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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Brewster, MA
    Posts
    320

    water cooled commercial ice maker:

    Can anyone answer this.

    I have a customer with a large water cooled ice maker. It runs 24/7/365 and uses a lot of water to cool the process, let alone the lesser amount for the ice. The machine is indoors but the waste water goes outside. It is always running. When it was first installed years ago, the water was provided by a private well on the property. A few years ago, they had to change to municipal water. All water is now from the municipal water system. The well water is now considered to be water of a questionable source. It is totally and physically disconnected from the new water system. It is allowable to have "process water" for non potable use. Is it allowable to use process water on the cooling part of a water cooled condenser while the ice making part is potable water?

    I just don't know.

    It would seem that there could be no mixing of the two in the process.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    664
    There would not be any mixing of the water, but I would recommend a sediment water filter. Those water regulative valves can clog up pretty easily.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    4,386
    yes, you can use the well water for the condenser. Many larger buildings use cooling tower water for the ice machine condensers and you wouldn't dare make ice out of that.

    just be aware you may have to occasionally descale the condenser if the water has a high mineral content.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Brewster, MA
    Posts
    320
    In my time and experience, I have never seen a water cooled ice machine that wasn't connected to the same potable water as the cooling water. In that case, it wouldn't make any difference except that the cold water potable water feed must be backflow protected from the cooling part because it is water used on an unknown source.

    It was the well water which is considered of a questionable source and the potable municipal water source that was my question. Any ice maker has to be backflow protected.

    As far as descaling, it probably needs to be done. A refrigeration person does that. Whether he dors it is beyond my pay grade.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Yep. Stay up on your maint and filter and its a good idea.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Brewster, MA
    Posts
    320
    To be honest, I haven't seen any water cooled ice machines where I work because of the high cost of water. These are small machines.

    This all started because it was my understanding that someone claiming to have authority told the owner that he was forbidden to use their well water for any type of process piping. The other process piping used for cooling, I don't feel the person had the legal right to deny the use. In the ice maker, I wasn't so sure even though I didn't think it coould be denied. Ask the experts.

    I consider it "Geothermal Cooling". A totally green use. What could be better?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    1,486
    I use well water here, but our water is super soft and very little mineral content. City water is really expensive. Customer was pleasantly surprised at the drop in water usage. Went from 700+ gallons a 24 hour period to 80. Also, you can have a well drilled here for about a hundred bucks. Use a well point and go 12' you'll get 10-12 gallons of water per minute.
    One way to outthink people is to make them think you think. They'll think you're not really thinking what you're trying to get them to think you think...........

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Brewster, MA
    Posts
    320
    Thanks for the info. Makes a lot of sense to me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    116
    Beware though, some municipalities forbid wells for any water, as it cuts into their "water monopoly", make sure to read the contract that was signed before tying into the city water

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Brewster, MA
    Posts
    320
    That's not the problem. The municipality has a problem with something in their distribution system. They wouldn't be giving up their municipal use, just some parts because the well water is colder than the municipal water which is a considerable consideration.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,551
    Quote Originally Posted by icesailor View Post
    That's not the problem. The municipality has a problem with something in their distribution system. They wouldn't be giving up their municipal use, just some parts because the well water is colder than the municipal water which is a considerable consideration.
    I really don't think that the incoming temperature of the water is as big of a factor as you're making it.

    With a a typical condensing setpoint of 100 to 105 degrees F, unless your municipal water supply is in the 90s, I don't think that either water supply would cause an operating problem.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Brewster, MA
    Posts
    320
    I guessed as much. The water is probably treated and recycled? Its a closed loop

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Brewster, MA
    Posts
    320
    The owner thinks it does because he keeps very careful records. Over the years, he had a few wells. The last well was over 155'. The static level is between 5' to 10'. The soil is sandy. The water mains are 4'. In the summer, the water gets warm from the municipal system because of the lack of depth. The water in this deep well stays in the low 50's always. Another large user of potential process water is a still. The owner has to keep records of water usage. He knows what his water usage was with the well. His water usage went up with the municipal water to condense the alcohol. The same with beer making.

    The issue with the icemaker is the cost of the water. My concern was about regulations on cross connections. There shouldn't be any. But I figure you guys are way more up on it than some AHJ's who are self taught on misinformation.

    That can be a avery bad thing

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