How to pick your chiller water line sizes  

Most installers have a difficult time with the proper sizing of the chilled water lines running from the chiller or tank to the process in need of cooling.  I have seen nearly 70% of all water piping to be improperly sized and maintained.

The easiest and most important item to remember is to use the same size connecting sizes from the chiller you purchased.  Never use anything less, even if it is only a 1/2 inch less.  You can always valve back on the shut off valves.  But after its all installed and you add that extra piece of equipment in 6 months or a year you can't get more water through the small lines you have installed from the start.  

Think future -- this will drastically reduce your downtime when you expand and will allow you the freedom of installing new equipment without the rush and worry.


If you know how much of a heat load your type of equipment produces, then you can size you lines accordingly if not, take a quick load at Tonnage Parameters section on this site for some helpful heat load information.  At this point, I always use the rule of thumb of: 3 gallons per ton of cooling per minute, for any chiller water flow rate.  Most of the manufacturers will say 2.4 gallons per minute. But I like to be on the safe side with this figure.  ( usually if you want to run near 45F and your not using any antifreeze that extra water flow will help.

Please call our office if you have any questions or concerns. 856-235-2120 

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Professional Refrigeration Troubleshooter

The first hands on Chiller/HVAC/R troubleshooting handbook is out in publication. This is a must have book for you and your service technicians.  It will save you time and money along with passing on the vast knowledge of 60 years experience.

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This page was last updated on: January 1, 2018 

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