Heat exchangers, as the name implies, are used to bring a process stream to a desired temperature. They can heat or cool either gases or liquids. They are fairly intricate in their construction, therefore not the cheapest piece of equipment to purchase. For that reason, facilities don’t keep “spare” exchangers lying around, so when they fail catastrophically, the entire manufacturing process goes down with them… and stays down until they are fixed or replaced. Ow!
The fire service affords you the opportunity to witness and observe things that a lot of engineers and even most people do not get the chance to see. An example of this is the situation where extended elevated temperatures combined with poor construction techniques to result in a structure fire.
I have personally observed several occasions where a structure fire was initiated due to improper construction of the fireplace hearth extension. The most recent one followed a multi-day cold snap, at least by South Carolina standards. The thermometer read 17 degrees F as I drove to the call of smoke in a residence Read More