Cal-Buster™ Removes 12 Tons of Scale From Midwest Power Plant Condenser

For many power plants, makeup water comes from a fresh water surface supply such as a lake or river, and more often than not, the levels of hardness ions (calcium and magnesium) and bicarbonate ions are very high.  Unlike familiar compounds like table salt or sugar, calcium carbonate becomes less soluble in water as the temperature rises.  So, as the cooling water warms, plating of calcium carbonate scale on to tube surfaces becomes a distinct possibility.  This was just the case for a large, Midwest nuclear power plant this summer, as calcium scale began to coat their 40,000+ stainless steel condenser tubes.  The plant became aware of the problem as unit efficiency began to plummet.


Cal-Buster and Calcium ScaleThe plant attempted to remove the scale by various means including chemical treatment and mechanical cleaners, but was unable to effectively remove the scale that ranged in thickness from .012" to .035".  After contacting Conco for assistance, an action plan was developed to utilize Cal-Buster™ technology developed by Conco to remove the scale.   The Cal-Buster is a patented two-staged cleaner featuring carbide cutting wheels designed to fracture the crystalline eggshell-like surface of calcium carbonate scale.  Cal-Busters are custom built to match the tube dimensions and the thickness of scale found inside the tube.  Depending on scale thickness, one or more passes of various sizes of Cal-Buster may be required.  In this case, the job required two initial passes for the majority of the condenser's tubes with Cal-Busters sized .935" and .942", with additional passes for tubes along the tubesheet periphery, where thicker scale was seen using cleaners sized .925" and .915".  After cleaning operations ceased, 12 tons of scale had been removed from the water box and the condenser was returned to service.  It's estimated that a larger amount of scale had actually been removed, but much of the fractured scale had washed down the outlet drain during cleaning operations.


If your condenser is experiencing an issue with calcium scale or any efficiency robbing deposit, call Conco today for a no-nonsense solution!  1-800-345-3476 or

Make a "Note" to Visit CONCO at Electric Power in Chicago Next Month!   


May 10-12 is the date for Electric Power and we want to cordially invite you to visit CONCO at our booth #733 at the show!  Also, if you visit this page and register, we'll have a fully waterproof, Rite-in-the-Rain brand notepad waiting for you at the booth, as our way of saying thanks for stopping by!  Notepad quantities are limited so reserve yours today.

Luminant Monticello Steam Electric Station Writes About Their Recent Leak Detection

Many times, we receive emails, calls or letters commending our employees for a job "above and beyond". Thanks Joe for sending this letter along, I've alerted Andy and Jacob of our leak detection division of your thanks!

luminant logo

Dear Conco;

Thank you so much for the excellent report, but most of all, for your thorough air in-leakage survey!  The inspection of Unit 2 identified 17 leaks and Monticello is operating more efficiently as a result of Andy and Jacob's efforts.  It is easy to tell that Andy and Jacob enjoy their jobs and I hope you pass on our thanks to the both of them for a "job well done".  


Joe Pickens
Luminant Monticello Plant
Multi-skill Technician Lead - Moses

Cal-Buster Removes 12 Tons
Visit Conco at Electric Power
Luminant Leak Detection
Upcoming Events
Conco Locations
Upcoming Events

Electric Power Conf.

Rosemont, IL
May 10-12, 2011

Southwest Power Conf.
Arlington, TX
May 23-24, 2011

NPRA Reliability & Maintenance Conference
Denver, CO
May 24-27,  2011

Get Your Copy

 Total Condenser Performance Brochure Image
Request your copy of Total Condenser Performance™ today!  The 32 page full color brochure has comprehensive information on achieving the perfect balance of condenser efficiency and reliability through effective tube cleaning, eddy current testing and leak detection services.

This brochure also highlights Conco ProSeries™ tube cleaning systems and Leak Detection Systems as well as the full line of Conco Tube Cleaners featuring TruFit™ technology. 
You can view it online, or contact us for a copy mailed to you!

Conco Locations

North America

East Coast:
Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh)
Maryland (Gaithersburg)

Houston, Texas

West Coast:
California (Orange Cty)


Belgium (Brussels)

Asia Pacific

Australia (Newcastle)

Visit our Contact Page for ways to reach us!