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Guru

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
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Heating Tracing For Outdoor Transmitter Locations in Cold Weather

12/21/2016 3:57 PM

Today, we had our combined cycle unit online, and I was running some tests on the water purification system with a steam heater unit, by balancing the supply network so the branch with the heater in the loop was the dominant flow path. That was working fine.

All of a sudden there was this hell roar - the HRSG steam drum safety had lifted. This does not usually or normally happen. I eventually walked out to look, and people were scrambling all over the HRSG, and fire trucks were pulling up. There was actually a fire up top by the steam drum, and it knocked out all of the transmitters located in that area that were contained in a weather box. The fire was quickly put out by some fast acting, stair climbing dudes, but the firemen actually climbed the ladder in full turn out gear on the back side of the unit. Don't ask me why, perhaps it showed them a challenge.

One of our sharper I&E techs got the wiring to the more or less undamaged transmitters restored and we went back online after lunch. Then our marketing partner called and ended the dispatch, not needed.

Turns out the fire was caused by jake-leg alcoholic I&E tech (no longer working here), that suicide wired the weather box heater and plugged it in on an extension cord. Last time I checked, the fire marshal inspector had condemned the long term use of extension cords on high wattage devices anywhere in our facilities. Fortunately for all, no one injured, although there was a real scramble to get X number of fire extinguishers up the stairs (98 steps) for a fast response. Fire was out by the time the fire trucks rolled up on scene.

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Guru

Join Date: Aug 2007
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#1

Re: Heating Tracing For Outdoor Transmitter Locations in Cold Weather

12/21/2016 5:23 PM

"caused by a jake-leg alcoholic"

And that's why they are usually fired on the spot your honor: No ifs, ands or buts about it.

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Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
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#2

Re: Heating Tracing For Outdoor Transmitter Locations in Cold Weather

12/21/2016 6:15 PM

Extension cords are for light bulbs.

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Guru

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Hemet, Land of milk and honey.
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#3

Re: Heating Tracing For Outdoor Transmitter Locations in Cold Weather

12/22/2016 12:05 AM

Maybe you should go on a walk around to make sure there ain't no other funny business going on.

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Guru

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Heating Tracing For Outdoor Transmitter Locations in Cold Weather

12/27/2016 9:35 AM

How can one avoid monkey shines, when monkeys (trained or not) are found working here (including this one typing this message) on a daily basis? LOL

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Guru
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#4

Re: Heating Tracing For Outdoor Transmitter Locations in Cold Weather

12/22/2016 3:54 AM

Given that there was a fire it seems the facility has a serious process fluids containment problem to address.

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Guru

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Location: Lubbock, Texas
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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Heating Tracing For Outdoor Transmitter Locations in Cold Weather

12/27/2016 9:38 AM

I am sorry, I do not get any link to fluids containment problem, are you referring to hiding the gin bottle?

This was strictly an electrical fire. The cause has been addressed, and a new penthouse built over that area, with normal conduit wiring provided for the heating of that penthouse.

Remember, this is Lowbuck, TX, and only low-bidders need apply.

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#7

Re: Heating Tracing For Outdoor Transmitter Locations in Cold Weather

12/28/2016 9:02 PM

Thanks for great news story. Finally, some non-fake news.

I suspect that the plastic terminal strips, module housings and wire insulation provided the combustibles.

Did you get a photograph of the burned panel?

Did you make the 98 stair (wheez -wheez) climb with an extinguisher? I get the impression you're not much younger than I am (66).

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Guru

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Heating Tracing For Outdoor Transmitter Locations in Cold Weather

12/29/2016 9:53 AM

I did not venture near the area due to high steam venting noise, and I mistakenly had assumed it was the steam vent on the sky bridge between HRSG and main turbine building. Then I saw fire trucks rolling up... our maintenance and I&E staff were already rope lifting fire extinguishers, and had the fire out before the first fire responder stepped off the truck.

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