The latest chiller’s in use today have diagnostic technology integrated into their design. When something goes wrong an alarm code will often not only alert you to the situation, but, if you understand your chiller’s code, you may even know how to resolve the problem and avoid having to place a call to a repairman.
For example, after consulting your operator’s manual and becoming familiar with your particular model’s diagnostic and alarm codes, you may recognize that your chiller is alerting you to one of the following:
- Temperature sensor error.
- A compressor that is experiencing pressure that is too high or too low.
It is also important to be familiar with safety mechanisms that are built into the chiller’s design, such as a water flow switch or freezestat control. If something goes wrong that a chiller owner can fix themselves, often they are left puzzled as to why the chiller is still not working properly. These safety mechanisms may have been activated and will need to be reset after a chiller has recognized a problem.
However, despite such resources as an operator’s manual and diagnostic codes, many who have a chiller in use are still hesitant to delve into the realm of acting as chiller repairman. Considering that a chiller is a significant investment for any business, it is completely understandable to want a qualified technician to respond to any issues. But if you want to see less of your local chiller repairman, be committed to routine chiller maintenance.
Routine Maintenance Saves Energy $$
Chiller’s are monsters when it comes to energy consumption. They can easily be responsible for up to half of a company’s energy usage. For this reason it is important to keep chillers operating at peak performance level and running as energy efficient as possible. And when it comes to anything going wrong with your chiller, that is when it is time to call a chiller repairman. However, it seems that the majority of service calls might be avoided altogether by performing routine chiller maintenance. The four most common factors that contribute to chiller failure are: operating chillers improperly, ignoring routine scheduled maintenance, corrosion and using an oversized chiller.
Sometimes business owners are tempted to try to get something out of their chiller it was not designed to deliver. Usually this is done by increasing the volume of cooling water believing that this will make the chiller cool faster or cool a larger space. What actually happens is the opposite. Once the chiller begins performing outside its capabilities, its chilling efficiency drops. In fact, it could stop chilling altogether if tube failure occurs.
Ignoring Maintenance on Chillers
A poorly maintained chiller loses its energy efficiency by as much as twenty-five percent annually. By skipping over scheduled maintenance, a business is setting themselves up for expensive repairs in the future and possibly an early chiller replacement by shortening the lifespan of an existing one.
Corrosion on Chillers
There is no getting around the development of corrosion in chiller pipes and tubes. Sediment build-up can lead to possible perforation of tubes. When that happens you can say good-by to refrigerant that flows through that tube. Corrosion will eventually lead to chiller failure. There are specialized coatings that can keep sediment build-up and corrosion in check. This is just one more reason to be committed to regularly scheduled maintenance of your chiller.
Wrong Chiller Size
One would think that bigger is better, right? Well, where chiller’s are concerned that perspective is all wrong. When a chiller is oversized for the performance that is needed, it doesn’t cool faster or cool a larger space. It actually decreases in efficiency. By cooling at a decreased load than what a chiller is designed for, the chiller also operates fewer number of hours. By not cycling according to its design, over time, energy efficiency will drop off. The only time a company should choose a chiller with operating capacity larger than currently needed is if they are expecting growth that will demand the larger capacity within a year or so.
Contact Professionals at JC Younger Company
For new chiller purchases, rentals or repairs, always call proven professionals. Please contact us for all your chiller needs. Founded in 1956, our certified technicians have the skill and experience to meet the needs of every industrial chiller in use today.