“Bar Racks? Wait, what do you call them?”

If you’re a company using raw water for generation, cooling or processing and have an intake system then most likely you have Bar Racks installed on the upstream side of your pumps and or turbines. Also referred to as Trash Racks, Intake Grate or Screen and one gentleman I know even referred to them as “Grizzly Racks”; I guess they have a whole other type of prevention in the Northern Region!

Bar Racks are a simple, yet critical component that often gets over looked. From conception these components live their service life underwater, which at many times affects the frequency of their preventative maintenance; “out of sight out of mind.” Our team at UCC wants to express how simple a preventive maintenance (PM) service can be on a likewise simple component.

Since the beginning of UCC in the late nineteen sixties, divers have been performing a multitude of bar rack services to a diverse customer base. Over the years divers have saved sites costly downtime and dewatering expenses by performing these services “in the wet.” With the intake system deemed safe and flows isolated divers perform many services. Under normal PM bar racks are inspected and cleaned utilizing a variety of techniques and specialized equipment unique for each site. After debris is removed from the racks a significant increase in flow can be seen; likewise a large decrease in differential head pressure can be obvious to the observer. Within the hydro generation industry this increase in flow also is a direct increase in generation. Furthermore, during the winter months this simple cleaning assists with the prevention of frazil ice.

 T Rack - Before & AfterIf missing, bent or other structural steel damage is found a team of certified AWS D3.6 & D1.1 underwater welders are called to perform onsite service. The repairs are necessary to prevent pass through of large damaging debris, which could cause issues on downstream components. If the racks are found to be in need of total replacement UCC provides this turnkey service without dewatering. Debris and other material are removed, bottom sill and side wall concrete are assessed and/or repaired and the old racks are removed. New racks are built to specification and installed directly following the removal of the old systems.

Bar racks are a simple component; they are also simple and very cost effective to perform preventive maintenance. This PM can be seen as a direct value in a diverse way. No matter what you may call them, bar racks are critical to your intake system. Let UCC help today.