TRI TOOL repairs historic hydroelectric turbine for California water utility.

An on-site service technician performs precision in-place machining on the worn nozzle assembly of a vintage water wheel, part of a hydro-electric generator repair.

An on-site service technician performs precision in-place machining on the worn nozzle assembly of a vintage water wheel, part of a hydro-electric generator repair.

​In this day and age, replacement components for hydroelectric turbines are usually just a few mouse clicks away. Keeping a hydroelectric generator operating reliably that’s over 6 decades old is an entirely different situation!

Working closely with El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) project supervisors and hydroelectric technicians, Tri Tool Services performed precision in-place machining, in-shop welding and CNC machining to restore exact dimensions to the mounting surfaces of a vintage water wheel driven power generator that was originally installed in 1959. The equipment used for in-place machining was our dependable 600 Series split-frame “Clamshell” lathe, configured to cut on the water nozzle stem.

Stainless alloy needles were removed from the nozzle assemblies and were carefully transported to Tri Tool’s main manufacturing facility. There they underwent a restoration process that involved the building up of stainless steel material of sufficient thickness to permit being re-machined down to meet specifications from the original manufacturer’s blueprints dating back to 1918.

Due to the nature of the repair, welding was performed in Tri Tool’s weld lab by our senior welding technician who had to heat each water nozzle needle to several hundred degrees prior to welding to achieve the high integrity welds needed.

The subsequent machining process on the stainless steel needles was done on our advanced CNC machining equipment to ensure the highest tolerances possible due to the severe forces the needles would endure.

The needle ends were re-machined exactly to the original manufacturer’s specs. You can download our new Solution Profile to get the full story on this amazing hydroelectric generator restoration project

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