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  • no water today?

    my buddy had a call on saturday that was from a very busy restaurant. 1/2 of the restaurant lost both hot and cold water.

    his on call guy could only access a portion of the pipe as the restaurant was packed with the lunch crowd. since it was only an inconvenience, they decided to come back on sunday when the place was closed to customers.

    well my buddy was telling me the story that night (saturday). i threw a few different scenarios out to him to check.

    a second water meter being off.
    a tempering valve that shut off, but that wouldn't affect the cold side

    the line running through a freezer section.

    well sunday rolls around and he calls me all excited. he found the problem and i was pretty close on my guess.

    turns out the pipe was running right next to a refrigeration freon line. the pipe had gotten too cold and froze. this was in an area above the ceiling in a hard to access area. my buddy reached it with his shovel blade and separated the 2 lines. slid some insulation in between them and in minutes the water was flowing again

    now the question is, why this just happened now and not years ago

    according to the owner. they had the refrigeration system serviced on friday and added freon to the lines. is it possible they added too much?

    need some help from you hvac guys

    rick.
    phoebe it is

  • #2
    Re: no water today?

    The freon lines would still have been operating at freezing temps all those years.
    Ten to one a line that was already close was shifted.
    Dats my guess.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: no water today?

      Wait just a minute here!

      Are you saying that a refrigerant line was touching a water pipe and caused that water to freeze up?

      I am skeptical that this could even be possible. I need a technical breakdown
      of how this could happen.

      I've used freeze machines and even under the best conditions it's difficult to make water in a pipe freeze.

      What size pipe did he say?

      Both hot and cold?

      Opening the faucets didn't thaw the iceblock?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: no water today?

        I am no a/c guy, but I would think the freon lines would run the same temp, either charged or not. That is a great question for Ben.

        As far as the original situation....... without cold water, you won't have hot water, must be piped with 2 different supplies.

        As far as the freon freezing the hot and cold lines........... maybe the cold line, if the line sat still and wasn't being used, but the hot line, never, especially with usage, I have tried to freeze lines either in use or not, successful on the cold line, when not in use, now, for a hot line, in use, never!

        this is why I say the line must be piped with two different cold supplies, without cold, you won't have hot, and then maybe, the freon froze the cold supply to that section of the restaurant.

        Hard to believe, especially when the restaurant is open and busy, maybe if they were closed and it happened over night with no water usage.
        sigpic

        Robert

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: no water today?

          [quote=westcoastplumber;98984]I am no a/c guy, but I would think the freon lines would run the same temp, either charged or not. That is a great question for Ben.

          As far as the original situation....... without cold water, you won't have hot water, must be piped with 2 different supplies.

          As far as the freon freezing the hot and cold lines........... maybe the cold line, if the line sat still and wasn't being used, but the hot line, never, especially with usage, I have tried to freeze lines either in use or not, successful on the cold line, when not in use, now, for a hot line, in use, never!

          this is why I say the line must be piped with two different cold supplies, without cold, you won't have hot, and then maybe, the freon froze the cold supply to that section of the restaurant.

          Hard to believe, especially when the restaurant is open and busy, maybe if they were closed and it happened over night with no water usage.[/quote]

          the cleaning crew came across it at 2am. the plumber was there at 7:30 am.

          the cold line was 1'' copper and it does feed the water heater too.

          as far as the pipe freezing process goes. you can freeze anything that doesn't have flow. doesn't matter if it's a hot line or cold. if there's no flow the line will freeze. now if you're too close to a flowing tee from a main, then you will have a hard time as the rushing water will steal your insulating value.

          liquid co2 (-107)is a lot faster and colder than the ridgid superfreeze 2000 or 2500. but the ridgid units are great for convenience. no heavy tanks to move and all you need is electricity.

          i have both the 2000, 2500 and 2 complete sets of co2 bags. if it's 2.5'' and smaller, i use the ridgid. over 2.5'' it's co2.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: no water today?

            WOW. I winterized a camp yesterday and it was so cold I was thinking it won't be long for the frozen pipes calls to start coming in.

            Don't let gore find out about this. Even if it is inside he'll claim that due to global warming, pipes are all ready freezing in Calf and not in Maine.

            I know this was in the cold water line but here is an interesting fact:
            Hot water can freeze faster then cold water. It's called the Memba(I don't think this is the correct spelling) effect. It has something to do with hot water holding less gasses and having different convection currents then cold water.
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            Comment


            • #7
              Re: no water today?

              Could insulation have been taken off the refrigerant line during the repair process (leak checking or some thing) and never replaced,
              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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              attributed to Samuel Johnson
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              Comment


              • #8
                Re: no water today?

                Originally posted by BHD View Post
                Could insulation have been taken off the refrigerant line during the repair process (leak checking or some thing) and never replaced,
                not sure as i wasn't there. but i would think that the freon line would have been insulated when it was installed.

                the area where it was located was not easily accessible. thats why he used a shovel to separate the lines and slide some insulation between them.

                not sure if there is insulation on the rest of the freon set.

                rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: no water today?

                  freaon drops temp only when the compressor is on. the temp drop is due to the preassure increase on the liquid being forced through an orfice. otherwise it is at ambient temps.

                  a thought for rick..
                  i was got a call last week from a teck of mine that a waterline was frozen inside a resteraunt, too bad it was scorching hot out. he thawed the lines and turned the main on, you could see the ice travelling down the pipe in seconds. went down to see, thought they were looking at a refrigeline not water but i was wrong. a pop machine compressor had leaking gaskets and was allowing compressed gas into the watermains. never would have believed it untill i seen it myself.

                  the lines even touching could only freeze if there was standing water in them, any flow would prevent this. we all know how hard it is to freeze lines on purpouse with a freeze kit
                  how is it that so many answers are in the instructions

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: no water today?

                    Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                    That is a great question for Ben.
                    Hate to say but I have no commercial refrigeration experience so my ideas I'm throwing out are probably wrong. If the line wasn't insulated in the first place, that's telling me that it's the liquid line(the small, hot one). To make this line cold enough to freeze water there would have to be a huge restriction in the line but this could cause the compressor to knock making this unlikely but possible. Operating temps for a commercial freezer can go as low as 0-neg 20 deg so freezing this water is possible through contact of lines. My question is that you're always supposed to insulate water lines that might possibly freeze so why wasn't the water line insulated?

                    Rick, ask Bill and Ruud what they think. They might not read this due to the title and location. I think BHD is coming the closest to the right answer.
                    Buy cheap, buy twice.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: no water today?

                      How about this. The line was insulated when installed. Rodents stripped off the insulation to make nests after years of this there is not much left if any.

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