How to deal with leaks in refrigeration systems?
Refrigeration systems use fluids which work as energy carriers and are alternately compressed and expanded. In the event of even the smallest leak, the fluid under pressure will escape, reducing the efficiency of the entire system and leading to other negative consequences. This is why it is necessary to carry out periodic testing to check the entire system for potential leaks. In this article, you will find out what can happen if you fail to react in time.
Why do leaks occur?
Refrigeration systems are pressure tested after installation to check for possible leaks. However, even if they pass such tests, the fittings may become damaged over time. Vibrations in the pipes, poorly tightened connections and even adverse weather conditions can lead to microcracks. The materials used in the system also age with time, making them more susceptible to damage that is not visible to the naked eye.
Consequences of leaks in the system
As even small microcracks may pose a serious problem, they should by no means be overlooked. Even minor leakage of glycol will over a longer period of time result in a shortage of fluid in the system, reducing its efficiency. On the other hand, lower fluid pressure can lead to damage to individual equipment in the system. Air inside the system also poses a potential threat, as it increases the risk of metal corrosion and disrupts the operation of the system.
The most serious consequence of fluid leakage in a refrigeration system is system failure and forced downtime, which generates significant losses, including spoiled food due to the rise of temperature in the warehouse.
A serious risk is also potential leakage of toxic fluids based on monoethylene glycol used in such systems as solar installations, which are becoming increasingly popular due to their lower price. The toxic fluid can penetrate into a utility water tank and, in the worst case scenario, such water can be ingested by people. If left undetected over a long period of time, a system failure poses a real threat to human health and life.
Detecting leaks in glycol systems
In refrigeration systems, it is very easy to mistake leaking glycol for condensate, so detecting small leaks before they become a problem can be quite challenging. Glycols by Procold are designed to facilitate this task as much as possible. Using detectors, you can quickly and easily detect any leaks, preventing a major system failure and downtime. Procold glycols can thus save your time and money.
Better safe than sorry
It is not worth to risk costly repairs of a leaking refrigeration system. It is much better and cheaper to take proper care of the system in advance to ensure its long trouble-free operation. So what can be done to avoid microcracks or damage to the system?
- Use appropriate antifreeze fluid. The fluid should be chosen based on the specifications of the system in question. The use of inappropriate fluid may reduce system performance, leading to malfunctions and disruptions. If you want to find out how to choose the right fluid for your system, check out one of our previous articles.
- Conduct annual inspections. An experienced service technician can assess the condition of the system and determine whether it is fully operational and safe.
Take care of your refrigeration system
In order to avoid leaks, follow the recommendations listed above.
Choosing the right type of fluid and using it in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions will ensure trouble-free functioning of the system for a long time. However, keep in mind that every device is susceptible to wear and tear, so make sure to carry out inspections at least once a year. Only in this way can you ensure the safe operation of your refrigeration system.
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