Cleaning is an essential maintenance process for heat exchangers. A lack of regular cleaning will cause a build-up of scale in the equipment. The accumulated materials will affect the efficiency of the system. Moreover, a blockage could occur due to the dirt and grime. Therefore, you must protect your system through regular cleaning. Here are some simple tips for planning for this upkeep task.
Monitor for Dirt
The complete cleansing of a heat exchanger is difficult if the components have large amounts of dirt on them. Therefore, you should plan on monitoring the state of your equipment. This precaution will help you develop a reliable schedule for maintenance work. Keep in mind that heat exchangers will continue working even when they are dirty. A little dirt will not compromise the function of the heat exchanger significantly, so you do not have to constantly clean the unit.
However, the equipment should never be coated with contaminants at any point. Check for signs of dirt when conducting other auto maintenance tasks. The common things to look for on heat exchangers include dust, rust, chemical corrosion deposits and foreign particulates. Also, look out for mineral build-up. Remember, a heat exchanger depends on conduction. Establish a tight timetable for eliminating insulating layers of pollutants.
Heat exchangers are complex systems, and they can be difficult to repair after failure. Therefore, you must not start the cleaning work before checking the precautions provided for the equipment. For example, some components might have sensitivity to moisture or chemical exposure. Improper cleaning techniques could cause sudden failure or gradual deterioration. Some restrictions also apply to the dismantling of the equipment for deep cleaning. For instance, plate heat exchangers can sustain damage if the plates are lifted from their frame during the clean-up. In addition, evaluate the manufacturer's recommendations on cleaning processes. Choose the most beneficial technique for your system.
Choose a Process
The right cleaning technique for your heat exchanger will depend on multiple factors, including the amount of dirt, the life of the system and time availability. If you are looking for a quick wash for your well-maintained equipment, opt for online cleaning. This option allows for washing the exchanger with minimal disruptions. The applicable methods include brush and basket and the recirculating ball processes. Offline cleaning is more involved and thorough. The results are better because all the contaminants are removed through aggressive approaches. The common techniques include hydro-blasting and chemical cleaning.
If you are uncertain about how to clean your heat exchanger, consult a specialist technician.