Guide to Water Pipe Freeze Protection

Water pipe freeze protection is essential in industries such as food processing and manufacturing, chemical and petrochemical, oil and gas, construction, and agriculture to protect equipment during cold weather.

If water-bearing equipment is unprotected, freezing temperatures can cause burst piping, property damage, and water supply disruptions. A common misconception is that the system will continue functioning when water is at freezing temperatures as long as the water is ‘moving,’ which is untrue. Water expands and freezes at 32°F, regardless of flow rate, which can cause pipes to burst.

Water Pipe Freeze Protection - Frozen Pipes Image

The first step is to assess your facility’s water-bearing systems and determine the most suitable ways to protect water lines from freeze damage.

Some factors to consider are the machinery’s location and the water supply’s criticality.

Equipment that requires freeze protection includes:

  • Piping, valves, and fittings
  • Pumps
  • Filtration systems
  • Holding tanks
  • Condensate systems
  • Fire lines
  • Safety showers and eyewash stations
  • Solar collectors and piping
  • Water lines in farm equipment

It is also wise to have backup protection on heat-traced systems and equipment.

There are various ways to protect water lines from freeze damage. Pipe insulation, electric heat tracing, pipe taping, pipe-heating cable systems, backup generators, space heaters, and freeze protection valves.

What Are Freeze Protection Valves?

Freeze protection valves regulate water flow when the surrounding temperature drops to prevent water from freezing in pipes and systems. Valves typically fall into two categories – manual and automatic.

Manual valves require operators to manually adjust the valve open or closed to initiate or restrict water flow. These valves are an easy solution for freeze protection but have the risk of human error and forgetting to turn the valves on or off, which can cause severe damage or increased water usage.

Thermostatic valves are another option for protecting your systems. These valves are self-actuating and non-electric, preventing water from freezing within pipes and systems by monitoring temperatures and automatically adjusting flow.

How Does a Freeze Protection Valve Work?

Our HAT/FP thermostatic valves sense the water or air temperature and will open to bleed off the cold water until it reaches a safe level. The core technology in these valves is the thermostatic wax actuator. This actuator is sensitive to changes in temperature and can initiate actions based on temperature thresholds.

The valve is typically set to a specific temperature, often 35°F (1.6°C). When the thermostatic actuator senses the temperature is nearing this threshold, it initiates water flow to prevent freezing. Flow is maintained if the discharge water temperature remains below a certain level, typically 40°F (4.4°C).

By automatically initiating flow when temperatures approach the freezing point, the valves help maintain the integrity of the water system and ensure that water continues to flow without the risk of freezing. The valves will close to minimize water waste once the water temperature reaches safe levels.

Because the valve functions without power, it is ideal for explosion-proof and remote areas. They can protect your water systems more effectively than manual balancing and guard against human error.

The flexibility in flow orientation allows them to be adapted to various applications. The freeze protection valve is designed to provide a long service life, ensuring that it remains operational and reliable for an extended period. This longevity reduces maintenance and replacement requirements.

Protect Your Facility with ThermOmegaTech Freeze Protection Valves

Freeze protection valves

ThermOmegaTech’s water line freeze protection valves operate with a proprietary thermostatic wax actuator to protect your resupply lines against freezing. They operate independently to provide water pipe freeze protection and offer the convenience of a low-maintenance, long-lasting solution.

Stop asking yourself, How Do I Keep My Water Pipes from Freezing? The “install it and forget it” approach of the HAT/FP valve simplifies the management of freeze protection. Once the valve is installed, it requires minimal ongoing attention, making it user-friendly.

Another benefit is cost savings; it requires no additional power source and only activates when the water temperature is near freezing, significantly reducing water waste.

Start with ThermOmegaTech and protect your water-bearing systems.

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The Importance of Industrial Washdown Stations in Food Processing Facilities

Industrial washdown stations are often used in manufacturing, chemical or petrochemical, and food processing facilities as part of cleaning and sanitation procedures where maintaining hygiene is crucial. A bucket of water with a mop and a cleaning agent does not effectively sanitize a plant the way food processing cleaning equipment can.

Cleaning and Sanitation Procedures in the Food Industry

Food assembly workers on Plant Line

Using industrial washdown systems for food processing is important because they help to keep the facility clean and sanitary. They also help to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses.

Authoritative agencies like the FDA have defined sanitation requirements that each facility must adhere to such as identifying hazards that could impact a production facility.

Food production and detergent residue, liquid, and airborne contamination, transient soil, and microorganisms often are present in food production facilities, which is why washdown stations are recommended in these corporations.

While the hazards present on a production line vary from facility to facility and depend primarily on the specific products produced, they all must be effectively and routinely removed to preserve sanitation and product quality.

Using food processing cleaning equipment can help to reduce costs, too. Regular maintenance and repair of equipment can help to reduce downtime, saving your facility time and money. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of surface areas can also help to reduce labor costs while following a daily process.

Food Processing Cleaning Equipment Limits Downtime

Industrial washdown stations can be used in both commercial and industrial production facilities and are described as stationary equipment that produces a high-pressure and high-temperature stream of water to remove debris while cleaning. However, when used in production facilities such as food processing for meat and dairy, this cleaning equipment offers a fast and efficient cleanup while maintaining sanitation standards.

Food processing cleaning equipment for food processing typically utilizes stations that produce water temperatures at 150°F (65.5°C) or above to quickly cleanse and sanitize surfaces like processing equipment, walls, floors, and other surfaces.

To properly follow cleaning and sanitation procedures for food processing, a washdown system frequently includes a mixing valve that combines hot and cold water along with an industrial-use cleaning agent, if needed.

Using Food Processing Cleaning Equipment Sanitize

Having efficient cleaning equipment in a food processing facility can provide several benefits. By keeping the facility clean, the risk of food contamination is minimized. Food allergies and foodborne illnesses caused by bacteria and viruses can be avoided.

ThermOmegaTech created several washdown systems that offer high-temperature sanitation and maintenance equipment necessary for industrial and food facilities, including steam and water washdown stations with hot water mixing unit hose stations.

To be even more effective, ThermOmegaTech created a specific mixing valve that combines steam and cold water to create a steam water mixing station that lowers the decibel sound in facilities while producing a flow of user-defined stream of water to efficiently sanitize, clean, and kill bacteria.

Choosing The Right Equipment for Food Plant Sanitation

Choosing the right washdown station for your facility can be a challenge. There are a few key factors that should be considered when choosing the equipment for food plant sanitation. Staff should receive proper training on the washdown station when using such as donning the correct clothing and protective gear as well as regularly inspecting and cleaning your equipment.

The ThermOmegaTech® STVM® Washdown Station is used in many processing facilities where a high-temperature washdown is required. The STVM® industrial washdown station combines steam and cold water at a user-set temperature using its proprietary mixing valve.

STVM Steam and Water Washdown Station for Talking With TOTS for Industrial Sanitation

STVM® Steam & Water Washdown Station

The unique Venturi valve throttles open and closed, using a scouring action that minimizes the buildup of minerals, offering a quieter wash without the ‘water hammer effect.’ Plus, the in-line cartridge is easy to replace or clean with no special tools required and takes just a few minutes.

Ultimately, food processing cleaning equipment is an essential component of food-processing plants. They offer a dependable, safe, and easy-to-implement way of keeping these facilities clean and sanitized.

By following the correct processes and safety protocols, companies can ensure that their food-processing facilities are well-maintained and properly sanitized as well as sustain production line schedules.

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