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Chilled Water Pipework Installation

We were contacted back in May by a Birmingham company who required a chilled water system. This was to be installed to a factory under refurbishment in Birmingham. The customer had already decided on the supplier of the chiller and air blast cooler plant. A majority of the equipment was partially on site when we attended. They make extrusions and require large water baths to cure the moulded material as it leaves the process machines.

We discussed the scheme with the client and they had already prepared a drawing . This clearly identified what pipework they required installing. A site visit was carried out to verify the locations and to discuss valve positions, pipe runs etc directly with the client.

It was requested that we install the installation using Geberit Press Fit, specifically stainless steel. The client has a couple of large manufacturing plants with ageing galvanised steel pipework. They are planning to replace a majority of this over the coming years. Existing galvanised steel tube had provided a good service life. Having largely being untreated it has reached corrosion levels where replacement is now the only possible solution.

They wanted to see how the Geberit system worked and how it was installed. This project was to test its performance before investing in the tooling to carry out maintenance works themselves. We took a few samples of fittings with us including some large 108 mm and some 54 mm samples. We keep various samples at the office to show customers how the pipe crimps together. Additionally some photographs of other chilled water pipework systems we have installed were shown to the client. We demonstrated to the client how the unique press indicator works, so each joint can easily be identified as pressed.

After working over the drawings we established we would need 36 M of 76.1 mm tube, 258 M of 54 mm tube and 48 M of 35 mm tube. This was ordered from Geberit and delivered directly to the customers site. The order also contained 30 BSP reducing press tees, various elbows, flanges, valves and other BSP stainless steel fittings.

The chilled water system had 15 connection points around the factory, requiring 30 press Tee’s, and lever valves on each. The operating temperature of the main will be set to around 15 Degrees so there was no special requirement for low temperature valves. We used the Geberit BSP threaded reducing tee’s. The main runs are pressed into place and these provided a 2 inch BSP female connection to bush down to inch and a half for connection to a valve using a threaded nipple.

Isolation was provided to each leg to enable service and maintenance work. A final ring was formed using the 35 mm tube to form a bypass at the ends of the 54 mm tube. The 76.1 mm tube connected from the gantry outside the building. This was connected directly into a Tee and then reducing down to 54 mm left and right around the factory. The 76.1 mm tube was routed around to the outdoor chiller plant and connected using press flanges. Butterfly valves for the chilled water pipe were provided by the chiller plant installers.

On this occasion the client supplied a majority of the fixing hardware. They requested that we install slotted track with window brackets to the roof sections, then drops with threaded rod to form a support around the building. The client intends to install additional pipe work to the brackets so we were asked to install fairly long sections.

Our chilled water pipework was fixed to rubber lined Flamco rings. This was supported from the slotted channel using cut sections of threaded bar, channel nuts and flat plate washers. This provided a solid support system around the edge walls of the factory.

For the run along the gable end of the building, cantilever brackets were fixed to the wall. Threaded rod and chemical anchor were used for a secure holding. The further use of channel nuts and Flamco rings enabled the pipework to be accurately levelled where the wall was not square.

Penetrations to the exterior were carried out using a high performance drill and suitable core cutter. The building was constructed from engineering brick and the gable wall was nearly 2 foot thick without a cavity. The two holes themselves took a little over a day each to bore out. A suitable stainless steel liner was installed and the gap around the liner and brick work was made good.

On completion of the work we isolated all the valves and carried out a pressure test to the pipework using Nitrogen to check for leaks. Once the pipework is charged up to a known pressure, the Nitrogen source is turned off and isolated. The pressure in the pipework can then be monitored. After allowing for some stabilisation and a few pressure adjustments we determined the pipework was free from leaks. We are waiting for the system to be filled before we arrange for the pipework to be lagged and identification marking tape added.

After the first batch of equipment has been installed into the factory and connected, the remaining outlets will be plugged off. We have been requested to go back to site and install some hard piped drops in various locations. We have suggested that these are installed in press using unions. As the client moves the equipment around the building which they intend to do, the pipework drops can easily be removed and installed into other locations.

PW Maintenance has installed many chilled water pipework systems throughout the UK. We are able to work with stainless steel including press and fully welded solutions. PW Maintenance have also carried out many installations using solvent welded PVC pipe. Although we are able to install galvanised and steel bore tube, these materials are not ideal for chilled water pipework.

If you are looking to install new chilled water pipework or carry out repairs or modifications to your existing system, please contact us.

We have included some photographs below of the system as it was being installed.

Click on this link for more information on the Geberit Press system, don’t forget to come back to us to help you with your project.

Philip Hamer
PW Maintenance

Chilled Water Pipework Installation – Photographs

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Chilled Water Pipework Installation

About Philip Hamer

Phil Hamer is the owner of PW Maintenance, the home of www.warmairheaters.com. Phil is responsible for Business Development, Sales, IT Infrastructure and manages the companies on-line presence and website. Phil has years of experience in Energy Efficiency, Buildings & Property Services and Facilities Management including Commercial & Industrial Heating, Air Conditioning, Electrical Installation, Maintenance, Fire and Security. Phil still regularly gets involved with the planning and designing of new systems and still actively works on site to both assist with installations and to problem solve. Email phil@pwmaintenance.co.uk