When the hydraulic flow path is incompatible with the physical contours of the centrifugal pump (CP), flow instabilities occur. A prolonged operation in the flow-instability region may result in severe damages of the CP system. Hence, two of the major causes of flow instabilities such as the suction blockage (with five levels of increasing severity) and impeller defects are studied in the present work. Thereafter, an attempt is made to classify these faults and differentiate the physics behind the flow instabilities caused due to them. The tri-axial CP vibration data in time domain are employed for the fault classification. Multidistinct and multicoexisting fault classifications have been performed with different combinations of these faults using support vector machine (SVM) algorithm with radial basis function (RBF) kernel. Prediction results from the experiments and the developed methodology help to segregate the faults into appropriate class, identify the severity of the suction blockage, and substantiate the practical applicability of this study.

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