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Cold weather operation of Pile Hammers and Pile Extractors on compressed air frequently presents problems of ice accumulation in valve assemblies and air passage ports. Icing is a function of temperature and humidity and causes erratic equipment operation. There are several remedies for this problem which will help eliminate the icing condition:
Always remember that in subfreezing weather it is essential to preheat the Hammer Cylinder prior to commencing daily operation. This is necessary to eliminate any frozen condensate inside tile Cylinder and Valve. It is also necessary to prevent possible cracking of the Cylinder due to thermal shock.
During winter operation, it is advisable to be sure that all condensate is expelled from the Lubricator at the end of the shift so that it will not be allowed to freeze thereby plugging the oil suction line. It is also advisable to preheat the Lubricator to assure immediate lubrication when operations are commenced.
If your crane boom is hard piped part way up, it is desirable that this piping be insulated to help minimize losses in air volume due to cooling.
Note: use of these procedures may be affected by environmental regulations.