Top Seven Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger Failure Mechanisms (OVERVIEW)

Many of our customers utilize shell and tube heat exchangers in their facilities. Depending on the process conditions, that equipment may not last for decades without maintenance and repair.

It may seem odd that a static piece of equipment like a heat exchanger would require maintenance, however a good preventative maintenance program can greatly extend the life of the equipment and keep your personnel, equipment, and entire facility operating safely and profitably.

Over the next few months, we will review the top seven failure mechanisms for shell and tube heat exchangers along with some best practices for the maintenance and/or repair for each one.


1. Plugging
2. Fouling
3. Corrosion
4. Tube to Tube Sheet Joint Failure
5. Gasket Surface Damage
6. Tube Sheet Erosion
7. Poor Design