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  • Pete McGrath

How to Prepare for a Chiller Failure Emergency


If your facility depends heavily on chilled water, what happens when the chiller fails? What would such an emergency cost your business?


If you’ve planned ahead for the possibility of chiller failure, congratulations. Your pain will be brief. If you haven’t planned, get ready for trouble with a capital "T". Production lines will halt, buildings (and tempers) will overheat, and costs will multiply quickly. Crisis mode kicks in, fingers point, and there is a mad scramble to figure out what to do until the failed chiller can be repaired or replaced.


This is why you need to have a contingency plan in place.


The first step in planning for chiller failure would be to install tees and valves in the chilled water piping, and insulated emergency connection piping should be run to the outside of the building and pressure tested. This way, an emergency rental chiller can be connected quickly and normal operations can resume within a brief period of time. Otherwise, the system will have to be drained and lines run to the emergency chiller while operations remain at a halt and/or spaces become warmer.


Emergency chillers can be very large, so it’s important to predesignate an area where a flatbed trailer can be located for an extended period of time. Also, make sure you have the proper electrical in place to power your emergency chiller at a moment’s notice. A good guideline would be to match your electrical feed to your existing chiller.


As for obtaining an emergency chiller, it’s advisable to partner with a rental company to ensure that the necessary equipment will be on hand when you need it. Emergency chillers can be extremely difficult to locate, especially at the height of the summer season.


There is some cost involved when it comes to preparing for chiller failure, but that price is comparatively small when you consider your potential losses.


For assistance in setting up and implementing your chiller emergency backup plan so you’ll be ready when the time comes, contact MSC at (973) 884-5000.

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