Vulcan Offshore Tips #13: Trouble Shooting

A. Hammer Runs Too Slow:

Possible Causes:

  1. Steam Or air pressure too low.
  2. Steam supply line too long or not proper size.
  3. Steam supply line restricted in some manner.
  4. Lack of lubrication.
  5. Worn or broken piston rings or scored cylinder wall. Check this by allowing enough steam to enter the cylinder to hold the ram in about a half-raised position and note whether excessive steam is blowing out of exhaust ports at top of cylinder.
  6. Piston rod packing gland too tight.
  7. Excessive steam or air leakage. Blown gaskets or packing.
  8. Badly worn slide bar wedges or dovetail, or bent trip.

B. Hammer Runs Too Fast

Possible Causes:

  1. Excessive steam or air pressure on hard driving indicated by bouncing of hammer on up stroke.
  2. Ram not making full stroke.

C. Excessive Slide Bar Breakage

Possible Causes:

  1. Slide bar key loose.
  2. Worn dovetail.

D. Hammer Changes Speeds While Operating:

Possible Causes:

  1. Boiler or compressor not large enough.
  2. Boiler feed water allowed to drop too low.
  3. Loose or torn hose lining.
  4. Intermittent lubrication caused by defective or empty line lubricator.
  5. Loose slide bar or badly won dovetail.

E. Hammer Leaks Steam at Main Exhaust Port Constantly:

Possible Causes:

  1. Valve not seating properly.
  2. Scored or broken steam chest liner.

F. Hammer leaks Steam or Air Excessively From Exhaust at Top of Cylinder:

Possible Causes:

  1. Worn or broken piston rings.
  2. Scored cylinder wall.

G. Ram Hangs and Hammer Stops Operating:

Possible Causes:

  1. Loose tie cables.
  2. Rust or burrs on column.
  3. Piston rings too large and seized up in cylinder.
  4. Piston packing too tight.
  5. Bent columns.

Note: Both the Onshore and Offshore Field Service Manuals have troubleshooting guides. These can be found in the Guide to Pile Driving Equipment.


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