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Condenser shatter from pipe knock


Plant had glass overheads, the main condenser being fed from the single fluid system for heating/cooling to allow use of either tepid or cooled coolant.  Three condensers, within a short period of time, were shattered.  Cause was traced to a new control system which was generating a “pipe knock” when coolant was turned on due to valves opening faster.

Lessons Learnt

Even the most unlikely change can have impact on other parts of the plant, and care must always be exercised when changes are made and the system properly tested before resuming production.

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