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powder puff
05-07-2010, 05:21 PM
Ok first, hello to everyone!

I'm probably in the wrong place being a powder coater but I fiqure who else better to answer my questions about supplied air respirators.

The shop I work in recently installed supplied air for respirators with a 3m Vortex-100 cooling system. Everything looks pretty good so far compared to using the old 3m 440 Cartridge filter blower battery belt pack. We use the same hood combo with both systems. The question I have is some modifications have already been done to the V-100's with the couplers (not correctly) and when the maintenance person did this I began questioning (to myself) is the air hose correct. Do supplied air systems require a specific type of air hose that is safer for breathing or will any old air hose do? I understand the coupler issue but am trying to get more informed about this new breathing apparatus as I'm fairly new to this concept.

The benefits are obvious as it's very cool and the air seems fresher except that I smelled rubber hose today. I also experienced some powder coming into the hood (resting under the nose) that was not present before I made the switch to the new system this morning. Will be working on this issue on Monday am. with a new hood. It seems if the cooler is set on high toward being colder then the powder entry is higher so I'm going to turn this back toward warmer. I had no trouble with the old blower unit and powder entry to this extent most days anyways?

Any advice on this system would be greatly appreciated!

Len
05-07-2010, 10:48 PM
The hose definitely needs to be hose that is made to transmit breathable air. Using other types of hose is asking for trouble because they can off gas or break down causing a health risk.

I don't know about the cooler issue because I've never worked with that type of equipment but if you are getting contaminants in the mask it usually means that the system's intake it picking it up and the intake needs to be moved to a clean air location.

LS6
05-08-2010, 01:29 AM
Ok first, hello to everyone!

I'm probably in the wrong place being a powder coater but I fiqure who else better to answer my questions about supplied air respirators.

The shop I work in recently installed supplied air for respirators with a 3m Vortex-100 cooling system. Everything looks pretty good so far compared to using the old 3m 440 Cartridge filter blower battery belt pack. We use the same hood combo with both systems. The question I have is some modifications have already been done to the V-100's with the couplers (not correctly) and when the maintenance person did this I began questioning (to myself) is the air hose correct. Do supplied air systems require a specific type of air hose that is safer for breathing or will any old air hose do? I understand the coupler issue but am trying to get more informed about this new breathing apparatus as I'm fairly new to this concept.

The benefits are obvious as it's very cool and the air seems fresher except that I smelled rubber hose today. I also experienced some powder coming into the hood (resting under the nose) that was not present before I made the switch to the new system this morning. Will be working on this issue on Monday am. with a new hood. It seems if the cooler is set on high toward being colder then the powder entry is higher so I'm going to turn this back toward warmer. I had no trouble with the old blower unit and powder entry to this extent most days anyways?

Any advice on this system would be greatly appreciated!

Powder puff,
What about setting up your system in a CLEAN AIR setting with the system working and have someone spray soapy water at the fittings one at a time and at the facial sealing edge of your hood?
If there is an intake leak, then the soapy water will bubble slightly. Window cleaner will also work, but you don't want to breathe in any ammonia from the window cleaner.

You might also want to look for any cracks or breaches in the hose where it attaches INSIDE the hood area where it's not easily seen.

I think it's worth a try.
LS6

Len
05-08-2010, 06:03 AM
Powder puff,
What about setting up your system in a CLEAN AIR setting with the system working and have someone spray soapy water at the fittings one at a time and at the facial sealing edge of your hood?
If there is an intake leak, then the soapy water will bubble slightly. Window cleaner will also work, but you don't want to breathe in any ammonia from the window cleaner.

You might also want to look for any cracks or breaches in the hose where it attaches INSIDE the hood area where it's not easily seen.

I think it's worth a try.
LS6

On the intake side the solution won't bubble because air would not be leaking out it would be leaking in and if he has enough of a leak that powder gets into the mask it's probably pulling it into the intake and not just a leak.

LS6
05-08-2010, 09:53 AM
On the intake side the solution won't bubble because air would not be leaking out it would be leaking in and if he has enough of a leak that powder gets into the mask it's probably pulling it into the intake and not just a leak.

True, but you could still see it pull the suds in, if he had someone observe closely. It just wouldn't be nearly as obvious as an outward leak.
How close is the intake to the paint room?
LS6

powder puff
05-08-2010, 10:30 AM
Yes, the powder could be vaccumed up off the floor as the air breather hose lays on the floor. If the coupling was incorrectly done the powder could enter via the connections. The entry is minimal but still a concern as it lightly appears under the nostral and is clearly visible. Couplers were also changed out on the PPE's (incorrectly....yes?). It could also be caused by the hood and I will change it out on Monday but at the hood the air should be a positive flow outwards as the air pressure really puffs up the hood now compared to the older 3M Blower unit (with the 3M 440 round cartridge).

I'm thinking it could also enter via the coupler at my hip entering the 3M Vortex V-100 PPE unit (the V-100 is just a cooler to my understanding).

The air compresser is in a completely different area of the facility inside near the sand blaster bay but outside of the sandblasting bay. These bays are approximately 40' x 50' and start left to right with a contained sandblasting bay, maintenance bay, wash bay, dry bay, paint bay, oven, and double finishing bays. Everything is spanky new! Haven't fiqured out if the supply air to the compressor is from outdoors or not, but I don't think it is.

My biggest concern at the moment is the hose quality? We do our own coupling and purchase our own hoses instead of using the 3M hoses. Thought about phoning a diving shop to ask about breathing supply hoses and quality. Perhaps, numbers or letters on the side of the air hose could offer hose quality.

Other concern......What if someone mistakenly uses a line with unscrubbed air. What are the possible health issues? Is the quality of the air hose compromised now as well? Compressor OIL cannot be good.

You guys have given me lots to think about and I will definately be looking at some of these ideas.

Thanks!
powder

LS6
05-09-2010, 12:52 AM
Yes, the powder could be vaccumed up off the floor as the air breather hose lays on the floor. If the coupling was incorrectly done the powder could enter via the connections. The entry is minimal but still a concern as it lightly appears under the nostral and is clearly visible. Couplers were also changed out on the PPE's (incorrectly....yes?). It could also be caused by the hood and I will change it out on Monday but at the hood the air should be a positive flow outwards as the air pressure really puffs up the hood now compared to the older 3M Blower unit (with the 3M 440 round cartridge).

I'm thinking it could also enter via the coupler at my hip entering the 3M Vortex V-100 PPE unit (the V-100 is just a cooler to my understanding).

The air compresser is in a completely different area of the facility inside near the sand blaster bay but outside of the sandblasting bay. These bays are approximately 40' x 50' and start left to right with a contained sandblasting bay, maintenance bay, wash bay, dry bay, paint bay, oven, and double finishing bays. Everything is spanky new! Haven't fiqured out if the supply air to the compressor is from outdoors or not, but I don't think it is.

My biggest concern at the moment is the hose quality? We do our own coupling and purchase our own hoses instead of using the 3M hoses. Thought about phoning a diving shop to ask about breathing supply hoses and quality. Perhaps, numbers or letters on the side of the air hose could offer hose quality.

Other concern......What if someone mistakenly uses a line with unscrubbed air. What are the possible health issues? Is the quality of the air hose compromised now as well? Compressor OIL cannot be good.

You guys have given me lots to think about and I will definately be looking at some of these ideas.

Thanks!
powder

Powder puff,
Len is correct. Given the amount of powder getting inside, it sure does seem likely that the problem is coming from your compressor air intake. Any other breached location in the intake line would have to be fairly big to draw in that amount of powder.
LS6

Len
05-09-2010, 06:34 AM
If you have a leak on the intake side you can get contaminants in the system but if you have a leak on the exhaust side the air will leak OUT and the contaminants won't enter the system unless they enter while the system is turned off.

You should be using "dedicated hose" that is made for breathable air and not used for other work issues. Different types of couplings could solve that problem. Even breathing compressor air can be tricky without using a CO monitor because oil lubricated compressors have the ability to put out carbon monoxide that you can't sense but can build up in your body until they harm you.