Erratic H2 Flow Rotameter

Instrumentation engineering root cause analysis of erratic reading of H2 flow rotameter.

Article Type:Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
Equipment Type:Sensors
Author:S. Raghava Chari

Note: This root cause analysis (RCA) is from real-time scenarios that happened in industries during the tenure of two or three decades ago. These articles will help you to improve your troubleshooting skills and knowledge.

Flow Rotameter Problem

Erratic H2 flow rotameter readings prevented newly charged catalyst reduction and delayed Reformed Gas Production.

Instrument Crew’s difficulties

The instrument crew complained about the pipe fitter’s inability to make the ¾ pipe exactly vertical. Hence, stuck rotameter float and unreliable readings

Pipe fitters’ woes

They too expressed the near impossibility of the slender ¾” pipeline ‘rotameter plumb’. Even if they achieve it, it does not stay that way!

Author Solution

He told the Instrument crew to do the following:

Erratic H2 Flow Rotameter
  1. Workshop to make a 2” pipe stand to mount the rotameter using instrument engineer given sketch
  2. Miscellaneous contractor to grout it vertically to the cement floor under instrument engineer supervision
  3. Instrument crew to bolt the rotameter on the stand vertical and lock the fasteners with lock nuts
  4. Pipe fitters to connect the pipe flanges to the rotameter strain free i.e. just by hand position the pipes to match the rota meter flanges

Problems vanished and reformer started smoothly.

Author: S. Raghava Chari

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