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Professional opinion on Aquatherm and the "Oxygen Barrier"..Update: Aquatherm Lawsuit.

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Derheatmeister
Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,572
edited July 2023 in THE MAIN WALL
To the professionals of the Industry..
Has anyone experienced issues regarding premature glycol breakdown and Magnetite being attracted to the wet rotor pumps on Aquatherm Piping installs.
Although other tubing experiences are interesting I am not really interested in the PB, Aquapex or Onix horror stories at this point.
Although Aquatherm is made in Germany I do not think that it can adhere to 0.02 mg/liter/Day..Maybe not even the higher limit of 0.1 mg/liter/day. (DIN 4726 standard)
This is Aquatherm's bulletin on the subject. https://aquatherm.com/tech-bulletins/oxygen-permeation-and-aquatherm-pipe
In the report it states : "Laboratory testing of the fiberglass-reinforced “faser” pipe showed a permeation level of 0.8 g/m3•d without an oxygen barrier layer"
If this is the case a Oxygen permeation level of 0.8 mg/liter/day this 8 times higher than the DIN 4726 calls for and trying to maintain proper system fluid in my opinion may be a challenge unless degasification units are employed. Not sure how glycol would react toward a Degasification unit ?
Seems like they are dancing around the subject and do not clearly state the level of ingest or justify it by talking about surface areas and amount of piping in the Mech room vs tubing .
Any experience with Aquatherm is greatly appreciated.

>>>>>UPDATE 7/7/23<<<<<
Here is the link to the Lawsuit:https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=l&ai=DChcSEwjx5KmK9Pz_AhVEK60GHTcWB4cYABAAGgJwdg&sig=AOD64_1y2-2NQty9lOmig9WLLr_f6GOu2g&q&adurl&ved=2ahUKEwj7qqKK9Pz_AhX_CjQIHSp_B1EQ0Qx6BAgJEAE

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,835
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    I have some experience with Aquatherm and it has issues. As far as oxygen barrier I have no clue you know more about that than I do.

    The contractor I used to work for went whole hog on this stuff. We repiped an entire huge high school with this stuff. No glycol involved.

    Before they started the job my big complaint was hangers.

    Anyone that installs pipe knows hangers are a big part of the job.

    Look up the hanger specs for aquatherm, it's a nightmare. Your looking at hanger spacing of 2'-3'-4' in some cases depending on pipe size and the temp you run it at. It flops all over the place.

    Repairs are difficult, tools are $$$$ especially over 2".

    We used everything up to 6" on that job and they undersized the pipe should have been 8" but they didn't listen to me

    That being said the stuff is tough as nails if put together properly it will last probably forever

    We also had trouble getting fittings but this was about 8 years ago so maybe that has improved

    Expansion and contraction is another issue
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,572
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    Thank you for the feed back.
    Years ago i was sipping on the "Aquatherm Kool Aid" but after doing more research i decided to go with Pressing Pipes as i have known from Germany for over 40 years.
    As you said the Availability/Logistics on parts was very bad at the time and the additional supports needed were part of the reason we did not go with it.
    The additional labor factor was also not something that was appealing to me.
    Up here in Colorado we do not see it very much,but when we do is it sometimes not supported correctly and looks like a Trex deck on 30" joist spacing. :D
    Can some of the maintenance people of this site be reached for comment ?
    Again Thank you for your feedback.
    Richard and the Heatmeister Group.
  • icy78
    icy78 Member Posts: 404
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    Well I don't know much about it but I do know that our people, including my daughter! are installing about 7 miles of aquatherm pipe from 2" up to the 14" she was doing yesterday. 
      Most fittings are premade and shipped in by the semi load. It's pretty cool.

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,835
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    I will say this about Aquatherm. The job my company did had glycol in the system as it was piped to air handlers set on the roof.

    One of the air handlers was on a pitched roof. During heavy snow some of the pipe supports gave way and the stuff was just hanging there slid down the roof with no supports in 0 degree weather. Why it didn't break I will never know.

    I don't really care for the stuff for but it is tough as nails if put together right
    Derheatmeister
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,572
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    icy78 said:

    Well I don't know much about it but I do know that our people, including my daughter! are installing about 7 miles of aquatherm pipe from 2" up to the 14" she was doing yesterday. 
      Most fittings are premade and shipped in by the semi load. It's pretty cool.

    Hopefully this is for Domestic Water vs. Heating.
    Especially in a heating system and the possibility of large amounts of Oxygen ingest with that much pipe this may be a problem in the future.
  • KEKA
    KEKA Member Posts: 0
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    We have a hydronic system with lots of Aquatherm for distribution. The last time we checked the fluid quality it looked bad, dark heavy sludge. The ferrous components, especially the low loss header, are deteriorating. The system is about 10 years old. It's likely the Aquatherm does not have an oxygen barrier. We have since flushed the system, ran cleaner, used new di water, and added magnetic filtration. Need to check the fluid again, it's been a while. In general, the Aquatherm was hard to work with especially larger diameters. We have also seen significant sagging of the pipe in areas where we apparently didn't use enough supports.
  • icy78
    icy78 Member Posts: 404
    edited March 2021
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    Well I don't know much about it but I do know that our people, including my daughter! are installing about 7 miles of aquatherm pipe from 2" up to the 14" she was doing yesterday. 
      Most fittings are premade and shipped in by the semi load. It's pretty cool.

    Hopefully this is for Domestic Water vs. Heating. Especially in a heating system and the possibility of large amounts of Oxygen ingest with that much pipe this may be a problem in the future.
    This is all chilled water About a thousand tons of cooling and the associated cooling towers , water temps will be between 45 and 70 I believe. The supports and hangers are crazy . I was there today it looks like they are every 4 feet.
  • icy78
    icy78 Member Posts: 404
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    All the pipe used on this job is the  blue,  which is approved for any mechanical use except steam I believe. The green I think is for domestic but I'm not sure. 
    I believe theres a purple pipe as well, but I've not seen it.
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,572
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    icy78 said:



    Well I don't know much about it but I do know that our people, including my daughter! are installing about 7 miles of aquatherm pipe from 2" up to the 14" she was doing yesterday. 
      Most fittings are premade and shipped in by the semi load. It's pretty cool.

    Hopefully this is for Domestic Water vs. Heating.
    Especially in a heating system and the possibility of large amounts of Oxygen ingest with that much pipe this may be a problem in the future.


     This is all chilled water About a thousand tons of cooling and the associated cooling towers ,  water temps will be between 45 and 70 I believe.
    The supports and hangers are crazy .
    I was there today it looks like they are every 4 feet.

    A Chilled water system should be fine with this Pipe..Once you start applying heat into the equation the lack of a Oxygen Barrier is a whole other story.
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,572
    edited March 2021
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    KEKA said:

    We have a hydronic system with lots of Aquatherm for distribution. The last time we checked the fluid quality it looked bad, dark heavy sludge. The ferrous components, especially the low loss header, are deteriorating. The system is about 10 years old. It's likely the Aquatherm does not have an oxygen barrier. We have since flushed the system, ran cleaner, used new di water, and added magnetic filtration. Need to check the fluid again, it's been a while. In general, the Aquatherm was hard to work with especially larger diameters. We have also seen significant sagging of the pipe in areas where we apparently didn't use enough supports.

    Keka.
    This system sounds interesting
    I have some Questions
    Do you have any other components in the equation that could be causing a Oxygen ingest issue?
    For example:
    1. Non oxygen diffusion barrier tubing.
    2. Improper pressurizing techniques/Maladjusted expansion tanks.
    3. Large Night setback scheduling.
    4. Large amounts of system fluid replacement due to frequent repairs or a leak/Runaway fill valves.
    5. A leak on the relief valve.
    6. I doubt it but need to ask: Open vessels such as the older Style Expansion tanks ?
    Is you feed line/Makeup water hooked up to the Domestic and do you have a Deionization filter with a Water Meter?
    If you are running with Deionized Water :)
    1. How many gallons of DI was Installed ?
    2. How far down did you go with the Conductivity (EC)/TDS during the fill ?
    3. What kind of techniques were used to fill the system ?
    4. Which resin was used ? Or did you bring the DI in barrels :( . ?
    5. How may BTU/HR does your system have ?
    6. What is the total system fluid contents ?
    7. Did you check the PH approx. 8 week after the DI install and what was it at ?
    8. Do you have a Sacrificial Anode ?
    9. Are you a "Chemical User" or just running with Staight DI as per VDI 2035 ?
    Do you have any pictures of these deteriorating components ?
    How are your circulating pumps/Expansion tank holding up and are you servicing the magnetic filter ?
    Who is checking the system fluid and do you have a system fluid report showing PH,EC,SAL,TDS.FE,CU,Chloride,Hardness ?/ Any Log book on the system ?
    Sorry about all the questions...Just trying to make the Hydronic industry better.
    Thank you for your feedback :)
    Richard.
  • KEKA
    KEKA Member Posts: 0
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    Derheatmeister,
    You have many questions about our heating system. I cannot answer all of them. The system is primarily heating our warehouse through Modine fan coil units. All the piping is either copper or Aquatherm. We are a Viessmann wholesale supplier and are using a Viessmann boiler. Originally, it was a 200 series 105kW but about 18 months ago we switched to the Vitocrossal CU3A 57kW and it's keeping up just fine. It looks like we have some of the old components lying around in the scrap pile and I can try to get you some pictures. I'll be honest, the system didn't get much love unless something wasn't working. We did go through a couple of cast iron pumps over the years, boiler pump and system pump. There was a low loss header in the system before we switched boilers but I am not sure if that is still around. I do recall we had a small leak at one of the fan coils years ago but that was fixed quickly. There is an autofill connected to the site water but we keep it closed unless there is an issue. I'll have to check with our contractor customer who did the boiler change and cleaned the system to get more details. By the way, I see one of your posts says, "Richard and the Heatmeister Group". I know you guys, we are in Colorado too. Maybe we could have you down to our shop to evaluate the system.
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,572
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    Keka,
    Yes we can help with your situation.
    One of the reasons why i started this thread was due to a premature Failure of a Grundfos Magna 65-120 f in a Condo Complex up here in Breckenridge,CO.
    This is a rather expensive circulating pump and should last longer than a couple years !
    It failed due to a large amount of Magnetite which was (as we have seen many times before) attracted to the Magnetic fields of the wet rotor pump.
    We will post some pictures of the failed Circulating pump within the next couple days.
    We have approached the HOA and suggested installation of a Magnetic device in conjunction with a system fluid flush,a cleaning and maintaining proper System fluid "Chemistry".
    I can come down to Denver next week,Take some system samples,Analyze it and make recommendations.
    We do have professional,maintained and calibrated testing equipment what will give us a accurate measurement on PH,EC,SAL and TDS we can also check other relevant parameters.
    Do you have pictures of the Failed components? If they are still around and you can pry the cartridge apart this will give us a Idea if they failed due to Magnetite which may be a contribution of the Oxygen ingest.
    We may also be able to help decipher if you have a O2 problem with some equipment we imported from europe.
    Richard and the Heatmeister Group.


  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,572
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    I have some experience with Aquatherm and it has issues. As far as oxygen barrier I have no clue you know more about that than I do.

    The contractor I used to work for went whole hog on this stuff. We repiped an entire huge high school with this stuff. No glycol involved.

    Before they started the job my big complaint was hangers.

    Anyone that installs pipe knows hangers are a big part of the job.

    Look up the hanger specs for aquatherm, it's a nightmare. Your looking at hanger spacing of 2'-3'-4' in some cases depending on pipe size and the temp you run it at. It flops all over the place.

    Repairs are difficult, tools are $$$$ especially over 2".

    We used everything up to 6" on that job and they undersized the pipe should have been 8" but they didn't listen to me

    That being said the stuff is tough as nails if put together properly it will last probably forever

    We also had trouble getting fittings but this was about 8 years ago so maybe that has improved

    Expansion and contraction is another issue



    Yes...The supports for Aquatherm are kinda "Out of Hand"
    Not only do you have to provide more supports, Attention to using the Proper Clamps and torque is also very important.
    In other words: Aquatherm pipe is Metric and most Contractors here in the USA do not have easy access to Metric Pipe clamps so they use National Pipe type Clamps..If the installer does not pay attention and over torques the Clamps this can cause the Pipe to distorts which compromises the Pipe.

    Coefficient Expansion and Contraction rates are also something very important to consider, Especially on a large Commercial job such as the School you are talking about.

    If they Undersized the pipe in this School and had Transitions to Copper pipe this could cause pipe erosion..
    Pipe erosion can of course cause deposits to form in piping and equipment.
    Although there is no Glycol in this system,the system fluid "chemistry" can also be compromised
    There have been some cases of HX (Boilers) failures as well.
    Hopefully the Engineering Company considered all of this.
    Richard.
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,572
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    Keka.. Here are some Pictures of the Failed Grundfos Magna 65-120 F


    You can clearly see the Magnetite that was attracted to the Magnetic field of the pump :s
    If this was not a condo complex with Baseboards under the windows which can be subjected to open freezing conditions we probably would try to do this with deionized water and a Sacrificial anode.
    In this case we will have to use "Chemicals"/Glycol and probably a Magnetic "filter" after we clean the system.