Baghouse Troubleshooting: What Causes Failure & How to Prevent It

When the efficiency of your dust collector begins to decrease, baghouse troubleshooting is the first step in addressing the problem. A properly functioning baghouse system will achieve up to 99.9% efficiency. With proper monitoring and maintenance, the system can operate efficiently for years. However, when systems start performing sluggishly, troubleshooting may help identify issues that could otherwise lead to costly maintenance and downtime. Several common issues to look for when troubleshooting problems with your baghouse system include the following:

  • Presence of moisture
  • Filter media properties
  • Improper installation of replacement parts
  • Maintenance programs

Presence of Moisture

In no time, excess moisture entering a baghouse system can lead to many problems; chief among them is the weakening of the filter media, causing filter leaks or allowing dust to bypass the filters altogether, and ultimately causing the premature failure of the bag itself. Moisture can lead to agglomeration of hygroscopic dust and particulates within the bag, which can clog or plug filters. Hygroscopic dust may also form hard, brittle cakes on the bag’s lining that does not release during the cleaning cycle. Cracked or worn gaskets can result in chemical or oil leaks or other contaminants entering the airstream. Once introduced, the contaminants combine with moisture to form acidic or base solutions that bore holes through certain fabrics and destroy the filter bag. 

Condensation is also a common source of excess moisture, especially in dust collectors operating in warm or elevated temperatures or humid conditions. Systems should be routinely checked for excess moisture to prevent premature failure of the filter. Solutions may range from installing proper filter material to purging the system with warm, dry air. 

Filter Media Properties

The material used for baghouse filter fabrics will vary with the application requirements of the system. In short, the materials used for filter fabrics must hold the necessary properties for the application—and there is a good reason. Filter media can be affected as much by the operating temperature of the dust collector as by the properties of the particulate matter being filtered. The filter fabric must have thermal durability when operating temperatures exceed a facility’s ambient temperature. If the fabric used in a dust collection system operates at high temperatures and has a low thermal threshold, filter bags can overheat and rip, melt, or even catch fire. 

Gas stream characteristics must also be considered when selecting a filter fabric. With the wrong type of filter, the chemical makeup in the gas stream can cause considerable damage and premature failure of the baghouse filter. The gas composition can also be affected by humidity and temperatures, allowing chemicals in the gas stream to condense on the filters. When installing filter media, operators must ensure the material selected has the suitable properties to prevent premature bag deterioration, damage, and failure.  

Improper Installation of Replacement Parts

Another area to troubleshoot an inefficient system is ensuring replacement parts are handled and installed correctly. The wrong placement of a bag filter can cause undue strain on the filter, significantly lowering its cleaning effectiveness and resulting in premature failure. Proper handling of bags and cages is also necessary, with care not to bend or step on them when changing bags. Damaging either can lead to improper tension resulting in tears and premature wear from stretching, reducing the strength and durability of the filter. Improper installation of deflection plates, turning vanes, and ducting can cause uneven airflow and abrade filter bags, further impacting the system’s efficiency. 

Maintenance Programs

The best way to avoid baghouse troubleshooting is through preventive maintenance. Regular preventive maintenance on your baghouse system ensures your equipment operates efficiently, provides a safe work environment for your employees, and helps avoid extensive and costly repairs. Regularly servicing your system by a qualified provider can save companies time and money in the long haul. 

CPE Filters offers preventative maintenance programs by specialized and highly skilled service technicians familiar with your baghouse system. We have regular servicing contracts that cover routine inspections and systems maintenance. More importantly, we can identify baghouse problems and offer solutions to avoid costly repairs and system downtime. Most of our service contracts also have guarantees if something goes wrong. 

Contact CPE Filters today to learn more about our preventive maintenance programs that will finally put your troubleshooting days behind you!