The 10 Chiller Maintenance Hacks Your Facility Needs

Preventative maintenance is more than just a service we offer. Honestly, it’s a way of life.
Your equipment faces general wear and tear over time. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent it! This is why it’s so crucial to stay ahead of the curve and incorporate chiller maintenance hacks into your regular schedule. By being proactive, you’ll reduce stress on your equipment, unexpected downtime, and costs.

If you’re looking to improve your chiller maintenance and efficiencies, you’ve come to the right place; our expert technicians have gathered the top chiller maintenance hacks.

From logging to charging to purging and more, discover what @RasMech notes are the top 10 tips for #ChillerMaintenance are: Click To Tweet

1. Track Daily Operations

First and foremost, keep a detailed log of your chiller operations. By collecting vital information daily, you’ll be able to understand how your chiller is operating. Your log should include information such as:

  • Temperatures
  • Pressures
  • Fluid levels
  • Flow rates
  • And more

To ease your processes, ensure you automate the collection of this information. Many remote monitoring systems can aid in support.

2. Keep It Clean

Clean tubes allow for the most efficient heat transfer. Thermal resistance decreases the efficiency within your chiller. To prevent this, spot check for debris such as mud, algae, or mineral build-up in your tubes. A thorough brushed cleaning should be completed at a minimum once per year. Let Rasmussen Mechanical Services help you with all of your preventative maintenance needs.

Bonus tip: Higher approach temperatures indicate efficiency is decreasing. By tracking this in your daily log, you’ll be able to see when temperatures are increasing.

3. Treat the Condenser Water

Like a boiler, maintaining high water quality is essential to your chiller. Treated water limits the corrosion and build-up which happens within the unit. Use regulated chemical treatments to help keep the water within your system purified.

Bonus tip: Replace filters often to help maintain the quality of water.

4. Watch the Water

Did you know lower water temperatures improve chiller efficiency? That’s right – you can improve efficiency just by lowering the temperature of the water entering the condenser.

5. Go With the Flow

As with the temperature of the water, the flow of it also plays a big impact on the efficiency of your boiler. The chilled water flow rate must be above 3 feet per second and below 12 feet per second. If the flow falls below 3 feet per second, your flow may become laminae (scaley). If the flow rises above 12 feet per second, vibration and noise lead to the ideal environment of tube erosion.

[Looking to enhance the impact of efficiency on your chiller? Download our HVAC Preventative Maintenance Checklist to keep your chiller running properly.]  

6. Check the Charge

The amount of refrigerant within a compressor lead is directly related to the amount of cooling a chiller is able to provide. To keep your facility at the desired temperature, check the level of refrigerant. If your levels are low, your compressor must work overtime to keep conditions at the desired level. To keep your equipment running efficiently, charge the refrigerant when necessary.

Leaks, air, and moisture within the system lower the reliability of your equipment. Ensure these three items are not present.

7. Purge Your Inefficiencies

Air and moisture within the system lower the reliability of your equipment. In fact, non-condensable elements decrease efficiency by 4-7%. Because the evaporators operate in a vacuum, these non-condensable elements are able to leak in. Ensure the air and moisture are at an all-time low by purging.

If you’re looking to improve your #ChillerMaintenance and efficiencies, @RasMech has an article for you. Click To Tweet

8. Compressor Oil Contents

Complete a spectrometric chemical analysis of your lubrication oil annually. Please note pressure chilled systems should be analyzed more often, while magnetic friction chills don’t require this testing as oil has been eliminated from their design. Be sure to read through the results thoroughly to get a full understanding of potential problems as well as oil purity. This analysis will also identify if the oil needs to be replaced.

Bonus tip: If the oil charge is replaced, be sure to also replace the oil filters.

9. Complete This Checklist

Ensuring each part of your chiller is operating both properly and efficiently is key to chiller success. Complete a check of the:

  • Safety and sensor calibrations based on your manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Electrical connections to the chiller.
  • Electrical motor winds.
  • Shaft seal of the open drive motor.
  • Motor cooling air vents.

10. Cut Costs with Variable Frequency Drives (VFD)

Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) motor speed matches the needed load, offering a more cost and energy-efficient way to operate. They also offer a softer start and lower in-rush of current.

Chillers are a complex unit. In tandem with professional help, you’ll be able to keep your unit operating efficiently. Whether you’re in need of a consultation, repair, strategic chiller maintenance, rentals, or parts, we’re here to help. Reach out to the professionals at Rasmussen Mechanical Services to see what we can do for you.

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