End-of-Season Chiller Care
When the cooling season comes to an end, it’s critical to perform chiller maintenance. We have discussed this in the past, you can read about it here. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: When the chiller is freshly shut down, it is the best time to clean, maintain and inspect it. Do this inspection before any lingering material left in the system has a chance to collect, harden and cause issues on the system surfaces during the off-season.
Here are recommendations on how to care for your chiller properly when you shut down at the end of the cooling season. This will help ensure plant equipment will be in good shape when spring arrives and you bring it back online.
Procedure After Chiller Shutdown
Open chillers (condensers) as soon as possible after you have shut them down for the winter. You must minimize stagnant, standing water because it promotes corrosion and can allow deposits to settle and crystalize.
Routine brushing maintenance:
– Brush the condenser tubes every year, even if they appear clean. While it’s an arduous task, it’s essential for many reasons.
– Open and brush your evaporator tubes every five years unless issues dictate that they get inspection and attention sooner.
– Wire brush the tube sheets and end bells to remove any loose rust.
Eddy current testing:
– Condenser-every 3 years.
– Evaporator-every 5 years.
Apply protective coating if necessary:
– Belzona epoxy coating provides excellent protection on condenser and chiller surfaces. It requires significant preparation to ensure adhesion.
– Omnithane, a single-component, moisture cured resin, is a good choice to protect the end bells and tubes. Wire brushing provides adequate surface preparation.
Consider sacrificial anodes if general corrosion is an issue. Leave the end cap open if possible until shortly before chiller is needed online.
Seasonal Maintenance Pays Off
When the cooling season is over and you the chillers are down and can be drained and opened, drain and open them You can do many things right now to help make your system survive the off-season properly , so be proactive.
Remember that stagnant water is very challenging to treat, so remove the challenge and drain the water and engage in preventative measures. Inspect, brush, and test the tubes and protect your entire system for the long haul. It’s tempting to give yourself a break after the long summer cooling season, but persevere and keep after the cooling system protection for the long run. You won’t regret the effort you put in to your cooling system in the fall. It will pay off protecting the capital equipment’s life cycle.
If you have any questions about how to retire your cooling system and condenser tubes for the winter, please contact us at Chemtex and we’ll help you.