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Ease of Installation at College Makes Everyone a Winner – Especially the Customer

College, condenser water and cooling tower retrofit
Products Used
Aquatherm Blue Pipe®
Location / Date
New Jersey
Spring 2018

Aquatherm Advantages

  • The lighter weight, ability to easily fabricate assemblies and ability to make pipe connections “in the air” presented considerable labor and cost savings over steel pipe
  • The mechanical contractor offered the owner a corrosion-proof piping system with an anticipated service life of 60-plus years, with low operating and maintenance costs
  • Aquatherm PP-R piping systems require no open-flame welding or solder, so no fire watch was required and work proceeded while the buildings were occupied

The Challenge

The chillers at this college run whenever the temperature is above 60°F, so the contractor had a four-month window in winter to perform the retrofit

The Solution

The labor-saving aspects of Aquatherm Blue Pipe® allowed the contractor to finish the job ahead of schedule



The aging chiller/boiler physical plant at a New Jersey community college had received some upgrades in recent years, but it was still missing a few crucial pieces to help it operate up to its full potential.

In 2012, the college had made improvements that included new Harsco 4.3 million Btuh gas condensing hot water boilers and Trane CenTraVac R-123 low-pressure chillers. However, equipment wasn’t coming on when it should have, or was operating continuously, or wasn’t modulating properly. In 2015 the college’s facility manager improved the plant’s efficiency via a Carrier i-Vu BACnet-enabled building automation system, and proper control is saving the college energy and money.

But one last big project remained — replacement of condenser water piping between the chillers and the cooling towers. The system’s existing piping was black steel that was severely corroded and scaled.

Replacing large diameter black steel pipe in sizes up to 24 in. is a major undertaking because of the weight of the pipe and how long it takes to weld joints. Eighteen-inch Schedule 40 black steel pipe, for example, weighs nearly 105 lbs. per ft. Welding large diameter black steel pipe can take more than a day per connection, noted mechanical contractor Joe Estock, Estock Piping Co. LLC, Chesterfield, NJ.