When repacking make sure the slits in the packing are staggered. The goal is to stop an excessive leak at start-up or after repacking, not to prevent the water from getting to the outer rings.
The packing drip is decided by the two outer rings. Adjusting the gland in only these rings will compress the packing and make it tighter on the shaft. The last ring opening or slit should be at the bottom of the shaft, and the gland should be started or registered in the stuffing box. You do not want it to drop on the shaft.
To start the gland in the stuffing box, cut ¼ inch from the new ring and flatten it a bit. This will allow it to go into the stuffing box more easily. Do not force the gland into the packing box, as it will put too much pressure on the shaft and packing. Most of the packing is graphite impregnated Teflon and can wear into a shaft and groove it if you are not careful.
Install the first three rings into the stuffing box and use the gland to make sure they are seated correctly. Then install the fourth ring, start the pump and adjust the packing. If you can get the last ring in go ahead and install it – but make sure there is a drip, or that the packing is running at a temperature where you can leave your hand on it.
Packing that is too hot, or does not peak and then drops to a normal operating temperature is a cause for concern and may lead to packing or bearing failure. Check to make sure there is a slow drip, as no drip and high packing temperature may indicate that the packing is too tight and should be adjusted.
When starting a new pump, or a pump with new packing, the following tips that will help extend the life and performance of your pump packing: