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Friday, April 19, 2024

What is the Best Heat Exchanger Cleaning Methods?

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The inside of a heat exchanger is its most important element. The metal tubing is what allows the shell side to function properly. It also collects and retains any solid particles in the fluid that come into contact with it. If the tubes become contaminated and no longer clean, your process will suffer and, in some cases, shut down completely. 

Shell and tube heat exchangers are used for several industrial processes, including distillation, evaporation, boiling, freezing, condensation, cooling, drying, and separation. You must conduct regular cleaning efforts for your heat exchanger tube cleaning to get the appropriate flow levels back without worrying.

The heat exchanger needs cleaning when you don’t see desired temperature range or if pressure drops are higher than normal. You can also run a fouling indicator to see when the exchanger needs cleaning.

How to clean a heat exchanger?

Cleaning your heat exchanger is a process that involves several steps, and it should be approached with caution. Before starting, you must ensure you understand the right steps to clean a heat exchanger. Following these steps, we typically see success in cleaning the heat exchanger. Several methods are available to ensure that the equipment is being cleaned properly.

High-pressure water blasting 

High-pressure water blasting is the most traditional form of cleaning pipe, used for decades by oilfield operators. Since it’s so effective, many companies still use this technique. When water blasts through a pipeline, it pushes debris through the end of the pipe and into a catch basin below. A common problem with high-pressure water blasting is that water doesn’t always come out of the end of the tube perfectly evenly, leading to some areas getting more attention than others. 

Chemical solution

The benefit is that this method can save you time and money by allowing you to clean your heat exchangers with cleaning solutions quickly and effectively while lowering your environmental impact. The disadvantage is that there are risks involved in using chemicals, requiring further cleaning.

Mechanical cleaning tubes method

Mechanical cleaning tubes should be used to remove all efficiently contaminates. The rotating motion drives contaminants out of the tube walls and into the water stream, where they will be filtered. This process can restore pipe length, save energy costs, and eliminate silt problems. Preserve the integrity of your heat exchanger by choosing an appropriate cleaning method. Mechanical Tube Cleaning is the next step in preventing premature heat exchanger fouling and equipment failure. Standard brush cleaning can be ineffective where tubes are large or bendy, and chemical cleaning is difficult to control and sometimes impossible to reverse.

Air and Water Heat Exchanger Cleaning Method

Most tube cleaning methods and systems rely heavily on water and its functions. Most of the time, this is in a propulsion role to get the cleaning media. Through the system, and nearly always, if not always, involves water. Coming in contact with the tubes or any components of the system. The Air and Water Heat Exchanger Clean Method. Keeps water away from all heat exchangers and circulating components while using air pressure (80-120 PSI) to fire the tube cleaner. At a minimum of 30 feet per second and, more typically, 40-50 feet per second through the tube.


Although ongoing maintenance is essential to keeping your air conditioning system running at peak efficiency, it can be costly. At times, if you have more than one system, the job can be overwhelming. If so, you may want to consider HVAC maintenance companies. They typically provide some special services, some of which are deep cleaning, repairing, and tune-ups.


Heat exchanger cleaning is a complicated and strenuous process. And if done incorrectly can lead to catastrophic failures that directly threaten the health and lives of the people in the plants. However, it can also be a highly profitable venture with the right tools and techniques. This article discusses why heat exchange cleaning is. Such an important part of chemical processing plants. Outlines the most effective methods and techniques for its accomplishment. And offers insight into how businesses can maximize their heating exchanger lifecycles while maintaining strict safety measures.


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