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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thermostatic expansion valves (TXV) are responsible for metering the proper amount of refrigerant into an evaporator coil. When they fail, they either cause the evaporator to be flooded (overfed) or starved (underfed) for refrigerant. Read more and find out how to diagnose a defective TXV.
Less flash gas equals a higher net refrigerating effect and a more efficient system. Many designers reduce the amount of flash gas by additionally subcooling the liquid refrigerant entering the metering device. This lowers the refrigerant temperature; meaning less refrigerant will flash off to cool itself down to the evaporating temperature.
Working safely should be a technician’s No. 1 priority; especially while working around electrical circuits and devices. Electricity is a powerful force that could kill or cause severe harm if mishandled. A technician must always be aware of this potential hazard.
Refrigeration technicians carry refrigerant in non-refillable cylinders on their service vehicles every day. While these cylinders are considered relatively safe, there are some hazards associated with transportation and storage, and when removing refrigerant. Mishandling or improper use can lead to injury and/or property damage.
The required oil charge for a system is basically a factor of the amount of refrigerant in the system and the compressor’s oil pumping rate. The most common method of determining if oil needs to be added to a compressor is to observe the compressor’s oil sight glass. But what if the compressor doesn’t have an oil sight glass?