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Common Inspection Issues with Electrostatic Precipitators - AirTek

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Buildup on Collection Plates

Your electrostatic precipitator keeps your operation compliant with local and federal environmental protection guidelines. But maintaining your electrostatic precipitator can sometimes become an afterthought, leading to diminished performance and compounding issues.

At AirTek, we know it’s not always easy to keep on top of daily checks and performance monitoring. But your ESP is too vital to neglect. These are the most common issues discovered in electrostatic precipitators during inspection that you may be able to prevent with regular maintenance and diligence.

Dust Accumulation

Typically speaking, dust removal systems can be often overlooked. As a critical component in the daily operation of your electrostatic precipitator, the continued, strong function of your dust removal system keeps your ESP healthy. If the dust removal system ceases to function the ESP can ground out and shut down your operation.

Since dust accumulation can contribute to a cascade failure of other components in your ESP, it’s vital that you stay on top of regular maintenance. If you suspect that a component of your dust removal system is failing to meet reliability expectations, it may be time to call in the pros.

Buildup on Collection Plates

Another threat to your precipitator comes in the form failed rappers. Failure to inspect or maintain the rapping system will leave the collection plates covered in dust. This dust covering will reduce the effectiveness of the charged particles migrating to the grounded collection plates. As time goes on this effect will become worse and worse, eventually causing the ESP to be no longer effective.

Rapping effectiveness on ESP plates is a snowballing issue—one that needs your attention (or the attention of professionals) straight away.

Electrode Failure

Most modern electrostatic precipitators feature rigid frames and rigid electrodes, providing an extended electrode life. Many ESPs in use today may be retrofitted with these upgrades or still have wire discharge electrodes. Electrode failures aren’t a guarantee in older ESPs, but they do have a greater chance of developing if your electrostatic precipitator has been operating for a decade or more.

Depending on where the electrode failure occurs, it can lead to diminished performance or out-and-out failure, compromising the daily operation of your electrostatic precipitator and leading to other, chronic issues such as those listed above. If these breakages are happening more than occasionally, it is time to upgrade your system.

When in Doubt…

While you and your team may be able to detect the failure or decline in performance, when in doubt about repairs, retrofitting, or scheduled maintenance, it’s best to turn to the pros. At AirTek, we eat, sleep, and breathe electrostatic precipitators. Since 1988, our Troy, AL, team has kept its thumb on the pulse of ESP developments, upgrades, and cutting-edge technologies.

When your electrostatic precipitator requires some tender love and care, call AirTek to schedule a thorough inspection conducted by the industry’s leading professionals. We can identify past, present, and future issues while recommending necessary upgrades and repairs to keep your ESP running and your operation compliant for years to come.


Contact AirTek for everything electrostatic precipitator!

AirTek started out with one goal in mind: ensuring the health of electrostatic precipitators. While our expertise has expanded to include other, vital services, our decades of experience with ESPs gives us a unique edge. To schedule an inspection, or to learn more about how we can improve the functionality and longevity of your electrostatic precipitator, contact us or give us a call at (334) 384-0457 today!

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