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Thread: glycol line plumbing- 3 Qa

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    west coast

    glycol line plumbing- 3 Qa

    so ive been working on helping out my buddies in baja set up their brewery. been following SOP for the glycol lines as much as possible, within the limitations of budgeting, which are killing us between customs duties of 16%, shippping/transit back and forth, strong dollar vs dropping peso, etc.

    few questions-

    1- the entire supply run is only about 25' long, cant find a decent temp gauge option, so was planning on just putting a thermometer on the reservoir tank. i was hoping to have it at end of supply run next to pressure gauge, but just cant find a cheap option that will fit into 1.5" supply lines. considering short run length, and 3/4 wall insulation (k flex elastomeric), im hoping this should be good enough? ideas for a short temp probe for end of supply line thats cheap?

    2- cant find a differential bypass valve in the +/- 15psi range that isnt crazy expensive. see alot of units for radiant heating/hydronic/solar heating in the $50 range, but they only go up to 10psi. the valve would be always open, is that a huge problem? the other option is this guy which seems like it does a very similar if not identical job.

    3-- so i'm doing the first in/last out setup, with my supply run on the bottom, pushing glycol up through tanks and then to return lines. which return line tubing goes on top--- the manifold tube with all the return hoses from the tanks? or the trunk/final return tube that gets fed by the manifold tube? in this image im referrring to either the top green line (manifold) or bottom (trunk/final return)?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Auburn, WA / Winston Salem, NC
    Hey Brain,

    Regarding the pressure bypass and the temperature gauges, I'd caution from going too cheap- I understand that cost is critical for a start up- but keep in mind the price of glycol, the price of losing product, and the the price of causing damage to your chiller system due to losing glycol.

    There's several pressure bypass valve options out there- The Kunkel series 19 or the Aquatrol series 69 are both models we've used and seen customers use and available in WW Grainger catalog. You're going to pay a lot more than $50, but you'll be using a valve rated for the temperature and pressure range you are needing. Looks like the tractor supply is a plastic valve that doesn't list any temperature ratings- this would make me nervous.

    If you just don't have the funds to install the right pressure bypass valve- install a gate valve as a bypass between your Supply and Return headers and simply open this slightly to protect from deadheading the line and also protect from over pressuring the tank jackets. You are going to give up some efficiency by bypassing during times you don't need to- but at least your'll be protecting your equipment.

    WW Grainger can also provide some good Thermometer options to consider.

    Not real clear on your question regarding the piping- I'd run a common SUPPLY Header Manifold to feed all the inlets and a common RETURN Header Manifold that all of the returns will connect into. If your total Header run is only 25', the First IN/Last OUT strategy isn't too critical.

    Good luck as you get your friends brewery piped in and off the ground. Hope this helps a bit.


    Jim VanderGiessen
    Pro Chiller Systems
    Feel free to email me directly with any additional questions.
    Last edited by jimvgjr; 10-26-2016 at 03:49 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    west coast

    pressure bypass valve for glycol line

    so if anyone happens to be in the same boat as me about trying to find a decent and cheap pressure regulating bypass valve, there are two more- also from tractor supply, but a but sturdier than the plastic/nylon one i found above.

    heres an aluminum body model in 3/4".

    heres brass body model, although seems to only be in 1/2".

    both are under $50, not including shipping/tax.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003

    Another option...

    Instead of a pressure bypass, I often install a solenoid bypass on the main header that opens when all tank solenoids are off. Easy to do if each tank temperature controller has two sets of contacts. Use cheap relays to get two sets of contacts if the tank temperature controller doesn't. Keeps your glycol circulating with a minimum of pressure drop.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

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