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Process Condensers and Intercondensers - Troubleshooting Tips  

Observed problem Problem source Corrective measure
1. High pressure drop across process side of condenser 1a. Shellside or tubeside fouling 1a. Clean inside or outside surface of tubes
1b. Cooling water temperature higher than design 1b. Reduce cooling water temperature or increase flow rate
1c. Low cooling water flow rate 1c. Increase cooling water flow rate
1d. Higher than design condensible organics/hydrocarbon loading

1d. Reduce organic/hydrocarbon loading or install larger condenser
2. High cooling water pressure drop 2a. Waterside fouling or blockage 2a. Clean tubing
2b. Higher than design cooling water flow rate

2b. Not a problem
3. Higher than design cooling water temperature rise 3a. Low cooling water flow rate 3a. Increase cooling water flow rate
3b. Higher than design condensible vapor loading 3b. Increase cooling water flow rate or install larger condenser

4. High vapor outlet temperature 4. Poor vacuum system performance 4a. Clean tubing because it is fouled
4b. Cooling water flow is increased or inlet temperature is reduced
Condenser internals have a mechanical problem that requires repair
4d. There is a problem with a downstream ejector and it is backstreaming

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