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Aquatherm Glycol Piping - Dripping Bad

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  • Aquatherm Glycol Piping - Dripping Bad

    We have Aquatherm blue in the brewpub, I was told it didn't need insulation but it clearly does. Its dripping all over really bad, it's like its constantly raining where ever the header run is making things unsanitary to the point we have to do something about it. We also have to shut it down our cooling to insulate it now which is a production disruption. It's disappointing due to the expense of aquatherm, now I have to spend money on getting it insulated.

    I am in a brand new building with quality HVAC, my pipe is 2" and the glycol is around 40F and the brew pub is set for 20 degrees all the time, we do open doors for loading and patio doors which then can alter the temps by a few degrees higher, then the brewing days of course causing moisture.

    Any recommendations for insulating now?

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  • #2
    Hey there. Ours is the same way. We have our chiller set to 28'F, and our shop is around the same on some days. We insulated all the piping, not the 90's, tee's, or unions, and our does not drip at all anymore. We used a 2" split fibreglass wrapped insulation that we bought from EMCO. After that, you should be fine. It does not take long, only took us about 4 hours. If you have great tanks, you should not lose any temperature.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DogIsland View Post
      Hey there. Ours is the same way. We have our chiller set to 28'F, and our shop is around the same on some days. We insulated all the piping, not the 90's, tee's, or unions, and our does not drip at all anymore. We used a 2" split fibreglass wrapped insulation that we bought from EMCO. After that, you should be fine. It does not take long, only took us about 4 hours. If you have great tanks, you should not lose any temperature.
      Thanks man!

      Oh that's great to know as its a pain to buy the corners and seal them and the tee's are so bulky, I was dreading it. If I only need to do the strait sections than that saves a lot of grief. Did you just tape the ends where it meets tees and elbows?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jedi View Post
        Thanks man!

        Oh that's great to know as its a pain to buy the corners and seal them and the tee's are so bulky, I was dreading it. If I only need to do the strait sections than that saves a lot of grief. Did you just tape the ends where it meets tees and elbows?
        We did nothing. Just ended the peices where we met a tee or 90.

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        • #5
          In Alabama, we determined that we only needed 1” worth of insulation around the pipe. We used the black armorflex on the pipe and then the armorflex tape at HD on the tees and elbows.


          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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          • #6
            Uabercim's answer is the right one. Fiberglass insulation is for hot pipes, not cold. Insulation for cold pipes needs to be as nearly air-tight as possible, as condensation will steal your cooling capacity much more than just air will.

            Armaflex insulation, Amaflex tape to seal ends, and contact cement to glue everything together. Slap some fiberglass or vinyl cladding over it all to make it easy to clean. Ells and Tees can be fabbed on site, and there are cutting guides for them on the Armaflex box. I buy the insulation and tape from Amazon. Glue from the hardware store, as it's considered a hazardous substance for shipping. The vinyl cladding is harder to find. I'll see if I can dig up my source.
            Timm Turrentine

            Brewerywright,
            Terminal Gravity Brewing,
            Enterprise. Oregon.

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            • #7
              Ya I like the idea of foam, as I hate touching any fiberglass without a hazmat suit lol. I will try the foam on the straits, my elbows don't really sweat they are so thick, but if they do I will try the tape. Its too bad cause it looks so good uninsulated.

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              • #8
                If you use the Armaflex tape (specifically--other brands I've tried are crap) you can at least seal the joins and ends of the straight runs. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to get the foam as nearly air-tight as possible. Condensing water conveys a great deal of heat to the piping, and condensation within the insulation promotes mold growth where you can't get at it to clean. Same reason you don't use fiberglass for cold insulation: It's permeable to air. Armaflex and similar products are closed-cell foam, and very effective air barriers if properly sealed.

                https://www.amazon.com/Armaflex-Pipe...=armaflex+tape

                Here's another cheaper option that is less than worthless:

                https://www.amazon.com/Aerotape-Self...VXBC20Q579KFB9

                The adhesive on the Aramaflex is better and it's stretchier.
                Last edited by TGTimm; 05-30-2018, 10:39 AM.
                Timm Turrentine

                Brewerywright,
                Terminal Gravity Brewing,
                Enterprise. Oregon.

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                • #9
                  TGTimm is hitting the serious points. If you don’t make it air tight, condensate will build up and find somewhere to drain out. It can make a mess.


                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                  • #10
                    Thanks guys!

                    In hindsight, if I had to do it over again I would have done copper. It's worse to have to wrap this stuff vs copper because its so much thicker and the joints are less friendly to seal than copper. So far this has be one of my brewery area investment regrets investing into aquatherm.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jedi View Post
                      Thanks guys!

                      In hindsight, if I had to do it over again I would have done copper. It's worse to have to wrap this stuff vs copper because its so much thicker and the joints are less friendly to seal than copper. So far this has be one of my brewery area investment regrets investing into aquatherm.
                      This is something that comes up a bunch when people come to me for advice on building out breweries and at this time I always push them to spend the little extra on Cool-fit. In the beginning it might be a little more cash, but most times they don’t budget in insulation, modifications, or other issues.


                      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by uabericm View Post
                        This is something that comes up a bunch when people come to me for advice on building out breweries and at this time I always push them to spend the little extra on Cool-fit. In the beginning it might be a little more cash, but most times they don’t budget in insulation, modifications, or other issues.


                        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                        Ya I looked at cool fit, I was quoted $17 USD a linear foot and I am in Canada so its even worse. I will take a little pain to save that kind of money, lol.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jedi View Post
                          Ya I looked at cool fit, I was quoted $17 USD a linear foot and I am in Canada so its even worse. I will take a little pain to save that kind of money, lol.
                          Cool fit is cheaper than copper once you consider the $ to insulate and wrap it. Save a dime to spend a dollar....And cool fit is a DIY, saving you thousands in installation costs.
                          Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
                          tbriggs@minocquabrewingcompany.com
                          "Your results may vary"

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                          • #14
                            I have to agree that Coolfit+ is hard to beat when you compare all the costs.

                            We've seen aqua therm installed on a few projects, and can't recall ever seeing it on chilled lines without insulation added after install.
                            It was explained to me by the salesperson from aquatherm that because of its properties, it definitely has a higher R factor than copper- but for chilled fluid, you will still need to insulate. I'm sorry whoever installed this didn't have that information.

                            We use a 1/2" wall split insulation, if you want to measure the outside diameter of the pipe- I'd be happy to have someone here get get some information to you regarding the product we use. It comes in 6' lengths. You can use a miter box to cut, fit, and glue around elbows.

                            Good luck,

                            Jim

                            Jim VanderGiessen, CEO
                            Pro Chiller Systems
                            jimvgjr@prorefrigeration dot com
                            prochiller.com

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                            • #15
                              We prefabricated our 2" aquatherm headers in sections and slid armaflex insulation on before putting them up. We put extra armaflex on and squeezed it together so we could stretch it back out over the couplings and tape it together after making and testing the connections.

                              One of the things i like about aquatherm is that you just mark where you want your drops and drill a hole and fuse the connection in wherever you want it. because of it's light weight, you can premake a section on the ground including the coupling on one side, insulate the whole thing then lift it into the hangers and make one fusion connection up in the air to the adjacent piece.

                              We used 2" pvc draught tape, since we use it for draught trunk lines too and wrapped it so it sticks to itself. seems to work well.

                              I only insulated the higher up pipes but will probably go back and do the rest later. It is easier to pre install and avoid the splt insulation with seam, but better late than never.

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