Chiller Preventative Maintenance

You value your chiller. It’s important for your system to work properly. You want it to operate well. To run smoothly. To last a long time.

You don’t want problems, delays, or shutdowns. So how can you prevent these from happening? By taking good care of your chiller, of course! Just like any machine, industrial chillers require regular, dutiful maintenance. Here is a checklist of 6 simple tasks you can do to keep your chiller in top shape.

  1. Pay attention to alarm signals. Every chiller design is different. However, almost every brand will contain automatic alarms. If something major is wrong, then most chillers are smart enough to recognize it. The built-in alarm system should let you know that there is a problem. In order to fix the problem, of course, you’ll need to know what the alarm codes mean. Consult your user manual for answers.
  2. Check & clean water strainer. The overall cleanliness of your system will determine how often this task needs to be performed. Depending on ambient conditions, complete this task on a weekly to monthly bias. To keep smooth operations, you must prevent grime and filth from entering into the system.
  3. Clean the condenser coils. Condenser filters and coil surfaces will accumulate dirt, which could impact overall chiller performance. Contaminants & debris complicate the heat transfer process and increase the effort required to perform the same amount of work. These substances prevent proper temperature from being achieved and lower what your chiller can do. At the very minimum, cleaning of these elements should occur monthly.
  4. Confirm the pressure of inlet, outlet, and, if applicable, tank. If the working conditions have changed for your chiller, then your chiller will not perform at its best. Regularly checking these metrics allows users to catch issues before they become too expensive. Changes here often signify a larger problem, especially if not corrected. If the pressure continues to be incorrect, you may need to call for engineering assistance.
  5. Maintain proper water level and flow.  Low water level in the tank can cause the pump to cavitate, leading to damage or failure of the impeller.  Non-pressurized tanks should have a sight tube to indicate the minimum and maximum water level.  Pressurized tanks, which must be completely full, usually have an automatic or manual vent valve to expel any air. Check this metric regularly to prevent problems such as the evaporator freezing from low water flow.
  6. Schedule annual maintenance. Since chillers are closed circuit, many users believe there’s no need for service. This belief is wrong. Chillers require the same attention as other mechanical equipment do. To keep in the best condition, you’ll really want to regularly have an expert perform extensive maintenance. Trained technicians are able to test components, such as the electrical and refrigeration, that the typical user cannot.

Completing these basic maintenance tasks on a regular basis should not only increase your chiller performance, but also settle your worrying mind. By taking an active role in your chiller’s life, you can take comfort in its increased reliability. With good care comes good quality.