Jump to content

Commercial refrigeration guys on here ( Lorenzo and others I can’t remember)


Recommended Posts

Question for you guys. What is the code for joining copper refrigerant  lines nationally and your state. Just asking we installed 1 inch copper line for a Co2 line. This line is live 24/7 at 100 psi regulated pressure entering through brick wall crossing ceiling for 60 ft with 12 ft rise and drop. Boss soldered all the joints because he was in the know. When tank inspector and tank mfg representative inspected outside work. They made the contract plumbers remove solder and silver Braze all outside visible connecting fittings. These were local home plumbers and their hvac  guy So they had to order silver braze and be instructed on its use. The home hvac guy had some experience in the technique. Being the tank and gas supply  weren’t authorized to inspect inside plant they let what they deemed a serious violation slide . They warned boss but it fell on deaf ears. The left but not without a stern warning to me of the dangers of what they called soft solder. My question is what is the code for joining refrigerant or cryogenic gas lines. I know 50/50 lead solder which we used is frowned upon but what is code to use. They advised us before tank delivery to install k copper but city engineer and boss were in on conversations and seemed to mess up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 silver solder for gas connections

tin solder for water lines

been the standard for years

Mike

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Mike H said:

 silver solder for gas connections

tin solder for water lines

been the standard for years

Mike

When you say silver solder. The low temp solder with silver percentage  or do they specifically want high temp Silver brazed? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason I ask is old line ran into plant was rolled copper gas line. With flare connections. That line actually supplied propane to a co2 generator before being used as a co2 feed line. That line only ran at 60 psi but only had 2 connections in 100 feet vs the 25 we have now at higher pressure. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sillfoss comes in a variety of different percentages . Even zero. Again this will open the flood gates because like an oil thread everyone will have an opinion and three short cuts and know a guy who knows a guy that knows a mail man that was at a party that talked to a guy that was an expert who watched the U-tube video ( twice ) on how to do it . 
 

But long story short like Mike said Soldering is for plumbing ( low pressure) and things that don’t vibrate . Even Stay bright 8, a soft solder with 8% silver is not used for refrigeration . 
There was a day when it was widely used on suction lines only but not since the seventies.  Even then it was a sign that it was installed by someone who just didn’t know how to weld . 
During my thirty years as a Union Steamfitter I traveled for the US Government installing BX grocery stores at AirForce bases 

Their spec sheets required 15% Sillfoss on All copper connections .  That wasent a problem for me because it was all I have ever used.  Brass to Cooper can even be joined with 15% but I never do, for that I always use 45% . 
I even have a couple pounds of 56% fluxed rod I use for brass to brass. 

 I’m old school so I’m going to always be using 15% but these days there are new tools and special fittings that crimp together and don’t require welding . Now you can train a monkey to do it. 691EF634-9289-4695-8E3C-8436C6798638.thumb.jpeg.8a6e3ac60360c6d2ee69bd3ea082ef6c.jpeg
832C4B53-A8A5-4068-A172-8E4007E256D9.thumb.jpeg.6c72095a96d1ffa7dfd13ff299a61211.jpeg

you can read it on the stick . 
92DE21D9-E35D-4CA9-B3BC-0B06EF4CED4E.thumb.jpeg.eb64ad8d4ebe37c93fdad2602c0eb2f2.jpeg

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, lorenzo said:

Sillfoss comes in a variety of different percentages . Even zero. Again this will open the flood gates because like an oil thread everyone will have an opinion and three short cuts and know a guy who knows a guy that knows a mail man that was at a party that talked to a guy that was an expert who watched the U-tube video ( twice ) on how to do it . 
 

But long story short like Mike said Soldering is for plumbing ( low pressure) and things that don’t vibrate . Even Stay bright 8, a soft solder with 8% silver is not used for refrigeration . 
There was a day when it was widely used on suction lines only but not since the seventies.  Even then it was a sign that it was installed by someone who just didn’t know how to weld . 
During my thirty years as a Union Steamfitter I traveled for the US Government installing BX grocery stores at AirForce bases 

Their spec sheets required 15% Sillfoss on All copper connections .  That wasent a problem for me because it was all I have ever used.  Brass to Cooper can even be joined with 15% but I never do, for that I always use 45% . 
I even have a couple pounds of 56% fluxed rod I use for brass to brass. 

 I’m old school so I’m going to always be using 15% but these days there are new tools and special fittings that crimp together and don’t require welding . Now you can train a monkey to do it. 691EF634-9289-4695-8E3C-8436C6798638.thumb.jpeg.8a6e3ac60360c6d2ee69bd3ea082ef6c.jpeg
832C4B53-A8A5-4068-A172-8E4007E256D9.thumb.jpeg.6c72095a96d1ffa7dfd13ff299a61211.jpeg

you can read it on the stick . 
92DE21D9-E35D-4CA9-B3BC-0B06EF4CED4E.thumb.jpeg.eb64ad8d4ebe37c93fdad2602c0eb2f2.jpeg

Had it half typed out but we are same boat here.

now with ProPress, MegaPress, Sharkbite, Pex, all products that definitely have their place-

all seem to be a band-aid for true problem of not enough experience and  skill levels. 
 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, lorenzo said:

Sillfoss comes in a variety of different percentages . Even zero. Again this will open the flood gates because like an oil thread everyone will have an opinion and three short cuts and know a guy who knows a guy that knows a mail man that was at a party that talked to a guy that was an expert who watched the U-tube video ( twice ) on how to do it . 
 

But long story short like Mike said Soldering is for plumbing ( low pressure) and things that don’t vibrate . Even Stay bright 8, a soft solder with 8% silver is not used for refrigeration . 
There was a day when it was widely used on suction lines only but not since the seventies.  Even then it was a sign that it was installed by someone who just didn’t know how to weld . 
During my thirty years as a Union Steamfitter I traveled for the US Government installing BX grocery stores at AirForce bases 

Their spec sheets required 15% Sillfoss on All copper connections .  That wasent a problem for me because it was all I have ever used.  Brass to Cooper can even be joined with 15% but I never do, for that I always use 45% . 
I even have a couple pounds of 56% fluxed rod I use for brass to brass. 

 I’m old school so I’m going to always be using 15% but these days there are new tools and special fittings that crimp together and don’t require welding . Now you can train a monkey to do it. 691EF634-9289-4695-8E3C-8436C6798638.thumb.jpeg.8a6e3ac60360c6d2ee69bd3ea082ef6c.jpeg
832C4B53-A8A5-4068-A172-8E4007E256D9.thumb.jpeg.6c72095a96d1ffa7dfd13ff299a61211.jpeg

you can read it on the stick . 
92DE21D9-E35D-4CA9-B3BC-0B06EF4CED4E.thumb.jpeg.eb64ad8d4ebe37c93fdad2602c0eb2f2.jpeg

Thanks Lorenzo. The safety silv 45 is what they used outside. The reason I asked is because I know you would be informed of what is needed due to your training. The co2 is tied to a new 14 ton receiver. The old receiver had a control on off electric valve that was never completed to our controls. This was before my time though. 
like I said that one ran at 60 lbs through a soft movable line with only 2 connections. Our line know although improved is much more prone to failure. Your comments back up everything mentioned on the web. But actual code books have to be paid for to read. It was mentioned to me that brazing has fittings is code but they were not sure what code North Dakota uses or adopted. There was a big commotion between boss, engineer and tank ,gas suppliers so before they left both tank and gas supplier made sure to mention the problems soft solder will cause. Their concern is with the plant layout it is a certain death sentence for anyone entering building when one of inside joints fails and floods lower control level with co2. There are no alarms and the out of code solder really raised the concerns.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I never use it but ASME B31.5 deals with refrigeration. Weather it applies to you application, I don’t know

 

i have to be in the office in a little bit. Let me dig in some codes

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I got out of the trade wen they went beyond R12,R22,R502:rolleyes:

went into Hot restaurant equipment due to a need for repair companys

one company in Detroit was doing repairs and setting up the equipment to fail [another service call]

Mike

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

All  the fittings on the new oxygen tank farm at Abbot Northwestern Hospital, and other med gas lines were brazed but not with the old style silver braze. There might have been silver in the rod but you can't tell. The early style silver braze that you used flux is the gold standard but due to the possibility of extra flux in the system and extra cost likely were not used.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, zleinenbach said:

Had it half typed out but we are same boat here.

now with ProPress, MegaPress, Sharkbite, Pex, all products that definitely have their place-

all seem to be a band-aid for true problem of not enough experience and  skill levels. 
 

 

Service men still need to know how to weld when it comes to fixing leaks down the road . It would scare you to know how many of my students showed up for class having never even held a torch in their hand . 

  • Like 1
  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Mike H said:

I got out of the trade wen they went beyond R12,R22,R502:rolleyes:

went into Hot restaurant equipment due to a need for repair companys

one company in Detroit was doing repairs and setting up the equipment to fail [another service call]

Mike

Back when R-12 was 39 cents a pound and bars and restaurants still had belt driven compressors it was common practice to add a couple pounds of R-12 on occasion . The shaft seals leaked a deminimus acceptable amount . It was common practice , no one complained much about it. Then as time went on and refrigerant costs increased it was no longer acceptable to it ignore leaks. 

I have no current knowledge of the codes for CO2 lines as Dale asked but the potential for much higher pressure would certainly come into play . 
 

On a side note we always use long radius ell bows and never use a 45 degree .  It’s because of the higher ability to withstand the  vibration, expansion and contraction  that goes hand and hand with refrigeration. 
 

If you want to learn more about the importance of using sillfos look up tensile strength and ductility ratings. 
 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, lorenzo said:

Service men still need to know how to weld when it comes to fixing leaks down the road . It would scare you to know how many of my students showed up for class having never even held a torch in their hand . 

I can torch scrap,  weld most anything but I can't solder to save my life, any tips for a guy just incase I ever need to.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, brahamfireman said:

I can torch scrap,  weld most anything but I can't solder to save my life, any tips for a guy just incase I ever need to.

most failures are due to ''over heating'' second is ''lack of flux''

clean the copper,add the flux to both pieces,,heat it enuf to get the sodder to flow and GET OFF THE HEAT.

flux is cheap compaired to silver sodder.

Mike

alot of people freak out wen I drop a little flux to the sodder after taking the heat away.

but it works.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Mike H said:

most failures are due to ''over heating'' second is ''lack of flux''

clean the copper,add the flux to both pieces,,heat it enuf to get the sodder to flow and GET OFF THE HEAT.

flux is cheap compaired to silver sodder.

Mike

alot of people freak out wen I drop a little flux to the sodder after taking the heat away.

but it works.

My problem is I always seem to heat the solder and not the pipe enough. Maybe I need to direct my heat better but whenever I try, the solder melts and runs around the joint, just can't get it to suck into joint.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, lorenzo said:

Service men still need to know how to weld when it comes to fixing leaks down the road . It would scare you to know how many of my students showed up for class having never even held a torch in their hand . 

I don’t have students but do get to take new guys for their first 60 days. (Blessing and curse lol)

you are right. It is crazy. But, the service world is the new nursing, a big demand drives wages high, people see that and think they can do what any ol dumb plumber can...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, brahamfireman said:

My problem is I always seem to heat the solder and not the pipe enough. Maybe I need to direct my heat better but whenever I try, the solder melts and runs around the joint, just can't get it to suck into joint.

Clean clean clean, then flux. Slow heat works better for me. I always watch the flame tips and when they go from blue to a greenish it seems to be perfect but that might be a fluke. 
and no water or steam. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, AKwelder said:

I never use it but ASME B31.5 deals with refrigeration. Weather it applies to you application, I don’t know

 

i have to be in the office in a little bit. Let me dig in some codes

I think it is close. The way co2 guys explained its not a refrigerant but a cryogenic gas. Which codes are closely related. The tank inspector and the gas company inspector were under contract just to deal with outside connections. But they were displeased that the line wasn’t to their understanding of the code inside. They are worried about a pipe separating and filling plant with co2 a colorless odorless gas. They were just relating what the thought was code and what should be done for safety. Especially since connection is live 24/7 with control shut offs at far in plant end of piping. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a potential dangerous situation.  Sounds like an oxygen level monitor system should be installed as well as redoing the line? Nobody is going to be a bigger advocate for your safety than you. Good luck. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, iowaboy1965 said:

Sounds like a potential dangerous situation.  Sounds like an oxygen level monitor system should be installed as well as redoing the line? Nobody is going to be a bigger advocate for your safety than you. Good luck. 

Yes they are supposed to be installing alarms but that all goes by the wayside after stuff is running. I didn’t think the solder was that big of deal when we were running lines. But the two qualified inspectors told us the dangers of soft solder freezing, contracting and breaking loose.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rip out all of the soft joints and braze new.

 You have identified the problem, and know the solution.

If management won't comply, get onboard with Department of Labor and Industry.

 Someone needs to make this right, that person is you.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Around here all copper piping that is used for any type of gas/refrigeration  must be brazed. Basically only plumbing lines can be soldered.

I love the Propress and Megapress tools! Not because of skill but for repair work. You can repair a black iron steam line or plumbing leak in interior spaces in occupied buildings without shutting down the fire alarm or having people leave. No flame, no smoke, no smell, works if there is still a little water in the pipes. It sure has its place!

Link to post
Share on other sites

You need an O2 sensor in the low spot of the plant hooked up to an alarm and an emergency shutdown solenoid outside of the building

When they were retrofitting building chillers with certain refrigerants R123 was one, leak detection and alarm systems were installed to interlock boiler shutdowns to prevent catastrophic damage to the boilers in event of a leak. There were other rules you could construct a separate room with fan purge activation and horns and strobes to avoid the boiler shutdown part or you had to shutdown boilers again with horns and strobes, as you can see the horns and strobes visible before entering the space was the personnel safety portion, really it doesn’t have to be extremely expensive to work but you do need to have someone along the way with safety and codes in mind, I’m not sure how they could even certify it down there the way you say it’s built, it’s not a question of if but when it will fail...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Medical grade compressed gas systems need another level of certification and materials and worker tickets used in their installation up here.

This sounds like a large commercial or small industrial installation or I’m not familiar with your state and federal legislation and which applies but I am familiar with B51.

Parts of switching strides from worker to management is knowing these rules and big changes have occurred recently to OH&S legislation on worker safety and both the employer and employee have legal rights and obligations under law now. The fact that you are asking these questions means you are not comfortable with how this has been installed and comments you have heard by others working on this. Unfortunately if by some miracle this system goes into use the way it’s currently built it’s a ticking time bomb and someone or many have not done their job. Not sure if your unionized and your protection in your job but I know the dead girl they found near your place of work bothered you much less what could happen to coworkers because this was ignored.

Recall a recent bad deal up here in BC recently where towns workers and a commercial refrigeration mechanic died working on a rink ammonia system where a number of safety factors were either bypassed or not functional, don’t let it be you...

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...