Freeze Protection Case Study: Bridge Over Frozen Waters

Ware Shoals, South Carolina, has been plagued in recent winters by expensive repairs caused by freezing pipes. One particular application, a two-inch line mounted on the Marion P. Carnell Bridge over the Saluta River, was especially troublesome. As a result, pipes were constantly being repaired, and water flow was interrupted to hydrants and a hydroelectric station.

The Opportunity

Eastern Industrial Supplies, Inc. had the solution. Jack Sullivan, Eastern’s senior product manager for steam products, recommended ThermOmegaTech freeze protection valves.

“Ware Shoals is my hometown,” said Mr. Sullivan. “Helping the city is much more than a business relationship. So, I was thrilled to introduce a technology to help them solve a problem. ThermOmegaTech freeze protection valves were the perfect answer to lower costs and improve city infrastructure operations.

The Installation of Freeze Protection Valves

freeze protection valve

Three HAT/FP valves were installed on the bridge to automate purging water from pipes before they could freeze.

The valves are set at 35°F to open reliably and without electricity or human interaction when water reaches a freezing point, which is critical to city operations and residents.

“We were very interested when Eastern Industrial Supplies suggested they have a solution, especially one made with stainless steel and didn’t require electricity or batteries,” said John Lake, owner of L&L Environmental, which manages maintenance operations for Ware Shoals.

“The water line on the Marion P. Carnell Bridge used to be compromised every time we had a cold snap,” said Jordan Gambrell, wastewater supervisor at L&L Environmental.

“The freeze protection valves held up, with no issues, the entire winter. When you are on call 365 days a year, it is reassuring to know I can sleep at night knowing those lines won’t blow when it gets cold,” he said.

The damage caused by freezing pipes isn’t just water under the bridge.

Eastern Industrial Supplies and L&L Environmental can use ThermOmegaTech freeze protection valves to ensure water reliably flows under a bridge to equipment critical to the city’s operations.

Watch the video

Download the Ware Shoals Freeze Protection Case Study here.


About ThermOmegaTech

ThermOmegaTech freeze protection valves have proven to be both reliable and versatile. When the company was founded in 1983, they were initially used to protect locomotive engines. The ability to protect equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars has given maintenance supervisors confidence to apply ThermOmegaTech freeze protection valves in several critical Industrial applications. For example, condensate returns, docks/ports, pumps, safety showers/eye wash stations, and water supply lines for livestock all benefit from thermostatic balancing valves. Contact us here.

About Eastern Industrial Supplies Inc.

Eastern Industrial Supplies, Inc., headquartered in Greenville, SC, opened in 1980 and has expanded into markets across NC, SC, FL, GA, TN, and AL. While Eastern specializes in the quality distribution of pipe, valves, fittings, commercial plumbing components, corrosion corrosion-resistant products, and engineered specialty items, the company’s primary goal is creating a caring culture where people are always more important than profits. Eastern is also a proud member of Affiliated Distributors and an owner-member of SupplyForce.


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.

Contact us here.