Question: Why are my baghouse filters so expensive to replace?
Answer: Many simply buy their replacement filters from the OEM or sales rep that supplied their baghouse. Often times, manufacturers and sales rep organizations deliberately sell their units cheaper and then make convince their customers that they are locked into using a proprietary filter design that only they can supply and thus they charge outrageously high prices for them. Other times, they convince their customers to use an outdated or rarely-used technology so hard to find form other manufacturers that it nearly guarantees them your repeat business for replacement parts. This is common with many cartridge collector OEMs, whereby they win the initial unit sale by undercutting other manufacturers (often by recommending a undersized dust collection system) and then plan on making their profit on the expensive replacement filters later on. This marketing technique is commonly called the “razor blade” system, for its well-known use by makers of disposable razors and cartridges.
Question: How long will my baghouse filters last?
Answer: Baghouse filters have an average service life of 1-3 years in most applications. Some can go beyond that without major increases emissions, while others may last less than a year in more difficult applications. The main reason to replace baghouse filters is because when old they begin to leak and thus the system is no longer collecting particulates as its designed to do. Filters can also be damaged prematurely by sparks/embers that can cause fires or even explosions. Upset conditions in the process may cause a spike in temperature (beyond the maximum for the filter fabric) or may create an acid flash or similar chemical attack on the bags. Finally, bags may be damaged during maintenance or by other external forces.
The main signs that your filters need to be replaced are that they are can no longer be cleaned effectively by the baghouse and/or they start leaking.
Question: What does it mean when my baghouse filters are “blinded”?
Answer: Blinded filters means the filters are so loaded with dust that they can no longer be cleaned by the baghouse cleaning system and must be replaced.
During normal operation dust particles accumulate on the surface of the filters and form a dust cake, which is then cleaned by the pulses of compressed air during the cleaning cycle. Overtime, some dust particles pass through the surface layer and become embedded deep within the fibers of the filter fabric where it cannot be removed by the cleaning pulses. Eventually, the fabric becomes so filled with dust particles that it severely restricts the movement of air through the filter. When this occurs the filter is said to be “blinded”.
When a baghouse can no longer clean itself down to a lower DP range (e.g. below 6” of DP) even with constant cleaning (i.e. continuous cleaning mode or test mode) it is likely that the filters are blinded and must be replaced.