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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Olean, NY
    Posts
    1,449

    punchin tubes, tower plastic

    Hey I just punched a little over a thousand tubes on a chiller with it's marine box and end bell off. When I was done the senior tech noticed chunks of plastic from the tower in many of the tubes, just sorta sitting there.

    Naturally, this led to some very uncomfortable conversation . It also landed me a second shift after work today punching those same tubes.

    I can't blame him. Seems obvious that if there are pieces of plastic in the end of the tube, no brush went through to push them out. I was baffled myself. I knew I punched them all, and went all the way through. I did notice, though, that from time to time the speed feed was dragging a chunk out to my end.

    Today I went back with a manual feed to re-punch. I punched for about two hours and took a bit of a break. When I did I found that the tubes I had just punched, which I over extended by over a brush length, still had chunks of tower plastic in them. The few which had most recently been done had the plastic laying along the wall of the tube, almost suctioned to it. As it dried the plastic would seem to pop back into place.

    I brushed one seven or eight times with a fresh debris brush before it finally grabbed the plastic and kicked it out. I guess I'll be getting in the rest with some needle nose.

    Have any of you guys ever seen anything like this before?
    Guinness for strength

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    In a Pineapple Under the Sea
    Posts
    149
    Are you sure you're not doing the every other tube in every other row trick

    Maybe the bristles of the brush are too soft and were bending around the obstruction, maybe try a stiffer brush next time.

    A coat hanger works great for getting lodged pieces out of a tube if they are too deep to grab with pliers. Cut one end and put a 180 degree tight U bend in it but leave a small gap and the other end bend to form a handle. You can slip it in behind the obstruction and grab it in the U bend and work it out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Western Wa
    Posts
    1,837
    Tower screens and pump strainers must be gone.
    God Bless our Veterans

    God Bless the USA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Somewhere in the world.
    Posts
    1,606
    Don't you hate when that happens.
    Arguing with your Boss is like wrestling with a pig in
    mud.
    After a while you realize that while you are getting
    dirty, the pig is actually enjoying it.

    It is not exactly cheating, I prefer to consider it
    creative problem solving.

    25 years ago we had Bob Hope , Steve Jobs , and Johnny Cash today we have no Hope no Jobs and no Cash !
    I can fix broke but i can't fix stupid !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    windy city
    Posts
    4,430
    towers have screens, and pumps have strainers?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Dixiana, AL
    Posts
    2,610
    Quote Originally Posted by heavymetaldad View Post
    towers have screens, and pumps have strainers?
    Not in Frederick, Maryland. It's an east coast thing - their water's real clean... This must have been one of those used cooling towers imported from somewhere in western Washington.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Olean, NY
    Posts
    1,449
    HA! Nah this is a baltimore Chiller. Frederick chillers dont need tubes punched, cause of the water. You can drink it right outta the tubes. Actually someone explained to me some time ago why this plant didn't have strainers, but I cant remember. Big ole 175 hp pumps...

    Anyway, I punched all 1,000 again and used 20 brushes this time. Fortunately I got to show someone from the site how the brush won't move the tower pieces.

    I was concerned about a coat hanger. I didnt want to score the tube...does that matter?
    Guinness for strength

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    SouthEastern Virginia
    Posts
    1,075
    We have an RTHA that has the pieces in the tubes every year because the building engineer pulled the screen out of the strainer. Have to pull both condenser heads to clean all of the leaves and fill pieces out of the condenser. The engineer said he pulled the screen out so he doesn't have to clean it.
    It might get loud!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Olean, NY
    Posts
    1,449
    your kidding. You should pull the bundle so you dont have to clean that...
    Guinness for strength

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    SouthEastern Virginia
    Posts
    1,075
    PHP Code:
    your kiddingYou should pull the bundle so you dont have to clean that... 
    It might get loud!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Dixiana, AL
    Posts
    2,610
    Quote Originally Posted by B_roche View Post
    HA! Nah this is a baltimore Chiller. Frederick chillers dont need tubes punched, cause of the water. You can drink it right outta the tubes. Actually someone explained to me some time ago why this plant didn't have strainers, but I cant remember. Big ole 175 hp pumps...

    Anyway, I punched all 1,000 again and used 20 brushes this time. Fortunately I got to show someone from the site how the brush won't move the tower pieces.

    I was concerned about a coat hanger. I didnt want to score the tube...does that matter?
    You'll have to dig hard to hurt the tube with a coat hanger. Scoring the enhancements probably won't cause the capacity to drop more than 10% or 15%....

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Stumptown,USA
    Posts
    1,251
    Engineer??? what railroad does he work for?
    Challenge yourself, take the CM test --- Certificate Member since 2004 ---Join RSES ---the HVAC/R training authority ---www.rses.org

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    SouthEastern Virginia
    Posts
    1,075
    AmTrak! crashed and burned long ago.
    It might get loud!

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