Duct and Vent Project Manager, Greg Ilkowitz received a telephone call out of the blue from Get It Industrial-Marine located in Portsmouth, Virginia. They were looking for a company to clean the USCGC Juniper (WLB-201), the lead ship of the U.S. Coast Guard’s seagoing buoy tenders. Get It Industrial needed a company that would take great care of the Juniper, and they found Duct and Vent through an Internet search.
The Juniper, measuring 225 feet in length and weighing 2,000 tons, is a special ship, as she has been used in several important missions. She assisted in the recovery operations following the crashes of TWA Flight 800 and Egypt Air 990. She was also a part of the anti-terrorist and force protection operations after 9/11.
This was a great opportunity for Duct and Vent, and they were ultimately hired to clean the laundry, galley, engine exhaust stacks, and the HVAC that’s located within the engine room. This wasn’t the first time that Duct and Vent has worked on a naval ship. Three years ago, they were hired to work on the U.S. Comfort Naval Hospital Ship - USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) that was docked in Boston.
For this project, they used between 2-4 men, depending on which part of the job they were working on. The men worked on the ship while it was docked at the Newport Naval Base. The difference between the Juniper project and the U.S. Comfort project was that the Juniper is 1/3 the size of the Comfort, which made more difficult to maneuver around the ship.
The laundry was cleaned using brushes on the end of cables, and positioning a large HEPA vacuum at the opposite end of the ductwork. The vacuum caught all the loose debris as it was agitated off the inner walls of the ducting. The galley was cleaned using the same methods, but services were scheduled around meal times of the ship’s crew.
The stacks were the most tedious to clean. The stacks start at the tops of the turbine engines (2) and go straight to the top of the stack platform. The team started at the top, and used metal rotary brushes and chimney brushes which were sent into the stacks while the large HEPA vacuum caught the soot at the bottom in the engine room. Getting to the middle of the stacks cleaned on levels 2 and 3 was the most difficult part of the job. Get It Industrial-Marine had to disconnect the stacks about every 5 feet and leave a small 2 foot opening between the connections so that the pipes could be cleaned individually. After the pipes were cleaned, Get It Industrial-Marine inspected and reconnected them. In total, the project took about two weeks to complete.
Greg attributes the success of this project to a perfect plan and great teamwork between Duct and Vent, Get It Industrial-Marine, and the Coast Guard.
Duct and Vent has been spending a lot of time in Newport lately. They recently finished work at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Astors’ Beechwood Mansion, and Sims Hall at the Naval War College.
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