Call Us Today! (702) 848-3990 info@baghouse.com

Introduction to Dust Collector Troubleshooting

Operating and maintaining an equipment system as complex as an Industrial Dust Collector can be a challenge. Here at Baghouse.com we pride ourselves on being experts in our field, with decades of experience designing, installing, maintaining and servicing every kind of Dust Collect design available. We have prepared this short troubleshooting guide in order to help you solve some of the more commonly encountered issues involving Dust Collectors.

Table of Contents

  1. Blower (Fan) & Ductwork Issues
  2. Common Baghouse Issues (All Designs: Shaker, Reverse Air, & Pulse Jet)
  3. Baghouse Design Specific Problems
    1. Shaker
    2. Reverse-Air
    3. Plenum Pulse-Jet
    4. Pulse-Jet

Blower (Fan) & Ductwork Issues

Many Baghouse difficulties originate as problems with the main Blower, or Fan and the supply and exhaust Ductwork.

Problem: Insufficient Airflow Rate coming from the Blower, or Ductwork System

  • Is your Blower (System Fan) powering on and operating properly?
  • Action: Check electrical connections and turn on the Blower.

Addition Questions

  • Is the motor pulling the specified proper amount of Amps?
  • Action: Check wiring
  • Is the fan turning in the right direction?
  • Action: Make sure that motor leads are attached to the proper terminals.
  • Is there excessive vibration?
  • Action: Ensure that there is no excess build up of material on the fan blade, or Blower housing.

Are you getting the proper amount of Air Flow (Cubic Feet per Min) from the Blower?

  • Is the Fan Dampener Open?
  • Action: Close Dampener.
  • Is the air volume at fan rated capacity?
  • Action: See Below.
  • (If your Blower output is normal) Has the Ductwork System been inspected for obstructions, leaks or design flaws that increase static resistance?
  • Action: Redesign Ductwork System to have lower resistance.

Addition Questions

  • Are there elbows, or other directional changing Ductwork immediately preceding the Blower Inlet?
  • Action: Redesign Ductwork to remove any Elbows, or similar configurations near the Blower.
  • Is there an obstruction near the outlet of the Ductwork?
  • Action: Removed any obstruction and try again.

Problem: Excessive Airflow Rate

  • Is the Blower set to the proper speed?
  • Action: Check setting and adjust.
  • Is the Ductwork System oversized?
  • Action: Evaluate the Ductwork System and consider redesigning if needed.
  • Are there any access ports on the Ductwork that are open?
  • Action: Close all ports, and ensure they are sealed properly.

Problem: You have High Static Pressure and a low Airflow Rate

  • Are there any obstructions in the Ductwork System?
  • Action: See above
  • Is the Ductwork System to restrictive?
  • Action: See above

Common Baghouse (All Designs: Shaker, Reverse Air, & Pulse Jet) Issues

Many of these issues can be resolved with a simple maintenance procedure; others may require a qualified service technician to implement a solution a particular problem.

Problem: There is a higher than anticipated Pressure Drop in the Baghouse

  • Have all gauges and pressures sensors been checked for accuracy?
  • Action: Clean all pressure taps, check houses for leaks, for proper fluid level in Manometer, and diaphragm in gauge.
  • Is the Baghouse the undersized for the application?
  • Action: Consider upgrading to a larger unit.
  • Is the cleaning mechanism adjusted to the proper settings?

Addition Questions

  • Is the cleaning timer working properly?
  • Action: Reset the timer. Check wiring, and replace if needed.
  • Is the dust not able to be removed from the Filter Bags by the cleaning mechanism?
  • Action: Check for condensation on Bags. Dry clean bags, or replace them. Take dust samples and send them to the manufacturer for analysis.
  • Is there excessive reentrainment of dust on the Filter Bags?
  • Action: Empty Hopper continuously.

Problem: Dirty discharge at stack

  • Are the Bags leaking from either the clamps, or are from being too porous?
  • Action: Replace Bags, isolate leaking compartment or module. Allow sufficient filter cake to form. Check and tighten clamps. Change to a different Filter Bag; smooth out Bag before clamping.
  • Are the seals between the different compartments  (Dirty Air, and Clean Air Compartments) of the Baghouse leaking?
  • Action: Repair by caulking or welding seams.

Problem: Moisture in the Baghouse

  • Is the Baghouse temperature below the dew point?
  • Action: Raise gas temperature; insulate unit.

Additional Questions

  • Are there any cold spots where pipes or other components connect?
  • Action: Eliminate direct metal line through insulation.
  • Has the Baghouse been sufficiently preheated (Certain applications only)?
  • Action: Run system with hot air only before process gas is introduced.
  • Is the system purged properly after each shutdown?
  • Action: Run fan for an additional 10 min after processing is shut down.

Problem: Material is bridging in the Hopper, thus preventing proper operating of the Baghouse

  • Is there excess moisture in the Baghouse?
  • Action: (See previous solutions)
  • Does the Hopper retain too much material, or is it cleaned on a regular basis?
  • Action: Clean Hopper on a regular schedule.
  • Is the Hopper slope sufficient to allow for the collected material to fall?
  • Action: Redesign and replace.
  • Is the opening for the Screw Conveyor (Or similar device) of adequate size?
  • Action: Redesign and replace.

Problem: The Bags fail prematurely, or wear or faster than they should

  • Is the Baffle Plate worn out?
  • Action: Replace with a new Baffle Plate; Determine whether the Gas stream is striking the Baffle Plate correctly, if it is not, consult with the manufacturer, redesign and replace.
  • Is the dust load to high for the particular Baghouse, or Bags?
  • Action: Install a Primary Dust Collector (Pre-Filter) to reduce dust loads to the Baghouse.
  • Are the Bags being cleaned at the proper intervals?
  • Action: Clean less often.

Baghouse Design Specific Problems

The most common variations in Baghouse design regard the cleaning mechanism.  The three most common are Shaker, Reverse Air, & Pulse Jet. While the proceeding information applies to all Baghouse designs, the following covers specific design related problems.

Shaker Baghouse Type Specific Issues

Problem: Cleaning Mechanism Does Not Function Properly

  • Does Shaking action take place, as it should?
  • Action: Check pins, Keys, Bearings, Etc and repair if necessary.
  • Is the Shaking action strong enough?
  • Action: Increase Shaking rate.
  • Have the Filter Bags been checked to have proper tension?
  • Action: Tension Bags to proper rate.
  • Are any other Baghouse functions affected when Shaking process begins (Fan, or Isolation Dampener, etc)?
  • Action: Repair Isolation Damper, or stop Fan.
  • Are the different compartmental isolation dampener valves functioning properly?
  • Action: Check linkage, Valve Seals, and Air supply of the Pneumatic Operators.
  • Is the cleaning cycle set to the proper interval?
  • Action: Set to the shortest interval possible between compartments.
  • Is the Air to Cloth Ratio at least 3:1?
  • Action: Add Bags; Consider installing a larger unit.

Problem: Filter Bags fail prematurely

  • Is the shaking mechanism set too high?
  • Action: Slow down shaking mechanism.

Reverse Air Baghouse Type Specific Issues

Problem: Cleaning Mechanism Does Not Function Properly

  • Are the different compartmental Isolation Dampener valves functioning properly?
  • Action: Repair if necessary.
  • Do the Bags have the proper amount of tension?
  • Action: See above.
  • Is the Reverse Air Fan powering up/running properly?
  • Action: Run Fan and check differential pressure.
  • Does the Reverse Air Fan spin in the correct direction?
  • Action: See section:  Blower (Fan) & Ductwork Issues
  • Is the Air to Cloth Ratio at least 3:1?
  • Action: Consider acquiring a larger Baghouse.

Plenum Pulse Jet Baghouse Type Specific Issues

Problem: Cleaning Mechanism Does Not Function Properly

  • Is the air pressure at the Pulse Valves within the recommended levels and are all Solenoids and Diaphragms operating properly?
  • Action: Check for leaking solenoids and pulse valves; check compressed air source and check differential pressure.
  • Are the cleaning pulses at set to the correct duration (0.1 sec)?
  • Action: Reset to 0.1 sec.
  • Is cleaning interval at the lowest setting the will allow air manifold pressure to rebuild?
  • Action: Change setting, and check the differential pressure.
  • Do all poppet valves seal properly?
  • Action: Adjust and/or repair all valves and check differential pressure.
  • Is the Air to Cloth Ratio at least 4:1?
  • Action: Switch to pleated media; Consider installing a larger unit.

Pulse Jet Baghouse Type Specific Issues

Problem: Cleaning Mechanism Does Not Function Properly.

  • Is the manifold pressure within the manufacturer’s suggested range?
  • Action: Check for leaks at the solenoids and pulse valves; Check compressed air source and then check differential pressure.
  • Are the cleaning pulses at set to the correct duration (0.1 – .015 sec)?
  • Action: Set to 0.1 – 0.15 duration.
  • Is cleaning interval at the lowest setting the will allow air manifold pressure to rebuild?
  • Action: Change setting and check differential pressure.
  • Is the compressed air pressure at the proper level?
  • Action: Check for leaks; Increase pressure.
  • Is the Air to Cloth Ratio at least 6:1?
  • Action: Switch to pleated media; Consider installing a larger unit.

Dominick DalSanto is an Author & Environmental Technologies Expert, specializing in Dust Collection Systems. With nearly a decade of hands-on working experience in the industry, Dominick’s knowledge of the industry goes beyond a mere classroom education. He is currently serving as Online Marketing Director & Content Manager at Baghouse.com. His articles have been published not only on Baghouse.com , but also on other industry related blogs and sites. In his spare time, Dominick writes about travel and life abroad for various travel sites and blogs.

Get the Complete Guide to Sizing Your Baghouse

Get your free copy of our eBook - Guide to Sizing Your Baghouse Dust Collection System. Learn how to avoid problems by properly calculating your CFMStatic Pressure, and Air to Cloth Ratio for your dust collection system.

The eBook "The Complete Guide to Sizing Your Baghouse"

You have Successfully Subscribed!