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Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger


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Concerning a steam to heating hot water shell and tube heat exchanger (18"x12'), can these be tested? If so how and what are the budgets for doing so?

Many of these are very old but they also usually last a long time.

When a leak develops, on a low pressure steam system, the boiler will keep flooding out as the city water keeps finding a way back to the boiler. The other method is to shut the steam off, open up the condensate line, and apply city water pressure. If you have water running out of the condensate line, with the steam off, you have a leaker. You can always do an Eddy Current test to measure wall thickness (or lack thereof). On a shell & tube that small 800.00 or so would cover an Eddy Current test.

We use to use wooden dowel rod to plug leaking tubes. It was a general rule of thumb that you could plug 10% of the tubes without causing a problem.

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Can this be completed without removal of the insulation on the shell? i.e. from the inside after the tubes are removed.

Can what be completed?

The tubes are not meant to be removed. They are fastened to a tube sheet on both ends. You can replace a tube(s) but on something that small replacement would be a better bet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_and_ ... _exchanger

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OK. From the typical build of these, I assumed that the entire tube sheet could be removed from the shell and replaced. I would swear that a maintenance guy (on a very large one) said that they pulled out the tubes.

On some you can pull out the tube bundle but you'd have to see it to be sure.

The tubes are rolled in place, to the tube sheet, much like a boiler - you can't just pluck out a tube and plop in a new one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Shell and tube heat exchangers are needed for high-pressure applications; they are durable products, which can withstand the demands of many working environments. Their design plays a large part in ashell and tube exchanger's ability to endure exceedingly-challenging situations.

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