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Priming Glycol Lines and Tanks

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  • Priming Glycol Lines and Tanks

    Maybe this is an elementary question but we are about to plumb our tanks and glycol chiller... Is there a certain method to prime the lines and tanks before turning on the chiiller unit, or do we turn on unit and pour in glycol from the unit itself to fill lines and jackets?

  • #2
    Nothing special

    I would fill the system with water first. Then turn on the chiller. Check for proper rotation of glycol pump. Check for proper refrigeration operation. Check for leaks. Then drain and refill with glycol solution. That's about it. Do not run pumps dry. And do not allow system to run long with only water or it will freeze.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

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    • #3
      Flooding jackets

      Okay thank you. Any particular tool needed to flood jackets with glycol, or is it as simple as just pouring it in?

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      • #4
        I am attaching a link to a previous thread you might find useful.

        https://discussions.probrewer.com/sh...663#post205663

        Good luck.

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        • #5
          Set your chiller to highest temp and just use water like phil says. Find the leaks now. Clean your filter, then wait 20-30, then again, again, etc. Make sure pressure is acceptable. Get a quality handheld thermometer and calibrate chiller thermometer and your individual tank thermometers. Check that solenoids are opening and closing etc. Etc etc.

          Then drain and fill with glycol. No special tools needed. We found that it seemed easiest to check the main supply and retruns first, then open up tanks one at a time. It was easier to get air bubbles out of jackets with max pressure in a single tank. Takes a few minutes. Then just fill a tank, refill reservoir, tank, reservoir, tank, etc etc.

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          • #6
            All the above, plus add some of the dye you are going to use to color your glycol into the water test cycle for easy identification of any leaks.

            Also, if your chiller capacity allows it (doesn't cavitate; VFD), run your chiller at about 60% of volume capacity for the water test cycle. Then you can simply add the concentrated glycol to bring you to the proper system brix.

            I too tend to leave tanks isolated and run the header loop first (with proper installation and verification prior), however, there are two main theories on this is my experience. I have used both these practices in different setups for different reasons.

            1 - The "cells" (tanks) remain isolated to identify potential issues and individual cells of the system are opened up to verify system integrity. The issue that can arise here is, when the header starts flowing, you can get debris (shavings, PTFE, rust, etc) trapped in the tank drops right in front of the solenoids (depending on how you designed your system). Thasen when you open an individual tank drop, it may clog the solenoid and cause faulty operations. This is one reason some opt for motorized ball valves over solenoids, the full flow capability can clear out debris easier.

            2 - Open all system valves upon startup of the system. This allows for minimal pressure on the system, meaning the least stress on any of your potential weak points. It also creates the most paths of least resistance which may allow for better clearing of any accumulated debris (to be trapped in your strainer/filtration). Then you isolate each cell to leak/pressure test for system integrity.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BrewDrum View Post
              Maybe this is an elementary question but we are about to plumb our tanks and glycol chiller... Is there a certain method to prime the lines and tanks before turning on the chiiller unit, or do we turn on unit and pour in glycol from the unit itself to fill lines and jackets?
              Run your system with water first and the chiller compressor OFF. If you designed your system right, all the air will make its way to the air eliminator valves you have plumbed at the highest point, and you can bleed it out. Once you have flow going through all the tanks and headers, stop and clean all the construction debris out of the return filter. Add the glycol to make a 33% solution, and turn on your chiller compressor. Once the temperature gets down to your setpoint, check the compressor suction pressure, and your high pressure fan cycles.
              Linus Hall
              Yazoo Brewing
              Nashville, TN
              [url]www.yazoobrew.com[/url]

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