Whenever you find appreciable quantities of gas in the barrels of Reciprocating pumps, you’ve got the potential for related problems of gas lock and/or fluid pound…. the loss of production and heavy damage to equipment. For a better understanding of the solution, let’s examine these problems and how they occur. In normal operation, the pump barrel alternately fills with fluid through a standing valve below … then empties into the production tubing by means of a traveling valve above both valves which are of the ball-and-seat type. In the upstroke, the barrel becomes a vacuum chamber, opening the lower valve to admit fluid, while the upper valve is closed under the weight of the fluid above it. On the downstroke, hydraulic pressure in the barrel will seat the lower or standing valve and open the traveling valve, so that fluids in the barrel must exit through the upper valve … ready to be lifted on the next upstroke.
Simple, effective hydraulics? Certainly! … until gas appears in the product and the mixture becomes compressible. At that point, pump efficiency begins to fade. You’re now pumping less fluids than the well is capable of producing.
GAS LOCK: Becomes complete when the product in the pump barrel becomes so compressible that the traveling valve can no longer open under the weight of fluids in the tubing above it. The valve remains closed through the entire downstroke. Operating costs remain the same, but there is no production.
FLUID POUND: Occurs when the ratio of gas to fluid is such that the product in the pump barrel is compressible during part of the downstroke, hydrostatic pressure of the fluids in the production tubing will hold the traveling valve closed during compression, while the rods and pump plunger gain momentum. Suddenly, the traveling valve “pounds” into the gas/fluid interface or the point of non-compressibility. Tremendous, jarring stresses are transferred throughout the system, eventually resulting in severe damage to rods, tubing, gearbox, bearings, and structural components of the pumping unit. Costly replacements become frequent.
Solves double problems: Wherever gas intrusion poses problems in reciprocal pumps, more and more field foremen and production engineers are discovering the single best solution: The Equalizer. In thousands of field applications, The Equalizer has delivered the following results consistently
.Dramatic increases in production
.Reduced equipment damage
.Longer runs between pulling jobs
.Lower overall operating costs
Despite its comparatively low cost, here's a unit that works—and keeps working—where competitive tools fail. Here’s how … and here’s why …
The Equalizer: Is best described as a “lost-motion coupling device” with just one purpose: to open the traveling valve at or near the beginning of the pump’s downstroke for peak efficiency. It embodies a “slack joint” or sliding keeper sleeve, which allows the piston sleeve and port sub to be fully extended on the upstroke or fully compressed on the downstroke. At the instant the pump starts downward, you have three distinct mechanical forces combining to open the traveling valve by means of a push-rod beneath the ball: (1) inherent upward inertia of The Equalizer’s lower assembly beneath the keeper sleeve, (2) friction between the piston sleeve and the pumps barrel wall, and (3) the force of the product against the port sub. In most applications, these forces will open the valve at or near the start of the downstroke. If, however, a large amount of compressible product is present in the barrel, The Equalizer acts as a shock absorber to open the traveling valve before “pounding” occurs. It should never be necessary to “tag the pump” or set it to “bump button”
INSTALLATION IS SIMPLE
The Equalizer: May be installed on any stationary-barrel pump with a single traveling valve. (A slightly different configuration is available and easily installed on pumps with multiple traveling valves. Call for details.) The standard model equalizer is designed to work with API parts. Modifications must and can be made for non-API parts, such as “California valve seats.”
The Equalizer: Has proved equally successful at all depths. Wherever a reciprocating pump is subject to gas-impairment problems, it will operate more efficiently with The Equalizer installed. The unit is available to fit all standard pump sizes, 1-1/16” through 2-3/4”, and in non-standard sizes on request.