Ethics = To Tell the Truth

Many years ago, there was an evening TV game show called To Tell the Truth. There were three contestants who would try to stump the panel of four celebrities. The “central contestant” had an unusual occupation or experience and was required to tell the truth upon questioning by the panel. The two impostors could lieContinue reading “Ethics = To Tell the Truth”

How Not to Clean a Closed Loop

When I first began my career in 1976, I was given an account in Evansville, Indiana to service. The customer file I received from my manager had previous service call reports but no information about the system volumes, recirculation rates, metallurgy, temperatures, etc. This account was a plastics extrusion plant that had a Niagara fluidContinue reading “How Not to Clean a Closed Loop”

The Correct Way to Operate a Dealkalizer System

Over the last few years, I am amazed at how many people do not understand how to operate a dealkalizer system properly or efficiently. This includes some water treatment companies that are selling the ion exchange equipment and replacement resin. In this discussion, I am only going to review Strong Base Anion resin in theContinue reading “The Correct Way to Operate a Dealkalizer System”

Why Are We Using So Much Acid?

I was asked this question by the plant engineer at a plant that manufactured mufflers and tailpipes in 1984. This plant had a number of welding machines that used cooling tower water which was used to cool the welding tips. The plant had been running for many years with the same water treatment company usingContinue reading “Why Are We Using So Much Acid?”

The Problem with Overhead Drain Lines for Water Softeners

A few years ago, a long time customer decided to purchase new twin softeners from my company for his new RO system. The RO water was to be used as boiler makeup water as well as a source of high purity water for their homogenizers. The equipment room where the softeners and RO were locatedContinue reading “The Problem with Overhead Drain Lines for Water Softeners”

The Expanding Sulfuric Acid Drum

Keeping with the recent theme of chemical safety in plants, I offer another true story. One of my accounts was feeding sulfuric acid from a 55 gallon drum to control pH in an evaporative condenser system for ammonia refrigeration. The plant had a very good safety record over the years because of conscientious and wellContinue reading “The Expanding Sulfuric Acid Drum”

The Importance of Operator Training

The importance of operator training is one area of a water treatment program that is at times overlooked. Why is that? Well, for one thing it requires a time investment on the part of the water treatment service rep and there is usually no direct compensation for this additional training. Keep in mind that theContinue reading “The Importance of Operator Training”

The Strange Case of the Failed Boiler Tube

Several years ago, I was contacted by a small college who had an unusual boiler tube failure problem. The unit was an old fire tube boiler that was rated at about 350 HP and operated at 60 psig. The boiler had operated for at least 20 years and had never had a tube failure. WhenContinue reading “The Strange Case of the Failed Boiler Tube”

The Case(s) for Using Dyes in Chilled and Hot Water Boiler System Formulations

The value of dyes in chilled water and hot water boiler treatment products cannot be understated. When I worked for a major water treatment company, we frequently used a nitrite/borate/azole product that contained a yellow-green dye. The use of the dye was added to help locate leaks in chilled or hot water piping systems. WhenContinue reading “The Case(s) for Using Dyes in Chilled and Hot Water Boiler System Formulations”