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  Heat Exchanger Inspection

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Steam Boilers, Cooling Towers, Hot And Chilled Closed Systems
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Heat Exchanger Inspections

Heat exchangers are used in an industrial process to exchange heat from a process or product stream to water as a coolant, often in an open recirculating cooling water system. The cooling process is critical if the industrial process is to operate properly. If the heat transfer surfaces become fouled due to scale, corrosion, biological material or process contaminants the exchanger will not properly cool the process.

This results in loss of cooling capability, which can limit or stop production.

During operation various monitoring tools are used to determine if a heat exchanger metal surfaces are clean. All the monitoring methods only give indications; they are not capable of producing finite information. During plant turnarounds or shutdowns, heat exchangers are opened for inspection, cleaning and repair. It is only at these times where the actual condition of the heat exchanger can be determined. During inspections the effectiveness of a cooling water program is directly observed and determined.

The areas inspected in a heat exchanger are as follows:

  1. The Heads (End Caps) of the Exchanger
  2. The Tube Sheet
  3. The Shell Side of the Exchanger

The following equipment will be needed to conduct the inspection of a heat exchanger:

  • Coveralls
  • Gloves
  • Hardhat
  • Safety Glasses or Goggles
  • Safety Shoes
  • Scraping Device (Knife, Screwdriver, etc.)
  • Sample Bags for Deposits
  • Camera or Video Camera
  • Tablet to Record Observations and Heat Exchanger Data
  • Flashlight
  • Microbiological Sample Vial
To obtain a detailed step by step procedure for conducting a heat exchanger inspection please e-mail
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