Plant Winterization Preventative Maintenance Program – Update Fall 2023

Plant Winterization Preventative Maintenance Program – Update Fall 2023

Plant Winterization Preventative Maintenance Program

Update Fall 2023

By: Bobby Wright with Lakeisha Taylor and Greg Zoll

It has been a couple of months since we first started talking about the importance of having a winterization program. Have you reviewed your systems or started any preparations?

Here are some questions that you should ask on site before the cold weather blows in:

  • Are there clear instructions for determining status of winterization, training and communication?
  • Are critical I&E and tracing systems performing like they are supposed to?
  • Check the Insulation condition, is it there, is it in good shape? If repairs are needed, have they been done?
  • If “temporary” insulation was used, has it been upgraded to permanent?
  • Have there been any changes in winterization status after the initial checks were done?


If you have not started your preventative measures, we can help. Be mindful of the season change and don’t wait until the last minute.

Becht has pulled together a “multi-disciplinary preventive maintenance plan and team” to help identify and mitigate issues that can arise in cold weather. We can help your site with preparations like:

  • Adding specific checks to be completed regularly. Doing a check just prior to a freeze event does not allow sufficient time to improve the protection.
  • Changing foil-type insulation cover for a different material that does not reflect heat but absorbs it. An alternate would be to provide temporary tracing using steam or electricity where available.
  • Providing references or adding details to procedures describing the condition insulation, heat tracing, wind breaks or temporary enclosures and other items used to prevent freezing.
  • Improving testing regimen in Fall to include positively identifying condition of insulation, and actual operation of electric tracing.
    • Getting an amp reading then comparing it to original design is necessary.
    • Current checklists request a temperature measurement when cold is forecast.
    • The recommended test is prior to cold weather and is a performance evaluation.


  • Adding inspection of critical installations for insulation condition during the Fall, prior to cold weather. Wet insulation consumes nearly all the heat input robbing the equipment of freeze protection.
  • Evaluation and preparation of pumps, interlocks, logic controls, control valves.

After the initial “review” work is complete and an action plan is created for preventative maintenance, Becht can help you develop a program that can become evergreen for critical equipment and operations/maintenance-based preparation. Don’t let the cold weather create additional challenges and interrupt production and profits. Contact Becht to start your review.

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About The Author

Mr. Wright has 38 years experience in downstream plant engineering, reliability, maintenance, inspection and mechanical integrity. He comes to Becht from Stress Engineering Services (SES) where he served as Principal in the Plant Services Practice since 2013 (Engineering Manager) and on the Board of Directors. He was responsible for the Downstream Plant Engineering Practice that included 5 offices. Prior to his tenure at SES, Bobby worked at the Tosco Refinery, Det Norske Veritas and was Vice President of US Operations at ERA Technology. His areas of expertise include Engineering Solutions for the plant fixed equipment – Coke Drums, HTHA, FFS, AR/BF for all engineering disciplines. Bobby holds a BSME (1980) from the University of Arkansas and a professional engineering license in Texas. Bobby states that “I enjoy serving, teaching, training and passing along what I have learned. My focus is on providing actionable and practical engineering solutions to very tough industry problems.” With Becht Engineering Bobby is the Lead Technical Authority for BechtTechnicalSolutions. This position covers Becht’s multi-discipline services offering unique solutions to clients’ issues and based in the Houston office.

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Plant Winterization Preventative Maintenance Program – Update Fall 2023

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