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CIP Troubleshooting
Failures & Possible Solutions
Problem #1

CIP supply pump fails to reach target GPM or PSI

Solution #1

Cause or failure mode

 Pump seal leaking on pump
 No water or low water supply to pump
 Impeller and/or pump head plugged with foreign material
 Excessive foam in CIP solution tank
 CIP supply pump not running
 Solution Tank Outlet Valve (TOV) not open
 Filter/Strainer housing plugged
 Sprayball missing
 Routing valve open
Problem #2

CIP return pump fails to evacuate the vessels

Solution #2
Cause or failure mode
 Gaskets leaking or not used on inlet to return pump
 TOV pulsing is too long, resulting in stall of return solution and poor evacuation
of tank
 Restrictor orifice in CIP supply line removed or distorted, resulting in hydraulic
unbalance of system
 Program drain times too short or pre-rinse times too long
 Foreign material in CIP return pump impeller or in CIP return circuit
 Return line filter full of materials
 Leaking CIP return pump seal, resulting in air incorporation and cavitation
 CIP return hose or jumper leaking or crushed
 Return pump air eliminator fouled
Problem #3

Improper detergent or sanitizer concentration

Solution #3
Cause or failure mode
 Conductivity cell or sensor soiled or fouled
 CIP operator overriding detergent feed system by manually adding detergent
to circuit
 Electronic controller set-point changed
 Control wire from sensor or probe to electronic controller off or loose
 Chemical feed pump malfunction
 Conductivity cell exposed to air by water level in tank dropping below probe
 Empty detergent dispenser or barrel
 Detergent time feed – timer setting changed, time malfunction
 Plant water pressure increased, adding more water volume to circuit
 Detergent injection check valve or anti-siphon valve malfunction
Problem #4

Low chlorine concentration

Solution #4

Cause or failure mode

 Chlorine may be old or gassed off
 Chlorine pump malfunction
 High organic load in CIP solution
Problem #5

CIP solution returning back into fresh water tank

Solution #5

Cause or failure mode

 Return or outlet valves malfunctioning
 Air actuator not closing valve
 No air actuator
 Check supply air pressure
 Check return line fittings above tank
Problem #6

CIP valve failure (air operated valves)

Solution #6

Cause or failure mode

 Actuator fails to operate valve stem
 Piston sticking in actuator
 Valve stem disconnected from actuator
 Insufficient air pressure to actuator, causing no movement in valve stem
Problem #7

CIP system steam valve fails to reach target temperature or

has extended delay to temperature

Solution #7

Cause or failure mode

 CIP discharge pressure or flow rate is low, causing interruption of
steam supply to heat exchanger or CIP system
 Steam valve fails to open
 Steam valve air actuator sticking
 Insufficient steam supply to CIP
 Refrigeration left on vessel
 Heat exchanger water logged
 CIP supply discharge strainer plugged
Problem #8

CIP fresh water tank overflows

Solution #8

Cause or failure mode

 Liquid Level Control (LLC) board failure or improper analog scale for
level transmitters
 Inadequate connection to probes or transmitter
 Water valve leaking
 CIP balance problem, water additions forced due to poor hydraulics
Problem #9

CIP system goes into over temperature alarm

Solution #9

Cause or failure mode

 Steam valve malfunction or leaking
 RTD/Temperature switch malfunction
 Low CIP flow through shell and tube heat exchanger
Problem # 10

Alkalinity noted in post rinse or acidified/sanitize rinse

Solution #10

Cause or failure mode

 Detergent check valve or anti-siphon valve malfunction
 Alkaline pump improperly programmed
 Inadequate post-rinse and/or drain times
Problem #11

Temperature fluctuation when cleaning a line circuit after

solution has reached preset temperature

Solution #11

Cause or failure mode

 Excessive leaks in line circuit, resulting in water additions during wash
cycle, causing temperature decrease
 Improper valve pulsing routine
Problem #12

Tank/Vessel cleaning - areas within vessel/tank not being


Solution #12

Cause or failure mode

 Plugged spray device (foreign material in spray device)
 Incorrect detergent concentration
 Spray device missing
 Improper flow or pressure to sprayball
 Inadequate return pump performance
Cleaning Failures

 Air valve on processing tank not clean

 Failure to pulse
 Improper pulse routine
 If valve cannot be pulsed during wash cycle, valve was not manually
Cleaning Failures

 Improper CIP preparation

 Sample valve and tank door gasket should be removed for manual
 Check the door gasket for cracks or holes and replace as necessary
 Manually clean with chlorinated, general cleaner solution at 115-
 Brush-clean the front and back of the door, the port for the sample
valve and the area inside of the tank just beneath the doorway
 Rinse all parts thoroughly
 As the tank door is being re-assembled, make sure that all parts are
either dipped in sanitizer solution or sanitized with the central
sanitizer system hose
Cleaning Failures

 Unclean sections of pipe

 Failure to include the pipe in the CIP circuit
 Inadequate velocity (5 ft./sec. minimum)
 Inadequate cleaning solution strength
 Inadequate cleaning wash temperature
 Inadequate cleaning cycle time
 Processing valves washed within the circuit not operating properly
or not programmed to pulse
Cleaning Failures

 Unclean portions of tank surface

 Spray device plugged with debris
 Distribution holes incorrectly spaced/located
 Spray device position too high or too low from top of vessel
 Inadequate flow rate to spray device
 Inadequate detergent concentration
 Inadequate wash temperature
 Inadequate wash cycle time
 Product allowed to dry on surface before CIP cycle is run
 Pressure of cleaning solution through spray device too high,
causing solution to atomize
Cleaning Failures

 Ring of soil in lower part of the tank/vessel

 Return pump capacity not sufficient to correctly evacuate or return
solution to CIP system
 Return pump air bound
 Inadequate detergent concentration or improper temperature
 Constant rinse allowing soil to float
 Inadequate rinse times
Cleaning Failures

 Blue Metal
 Protein film - improper chemical
 Temperature shock - hot water on cold tank or water temperature
too high
 Water softener needs recharging
 Magnesium deposits in water (12 ppm)
Cleaning Failures

 Corrosion and pitting

 Delays in rinsing when emptied
 Excessive use and concentration of cleaning chemicals and
 Surface not cool when sanitizing
 Chlorine or Iodophor sanitizer too warm
 Prolonged contact with chlorine
 Inadequate rinse after cleaning
 Stainless steel not passivated
Cleaning Failures

 Build-up of white (soft) film

 Cleaning solution low in active alkalinity
 Failure to rinse properly and thoroughly after wash step

 Build-up of white (hard) film

 Hard water used at high temperature 145°F
 Cleaner allowed to dry on surface before rinsing
 Cleaner used at too high temperature
Cleaning Failures

 Bronze/Brown metal
 Iodine based sanitizer concentration elevated
 Post-rinse temperature too high
 Improper rinse
 High iron content in water (3 ppm) or more
 Iron fittings used somewhere in the CIP circuit or system
 Elevated temperatures during base caustic wash
Cleaning Failures

 Deterioration of gaskets
 Excessive cleaner strength
 Excessive cleaning temperature
 Sanitizing with chlorine solution too long in advance of equipment
being used
 Failure to follow cleaning with adequate rinsing