Boiler Tube Plugs
We Supply Boiler Tube Plugs
If leaking boiler tubes in a fire tube boiler are suspected and boiler efficiency is down. Then certain tests need to be completed before tube plugs are considered. The boiler needs to be shut down, cooled and opened to expose the tube sheets. If there is evidence of feed water running down the face of the tube sheet from the tube to the tube sheet joint, then this need to be addressed. Re-rolling the tube joint may seal the tube. See our Rental page for equipment needed. Extreme care must be observed here because over-rolling a tube can make the problem worse. This can even distort the ligaments between the tube holes in the tube sheet.
If no evidence is visible on the tube sheet then the leak could be in the tube itself. Using the Powermaster Leak Detector kit individual tubes can be tested for their integrity. The tube leak detector will create a vacuum in the tube. And, by watching the gauge on the gun, a drop in vacuum means the tube is compromised along its length. Two people are required for this test. One on the gun and the other on the plug seal on the other end of the tube.
Piercing tubes before Tube Plugs are inserted
So, once it is established that a tube is leaking, though not at the tube sheet. It will have to be plugged. This is achieved by welding plugs in the tube at both ends. Before any of this is completed a very important operation must be carried out to avoid any internal pressurization. The tube must be pierced to allow water to flow freely into the tube keeping the pressure in the tube equalized.
The best tool to do this is the One Revolution Internal Tube Cutter. As displayed on the left this tool is operated manually by the socket and T bar method. As the tool is turned, the cutter comes out of the tool and cuts completely through the tube wall. Only a short cut of about 20mm is needed at both ends. It is better to have the cuts at the top and bottom of the tube so no air is trapped.