Pipe Freezing

How can I isolate a line for repair, to replace a valve or extend out a new line without draining the system or causing a long shutdown? How about Pipe Freeze Kits?

The most popular way if the water in the line is not flowing is pipe freezing. Pipe Freeze Kits using CO-2 are an inexpensive way to get the job done when draining the system is not an option. By pipe freezing you can place a 7000 psi ice plug on one or both sides of your repair, complete the job and just let the ice plug thaw out. It just requires a pipe freeze kit and dip tube CO-2 cylinders.
buy pipe freeze kits online at pipemanproducts.com

Which pipe freeze kit will best meet my application?

This depends on your application and size of the pipe. There are two types of pipe freeze kits. The most popular for 1/8” to 2.00” pipe is the CST-2 Cold-Shot Pipe Freeze Kit by General Wire. It comes with dual pipe freeze capability that fits into small places and uses only a 20lb dip tube CO-2 cylinder.

The second most popular style is the freeze jacket style like the economical Arctic Freeze Kit (1/4” to 6.00” pipe) or the more industrial model, the Qwik-Freeze Kit (3/4” to 8.00”) The jackets take more room to use but can go beyond 2.00” pipe. They can also freeze the line with about a 20-30% glycol mix. We also have the Accu-Freeze Controlled Liquid Nitrogen Pipe Freezing System which can freeze pipe from 6″ to 12″ using liquid nitrogen.

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More In Depth:

The Cold-Shot CST-2 Pipe Freeze Kit:

Freezes pipe from 1/8″ to 2″ (10 mm – 60 mm)
Eliminate Draining the System and Avoid Shut-downs

Specifications:
The Cold-Shot CST-2 keeps pressurized systems operating while you make repairs
It freezes all type of liquids in steel, copper, cast iron, aluminum, and plastic pipes
It uses carbon dioxide (CO2) to freeze the pipe
20lb. and 50lb. Dip-tube type cylinders are available
It is faster and less expensive than “refrigerator-type” units and uses less CO2 than “bag-type” units
In five minutes you’re ready to go to work on copper tubing, just three minutes for cast iron pipe

How the Cold-Shot Works

The Cold-Shot can be used to freeze all types of liquids, even at high pressure, inside steel, copper, cast iron, lead, aluminum and plastic pipe in sizes ranging from 1/8″ to 2″ (10-60 mm). The Cold-Shot uses commercially available carbon dioxide (CO²). You can purchase or rent cylinders through your local welding supply house. Though any size cylinder can be used, it is recommended that users purchase the largest cylinder size possible.
Note: the CO² tank must have a dip tube. The dip tube allows liquid rather than gas to flow through the spiral hoses were it will expand to form Dry-ice inside the freeze heads. The ice pack which forms in the pipe is capable of withstanding a pressure of approximately 7000 psi (500 bar). As the liquid freezes, a layer of frost will develop on the surface of the pipe.


The Arctic Freeze Pipe Freeze Kit:

Kits from 1/4″ to 6.00″ Freeze
Eliminate Draining the System and Avoid Shut-downs
The Arctic Freeze System keeps pressurized systems operating while you make repairs.
It freezes all type of liquids in steel, copper, cast iron, aluminum, and plastic pipes ranging from 1/4″ to 6″ (10 mm – 152 mm)
It uses carbon dioxide (CO2) to freeze the pipe
20 lb. and 50 lb. Dip-tube type cylinders are available or at all welding supply houses
It is faster and less expensive than “refrigerator-type” units and uses less CO2
In five minutes you’re ready to go to work on copper tubing, just three minutes for cast iron pipe

How the Arctic Freeze Works

Arctic Freeze Jackets act as “Portable Valves” which can wrap around pipes in most locations. Dry ice is formed underneath the jacket, creating an ice plug inside the pipe. This eliminates costly drain down and refilling time. This kit will fit 1/4″ through 2″ diameter steel, copper, cast iron, plastic or aluminum pipe. For a single or double freeze. The K.I.S.S. Kit offers maximum versatility, durability, and reliability.


The Qwik-Freezer Pipe Freeze Kit:

Qwik-Freezer® equipment utilizes liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) to freeze stationary water in selected sections of pipe or tubing. By producing very low “dry ice” temperatures, Qwik-Freezer® forms a secure in-line ice plug. This temporarily isolates the water in the system and allows repairs or modifications to be made without draining down or shutting off systems

Major Advantages:

Saves valuable time normally lost draining down and refilling a system
Avoids complete shutdown of systems and equipment (as in a sprinkler or water supply system)
Prevents waste of large amounts of water
Eliminates handling of wasted water
Safe and cost effective

How the Qwik-Freezer Kit Works

A specially-designed jacket is wrapped around the pipe at the point where the freeze is required. A nozzle on the jacket is then coupled to a cylinder of liquid CO2 by means of a high pressure hose. When the liquid CO2 is injected into the space between the jacket and the pipe, it immediately expands to form solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) at a temperature of -109 F (-78 C). This low temperature quickly freezes the contents forming a secure “ice plug” which seals the pipe. The “ice plug” forms only in the section of pipe covered by the jacket so the resulting rise in pressure is very small, and there is no damage to the pipe. The technique can be used safely on iron, lead, stainless steel, copper, brass and plastic pipe.


Accu-Freeze – The Controlled Liquid Nitrogen Pipe Freezing System

Safely and Reliably Freezes Your Pipe
Accu-Freeze uses its patented control system to accurately and safely create an ice plug

Major Advantages:

be able to freeze large diameter pipe
control the entire freeze process
minimize exposure to nuclear applications of the pipe, the Accu-Freeze system
controls the flow of liquid nitrogen through the wrap

Accu-Freeze customers have requested pipe-freezing systems that will: Be able to freeze large diameter pipe, control the entire freeze process, and minimize exposure to nuclear applications of the pipe. The Accu-Freeze system controls the flow of liquid nitrogen through the wrap.

How the Accu-Freeze Kit Works

Accu-Freeze® was created to meet a specific need in the nuclear industry for “controlled pipe freezing”. In other words, the ability to freeze pipes to create an ice plug while controlling the temperature that the pipe wall is subjected to. Accu-Freeze Kits include a digital controller and a solenoid header assembly that allow the operator to actually set and control the temperature of the pipe wall. The system then automatically injects the necessary amounts of LN2 required to freeze the pipe to the programmed temperature. The system can also be operated from remotely. Accu-Freeze is used by nuclear facilities and power plants across the USA and Europe and by the US Navy on nuclear powered vessels. Accu-Freeze was also used by NASA for an urgent hydraulic line repair on the Space Shuttle Atlantis while on the launch pad. Standard Accu-Freeze Kits are available for up to 12” diameter pipe (can be modified to accommodate larger pipe diameters) and can be used to freeze fluids with lower freeze points than water such as glycol.


Question: Can any of these pipe freeze kits freeze lines containing glycol?

pipe freeze kits pipemanproducts.com
The bag-style freeze kits have a greater chance of freezing lines containing small amounts of glycol, but not within the freeze times listed. Knowing the concentration of glycol is hard to determine; consider the antifreeze in your car that came from the factory with a known percentage of antifreeze in the radiator, but who knows what percentage that is after years of use and adding fluids. Whenever dealing with glycol it is highly recommended that you obtain a sample of the line contents and perform a test freeze with the same type of pipe in a controlled environment. This test will help you determine how long it will take to get the line to freeze and how much CO2 will be needed to perform the freeze on the job site.

When would I use Hot Dam Heat Compound?

hot dam heat compound buy online pipemanproducts.com
Anytime you use pipe freeze equipment that places an ice plug inside the plug and need to solder or weld the repair you should use Hot Dam. It removes most of the heat that melts ice plugs and protects your freeze jackets or clamps so your job goes smoothly. YouCan reuse it over and over again saving you money vs. the spray gels.

2 thoughts on “Pipe Freezing

  • Is there any limitation of pipe working fluid temperature in relation to the pipe size that to be frozen using Accu-Freeze. For example, for freezing and plugging of 20 inch water line some saying the maximum allowable temperature of water inside the pipe shall not be more than 20 degree C.

    • No, the Accu-Freeze freezes 1/2″ to 12″ Pipe. 20 degrees C is the same as 68 Degrees F. For smaller freezes it uses coiled soft copper lines to freeze the pipe. For 6″-12″ it uses a freeze jacket. Nitrogen freezes at minus 321 degrees F. Most freeze tables are based on 68 Degrees F (20 C) with water not moving.

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