A Ruptured Hot Water Coil on a Very Cold Roof

There was already a foot of snow on the ground and temperatures were hovering near zero when the staff at Conway Regional Medical Center in Conway, Ark., called Powers with an immediate need. Their air handling unit that served their operating rooms had a ruptured hot water coil, and surgeries and procedures were scheduled for the next day.

Arkansas, where extreme winter weather is rare, was in the middle of a “snowmageddon” on that frigid February morning -- but that didn’t stop a Powers team from jumping into action. Controls Service Manager Mark Hays, Controls Service Tech Darrel Bynum, Mechanical Service Tech Brian Carroll, and EVP Ron McCarty mobilized to determine what caused the coil to freeze and to make the necessary repairs to get the system back up in time for the upcoming surgeries and procedures.

Air Handling Unit Repair During Winter Storm Powers HVAC

With bad road conditions of ice and snow, the team’s first challenge was just getting to the medical center. The second hurdle was the location of the air handling unit. It was an external unit on the roof of a three-story building. Weather conditions were in the low single digits (really cold!) with snow falling the entire time the team was on the roof.

The first attempts to locate and repair the leak in the coil were unsuccessful due to the location of the rupture on the heating coil and the inability to successfully drain the coil to allow for complete repair of the ruptured area. Accessing the leak required dismantling the side of the air handler to gain clear access to the rupture. Once the team was able to access the rupture site and to take alternate measures to remove the water from the coil, they were able to successfully repair the leak. Then came the long process of reassembling the air handler again.

Overall, it took about 8 hours to repair the coil. Additional hours were spent with the customer to update, add, and modify programming within the Siemens BAS system to meet the operating room conditions with the extreme low external temperatures that were affecting other infrastructure systems (chillers) associated with the air handler.

Despite the extreme weather, the Powers team plowed ahead through all the challenges to make sure the rupture wasn’t a disruption to Conway Regional Medical Center’s scheduled surgeries.

Powers truck in snow storm Arkansas

That’s what we do. We plow ahead, overcome, and deliver results for Powers customers. Even when we are frozen, we push forward to create customers for life!

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