Condenser and heat exchanger tube leaks can lead to costly problems such as excess back pressure, dissolved oxygen and corrosion. Ultimately the problems associated with tube leaks impact system efficiency and the power plant’s overall bottom line. Projectile Tube Cleaning has an array of solutions to find condenser tube leaks quickly and efficiently while the unit is in operation or while it is off line. In conjunction with our tube leak detection services we also offer tube plugging services in order to fix the leaks.
Tube Leak Testing with Helium
Helium tube leak testing with a mass spectrometer is the most accurate and sensitive method for finding tube leaks. Using this method, Projectile personnel are capable of locating leaks as small as2×10-9 atm cc/sec helium. The process works by covering sections tubes with plenums, which directs the helium into the tubes. If there is a leak within a section, the technician uses smaller and smaller plenums until the exact tube is identified and then marked.
Foam Tube Leak Testing
The foam tube testing method uses foaming liquid and a spraying device to coat both sides of a condenser or heat exchanger tube sheet. The foam is spread across the face of the tube sheet to cover each tube. Leaking tubes are identified when the foam is sucked from the tube sheet and down the length of the tube. This method is best for finding large leaks quickly. It is the fastest available method when the condenser system is online. Another benefit to this method is that technicians can more easily discern between tube sheet leaks and tube leaks whereas with other systems such as mass spectrometry it can be difficult. One draw back to this method is that it cannot find the extremely small leaks that mass spectrometry is able to find, but if you have big tube leaks and you are in a hurry this is the method to choose.
Tube pressure testing is done with two operators using special air guns. The guns are inserted at each end of a tube and the triggers are pulled. Pulling the trigger creates a seal between the gun’s nozzle and the tube as well as allows air to flow into the tube. The tube fills with air and a gauge is monitored to observe the pressure. If the pressure remains constant after releasing the trigger, the tube is not leaking. But if the pressure decreases after releasing the trigger then there is a leak in the tube.
After locating the leaks, Projectile Tube Cleaning personnel can also plug these leaks. We offer numerous types of plug designs depending on the types of tubes or the customer preference (Tube Plugs). Because we manufacture the plugs, we can offer customers special discounts on our plugging services that other providers cannot.