Condenser Coils Failing? Here’s probably why….

Did you recently turn on your DX systems only to find your Condenser Coils are not working?  Simple fix right?  Unfortunately, no.  If you get lucky, you can send us the model number of the unit, and there’s a great chance we’ve already built it.  In the case that we do not have that model number on file, you have two options.  You can go back to Carrier and wait two months for an OEM part while paying through the roof.  Or you call Capital Coil, and we’ll walk you through the engineering it takes to replace a condenser coil.                                                                      Condenser Coil

Very rarely do condenser coils ever freeze so the first thing you’re going to want to know is if your coil died of corrosion, old age, or possibly vibration.  Old age is obviously preferable because with a few easy dimensions, we’ll have enough to price up your duplicate coil.  Condenser coils are usually outside and are easily accessible for measurements and digital pictures.  With just the size, the rows, and fins/inch, you can get a price.  And digital pictures of the headers and return bends will give us a good idea of the circuiting and sub-cooler circuits. 

If the coil has been eaten away by corrosion, it was an improper design to begin with.  Most people don’t know that salt in the air will ruin aluminum fins within a year or two.  There are two ways to combat this.  The first option is to make the switch to copper fins and stainless steel casings.  While this will extend the life of your coil considerably, most people are not too happy about the additional cost over aluminum fins.  The second option is to use a coating.  Coatings are the much more popular choice.  They are a fraction of the cost as copper fins and only add one week to your lead time. 

When your HVAC coils are installed near a moving piece of equipment, vibration can occur and cause leaks.  The area where these leaks occur is very important and will clue you in to if the problem is vibration.  If they are near the tube sheet and look like they are slicing through the tube, the coils should be isolated from the rest of the system to prevent vibration from causing damage.  One way to combat this is by oversizing the tubesheet holes, but many manufacturers will not do this.  Condenser coils are usually the most common victims of vibration.

The last concern is with cleaning condenser coils.  Since condenser coils see outside air almost exclusively, they need to be cleaned more than other coils.  The reason for this is most condenser coils have fin spacing of 12-20 fins/inch.  With fins that tight together, the coil can and will act like a filter.  And when the coil is clogged up, the performance suffers greatly.  Recently, we’ve been getting more and more calls about using a heavier fin thickness.  This is to help with high pressure cleaning and corrosive cleaning agents. 

When dealing with an HVAC coil manufacturer, partner up with one who will walk you through the engineering and explain it along the way. Capital Coil & Air has well over a decade of experience and has seen every issue to make sure your everything from the quote to the installation go smoothly! Give us a try on your next project!

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Direct Expansion & Chilled Water Cabinet Coils

There are lots of ducted cooling applications with chilled water and/or DX (Evaporator) coils where you need to add incremental cooling to an existing system. However, there is an important difference when using heating coils. Because it’s a Cabinet Coilheating coil, there is no humidification occurring or water/condensate to draw. Due to these factors, cooling coils require a little more creativity and labor to install.

At Capital Coil & Air, we have removed all of the guesswork out of the application. Capital Coil manufactures Custom Coil Cabinet sections from as small as 12” x 12” sections to as large as 54” x 90” sections. We manufacture these units in both Chilled Water and DX (Expansion), as well as in 1/2” & 5/8” copper tube coils. You have the option to select anything from (3) rows to (8) rows. Additionally, we will custom-design the Cabinet around whichever site you select. Cabinet units include both insulation & drain pans, while the supports and casing allow you to connect directly to the ductwork. We can also add a Heating Coil inside the unit for more dehumidification if needed. Cabinet Coils are perfect for either heavy or light-duty installations.

All Cabinet Coils are available on Capital Coil’s Quick-Ship Program as well. As you are probably all-too-familiar, trying to custom design coils in the field is a pain. Using Cabinet Coils will greatly ease the whole installation process. Please see our Insulated Cabinet Coil Brochure for more details on available custom sizes.

Capital Coil & Air looks forward to the chance to your coil replacement specialists. Please give us a try on your next project!

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Differences Between Commercial & Industrial Coils??

The best performance you can get out of commercial coils is with copper tubes/aluminum fins. An extremely important fact to take into account is that when you change the materials of construction to an industrial coil, there’s always a drastic change in the performance. 

The explanation is really quite simple: when we build a stainless steel or 90/10 cupro-nickel coil, the materials don’t match up in terms of heat transfer to copper tubes/aluminum fins. So what does that mean? Using a chilled water coil as an example – you have a (4) row chilled water coil with copper tubes/aluminum fins, and you want to change to stainless steel. You will need to move to an (8) row coil to meet that same performance.                                                                                                                                                                          Commercial Coils

What conditions require these types of materials? The most common is with high pressure applications. Anything above 200 psig requires that you change construction materials from copper tube/aluminum fin to a special material that is able to work better under those conditions. The other instances are when you’re dealing with high temperatures or corrosive atmospheres. 

Capital Coil & Air manufactures and designs a wide assortment of heavy-duty industrial coils to withstand the environment of industrial applications.  Standard and custom designs are available for new and retrofit installations.  Our industrial coils are manufactured from quality materials that are heavier grades and thicknesses.  This ensures dependable performance and longevity, even under the most demanding conditions. While most manufacturers throw out astronomical prices or lead times that can better be explained as “months” rather than weeks, Capital Coil’s lead times are (4-5) weeks for cupro-nickel and (5) weeks for stainless steel.  

Whether it’s for boiler air preheating, pulp and paper drying process, lumber drying process, textile drying process, chemical heating process, Capital Coil & Air provides high quality industrial coils designed for easy maintenance and low operating costs.  With capabilities to build fluid coils for water, glycol, oil, and other liquids as well as refrigerant coils and steam coils for high pressures, we can easily meet all of your industrial coil requirements!

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Coils and Counter-flow: 5 Common Questions

1)  Coils and counter-flow?

The first thing to remember about coils and counter-flow is that chilled water coils are always built to be piped in counter-flow. This means that the air flows in the opposite direction as the water. For example, with counter-flow, the air flows through rows 1-8, while the water runs through rows 8-1. Water always travels through the coil in the opposite direction of the air; hence the term “counter-flow.”  Direct Expansion Coils (Evaporator Coils) are also piped in the same manner.

With that said, what happens when you do not pipe cooling coils counter-flow? Almost all coil selection programs you will see or use will be based on counter-flow conditions. If you opt to not counter-flow a chilled water coil, you’ll have to reduce the coil’s overall performance by a certain percentage. That percentage reduction varies based on each coil’s unique dimensions, but a reliable estimate is a loss of 8-12%. Simply piping the coils in the correct manner from the beginning would seem to be the easiest and most cost-effective solution.

2)  Why do you feed from the bottom of the coil?

Counter-Flow

You always want to feed a water coil from the bottom connection so that the header fills from the bottom on up and feeds every tube connection evenly. All tubes must be fed evenly with the same amount of water. If you try to feed the header from the top, you greatly increase the risk of “short circuiting” the coil and having a higher water flow through the top tubes in the coil.

3)  What is a Water Hammer in a Steam Coil?

On a long Steam Coil, you will be hard pressed to get the steam through the length of the coil. Slowly but surely, that steam converts into condensate, which is pretty much the worst thing that can happen to any system. If not evacuated, the condensate just lays in the coil when the system is shut off. This problem comes into play when the steam is turned back on and meets the condensate laying inside the coil. In addition to the noise, the steam and condensate cause huge amounts of additional stress on the coil’s joints. As a result, over time, your coil will inevitably fail.

4)  What else happens if you do not evacuate condensate?

When you cannot or do not evacuate the condensate on long steam coils, the condensate ends up blocking the steam. A steam coil should never feel cool to the touch, but when condensate blocks steam, one part of the coil will be warm while the other will be cool. Again, that should not happen. Steam coils are interesting in that they are more dependent upon the system and installation than any other type of coil. A steam coil must be pitched to the return end of the coil. Obviously, steam is not water.Traps, vacuum breakers and other steam accessories must be installed and located properly for the system to function.

5)  Is it necessary to pipe steam and/or hot water coils in counter-flow?

Simply put – no! Circuiting a coil is only necessary to ensure the connections are on the side of the coil that you want. The rows and tubes in the coil dictate how and where you feed, but the steam supply always needs to be the high connection. This method ensures that the leaving condensate is on the bottom of the coil and below the lowest tube within the coil. Whatever else you do, know that the condensate must leave the coil!

If you have any questions or need assistance with ordering and/or installation, please contact a sales engineer at Capital Coil & Air. We will walk with you step-by-step through your entire project should you require any assistance. CALL OR E-MAIL US!  We look forward to the opportunity to work with you on your future projects.

 

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Boca Raton Hospital Covid-19 Care Condenser Coils

In (3) days, Capital Coil & Air Manufactured and Delivered (4) Large Condenser Coils!!

A large HVAC contractor in South Florida recently contacted Capital Coil & Air with a request to modify an existing system of Carrier 38 Series Microchannel Coils with (4) large condenser coils on an emergency basis. The main goal was to change over from microchannel to standard copper tube/aluminum fin condenser coils. The one expressed requirement for this project was that this change needed to happen very quickly. See below for a summary and timeline of the project:

Condenser Coils
  1. Monday – The contractor reached out to Capital Coil & Air with the required information needed for new condenser coils.
  2. Tuesday – Capital Coil calculated the changeover from microchannel to standard coils for this retrofit. Capital Coil & Air then provided all of the necessary engineering and pricing data for the order. Included were all of the condenser coil drawings, ready for the customer’s approval, as well as all of the needed IOM’s (Installation, Operation & Maintenance Manual) for eventual installation.
  3. Wednesday – By Wednesday morning, the contractor approved the drawings and allowed the project to move forward. Construction on the coils began that afternoon. In less than 1.5 days, this job went from a brief phone discussion into full production!
  4. Friday – The coils were completed, crated and made ready to ship in less than 48 hours after production commenced. Capital Coil then contacted FedEx to ensure that the coils would be picked up that same Friday and overnighted to South Florida for Saturday delivery to the jobsite.
  5. Saturday – The contractor received the condenser coils and installation was completed that same weekend!

In all, the time from the original phone call to installation occurred in less than a week. Capital Coil takes great pride in our response times, as well as our ability to handle projects in emergency situations.

For various reasons, the HVAC industry has always required quick-shipments. Capital Coil’s 99% success rate with quick-shipments over the last 5+ years has us particularly well-suited to handle whatever situations may occur during the Covid-19 emergency. Please do not take any chances with “untested” manufacturers right now, and please consider Capital Coil for all of your quick-ship needs!!

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Chilled Water, DX (Expansion) Coils & Moisture Carryover

Moisture carryover is present on DX or Chilled Water coils where dehumidification happens.  Many people do not think it’s a problem…until you have moisture running down ductwork or spewing all over the inside of an air handler. If you’ve ever experienced that then you probably know all of these rules regarding moisture carryover.Chilled Water Coils

  • Entering air temperatures of 80/67 of return air in the Northeast carry far less moisture than an outside 95/78 entering air temperature in Florida. Outside air always has more moisture. Your location plays a part as well. The drain pans will absolutely have be sized differently. Florida’s will be much larger in size.
  • Fin design is irrelevant when it comes to moisture carryover. Whether you have copper corrugated fins, or aluminum flat fins, plate fins or even the old fashioned spiral fins, none of it has any effect on moisture carryover.
  • Lastly, be careful when installing a new chilled water or DX coil in a system. Many end users like to increase the airflow on older coils because those old coils can act like filters, the fins are covered in dirt/dust and you’re not getting the same airflow through the coil. This dirt on the coil also semi-prevents moisture carryover. When that brand new chilled water coil is installed, the airflow might be higher than that 550 ft/minute and that, of course, will cause moisture carryover problems. 

 

Please give us a call with any questions about your coil, your system or its design. Capital Coil’s engineering is unparalleled in the industry!

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Four Things To Know When Buying Replacement Coils

While building numerous types of coils for various customers over the years, we’ve discovered the four main things that you need when replacing HVAC coils. We’ve found that most customers are searching for many of the same things, and also share many of the same priorities. Based on numerous conversations with our customers, we’ve compiled a list of the primary factors that you need to consider when purchasing an HVAC coil.

  • Marketing and advertising experts’ claim that a person needs to see and/or hear something an average of 3-5 times for the brain to really absorb the message. And so, in light of that claim, think DELIVERY, DELIVERY, DELIVERY, and DELIVERY! Every coil job has a degree of urgency to it, which is why the speed of delivery is so significant. Either you are beginning the process of replacing coils for a system that is shut Quick-Shipdown, or you are in the middle of a job and discover that you need coils to be delivered as soon as possible. In either scenario, you need a coil supplier that works on your schedule – not their own, independent timetable. Capital Coil’s Quick Ship Program allows the coils to be built on your timeline, not the manufacturer’s.
  • The coil MUST fit in the space allowed! You can purchase the highest quality coil ever manufactured, and if it does not fit, then you have nothing more than exquisitely manufactured scrap metal. So when measuring a coil, always remember that a little smaller is always better than a little bigger. There are 100 different ways to make a smaller coil work for you. On the flip-side, if a coil is too big, then you have no choice but to start over.
  • Performance matters! As with any purchase, it’s important to have an idea of what you are trying to accomplish. The simple act of duplicating a coil can sometimes work, but more often than not, additional performance information is needed. This is precisely where Capital Coil & Air can help. We’ll work with you to come up with a simulated performance schedule, even if you do not have all of the necessary information. Working in consultation with our clients tends to lead to an outcome that is acceptable to all parties.
  • Lastly and very importantly, there is cost. Everyone has budgetary constraints, and no one wants to break the bank paying for coils. However, buying a coil is often more than simply price alone. Taking into account required delivery times, sizing of the coils for the job, performance, and price, buying a coil can be a balancing act. While price should not be minimized, buying the cheapest coil is seldom the best coil for your job or application. The adage “you get what you pay for” certainly applies when it comes to coils. Capital Coil’s main goal is to help lessen your overall price, without sacrificing performance and quality.
 
 Performance options, size options, and shipment options will help you to spend your money in the most effective way possible. Capital Coil’s job is to give you the options and information that will allow you to make the best decision in your buying process. Your success is our success, so our goal is to have an on-going, consultative relationship that works for both parties. Call us on your next job, we’d love the chance to earn your business.
 

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Does Your HVAC Coil Selection Program Leave You With More Questions Than Answers?

At Capital Coil & Air, we have an accurate and user-friendly coil selection program to select and choose coils. Of course, making good selections is based on having years of experience working with coils of all types and sizes, and Coil Selection Programwe at Capital Coil have that necessary expertise.

When designing a coil, the object is to balance cost and performance together, and that is one area in which we can greatly assist. We do not always choose the cheapest coil because the cheapest coil in almost never the best coil. There are always pressure drops, materials of construction, performance requirements and a host of other things that all play into good or bad coil selections. These are even more relevant in the coil replacement market!

The object is not to duplicate a problem with a coil, but to instead solve the problem and make the coil perform better and last longer. This requires problem solving and making selections that are not always “in the box”.

Part of any successful selection process is having a good selection program to help you. But what makes a program good? First and foremost, you must get the correct results, or you have bad information that is also useless. But apart from that, the selection program must be easy to navigate through. There are “red lights” and “stop signs” built into the program to keep you from making bad selections. Our selection program has most, if not all, coil configurations and styles that you’re likely to run across. We are confident that you’ll find the selection program user-friendly, helpful, and one that makes you want to do business with Capital Coil & Air.

You simply have to click here to request the program, and we will send you an email in response with an activation code and a link to download the program. Of course we are always here to assist you in any selections that you make, or to give you some engineering suggestions and recommendations. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to help you!

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