Articles by Joe Marchese

Ice Breaker: What Frosted Suction Lines Don't Tell You

Actually, frost on the suction line only indicates that at the location where the frost is present, the suction line piping is below the dew point temperature of the surrounding ambient air and at or below 32°F. That’s it. It is neither an indication of a properly operating system nor a system defect.
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Ice Breaker: Brazing Tips for the Technician

The process of brazing ACR tubing is a common task for many refrigeration technicians. Although this is relatively simple, there are some system problems that can occur if some basic brazing procedures are not followed.
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Ice Breaker: Testing Your Tools to Make Sure They Work

Accurately troubleshooting and repairing refrigeration systems requires technicians to use many specialty instruments. They base many of their diagnoses on what is read from these instruments. Relying on them to be consistently accurate day in and day out is a must. If these tools are inaccurate, more than likely the diagnoses will be inaccurate.
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Ice Breaker: Tricks of the Trade

While repairing refrigeration equipment, technicians sometimes come up with unique methods of solving problems. Many of these are used again and again and become known as “tricks of the trade.” When a bunch of technicians get together, they oftentimes enjoy sharing new tricks they learned or developed recently. It’s like a badge of honor.
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Ice Breaker: Oil Management

When multiple compressors are piped together with a common suction and discharge header - such as with the arrangement of a parallel rack configuration - oil return to each compressor is a major concern. Typical oil recirculation rates are dependent on three factors.
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Ice Breaker: Generic Refrigeration Maintenance Tips

The actual frequency and tasks performed will vary from system to system. However, here are some generic maintenance tasks which can be applied to many refrigeration systems. These tasks can be divided into two groups: one for maintaining the cabinet and one for maintaining the refrigeration system.
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Ice Breaker: The Difficult Service Call

We all, at one time or another, come upon a system that is quite difficult to repair or to troubleshoot. This can be a very stressful experience. Different technicians have different ways of handling this stress. Some throw tools. Some talk to themselves. A better way of handling this stress is to first take a break.
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Ice Breaker: System Charging for Flooded Condensers

Refrigeration systems utilizing an outdoor air-cooled condenser located in an area where the outdoor temperature can drop below approximately 70°F must be designed to prevent the system’s discharge pressure from dropping too low. There are several different methods that can be used to accomplish this task.
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Ice Breaker: Testing Capacitors

Many single-phase motors used on refrigeration systems will incorporate some type of capacitor. They will either use a start capacitor or a run capacitor. Some motors will even use both. Troubleshooting the operation of these motors requires a technician to know how to test both run and start capacitors.
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Ice Breaker: Diagnosing a Restricted Capillary Tube

Although a capillary tube can become totally restricted, a far more common problem is when it becomes partially restricted, allowing some refrigerant to flow into the evaporator but not enough to satisfy the requirements of the system. This seemingly easy problem to diagnose is actually rather tricky at times.
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