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Vent Away Condensate Pump Frustrations In A Flash

By James R. Risko, TLV Corp. |

The guidance provided here can help to mitigate problems occurring in pumping systems used for condensate recovery Condensate recovery is crucial to energy reduction and water conservation in a steam-using plant. It reduces effluent discharge and treatment requirements, as well as the chemicals and heating costs associated with preparing raw makeup water. Furthermore, having a greater percentage of high-quality condensate for boiler feed helps to reduce corrosion in the piping system [1, 2]. Even with relatively simple condensate pumping systems like the one shown in Figure 1, condensate recovery can sometimes create complex challenges for plants. FIGURE 1. A simple condensate pump arrangement includes an inlet, receiver, vent, pumps and overflow loop[/caption] A problematic pumping station, such as the one shown in Figure 2, is a result that may be all too common in some steam systems and can occur due to leaking seals or pump cavitation, ultimately causing condensate to overflow. Are all such instances due to normal wear, or have some been caused by poor design or insufficient system maintenance? Experience demonstrates that many comparable reliability issues can be avoided with improved design and system maintenance practices,…
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