Breaking Up a Bridge to Free Up a Filter House Blockage

JBC Dust Collector Air Spade Bridge Removal (2)

Silos work on the principle of the material placed in the silo first is the first material out of the silo. Most of the time this works well. 

Changes in weather can cause problems

Materials, like the by-product collected in the filter sock housing pictured here, are often ill-suited to changes in humidity and temperature. Warm days and cool nights affect the temperature and humidity levels in silos and, as the material cools, condensation can build up. This can cause the material to stick together creating bridges or dams that clog and interfere with material flow from the silo. When an auger at the bottom of a silo begins to unload material from the silo, a cavity can form underneath the dam. Materials can also cling to the sides of a silo, especially if moisture or mold is present. 

In the case of this filter sock housing, moisture caused the by-product in the housing to stick together. The result was a clogged-up filter sock housing.

On the job pictured here, we were able to break up the bridge by using a high-pressure air wand to break up and dislodge the material clogging the filter socks. While it may be tempting to enter a confined space of a silo to break up a bridge or dam and facilitate material movement, it is unsafe and can be life-threatening.

Unstable and prone to collapse

Both bridges of material, and the accumulation of material clinging to silo sides, are unstable and prone to collapse, making it dangerous to anyone who might enter the confined space of a silo.


If a silo must be entered, someone trained for this kind of work is a necessity. 

Most industrial facilities lack the training, skill, and equipment to perform specialized confined space cleaning. That is when Blackwell’s, Inc. gets the call for an industrial cleaning job to clean and or repair the coating on the interior of the confined space.

Our associates are trained to work in confined space cleaning jobs in and around vessels like silos. When we send one of our guys into a confined space, we send a guy that is trained to work in tight spaces. Not only is he trained and equipped with all the equipment he needs to keep him safe while he is in there, but he has a trained support crew topside to get him out safely in case of an emergency. 

filter sock housing with bridging

By-product bridging from bottom of filter sock housing

Filter socks after bridging removed from housing


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