Voices: Field Notes

Deftly Detect Instrument Faults

Check for some simple clues to a malfunctioning device

By Dirk Willard, Contributing Editor
Apr 15, 2019

Meter mayhem, I thought to myself. One magnetic flow meter showed 18 gal/min, another read 138 gal/min. However, the magnetic flow meter monitoring the combined flow to a reactor indicated 380 gal/min. Okay, it’s not a mass balance but the temperatures only were 60°F apart. The total flow should be 156 ±3 gal/min. Other flows did go into and out of the feed tank but all were for recirculation except for the one that went to the reactor. The pump for the recirculation had a design flow of 900 gal/min; some people still think you can agitate a 40,000-gal tank with a pump.

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