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  1. #1

    Chilled water system make-up

    I have a pretty large central CHW plant that is requiring a lot of makeup water (several gpm, continuous). No visible leak has been detected. Any other ideas as to the source of the system requiring so much water (other than a leak or cross connected to serve plumbing systems), est a 500 ton system is being served. It is water cooled and we have even valved off the makeup to the tower to prove it was not pulling the CHW makeup back through the tower (both makeup stations come from one common domestic plumbing line but have individual BFP's, check valves, etc for 3/4" lines serving their respective systems). Any luck with troubleshooting to narrow down the source?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    How many GPM? I assume you have a water meter on your makeup supply line to your tower?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Columbus Ohio
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    Any of the chilled water piping underground?
    UA LU189

    10mm, because it's better than .45acp

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Prattville, Alabama
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    When you say a central chilled water plant, do you mean like in a centrally located building on a facility or campus, with chilled water piped to various other buildings? If so, is any of that piping underground? I would expect there to be several service access points where you could inspect portions of it. Access might be made through something like a manhole cover. Or you might have a wet, swampy area on campus.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2009
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    Prattville, Alabama
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    Dang, zw. Outtyped again!

  6. #6
    One large building with a lot of wings, there was some thermal imaging of underground piping and it was felt the leak was not there. It is probably about 3 gpm continuous.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Sorry, misread your post. Disregard my previous one.

    You are saying you pump in 3gpm into the chilled water loop? Have you checked all the Air handler coils to make sure you dont have any leaks there?

  8. #8
    We have a meter on the CHW makeup line that runs the 3 GPM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    The Hot South
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    Did you check the pressure relief valve?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Columbus Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolina HVAC View Post
    One large building with a lot of wings, there was some thermal imaging of underground piping and it was felt the leak was not there. It is probably about 3 gpm continuous.
    How do you thermal image underground piping?

    Last I knew sonar was the way to look for underground pipe leaks.

    Teach me something.
    UA LU189

    10mm, because it's better than .45acp

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    The Hot South
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    If you have a 3 GPM leak, it shouldn't be too hard to find unless it's underground.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Midwest
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    284
    Just look for a location where all the bugs and worms are trying to get out of.
    It's All Good!!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
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    11,347
    If your chilled water makeup meter in the plant is showing 3 gpm going in non stop, something is leaking pretty well. Your water chemistry is also shot. You can't afford to let this go on unresolved.

    I would isolate the chilled water flow to each air handler one by one to see if that stops the meter spinning. If it does not, start searching the chilled water lines where you can see them, especially where they go into or out of the ground, or enter/exit a building from below ground.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

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