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Overview of basic handling and installation requirements
Pressure vessels have made their mark on the water treatment industry. From residential treatment systems to commercial systems, pressure vessels are used in water softeners, filters and RO systems. Pressure vessel size and capacity correspond to the application, generally less than 120-gal. capacity in residential applications. Commercial applications require various capacities up to 2,000 gal.
Although pressure vessels once installed require little maintenance, proper care must be taken at the receiving, handling and installation stages to avoid damage or failure. This article will provide an overview of some basic pressure vessel handling and installation instructions to ensure quality vessel service for many years.
Regardless of its size, all pressure vessels surface must be well protected during shipment. Manufacturers and distributors handle pressure vessel shipments differently, and capacity plays a role as well. They can be protected by being placed horizontally on custom-size cradle skids. It is important to follow manufacturers instructions upon receiving. A pressure vessel with an integral fiberglass base for example, should be placed in a vertical upright position before removing its skid.
Other manufacturers deliver the vessels placed vertically and protected by custom-size cartons. These are easily removed by cutting the straps and removing the cardboard.
Storing. If you need to store pressure vessels prior to installation, they should be left in either their protective shipping skid, or protective carton until ready to install. Remember, do not roll or slide a pressure vessel on its side.
Do not drop. Never drop a pressure vessel or allow hard impact or abrasion of the pressure vessel from contact with walls, partitions, tools or equipment.
Lifting. Lift pressure vessel using a crane or forklift. When using forklift, be sure that the forklift is designed to handle the pressure vessel’s weight at the height the vessel is to be lifted above the floor.
The following are some examples of approved lifting methods.
To prevent breakage when installing a pressure vessel with fiberglass tripod or skirt base, commonly delivered on a skid, the following procedure is recommended for handling, unloading and installing this type of vessel.
Stand assembly upright. When the vessel is delivered placed horizontally on a skid, make sure to stand the whole assembly upright. Be sure to exercise all precaution described earlier to protect the pressure vessel from damage.
Remove lag bolts. After the assembly is upright, remove the lag bolts, which are holding the skid to the base of the pressure vessel.
Lift. Using one of the approved lifting methods described earlier in the article, lift the vessel from the skid and remove the skid.
Lower. After the skid has been removed, the pressure vessel should be lowered to the floor, leveled and anchored, usually with 3/8-in. lag bolts to the floor. Bolts and anchors are generally supplied by the user. For ease of installation, the manufacturer also suggests that the anchors are located after the vessel is in place.
In outdoor installations, especially ones in warm climates, direct intense sunlight is detrimental to plastics. Therefore a composite pressure vessel should be painted for UV protection. The following seven steps must be taken to ensure proper UV protection.
While pressure vessels used in residential or commercial applications will have different installation and maintenance requirements, proper care, handling and installation procedures, as well as common sense will ensure extended vessel service life. wqp