Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) Services

Don’t Let an RTO Repair Become a Replacement.

Call the Experts for Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer Maintenance: (713) 999-1100.

Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers (commonly referred to as RTOs) are industrial air pollution control systems that can offer significantly lower operating costs compared to other emission control technologies when used in the right application. However, timely inspections, preventative maintenance (PM), repairs, and upgrades of existing RTOs are essential to ensure high reliability and lower cost of ownership, as well as for compliance with increasingly stringent air permits. 


Comprehensive upkeep and routine upgrades fight the system degradation that can occur over time so that your application isn’t negatively affected by reduced treatment efficiency and effectiveness. (Learn how an RTO works.


What sets our thermal oxidizer services apart?

Our team of field-tested technicians and engineers are highly experienced with all makes and models of RTOs, not just a specific manufacturer’s. What’s more, they’re specifically trained to go beyond presenting mechanical problems to troubleshoot underlying issues common to certain oxidizer systems and industrial applications. As a result, you receive the best solution for your unique oxidizer system, application, and pain points – so your RTO operates more reliably and cost-effectively long term. Your production stays up and you stay compliant.

Our experienced field engineers and technicians are well trained and equipped to service, repair and/or upgrade your existing Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer and Concentrator. Some of the more common issues PolSys Services addresses related to rto maintenance include:

    • Cleaning RTO media or oxidizer catalyst

    • Replacing RTO media or oxidizer catalyst

    • Replacing or Upgrading Burners and Gas Trains

    • Diverter Valve repairs (Read our Poppet Valve Assembly Case Study)

    • Corrosion control and structural repairs

    • Duct replacement and flow restrictions

    • Concentrator repairs and services

    • Troubleshooting or upgrading operating controls including the operator interface, programmable controllers, and valve drives

    • Tuning and re-programming existing software programs and upgrading system controls. (If you’re operating with outdated controls, you could be operating at a major


We repair what the other company “fixed.”

When compared to other air pollution control technologies, Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers can offer many known advantages (especially high thermal efficiency), but it is important for facility managers to understand lesser-publicized maintenance drawbacks. For example, RTOs include a variety of moving parts and hardware which require proper monitoring and preventative maintenance. Burners must be accurately tuned, and diverter valves must be regularly checked to ensure they seal tightly. Ceramic media often becomes plugged over time, greatly decreasing system performance.


To ensure high reliability/uptime, consistently high destruction removal efficiencies (DRE), and low cost of ownership, these oxidizers must be carefully maintained by technicians who understand the equipment, including its control system. (We have encountered many RTOs where incorrect programming of controls to “overcome” a system issue has caused major performance and compliance issues.)


How to Properly Maintain a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer

When employed in the correct application and properly maintained, RTOs can offer relatively low operational costs and good uptime. However, due to their numerous moving parts, there are many potential points of failure, and it is recommended that an RTO be inspected at least once a year by an oxidizer specialist to prevent unplanned downtime. Older RTOs should be inspected semi-annually at a minimum.


Special areas of concern include:


  • Ceramic Media – Plugging and fouling of media will degrade system performance to the point where a bake-out or turnkey media replacement is required. Sometimes, there’s a mismatch between the type of media currently in the unit and what might be optimal. As an unbiased third party (unlike an OEM), we can offer you a qualified judgment as to the benefits and drawbacks of different types of media.
  • Control System – At the heart of an oxidizer is its control system, which oversees key operations including poppet valve switching, temperature, retention times, and much more. If the control system is not set up properly – or if it has been improperly adjusted to correct for another issue – it can cause reliability, safety, and compliance issues. The more robust and up-to-date your control system, the more efficient and reliable your RTO system’s performance will be. The right control system can also be key to troubleshooting the system so repairs can often be made in minutes, not hours.
  • Burners – How much fuel does your system consume? Could you save by optimizing air-to-fuel ratios or switching to another type of burner? Burner technology has improved greatly over the years, increasing not just efficiency but also safety. An unbiased evaluation of your burner and gas train offers many benefits, including peace of mind.
  • Spare Parts – Do you have adequate spare parts on hand, especially for high-wear, high-failure system components like thermocouples? We can provide you with the right spare parts package for your system.

Thermal Imaging Available
Our thermal imaging cameras translate thermal energy (heat) into visible light in order to analyze air pollution control equipment. These cameras are ideal for RTO system diagnostics, as they help determine the condition of key components like insulation or refractory in an oxidizer, or the machine health of fans, pumps, and motors. Hot spots show areas of weakness or damage so these issues can be addressed, reducing auxiliary fuel costs, avoiding more costly repairs in the future, and preventing downtime.



RTO Service Agreements – “Insure” your system against unplanned downtime


For maximum system reliability and production uptime, many of our customers with RTOs choose a Rapid Response Service Agreement. Plans are tailored to your needs and include routine and scheduled inspections, a set number of emergency call-outs per year with a guaranteed maximum response time, onsite preventative maintenance (PM) training for staff, telephone technical support, controls assessments, and much more. If your facility is operating at or near capacity, these agreements can pay for themselves many times over in increased system reliability, safety, and compliance. 


Regardless of the issue you would like to address, our experience and knowledge of all types of air abatement technologies and processes allow us to assess your situation and quickly address any needed equipment repairs and upgrades. Contact PolSys Services today to discuss your repair/upgrade needs.

How Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers (RTOs) Work

A Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) is a proven type of air pollution control equipment used to destroy Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) found in industrial exhaust streams. Here’s how they work, why they’re so popular, and common maintenance issues.


RTO Diverter/Poppet Valve Repairs

Our field service technicians have extensive experience repairing and replacing all types of RTO diverter valves to guarantee that your system is operating properly and that you remain in compliance.