There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding refrigerant containment in systems. Unfortunately much of this misinformation is propagated by the less reputable side of our industry for its own purposes, which is just another reason to chose a reputable business that is a member of RACCA.
So here are some facts about refrigerant and more particularly its containment in the refrigeration system.
- Refrigerant is re-circulated continuously and should remain in the system for the life of the system and should not leak out. No system should require a regular top up of refrigerant.
- Refrigerants are very stable chemicals which under normal operating circumstances do not break down or lose their effectiveness. Refrigerant should not need replacing under normal operating circumstances.
- All refrigerants are either hazardous to the environment or people (or both) and should never be released into the atmosphere.
- The correct refrigerant charge (that is the mass of refrigerant in the system) is absolutely critical to the optimum performance, efficiency and operating economy of the system. So if a system is overcharged or undercharged with refrigerant it is detrimental to system performance and reliability.
- To knowingly release refrigerant into the atmosphere is an offence.
Consequently refrigerant containment is critical to optimal, efficient performance of the refrigeration system. Refrigerant loss is a very common reason for system failure and the consequential losses associated with that system failure.
Refrigerant leaks can happen anywhere in the system where integrity is lost, for example through pipe fracture, poor mechanical and brazed joints, through worn mechanical seals and occasionally is vented through pressure relief valves. Refrigerant leaks detected early can be repaired relatively inexpensively.
The key to refrigerant containment is a planned maintenance program specifically designed for your system by Thermo Tech. During a planned maintenance visit our experienced technicians inspect vulnerable pipe work and fittings for the effects of age and vibration. Pipe saddles and clamps are checked to ensure pipe work is fixed and secure. Correct refrigerant charge is monitored and evidence of refrigerant loss scrutinised.
Thermo Tech have invested considerable capital into infra red leak detectors, refrigerant recovery equipment and high pressure nitrogen regulators to enable each technician to provide advanced leak detection from each of our mobile workshops.
Refrigerant containment is a critical component of a reliable refrigeration system and planned maintenance is the mechanism by which containment can be ensured.