Condenser Water Piping Seminar

Two of the insurance industry’s biggest risk groups are builder’s risk and professional liability for architects and engineers.  Both of these groups are involved in the design and installation of HVAC as well as process cooling equipment.  We recently attended a seminar on the design and installation of condenser water piping.  The condensers that are referred to are large pieces of equipment that are used in conjunction with cooling towers and large tonnage refrigeration machines.  A number of problems can arise if the piping is not considered correctly.  For example, the life of a water circulating pump can be reduced dramatically if the friction loss through the piping exceeds the capability of the pump.  In addition, it is possible to introduce air into the suction line of the pump if the tower bypass is not done properly.  The net result will be flow instability.  Freeze protection can be another problem if not considered carefully.  In some applications, water is drained from the tower when subfreezing temperatures are expected.  But, if for some reason, water stays in a part of the piping and then freezes, the result will be a burst water pipe.  If the failure is not detected prior to start-up, then a large amount of water will escape from the system and clean-up can be become very costly, in addition to the piping repair.  These are the kinds of problems for which claims are filed and lawsuits can result. 


Recalls – How Long do They Last?

Have you ever wondered how long a recall lasts?  When the government or a manufacturer orders a vehicle recall, there are usually hundreds if not thousands of vehicles involved.  Sometimes, the numbers are in the millions.  Any way you look at it, recalls cost manufacturers a lot of money.  According to Federal Law, the statute of limitations for vehicle recalls is 10 years.  There are two conditions where the statute could expire earlier: the manufacturer goes out of business or the parts needed to make repairs are no longer manufactured.  There is one other thing that owners need to be aware of and that is that for a no-cost recall repair, the vehicle has to be less than 10 years old as of the date that the defect was determined.  On the other hand, other types of recalls such as appliance, lawn and garden equipment, furniture and toys remain permanently in effect from the date of issue.  There is NO expiration date for recalls of items other than vehicles.  If a recall is discovered months or years after the original recall date, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends contacting the manufacturer and discussing the situation with them.  If the problem cannot be resolved to each party’s satisfaction, then contact the CPSC and report the problem.  The CPSC can be reached by calling 1-800-638-2772.     

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