How To Properly Maintain And Service Your Oxidizer

by Jerry Sikora, Anguil Environmental Systems

Your air pollution control system represents a significant investment in not only initial capital but also ongoing maintenance and operation. Routine inspections performed by your staff combined with thorough maintenance plans provided by Anguil Environmental Service Technicians will ensure you get the most from your investment over the entire life of the system. Anguil has almost three decades of experience servicing a full range of oxidizer technologies, regardless of manufacturer, make or model. Following the recommendations made below will help keep your system operating both efficiently and effectively, reducing costly repairs and avoiding downtime.

Routine Inspections: It is our goal here at Anguil to provide owners of our equipment the necessary checklists and training to comfortably perform the routine inspections with their own personnel. In the event you own another manufacturer’s equipment the checklist below may vary slightly.

Inspecting and Maintaining

Inspections include a combination of equipment checks on the “high use” items and data recording to build a history of unit performance. When performing equipment checks refer to manufacturer’s O&M Manuals for detailed procedures. For the data-gathering items, refer to historical data and note any significant changes from typical values.

Weekly Maintenance Checks – To be performed by the local maintenance staff of the equipment owner/user.

1. Check air inlet filters for dirt and obstruction, clean or replace as necessary.

2. During the oxidizer’s normal operation, check for fan vibration, abnormal sounds or increased noise levels.

3. Check the fan mounting bolts to ensure they have remained tight.

4. Visually inspect and listen for unusual sounds during poppet valve operation. Valves should shift smooth and evenly in both directions.

5. Check to ensure all fan/motor guards are in place and properly secured.

6. Prior to operating the system, ensure that all oxidizer doors and access panels are closed and latched.

7. View the oxidizer and fuel train for leaks or loose hardware.

8. View all temperature device read-outs to confirm temperature operation is within normal ranges.

9. View pressure device read-outs for to confirm operation is within normal range.

10. Verify temperature chart recording device is “On” and recording data.

Monthly Maintenance Checks – To be performed by the local maintenance staff of the equipment owner/user.

1. Check the burner linkage and external burner components for wear or signs of loosening that could cause gradual slipping out of adjustment.

2. Check fan drive belts for correct alignment, alignment and wear. The belts should have enough tension to allow only one-half-inch movement when pushed or pulled, up or down by hand. A quick check for alignment can be done by checking the tension on the inner and outer belts. The tension should be equal.

3. Remove all pressure switch sensing lines and ensure they are clear and dry.

4. The supply fan/motor bearings should be greased. Rotate the shaft slowly by hand while applying the grease. Avoid over-greasing.

5. Drains or weep holes on all fan motors should be checked for debris and cleaned as necessary.

6. Verify Oil level of compressed air Lubricator, add as necessary.

Semi-Annual Maintenance Checks – Can be performed by maintenance staff of the equipment owner/user or an Anguil Environmental Service Technician.

1. The interior of the oxidizer should be inspected. While inside, inspect the insulation for signs of deterioration, damage or gaps. Use extreme caution when entering or exiting the oxidizer to avoid damaging the door or the door threshold insulation (if applicable). Clean the inner lens of the burner view port with a soft, dry cloth.

2. Check the ceramic media for buildup of particulate or residue and visible damage.

3. Before closing access doors, inspect the gasketing, replace, or repair as necessary to maintain a leak free seal.

4. Visually inspection (only) of poppet (flow control) valve shafts, seats, and disks. Access by removing access doors. CAUTION: To be performed by trained/authorized personnel only, after adhering to all Lock-Out/Tag-Out safety precautions. Note: The poppet (flow control) valves may shift without warning if the mechanical pins are not installed.

5. Remove the UV scanner and clean the view lens with a lint free cloth.

6. Replace the spark ignitor.

7. Verify burner flame visually at burner or system Peep-Site for:

8. Color – Color should typically be “Blue” with “Orange/Yellow” tips.

9. Intensity – Verify flame strength, flame should not be “Lazy”, verify at several different firing rates.

10. Inspect the exterior of the burner for damage or areas showing excessive heat.

11. Inspect all fan flex joints and replace as necessary

12. The T-dampers and linkage (if applicable) should be inspected for proper operation and the linkage checked for tightness.

Inspecting Linkage

Yearly Inspection: Preventive Maintenance Evaluations (PMEs):

The Anguil Preventive Maintenance Evaluation (PME) is a two-day thorough evaluation of your system performed by a qualified Anguil Service Technician. Typically, PMEs are scheduled on an annual or semi-annual basis. It does require the system be cooled down and not running for one day to complete the internal inspection. On the second day of a PME the availability of process airflow is recommended in order for the system to be inspected under normal operating conditions.

The inspection is based upon a comprehensive checklist followed up with a written formal report for your records. The formal reports are an important component of a proper maintenance / record-keeping program and are often very helpful when working with local regulatory agencies. In some cases, record keeping and regular maintenance are required as a component of an air permit. The checklist is broken down into the following four areas of your system:

1. Mechanical: An external and internal inspection of the oxidizers mechanical components will be performed. This includes items such as: ductwork, valves, linkage, heat exchanger, reactor, fan, motor assembly, burners, catalyst, stack & observation ports.

2. Electrical: The electrical components will be inspected and electrically tested to insure that they are functioning properly. This includes: switches, lights, relays, timers, controllers, recorders, motors, starters, actuators, disconnects, and wiring. Additionally, the system’s “Safety Circuit” will be tested for proper operation and a new spark ignitor(s) installed.

3. Process Control Loops: The temperature and pressure control loops will be inspected and tested to verify correct operation and sequence. This entails a visual inspection and adjustment of the air/fuel mixture ratio of the burner, if necessary. Also, an operational review of various controllers, actuators, thermocouples, pressure switches and variable speed drives will be performed. We will also evaluate the system (or catalyst) ready circuit, the inlet and atmospheric bypass damper circuits, the warning alarm circuits, and the shutdown alarm circuits.

4. Oxidation Efficiency Test: If requested – an optional oxidation efficiency test can be performed by using portable detector units or collecting 1-Hour process inlet / outlet samples for laboratory analysis. This service keeps you alert of any potential problems related to your system’s Destruction Rate Efficiency (DRE) and is ideal as a pre-test to help eliminate “surprises” during expensive formal compliance testing.

Upon completion of a PME you will receive a formal evaluation report detailing the current condition of your oxidizer as well as our recommendations for improving performance, efficiency, reliability and safety.

Additional testing and maintenance ideas to consider:

Repeat Training Sessions: Your maintenance team may require additional training sessions as a refresher or due to employee turnover. Anguil will travel to your site and perform follow-up training sessions, often coupled with any of the inspection visits listed above.

Catalyst Maintenance: If your system includes catalyst – Anguil can help you remain in compliance and build a catalyst performance history with regular testing of your catalyst. Regular evaluation is key to maintaining catalyst performance. A standard laboratory activity test should be performed yearly, with additional follow-up testing as necessary. A formal evaluation report will be provided. Additionally, Anguil can provide other catalyst services such as catalyst rejuvenation, catalyst replacement, and also a “catalyst buy-back” program for spent catalyst.

About the Author: Jerry Sikora is the Parts & Service Sales Manager for Anguil Environmental Systems. He is responsible for aftermarket program activities such as equipment Spare Parts Packages, Preventive Maintenance Evaluations (PMEs), Maintenance Contracts, and General Services. Jerry has over thirteen years of experience commissioning ovens and air pollution control equipment. He can be reached at: (414) 365-6400.

For further information please contact the Anguil Service Department at (414) 365-6400, we offer all of the services listed and more on any make or model oxidizer system! Programs can be purchased individually or grouped into a custom designed service plan.