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Thread: Pressure Checking Silos/Hoppers/Pipes?

  1. Question Pressure checking silos/hopper/pipes??

    In order to start up our system we first must perform a pressure check throughtout our product collector, mill, and connecting pipes/valves. It is very difficult to find leaks that cuase us to fail pressure checks. Is there any known smoke or color product that can be introduced into the gas line that will alow the operators to physically see where the leaks are occuring. It must not contaminate the lines or it is easily washable with water/soap mixture. Any ideas will be greatly appreciatied.

    The Product Collector has a volume of roughly 500 ft^3, the pipe lines total roughly 30 ft, and the mill is 80 ft^3 with about 10 flange possible leak points. This causes us a lot of down time trouble shooting the leak.


  2. #2

    pipeline air leaks

    Greetings antsurf from the soon to bee frozen
    Eastern Wilderness@1140 feet above mean sea level,

    Your problem is not unique as you are trying to find leaks in low pressure piping. The quick way is to purchase smoke generator cartriges which are used in finding leaks in sanitary and storm sewer pipelines-the problem being is that you have to wait until they are all done smoking to remove them/unsure if they can be stopped by covering them with water to extinguish the cartridge as they are designed to work in an water environment.

    The easier method is to use soapy water with dish soap to create a film to find the low pressure leak or leaks. using a small new garden sprayer used for chemicals is more than adequate for this as you will have lots of volume and pressure to push soap bubbles to the joints or leaks in question.

    The last method is to create a vacuum in your system and then the leaks are even easier to find and repair where you will hear the hissing of the vacuum leak as air is sucked into the pipe etc.

    Of the three options the creation of a vacuum is the least worrysome and messy as there is nothing to clean up and it is easy to manipulate for creation of a low vacuum reading in a system that is theoretically sealed.

    A good example is an automotive vacuum system where a vacumm leak is found by the use of a small lit propane torch where the burning propane will follow the oxygen to the vacuum leak-no fuss no muss, using a vacuum pump designed to do refridgeration work should be more than adequate for this and it will find the leaks quickly using the lighted propane torch. Using one of the disposable propane torches will make finding the leak easier and less of a problem as they are small and easy to hold in a tight place.

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