Cavitation is one of the main problems reducing the longevity of centrifugal pumps in industry today. If the pump operation is unable to maintain operating conditions around the best efficiency point, it can be subject to conditions that may lead to vaporisation or flashing in the pipes upstream of the pump. The implosion of these vapour bubbles in the impeller or volute causes damaging effects to the pump. A new method of vibration cavitation detection is proposed in this paper, based on adaptive octave band analysis, principal component analysis and statistical metrics. Full scale industrial pump efficiency testing data was used to determine the initial cavitation parameters for the analysis. The method was then tested using vibration measured from a number of industry pumps used in the water industry. Results were compared to knowledge known about the state of the pump, and the classification of the pump according to ISO 10816. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.