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What's Your Chilled Water Backup Plan?

Many facilities – hospitals, universities, manufacturers, office buildings, etc. – depend on chilled water, so what happens when the chiller fails? What would such an emergency cost your business?

If you’ve planned ahead for chiller failure, congratulations. Your pain will be brief. If you haven’t planned ahead, 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 a contingency plan in place.

In planning ahead for chiller failure, the first step 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 quickly connected 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 are getting 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 the 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. It can be extremely difficult to locate an emergency chiller, especially at the height of the summer season.

There is some cost involved when it comes to preparing for chiller failure, but it comes at a small price when you consider your potential losses. For assistance in setting up your back-up plan so you’re ready when the time comes, call MSC at (973) 884-5000.


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