Installation of a Vacuum breaker protects the process equipments from damage and thus enhances safety.
Vacuum breakers protect plant and process equipment against vacuum conditions, typically associated with cooling. A vacuum breaker is a device that remains closed during normal operations but allows entry of air when vacuum is created in the steam space.
One of the most common applications of a vacuum breaker is on process equipment such as jacketed pans and heat exchangers. When these items are turned off, they still contain a certain amount of steam. The steam condenses as the vessel cools down, and since condensate occupies a much smaller volume than the steam, vacuum conditions are generated. The same situation can occur on steam mains and boilers.
The vacuum generated can damage the plant equipments and it is therefore necessary to install a vacuum breaker on the steam inlet to such equipment. Doing so safeguards the equipments against a possible damage due to vacuum creation.