer‟s factory settings.
Head & Base Inspection
o Remove the head and inspect the bushing for wear, plugging,
corrosion, erosion. Inspect the condition of the threads on
the head.
o If the pump has a threaded bearing support, measure the
distance from the end of the housing to the top of the
bearing support to determine the gap between the head and
support.
o Inspect the bearing support for wear with particular
attention to corrosion and erosion.
o If it is a compression type pump remove the compression per
the manufacturer‟s instructions. Thereafter, remove the
base and complete a similar inspection as was conducted on
the pump head.
o Pull/push the impeller and diffuser stack from the housing.
Note: insure that the snap rings and 2-piece rings are in
place (consult with the manufacturer for each pump‟s
specific design).
o Note on the dismantle report if the impeller and diffuser
stack are difficult to pull from the housing.


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O-rings
o Check all o-rings for damage such as extrusion, feathering,
explosive decompression, compression set, etc. Observe for
any signs of leak past the o-ring.
o Give particular attention to any o-rings on the OD of the
diffuser. Observe the o-ring for swelling and hardness (due
to heat, etc).
Impeller & Diffuser, Bearing Sections Inspection
o Wipe off the OD of the diffuser stack and number the stages
from bottom (stage #1) to top (stage #X).
o Remove the stages and shaft from the housing. Slide all
stages off the shaft with sleeves and spacers.
o Note any diffusers that show signs of spinning on the
exterior.
o Inspect the o-rings that are in the pump stages (diffuser
OD).
o Inspect all impellers for any signs of thrust, abrasive
wear and/or radial wear. Give particular attention to the
pads, bores and hubs. Check for one-sided wear.
o Observe all components for discoloration that would
indicate wellbore fluid damage or possible heat damage.
o Randomly remove some of the thrust washers and check for
thickness and brittleness. Note the type of thrust washers
and compare with a new thrust washer. Confirm the same type
of thrust washers were used throughout the pump.
o If any foreign material is found in the pump, collect a
sample for further analysis and testing. Label on the
collection bag the location of the material.
o With the pump components laid out from base to head, take
key measurements in the top five stages, middle five stages
and bottom five stages. All wear surfaces should be
measured (e.g. skirts, bores, hubs, sleeves, bushings
etc.). This information will be used later to plot a trend
analysis. Note, the manufacturer‟s dimensions and
tolerances of all components will be required. The
manufacturer should supply this information in advance or
at the time of the dismantle.
o Inspect the bushings and sleeves between the stages for
wear, cracks or abrasive indications. Note the material
type of the bushings and sleeves and the spacing of any
abrasion resistant (AR) bearings.
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o Note and record the spacing of any/all stage bearings.
Shaft Inspection
o Visually inspect the shaft spline on both ends. Observe the
splines for straightness and coupling engagement. If a
coupling is only partially engaged damage may be noted at
the upper end of the spline. Refer to the manufacturer‟s
guidelines for checking shaft straightness.
o Place the shaft on a bench with the keyway facing up.
Observe the shaft for straightness or twisting.
o If the shaft utilizes shim nuts – remove and measure with a
caliper.
o Inspect the shaft surface of any obvious issues such as
pitting, galling, erosion beneath the shaft sleeves, one-
sided wear, etc.
5.4 Intakes/Gas Separators
The intake/gas separator and discharge head should be
dismantled in conjunction with the pump.
Required reference documents, or information from vendor:
Head/base bushing dimensions & tolerances
Visual Inspection
o Inspect the O.D. of the housing for corrosion, pitting,
burns, mechanical damage, scale, holes, etc.
o A note should be made if the O.D. has a corrosion resistant
coating, and whether or not the gas separator has shipping
caps.
o After the respective internal parts are removed, the
condition of the I.D. as well as internal parts should be
examined noting any erosion, corrosion, or other
abnormalities.
Bearings and Bushings
o Inspect all bearings, bushings and sleeves noting wear
(one-sided or concentric), presence of foreign materials
and general condition. Collect samples of any foreign
materials.
Shaft
o Turn the shaft and note whether it turns free, hard, rough
or stuck. Note condition of shaft and splines, including
wear or twisting, corrosion or other mechanical damage.

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Intake Screen
o Observe condition of intake screen, noting presence of
foreign materials or screen collapse. Note if an intake
screen was not present. If the intake screen is not present
– was it noted on the installation report?
5.5. Protector(s)/Seal(s)
The following provides the minimum requirements for
dismantling the protector/seal section(s) of an ESP. Required
reference documents, or information from vendor:
Manufacturer‟s specific dismantle procedure for the
appropriate protector/seal to be dismantled.
Shaft settings & dimensions, tolerances
Head & base bushing dimensions and tolerances
Specification for bag material hardness (Shore “A”)
Seal Test Report (new)
Reference vendor documents for testing bag type and labyrinth
protectors/seals.
Standard for testing dielectric breakdown of insulating
liquids. (Reference ASTM D-877-Standard Test Methods for
Dielectric Breakdown Voltage for Insulation Liquids using
disk electrodes).
Protector/Seal Dismantle (while is it necessary to follow the
dismantle guidelines of the specific manufacturer, it is
imperative that the following items be inspected, at a
minimum. Compare the two documents to insure that all of the
following steps are met.)
Verify the protector/seal serial number on the nameplate.
Inspect the condition of the protector/seal housing
o Check for scale buildup, collect samples if present.
o Inspect the housing for corrosion and/or holes in the
housing.
o Check for mechanical damage (dents, vibration from the
cable, scratching and bends).
o Visually inspect the housing for straightness.
o If the protector/seal has a flame spray corrosion coating,
visually inspect the coating and note any areas where the
coating is not intact.
o Inspect the vent holes for plugging or debris.
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o Visually inspect the drain and fill valve locations for any
extruded lead gaskets.
Coupling(s)
o Inspect the coupling closely with a flashlight.
o Look for any stress damage in the splines.
o If debris is found, collect a sample.
Perform a housing leak test at the various vent ports (this
will be manufacturer specific; refer to the appropriate
manufacturer for the exact locations and pressure sequence).
The goal of this step is to test each housing connection
point to verify integrity. Use soapy water to inspect for
leaks. Give particular attention to lock plates and/or joint
welds (if utilized).
Cut lock plates/joint welds if required.
Disassembly of the protector/seal (Note: it is imperative to
refer to the specific manufacturer guidelines for
protector/seal disassembly. Each protector/seal type will
vary depending on the manufacturer and type of protector/seal
utilized.)
o Check the shaft for ease of rotation (typical nomenclature
is: free, rough, hard or stuck).
o Confirm the shaft is rotating at the opposite end of the
protector/seal.
o Push the shaft to the down position and take measurements;
repeat in the up position. This will determine the shaft‟s
axial movement. Compare to the manufacturer‟s factory
settings.
o Attach a dial indicator on the inside of the shaft spline,
or on a coupling, to measure run-out when the shaft is
rotated. Repeat this procedure on either-end of the unit.
Compare to the manufacturer‟s factory settings.
o The protector/seal is to be positioned at a minimum 45
degree angle to insure the mechanical seal is covered with
oil.
o Starting at the head of the protector/seal, apply 5 psi of
air pressure through the appropriate vent hole and rotate
the shaft in both directions. If no bubbles are observed,
the mechanical seal is good. Air pressure is to be applied
for minimum of (2) minutes
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o Before checking. If the mechanical seal leaks, replace the
shipping cap and repeat the test, soaping the joints to
observe for leaks.
o Continue disassembling the protector/seal from the head
down. Repeat the process of checking each mechanical seal
as it is reached. Each time, insure the protector/seal is
at, or near, a 45 degree angle prior to checking the
mechanical seal.
o As valves are removed from the protector/seal, inspect the
integrity of the lead gaskets. Give attention to any areas
where the lead gasket was not properly deformed
(compressed) for a possible leak path or where the lead
gasket may have been fully extruded due to being over-
tightened. Note findings on the report.
o Check all o-rings for damage such as extrusion, feathering,
explosive decompression, compression set, etc. Observe for
any signs of leak past the o-ring.
Inspection of Mechanical (Shaft) Seals
o Remove the snap ring that holds the mechanical seal and
slide the mechanical seal from the shaft.
o Remove and inspect the runner surface.
o Inspect the mechanical seal bellows, spring, runner and
seat for wear, scoring, chipping or broken face. Check the
elastomer for pliability ةنورم, stiffness, hardness. Parts
should be labeled and sealed for further inspection at a
later date, if required.
Inspection of Chambers & Bags
o Inspect each chamber for corrosion, condition of threads
contamination, etc. Fluid samples shall be taken from each
chamber and identified appropriately for future examination
if appropriate.
o Inspect each bag, bag clamps and general condition. Note
the amount and type of fluid in the bag and on the outside
of the bag. Obtain samples in all sections. Insure samples
are labeled as collected from the different chambers,
inside the bags, etc.
o Inspect the external condition of any/all bags. Give
particular attention to the area of the bag clamps and
along the seam of the bag.
o Where applicable, remove the bag frame assembly (once
again, refer to the specific manufacturer guidelines and
procedures). After sealing the bag frame, inflate with air
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and submerse the bag frame into water and look for air
bubbles.
o Locate the markings on the bag and identify the material
(the manufacturer may utilize a specific code). Check the
bag for splits, bubbles, evidence of decompression, etc.
o Where applicable, remove the bag from the guide/frame and
inspect for well fluid or other foreign material. If any
foreign material is found, collect a sample for further
evaluation. Once again, collect fluid samples from inside
the bag and identify appropriately. Additionally, collect a
sample of the bag material and place in a plastic bag for
possible future laboratory examination.
Thrust Bearing Inspection
o Remove the thrust bearing from the thrust chamber per the
manufacturer‟s recommended procedure.
o Inspect the base bushing for any wear such as scoring, one-
side wear or galling.
o Inspect the thrust bearings and both sides of the runner
for any signs of operating in water, up thrust, down
thrust, uneven wear, deflected thrust runner, scoring,
excessive heat, fretting, etc.
o Fretting (or fretting corrosion) - The ASM Handbook on
Fatigue and Fracture defines fretting as: "A special wear
process that occurs at the contact area between two
materials under load and subject to minute relative motion
by vibration or some other force."
Head & Base Bushing & Shaft Inspection
o For the head and base locations, examine for bushing wear,
scoring, leak tracks, o‟ring groove condition and
internal/external corrosion.
o Examine the shaft at the bushing and seal surfaces and note
any unusual wear (e.g. one-sided), scoring, etc.
o Visually inspect the shaft spline on both ends. Observe the
splines for straightness and coupling engagement. If a
coupling is only partially engaged damage may be noted with
damage at the upper end of the spline.
o Observe the shaft for any “frosting” that may occur.
“Frosting” is defined as the transfer of base bushing
material on to the motor shaft.
o Place the shaft on a bench and observe the shaft for
straightness or twisting.
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o If the shaft utilizes shim nuts – remove and measure with a
caliper.
o Inspect the shaft surface of any obvious issues such as
pitting, galling, one-sided wear, etc.
5.6. Motor(s) (Includes the MLE & Pothead)
The following provides the minimum requirements for
dismantling the motor(s) section of an ESP.
Required reference documents, or information from vendor:
Shaft settings
Shaft settings & dimensions, tolerances
Head & base bushing dimensions and tolerances
Rotor, rotor bearing dimensions, tolerances
Any other relevant dimensions as required by the specific
manufacturer
Motor Test Report (new) (include the vibration data if
available)
Motor pit test (if applicable).
Motor Winding Information (to include details regarding
magnet wire splicing during original manufacture).
Standard for testing dielectric breakdown of insulating
liquids. (Reference ASTM D-877-Standard Test Methods for
Dielectric Breakdown Voltage for Insulation Liquids using
disk electrodes).
Review the electrical readings from the pull report and
reconfirm. Complete an electrical check on the motor prior to
removing the MLE connection at the pothead if possible. At a
minimum, the motor should be:
► Megger test
► Resistance readings taken
► KV (dielectric) test on an oil sample taken from the base of
the motor
Refer the specific manufacturer for minimum acceptable
readings. Prior to removing the MLE/Pothead or removing a
gauge (if attached)
► Perform a pressure test on the motor housing. Connect an air
hose (be sure to use either a dry air source or nitrogen) to
the drain/fill valve and apply 10 psi. Hold for a minimum of
1 minute, monitoring to confirm the motor holds pressure. If
the pressure drops below 10 psi, spray soapy water at the
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pothead, head/base joints to ascertain the location of the
leak.
If the motor passes the initial electrical inspection, the
motor should be tested per the manufacturer‟s recommended
guidelines. If a recommended guideline does not exist, the
motor can be raised to a vertical position and flushed with
appropriate new motor oil. Use a new piece of filter paper to
drain the oil from the motor to collect any solids that may be
present. Refill the motor with new motor oil and repeat the
process, using a second piece of filter paper. After the
second refill, place the motor on the motor test bench and
complete a full slant idle motor test. The motor vibration
should be recorded during the slant idle test. Compare the
vibration data to the original motor test data. Any solids
removed from the motor should be evaluated as to their origin
(i.e. brass shavings, sludge, etc.). If the motor passes the
slant idle motor test, prepare to hi-pot the motor. If the
motor fails the slant idle motor test, proceed to dismantle.
Complete a final KV (dielectric) test on an oil sample taken
from the base of the motor.
Motor Dismantle
Verify the motor(s) serial number on the nameplate.
Inspect the condition of the motor(s) housing o Check for
scale buildup, collect samples if present.
o Inspect the housing for corrosion and/or holes in the
housing.
o Check for mechanical and electrical damage.
o Visually inspect the housing for straightness.
o If the motor has a flame spray corrosion coating, visually
inspect the coating and note any areas where the coating is
not intact.
Remove Shipping Caps
o Inspect the shipping caps for any signs of debris, solids
or water since being pulled from the well.
Remove the remaining MLE & Pothead
o Inspect and test the pothead for any signs of possible
damage such as:
► Look for signs of heat
► Confirm the age of the MLE/Pothead – was it reused?
► O‟ring damage
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► Surface damage to the sealing areas
► Elastomer integrity
► Check the pothole for evidence of fluid tracking.
o If a sample was collected and tested during the slant idle
test, the following “3” steps are not required.
► Drain the motor oil from the motor; collect a sample for
dielectric testing. This sample should be compared to the
sample collected when pulling the equipment from the well.
► Check the condition of the motor oil and note on the
report (standard nomenclature is: clear, dark, emulsified,
metal/brass shavings).
► After completing the dielectric test on the motor oil,
observe the motor oil for well fluid by letting it set for
a period of time to ascertain if anything settles out on
bottom, or top, of the motor oil.
o Complete an electrical check of the motor without the
pothead connected.
o If tandem motors, complete individual electrical tests of
each motor.
Shaft Settings & Inspection o Check the shaft for ease of
rotation (typical nomenclature is: free, rough, hard or
stuck). Rotate the shaft by using a motor coupling and an
insert tool to turn the shaft.
o Confirm the shaft is rotating at the opposite end of the
motor.
o Measure the shaft axial/lateral movement. Compare to the
manufacturer‟s factory settings.
o Use a dial indicator to check run-out at the head and base
of the shaft. Compare to the manufacturer‟s factory
settings.
Thrust Bearing & Runner
o Remove the thrust bearing and runner, inspect same.
o Check the condition of the runner face and surface.
o Check the thrust bearing for scoring, smearing,ثولم
galling.
Remove the Motor Head & Rotor String
o After removing the motor head, inspect the head bushing for
any abnormal wear. Check the o‟ring sealing area for any
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signs of damage and a resulting leak path. Typically, leak
paths will have be manifested in a discolored area.
o Check the threads on the motor head for any signs of
galling.
o Check the lead cables for physical or electrical damage.
o Check the condition of the end coils for obvious and
visible signs of a burn.
o If the stator is grounded, look for carbon trails, copper
balls to lead to the location of a burn.
o If necessary, insert a scope into the stator and inspect.
o Check all o‟rings for damage such as extrusion, feathering,
explosive decompression, compression set, etc. Observe for
any signs of leaks past the o-ring.
o If the rotor string was difficult to remove, check for any
areas where heat may have affected the string resulting in
warping. Check for straightness.
o Inspect each rotor for discoloration and rotor strike.
Typically, the rotors will be gray in color with copper
colored end rings.
o Note any discoloration of the copper. Give particular
attention if the copper appears black as this is an
indication of H2S.
o Inspect the rotor bearings for spinning (if non-locking
type rotor bearings). If the manufacturer used a locking
rotor bearing – inspect/confirm the rotor bearing locked
correctly. This may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
o After removal of the rotor string, inspect the slot liner
to determine if it is in its proper position. Determine if
it has “shrunk” into the slots.
Perform Electrical Check on the Stator
o Check the stator for phase to phase balance. If the motor
section is an upper tandem or center tandem motor, it will
be necessary to connect the phases together at the base of
the motor. The sequence for checking the stator should be:
A-B; B-C, C-A. Under normal conditions, the stator should
be balanced phase to phase within 5%. Refer to the
appropriate manufacturer‟s guidelines. Compare the readings
to the original readings taken at time of manufacture or
the most recent available readings (e.g. readings taken
prior to installation).
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o After checking the stator phase to phase, remove the jumper
at the base of the motor and check for resistance to
ground. Use a minimum of a 1000 VDC megger (a 5000 VDC
megger is preferred if available). Typically, the reading
on each phase should read 2000+ meg ohms. Be sure to
discharge the phase after testing to ground.
o Note: if the stator tests grounded and the burn is not
easily visible, destructive testing may be required.
Destructive testing requires the stator to be cut in
sections to expose suspected areas of a possible failure.
Rotor, Thrust Washer, Rotor Bearing & Sleeve Removal
o Check the condition of the thrust washers. If the thrust
washers have been exposed to excessive heat they will be
brittle. Also inspect the thrust washers for abnormal wear.
o Inspect the rotors for wear, any signs of possible rotor
strike against the stator and any residue buildup on the
OD/ID of the surfaces.
o Dimensionally check the rotors and rotor bearings.
o Inspect the rotor bearings for any signs of spinning
(assumes a non-locking rotor bearing).
o Inspect locking rotor bearings for engagement.
o Inspect all components for discoloration due to heat or
exposure to well fluid.
Base Inspection
o Check all o-rings for damage such as extrusion, feathering,
explosive decompression, compression set, etc. Observe for
any signs of leaks past the o-ring.
o Check the base bushing for abnormal wear, grooving or one
sided wear.
o Check all connection points for arcing or burns.
o Check the end coils for burns.
Final Shaft Inspection (after removal of rotors)
o Inspect the shaft for signs of heat or any abnormal wear.
o Check the head and base bushing areas for polishing,
scoring or excessive wear.
o Check the sleeve surfaces for discoloration, wear and
scoring.
o Inspect the oil holes for plugging.

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5.7 Downhole Monitoring Devices (Sensors)
If a downhole monitoring (i.e. sensor, gauge, etc.) is
installed conduct an evaluation of the component.
o Complete an inspection of the housing for corrosion,
erosion and mechanical damage.
o Follow the manufacturer‟s guidelines and complete an
electrical/electronic integrity test.
o Inspect the connection point between the motor and the
monitoring device. Note any unusual damage.
o For a motor oil sensor, document the length of the lead to
the thermocouple.
6.0 Root Cause Analysis (RCA) & “The Why Analysis”
The purpose of Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is to enable an
investigation (in this case – failure analysis) to produce
sufficient learning to prevent recurrence, or to have an
excellent chance of preventing recurrence, of whatever
undesired event or issue is being investigated. In order to
have sufficient learning, a Root Cause Analysis shall identify
the physical, human and latent cause(s), of the undesired
event or issue. If we do not identify and correct the
physical, human and latent cause(s), the undesired event or
issue may repeat if the same cause triggers similar undesired
events or issues in the same or other equipment, systems,
processes, etc.
There are generally two types of application of root cause
analysis: a) significant sporadic events, or b) significant
chronic issues.
Sporadic:عطقتم Significant sporadic events are low-frequency,
high impact events that are typically very visible and
severe.
Chronic:نمزم Chronic issues are typically high-frequency, low
impact (per occurrence) issues that may not be very visible,
but over time, usually exceed the cost of sporadic events
when the multiple impacts are accumulated. A focus on chronic
issues will typically have the most impact.
o What is deemed to be “chronic” can be relative. For
example, suppose an offshore platform shuts in twice within
a six-month period of time for the same reason, resulting
each time in a significant loss of production. That could
be considered chronic even though it is neither “high
frequency” nor “low impact” per occurrence.

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Evidence Gathering
o While this recommended practice is concerned primarily with
analysis of evidence, it should be understood that evidence
gathering itself, is an essential part of a quality
investigation. The people who gather evidence must
understand what evidence should be gathered and how to
gather that evidence. They must be able to interpret the
information, and they must have the ability to accurately
convey that information. Anyone designated to gather
evidence should have received proper training or be under
the direct supervision of someone who has been so trained.
Root Cause Analysis Determination
o As stated earlier in this section, a Root Cause Analysis
shall identify the physical, human and latent cause(s), of
the undesired event or issue. If the physical, human and
latent cause(s) are not identified and corrected, then the
undesired event or issue may repeat if the same cause
triggers similar undesired events or issues in the same or
other equipment, systems, processes, etc.
o Undesired events begin with a physical cause. For example,
the shaft broke (undesired event) because it failed in
fatigue as a result of rotating bending stresses (physical
cause). This is where many investigations stop. The root
cause analysis shall not stop at this point. Identification
of the true physical cause is not a mere formality - it is
critical that the physical cause is accurately determined.
Going further to identify human and latent causes for an
incorrectly identified physical cause will not necessarily
prevent recurrence.
o People do things, or don‟t do things, that enable or
trigger physical causes, and these are the human causes;
for example, the mechanic misaligned the motor and the
pump. In the case of human error, there are only two
categories: 1) knew, but didn‟t do, or 2) didn‟t know, and
therefore couldn‟t do.
The Why Analysis
o The “Why Analysis” is conducted by repeatedly asking the
question "Why". Using this technique you can peel away the
layers of symptoms which can lead to the root cause of a
problem. Very often the apparent reason for a problem will
lead you to another question. To complete the why analysis
ask “Why?” the immediate cause occurred and write that
answer down. If the answer doesn't identify the root cause
of the problem, ask “Why?” again and write that answer
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down. Continue this process until a root cause is
identified. Writing the answers to the why question allows
you to start documenting the sequence of events that lead
up to the incident. Use the criteria below to identify when
a root cause is found.
Benefits of using the Why Analysis
o A very simple tool to use
o Helps to identify the real root cause(s) of the incident
o Determines the relationship between different root causes
of a problem by establishing the sequence of events
o Allows creation of solutions that remove the underlying
root causes
o Not only identifies causes and solutions to eliminate the
reoccurrence of the immediate event, but eliminates the
occurrence of similar events that could occur if the root
cause(s) are not removed.
7.0 DIFA Report Format
The format shall be consistent for all reports. The
reports shall have a designated numbering format, preferably
sequentially numbered. The report shall contain a header and
footer that contain consistent information throughout the
report. The header shall contain:
o Company Name
o Title
o Reference Report number
o Well Name
The footer shall contain:
o Issue/revision number
o Page “x of y” numbering format.
The completed DIFA Report shall be submitted to the local
customer Engineering Manager/Supervisor/Engineer, as
designated by the local business unit. The local business unit
shall submit a report to the Artificial Lift team leader.
Electronic copies are acceptable.
7.1 Cover
The cover shall reference a specific DIFA report number;
identify the appropriate business unit and well name/number.

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7.2 Table of Contents
The table of contents shall detail each major area in the
report and an associated page number.
7.3 Distribution List
The distribution list page shall identify all parties that
the report is distributed to (inclusive of Customer personnel
as well vendor personnel). This page shall also identify the
person that conducted the dismantle inspection as well as the
person(s) which wrote the report.
7.4 Well Information
This page shall be considered the executive summary. This
section shall contain the following information:
o Business Unit Identification
o Well Identification
o Run Date
o Failure Date
o Pull Date
o Run Life (in days)
o Reason for Pull
o Dismantle Date
o Report Date
The written portion of this page shall state the following,
under individual headings:
o Objective – a short description of the objective of the
DIFA.
o Well History – a brief overview of major incidents in the
life of the well from the run date to pull date. All
unusual events should be highlighted in this paragraph.
o Pull Report – a brief description of observations during
the pulling of the unit.
o Summary – a short paragraph detailing the failure and
evaluated cause of failure.
7.5 Trend Analysis
This section should contain graphs/charts from available
well monitoring packages such as LOWIS, SCADA or Well view.
Customer shall make this information available to the vendor‟s
application engineer.
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7.6 Electric Submersible Pump Identification Information
This section shall give complete descriptions of the
failed ESP in a table format. The table shall consist of
Equipment Description, Serial Number and Part Number.
7.7 Dismantle Inspection Findings
This section consists of multiple pages. The order of this
section shall be from top to bottom on the ESP (i.e. pump,
intake, seal/equalizer/protector, and motor). Each component
section shall contain the following:
o Header section identifying the component and it‟s proper
description; serial number; part number
o Exterior Inspection
o Head/Base Condition
o Shaft Condition
o Component(s) Condition with extensive descriptions
o Summary of finding for the specific component
7.8 Summary of Results & Statement of Root Cause
This section shall contain 3-6 paragraphs summarizing the
findings of the DIFA. The statement of the root cause of
failure shall be made in this section.
7.9 Recommendations
This section shall contain 1-4 paragraphs recommending
future changes or highlighting key areas to monitor.
7.10 Photograph Gallery
This section shall consist of multiple pages of important
photographs that contribute to the issues discovered in the
DIFA. The page shall have 2 photographs per page, maximum. The
photographs shall be of consistent size and shall have
sufficient quality to identify the item being described. A
detailed description of the photograph shall be at the bottom
of each photograph or at the bottom of the page if a single
description is sufficient for both photographs. Where
applicable, the photograph shall utilize embedded arrows and
descriptions. Finally, as appropriate, a rectangular
description card should be included in the photograph that
identifies the well, item and serial number


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Pump Photographs

Pump Housing Coating Flake (flame spray type coating)

Drag Marks on Pump Housing

Coating flaking
Drag Marks
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Cut O‟ring on Pump Head (Note: the o‟ring appears to be
brittle as well)

Scored Bushing in Pump Base



Cut o’ring & brittle
Scoring
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Severe Bushing Wear

Pump Head – likely deposits from tubing “trash”

Tubing fallback deposits
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Spinning Diffuses

Typical One-Sided Pump Shaft Wear

Spinning Diffusers; note
marks on diffuser OD
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Twisted Pump Shaft at Spline

Twisted Shaft Along Keyway
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Scale in Pump Stage

Cracked Impeller Hub – Crack Along Keyway
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Eccentric destroy Impeller hub

Impeller hub completely destroyed
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Severe Downthrust Wear versus New Impeller
Destroy in diffuser hub
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Impeller with Whipping

Light Upthrust Wear on Impeller
Upthrust on Impeller
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Heavy Upthrust Wear on Impeller

Heavy Upthrust Wear with Broken Hub
Broken Hub
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Diffuser Bore with Medium Wear



One Sided Radial Wear
Medium Wear Area
Medium Wear Area
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Severe downthrust

Severe upthrust
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Plugging with scale
BOI & GS Photographs

Collapsed Intake Screen
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Severe Intake Erosion

Plugged Gas Separator from Asphaltines
Severe Erosion
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Damaged Gas Separator Inducer

Erosion in BOI exit ports

Broken Inducer
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Erosion in GS against axial impeller

Severe erosion in GS against axial impeller

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Erosion in BOI inlet ports

Hole in GS (Corrosion)
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Scoring in zirconium bearing
Protector/Seal Photographs

Corrosion in the Lockplate Area
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MLE vibration marks on the seal/protector housing

Water in the Chamber of a Seal/Protector
Water in a Seal/Protector
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Scale Deposits on Mechanical Seal

Damage to Seal Bellows Due to Heat
Damage to elastomer of seal
due to heat
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Severe Corrosion on the Seal/Protector Tube

Severe Deposits on the Exterior of the Seal/Protector Bag (All
Deposits Should be Collected and Examined by a Laboratory)
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Bubbles in the Seal/Protector Bag

Damage to a Seal/Protector Bag
Bubbles in the bag can be
caused be defects, chemicals,
heat, etc.
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Damage to a Seal/Protector Bag at the Clamp Area

New thrust bearing (Solid shoe)
Damage to a bag from the
application of a clamp
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New Thrust runner

New thrust bearing (high load 9 pads)
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New Thrust runner (High Load)

Sever thrust load
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Heavy Smearing of Standard Thrust Bearing

Severe Damage to Thrust Bearing due to Down Thrust
Heavy down thrust damage
– note the pad stuck to the
runner
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Damage to Seal/Protector Shaft at the Bushing Surface

Broken Seal/Protector Shaft (Note: never try to put the ends
of the shaft back together. The ends should be examined under
a microscope.)
Note the damage on the
shaft where the bushing is
located
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Frontal View of Broken Shaft


Shaft Break – often a shaft break will occur at, or near, the
spline area of the shaft as this is the weakest area.
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Motor Photographs

Motor Pothead Hole

Motor Head Burn (Flat Cable Area)

Inspect o’ring area for
damage
Burn on motor head
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Failed Pothead at MLE/Pothead Interface

Massive Pothead Burn
Blowout of Pothead
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Rotor subjected to light heating effect

Rotor subjected to medium to high heating effect

Rotor subjected to high heating effect


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Failure in protector(s)/seal(s)

Rotor Strike
Dielectric oil contaminated
with well fluid
Rotor Strike
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Rotor Strike on Motor Laminations

Burn on Lead from End-Turn

Lead burn (from end-
turn on motor)
Rotor Strike Area of
“Sectioned” Motor

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Coil to Coil Burn





Burn between end-
coils – classified as a
“coil-to-coil” burn

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