Tech Tip: How to Prevent Explosions Inside Pressure Vessels

January 12th, 2011
Filter Cartridge Pressure Vessel Housing | Precision Filtration Products

Filter Cartridge Pressure Vessel Housing

Did you know that you can have a fire inside a filter pressure vessel and never know it? Worse yet, you can unknowingly create and spark a severe explosion. That should be a very scary thought if you work with filter vessels regularly in refineries, airports, fueling terminals, or a pipeline, such as natural gas.

Surprisingly, more often then not, when I give my training seminars, operators are unaware of this potentially deadly scenario. So you have changed your coalescer cartridges and separator cartridges, bolted the lid of the vessel tightly, cracked the vent valve to expel the air in the filter vessel as it fills with hydrocarbon. Your next step is your most critical – FILL THE VESSEL SLOWLY. When fuel enters a vessel too quickly it creates a fog/mist throughout the filter elements, along with static electricity. If that static charge finds a ground connection, such as the metal wall of the filter vessel, it will create a dangerous spark!

The next time you are called out in the middle of the night to change those jet fuel filters due to high differential pressure, make sure that you don’t rush the last step. Although easy, it’s dangerous! Remember to fill your coalescer-separator pressure vessel slowly until you have eliminated all of the air (oxygen) out of the vent valve. I hope this technical tip helps you out, and maybe even saves someone’s life out there.

Do you have any questions about our coalescer-separator pressure vessel rentals or other filter systems? Feel free to contact us anytime. Our friendly team of experts will be happy to help you out with your particular issue.

Until next time!

Charlie at PFP  Charlie at Precision Filtration Products

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