Simple Strategies For Your Replacement Coil Buying Process

Roughly 100% of HVAC replacement coil shipments use some kind of trucking company or common carrier. There are occasions when the shipment is small enough to use UPS or FedEx, but the vast majority of HVAC shipments are sent by way of truck. Anyone who has frequently used freight companies has experienced damaged shipments and/or late arrivals. In our industry, these annoyances and inconveniences are typically written off as “the cost of doing business”. Think of the airline industry as an example. Our expectations have been reduced to point where we expect something to go wrong and are pleasantly surprised when the trip is smooth from start to finish.

Many folks might not know this, but the trucking industry in general is experiencing a gross shortage of drivers throughout the country. Some estimates have put this shortage of drivers as high as 50,000 throughout the country.

So what does this shortage mean for the HVAC industry? Put simply, it translates into complications and confusion for all involved.

  • Longer delivery times. For example, a delivery that used to take (3) days is now (5).
  • One major reason for the longer delivery times is that trucks now have many more stops than in years past. There are also many instances of more trips through connecting terminals as well.
  • More time on the truck usually equates to both “visible” and “hidden” freight damage.
  • The shipments become harder to track, and with fewer people at the trucking companies doing more work, shipments can and will get lost entirely.

Because the freight process is at the very end of the buying cycle, Capital Coil & Air has developed some simple strategies for the entire buying process that should help in avoiding many of the annoyances listed above. We’ve also added a very useful “hint” to counter longer freight delivery times.

  • Getting a price, delivery & accurate proposal from your vendor: Capital Coil responds to every quote request quicker than any of our competitors, and we are always willing to put that claim to the test. A (2) day delay in receiving your quote is the same as a (2) day freight delay on the back end.
  • Receiving your submittal drawings in a timely fashion: You need to approve these drawings, so once again, how is a (2) day delay in receiving approval drawings any different than receiving your order (2) days late?
  • Quick-Ships: As you’ve probably experienced numerous times in the past and/or present, other coil manufacturers seem to be consistently shutting down their quick-ship programs with little to zero notice for the customer. Why is this? Many manufacturers take on a glut of OEM business, or other large projects with small profit margins. In many cases they do this simply to keep the factory running during the slower periods of the year. This has the effect of delaying standard lead times, and in many cases, cancelling quick-ships altogether. It is very hard to do business with companies that make themselves unavailable when you need them the most.

Capital Coil NEVER shuts down our quick-ship programs, and we emphasize NEVER! Over the last (2) years, CCA has hit approximately 99% of all quick-ship orders.

  • Crating equipment to minimize freight damage.Steam Coils
  • Shipping on time: Simply put, we consistently ship when we say we’re going to ship.
  • Select a freight carrier that delivers to your area without interlining or stopping at several terminals: This is when freight damage is most likely to occur!
  • Pay the carrier fee for a guaranteed delivery date: Although seemingly not well-known, most carriers offer a guaranteed delivery date for a fee of $50-$100. Paying the fee will ensure that your order is now a “priority”, and most freight companies schedule deliveries based on these “priorities” first. If both your order and delivery are critical and time-sensitive, Capital Coil can help you with exploring these delivery options.

Capital Coil & Air will work with you throughout the entire buying and shipping process because you as the customer, deserve to work with a hands on manufacturer that will not turn its back on you once the order has been placed. Please give Capital Coil a try on your next project!

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Need A Replacement Heat Exchanger/Tube Bundle?

To begin with the obvious, shell & tube heat exchangers consist of a tube bundle surrounded and protected by a steel shell. While the shell can seemingly last forever, the tube bundle inside most certainly cannot. The tube bundle is not attached inside the shell, which means that the bundle can be removed if needed to be replaced. In other words, you can simply replace the tube bundle without having to replace the entire heat exchanger. A good comparison can be found with coils inside Air Handling Units (AHU’s). Due to erosion, corrosion or both, coils tend to fail before the entire AHU and subsequently need to be replaced. If everything is done correctly, the new coil should simply “slide” into the place of the old coil. The same is true of tube bundles in that ideally you want to be able to remove the old bundle, and slide in a replacement with little to no extra work. Capital Coil & Air is here to help you throughout the entire process.

Replacement Tube Bundle

The easiest route to ensure that the correct duplicate is built is to first try to cross-reference the model #. While you may not have that information at your fingertips, there is a very good chance that Capital Coil has already built that specific bundle, and/or has the ability to cross-reference whatever model that you are looking to replace. Simply send us a picture of the tag with the model & serial number, and we will do the rest.

Regarding tube bundles, the most common type of replacement bundle can be found in “U” tube type exchangers. These types of bundles are typically water/water or steam/water exchangers.

Steam/Water Bundles

When looking to duplicate a tube bundle, you HAVE to know the bundle’s correct diameter, as well as the diameter of the tubes in order to duplicate the tube area. Additionally, you must duplicate both the tube length and the flange on the bundle to match it up correctly to the shell.

Steam/Water bundles are rather basic in that water is in the tubes, with steam filling up the rest of the shell. Matching performance is almost never the problem, but matching up the dimensions is PARAMOUNT!!  

Water/Water Bundles

Water/water bundles really only differ from steam/water bundles in that there is now water on the shell side as well. Steam automatically fills the shellside, but water does need to be redirected back & forth across the bundle by a series of baffles that operate on GPM & water velocity. The baffles are also an integral part of the bundle, so if duplicated correctly along with the other physical dimensions, performance will not be an issue.  Once again, physical dimensions are PARAMOUNT!

How Can We Go Wrong?

The surest and most common mistake is not correctly matching up the bundle tubesheet to the rest of the exchanger. The tube sheets must fit between the head and the flange on the exchanger, and the bolt-hole pattern must also be an exact match. The bolts are inserted through all three parts simultaneously, and the pattern should match up with all three parts. Sometimes other tube sheets fit between the head and flange, but are also smaller in diameter. The bolts simply bypass the tube sheet and go around it. There needs to be a concerted effort to ensure that the tube sheet dimensions are correct and not too big. Additionally, the gaskets need to be sized and replaced correctly. 

Capital Coil & Air has an established track record of building tube bundles efficiently and quickly. And, in all probability, we already have information on whatever unit you need to get replaced. Like coils, replacing tube bundles usually has a level of emergency attached to it, so we offer multiple quick-ship options if needed. Please give us the opportunity to work with you on your next project, and let us help to take a lot of the guesswork out of your next project.

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