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Thread: cost of hooking up glycol system

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    cost of hooking up glycol system

    Just curious what others would think an acceptable bill for hooking up glycol to 4 tanks would be. This includes the piping, manifolds, tubing, motorized ball valves, control panel, temperature sensors, and first charge of glycol. The chiller/condenser are owned by us already. Pretty sure my HVAC guys are trying to bend us over and would like to confirm it and confront them about it. For some perspective the proposed total cost of this by them is about 2/3 the cost of the brand new tanks. Thanks for any info I can get...
    Last edited by chaser; 10-14-2011 at 01:28 PM.

  2. #2
    kyle.carbaugh Guest

    Glycol Process Piping

    What kind of equipment is the quote for? Controllers can vary, valves are relatively standard, piping can vary (especially from PVC to Coolfit to Copper). I set up our pilot location for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1-$1.5k (I'd have to double check) for 2X7 BBLs using PVC, building a BCS-462 based controller and Red Hats from Grainger. Depending upon the run from the chiller to the FVs and the process piping, it could get pricey (i.e. if they're quoting copper).

    And before the "don't use PVC" comments come flying in, the pilot location is only expected to be in place for 18 - 24 months tops with PILOT usage. After that, we're installing Coolfit.
    Last edited by kyle.carbaugh; 10-14-2011 at 03:20 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    It's all copper to the point of the manifolds on the tank, and the total amount might be a 100 ft. or so (that's being generous). It's Wirsbo going to the tanks after the manifold. It's also motorized ball valves which are pricey but worth it IMO. We are using the simplest control panel we can, and I believe it only cost 500 bucks or so. This is for four forty bbl tanks. They also hooked up our cold room, but all the equipment was already owned by us, and we even did all the mounting of it ourselves. All they did was hook up the chiller and evaporator and charge it (and I would add that it isn't working properly). Like I said, the total of the proposed bill is roughly 2/3 of the cost of the total of the four brand new tanks, which seems absolutely absurd. The company in question has worked for us before at our old facility and done a great job at a non-ridiculous cost. In the three weeks they have been working with us they have lost three of their employees (including the one who was running our project and is the only reason we use their company, and then they lost the guy that took over running our project after him). Somehow I think things are not good with them right now and they are trying to stick it to us to get themselves out of whatever situation it is they are in. I am however paranoid of all suppliers at the moment because of my recent experience trying to get my brewing equipment (see threads on Stromberg Tanks).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Auburn, WA / Winston Salem, NC
    Costs can really vary, I'd request an itemized bid that breaks down the different portions by components/materials and estimated labor. This is a fair request and it may help identify a discrepancy and reason for bid coming in higher than expected. I'd also reach out to a second contractor for a proposal- contact another brewery in the area or perhaps the Chiller Supplier/MFG and see if they can recommend or if they've worked with someone in your area.

    Best of luck to you,

    Pro Refrigeration Inc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    That seems ridiculously expensive. For four tanks, have them run the header and you run the pex...We use sharkbites on our tanks and are very happy with them. I think it pays to have someone come in and insulate everything afterwards and make it look real nice..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    DIY. You're a brewer after all.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Ha! That's a good quote for a tshirt!
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    I just did this myself for 6 tanks and i can tell you that it's pretty pricey to have someone do it, you can get preinsulated pipe that looks pretty sweet but it's expensive. I'd say do it yourself and save a bunch of money, I used Ranco controllers, redhats and flex pipe from the preinsulated mainline to the tanks, pretty simple.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Bottom line is you need a breakdown. Total-parts=labor. Is the labor price fair? Will they let you but the materials to save on the markup?

    Some cost savers; Insulated schedule 80 is fantastic if insulated with Microban and done by a pro (think drywall installer). I think copper and coolfit are a waste.

    It's easy to do most of it yourself. Cutting and fitting Sch. 80 should be easy if you can run a brewery.

    Flex piping from the solenoid to the tank and back is simple and cost effective.

    You need an installer who is willing to tell you what you can do, and what they need to do.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Thanks guys. One of the few things we elected to not DIY due to time constraints so that wasn't an option. In any case I'm awaiting the full breakdown of the bill and have found prices on all the equipment they used so I'm looking forward to seeing what the mark-up was on all that. I have a feeling that's where the excessive cost is coming in. We used the most expensive company around here and used the most expensive materials available (owner wanted copper, I wanted motorized ball valves), so it's no wonder the bill was high, just should not have been as high as it was.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Tustin, CA, USA
    We normally recommend breweries to buy the material themselves instead of having an installer to buy the materials, in that way you normally save some money because an installer will mark up all material and you also get more control of the material cost. You then only pay the installer for the installation time.
    What pipe size did you have for your supply and return?

    Below I will give you an example and comparison of some cost for 2” and 3” piping material. Please observe that these prices are published list prices and not net prices.
    The different material in the comparison
    M Copper (the lowest cost copper grade and un-insulated)
    COOL-FIT ABS (un-insulated)
    COOL-FIT ABS Lite (pre-insulated with 1” Armaflex)
    COOL-FIT ABS Plus (pre-insulated with high density closed cell polyurethane foam and hard PE jacket)

    Pipe size 2”
    M Copper $20.91/ft
    COOL-FIT ABS $9.33/ft
    COOL-FIT ABS Lite $18.36/ft
    COOL-FIT ABS Plus $30.79/ft

    Elbow 2”
    M Copper $94.25
    COOL-FIT ABS $13.74
    COOL-FIT ABS Lite $69.30
    COOL-FIT ABS Plus $122.00

    Tee 2”
    M Copper $166.59
    COOL-FIT ABS $17.90
    COOL-FIT ABS Lite $78.00
    COOL-FIT ABS Plus $129.00

    Pipe size 3”
    M Copper $40.48/ft
    COOL-FIT ABS $18.59/ft
    COOL-FIT ABS Lite $33.22/ft
    COOL-FIT ABS Plus $44.50/ft

    Elbow 3”
    M Copper $252.05
    COOL-FIT ABS $49.40
    COOL-FIT ABS Lite $107.00
    COOL-FIT ABS Plus $190.00

    Tee 3”
    M Copper $513.02
    COOL-FIT ABS $63.00
    COOL-FIT ABS Lite $125.00
    COOL-FIT ABS Plus $157.00

    Time comparison to do one pipe to pipe connection with a coupling
    Pipe size 2”
    M Copper 10 minutes
    COOL-FIT ABS 5 minutes
    COOL-FIT ABS Lite 5 minutes
    COOL-FIT ABS Plus 10 minutes

    Pipe size 3”
    M Copper 15 minutes
    COOL-FIT ABS 7 minutes
    COOL-FIT ABS Lite 7 minutes
    COOL-FIT ABS Plus 14 minutes

    One copper pipe joining pipe to pipe with a coupling and soldering twice.

    One COOL-FIT ABS joining pipe to pipe with a coupling and solvent cementing twice.
    Includes cutting the pipe, chamfering, cleaning and cementing. Assumes all tools and parts are available, does not include handling time.

    One complete COOL-FIT ABS Plus joining pipe to pipe and solvent cementing twice.
    Includes cutting the pipe, chamfering, cleaning, cementing, filling the gap and sealing the PE (shrink sleeve)

    I hope this gave you and all other out there an idea. Please observe that copper prices changes freqently.

    Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

    Best Regards,
    Dan Strömberg
    Market Segment Manager
    Cooling & Refrigeration
    GF Piping Systems
    Georg Fischer LLC
    2882 Dow Avenue, Tustin, CA, 92780
    Tel. (714) 368-4196, Fax. (714) 368-4197
    Cellular. (951) 642 2339

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Moorpark Ca, USA
    We ended up using sch.80 PVC and foam insulation for our main piping and then pex tubing from the pipes to the tanks.

    For temp control we have digital controllers linked to RTD's and solenoid valves.

    We bought all of our plumbing materials at a local Fergusson store. It's pretty easy to install.

    Here is a link to our blog with some pictures of the construction.

    Installing it:
    Chris Enegren

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    How did you insulate the PEX tubing?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Moorpark Ca, USA
    We used some 1.5" thick foam pipe insulation. It has an adhesive that seals the thing together along the seam. It works really well and it's cheap.
    Chris Enegren

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    1.5"!!! Holy crap that's thick!

    I was looking at closed cell polyurethane flexible stuff at 3/4" thick. Would be used on 3/4" PEX tubing off the header.

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