Protect Pipes during Extreme Cold with Simple Insulation Tips
Here’s some irony: Your ice maker and walk-in cooler don’t like the cold. When Arctic air moves into your area, if you have an ice maker that drains through an outside line or a walk-in with a condensate line that does, you’ll need to keep an eye on it. If your commercial ice maker can’t drain melt water, it can back up into your building, creating a costly mess. Meanwhile, an ice-blocked condensate line can cause serious problems for the refrigeration system of your walk-in cooler by drowning it in excess water.
In most cases and in most of the country, those pipes will be protected with insulation and heat tape that should prevent that situation. However, it never hurts to check the end of those lines when there is a particularly cold snap or when temperatures stay below freezing for a multi-day period.
In places where long periods of extreme cold are especially rare and in facilities where installers may have overlooked proper precautions for those drains, it may be necessary to protect pipes yourself. A wrapping of heat tape and some pipe insulation over it should provide a sufficient barrier against the deep chills we’ve seen this winter. That will help your commercial ice maker and walk-in cooler keep their cool in the cold.
Thanks to Mike George, vice president of development for Blaine Construction of Knoxville, for sharing this tip.