What Goes Into a Baghouse Inspection

May 13, 2016

Baghouses are a crucial part of pollution control at industrial facilities and when properly maintained and inspected they do a phenomenal job controlling emissions. However proper maintenance and routine baghouse inspections are key. By planning an industrial baghouse inspection when the filter bags need to be changed, it can prevent costlier breakdowns. Here are the three stages of baghouse inspections, with details that will help the process go smoothly and efficiently to get the plant back to optimal output more quickly.

The Pre-Outage Stage

The pre-outage stage is an opportunity to strategize for the actual inspection. From lining up the team who will actually inspect the baghouse to conducting pre-inspections, this phase sets the stage when the baghouse will be shut down. During this phase it is also important to procure all the materials that the maintenance team could need while inspecting the baghouse. By having sufficient labor and parts, the inspection process will be much less stressful and not run over deadline.

Once an action plan is in place, establishing a schedule for the outage will keep the work on the right time frame. The pre-outage stage is also an opportunity to set benchmarks for measuring success. Finally, during this phase materials and equipment that will be required to handle the actual inspection can be evaluated to ensure that they are in good working order and that everything that will be needed is in place. This will saves time during the actual inspection and will allow any missing components or broken equipment to be replaced.

The Actual Inspection

During this phase the baghouse is inspected. With careful plans and strategies in place the inspection can be performed quickly and effectively, minimizing the time the facility is offline. Here are the main things that should happen during the inspection:

  • Bag Disposal – The old bags need to be disposed of properly.
  • New Bag Installation – The new equipment needs to be installed correctly without being damaged.
  • Hopper Clean Out – The ash will need to be filtered out of the system and disposed of.
  • Filter Cage Removal – the metal cages which cover the filter bags need to be removed.
  • Tube Sheet Replacement – The tube sheet doesn’t necessarily have to be replaced, but if it is damaged, doing it during this phase saves having to shut the baghouse down another time.
  • Leak Testing and Inspection – Prior to completing this stage, once everything is in place, the system should be re-inspected and tested for leaks. Before the outage is complete, the baghouse should operate efficiently again.

The Post-Outage Process

Once the inspection is completed, it’s easy to forget about the baghouse until the next time it needs to be inspected, but taking the time after the inspection to reflect on the process will help the next time. This part of the process is quality control. Make notes about how the outage went. What didn’t go as planned? What could have gone better? Did the inspection team make the deadlines to get back into production on time? Look at the emission levels of the output before the outage and check them against the post-outage levels. Has efficiency and performance improved?

Before startup, adding a pre-coat to the bags increases their efficiency and longevity. When starting the baghouse, plan a gradual startup to prevent damage to the system from shock. Preheat any components and restrict air flow initially. Keep inspecting the system to make sure there are no changes in its efficiency. Monitoring needs to continue in the post-outage stage to provide metrics for future operations.

STI Group provides dependable, efficient industrial maintenance including baghouse inspections and refurbishments. We can help you maximize the efficiency of your baghouse, minimize downtime and the associated costs, and ensure that your facility is meeting the necessary emissions standards.