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Winterisation Programmes

Winterisation is a summer task.

Recent years have delivered unpredictable but generally cold winters that have caused extensive problems with pipe work, pumps, valves and associated plant freezing. This not only creates significant down time in the treatment processes but also adds substantial cost to effect the repairs required to get the site operational again. The winter of 2010/11 was exceptionally cold for an extended period of time which exposed cold weather specifications in place at the time to be inadequate for the conditions experienced, since then most water utilities have upgraded requirement specifications to ensure installations completed over the last 18 months remain operational in the severest of weather.

2010/11 may turn out to be an exceptional winter, however the two that have followed them have had periods or either very cold temperatures or prolonged periods of very low temperatures which in turn causes problems. Insulation is a thermal barrier that slows down the rate of heat loss from the item that is insulated to the atmosphere, but as a passive system over time the temperature of the insulated item will equal that of the prevailing ambient temperature.  Trace heating provides an active intervention to give everything above freezing and flowing, however trace heating without insulation does not work.

Frequently plant is insulated correctly when installed, but over time it gets removed for maintenance or damaged and is not replaced or repaired creating conditions where moisture can get into the insulation or directly onto exposed plant resulting in frost damage almost as soon as it becomes cold. Static contents and small diameter pipe work are the most at risk of freezing quickly if exposed. But it is not just freezing that causes problems, sludge thickens in cold temperatures of +5°C causing strain on the pumping systems that reduces the life of the pumps.

All of these issues can be resolved through a preventative programme of reviewing the condition of your trace heating and insulation and correcting any defects or missing parts. Jade Insulation provide site surveys to review the state of insulation and check the operation of trace heating systems highlighting deficiencies that need to be corrected. This is a cost effective process as the cost of repairing/replacing insulation and trace heating is usually far less that cost of repairing damaged pumps, valves and pipe work before counting the cost of the down time.

For the best results keep in mind that "Winterisation is a summer task".
  


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Exposed pipe work before & after winterisation survey
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Typical problems presenting potential failures (insulation by others)