Work is underway in California to demolish a concrete bulkhead. Men have started the operation, which had brought them deep into a drain pipe tunnel. There is a need for a new 30 inch drain pipe, but in order to install it, they need to remove the old concrete. How do you do that? You bring in the big guns – water guns. Pumping water at 30,000 psi, the tool will certainly do the job.
In the case described above the pressures are so great in the water blasting systems that normal operating manual gauges are often not used. Instead, electronic gauges like the NOshok 100 series pressure transmitter are utilized to properly measure, and to control the pump’s output. This can help to ensure that the pump supplies enough water pressure to break up the concrete.
The pressure transmitter can also be programmable to maintain a definable pressure point. For instance, the pump used in this case is capable of producing a steady stream at 60,000 psi, but the men said it would be a drastic overkill. It simply isn’t required, so the pump’s electronic drive must maintain pump output at a constant supply of 30,000 psi. That consistency increases productivity and also increases the lifespan of the pump. On a piece of equipment that is providing such extreme pressures, pressure fluctuations could be extremely damaging to the precision nozzles. And, sudden increases in water pressure could cause damage to more than the bulkhead. That sort of accident could be extremely threatening to the project budget, but could also prove life-threatening.
According to reports in Mountain News, the work has been started, despite below-freezing temperatures. A collection pond has been prepared to collect the water used in the demolition project. The cold weather will slow the men down a bit, requiring them to drain the lines every night before they leave, but the work done by the high pressure unit is well worth the extra efforts to preserve it.