Pressure relief vents in cool rooms are designed to create a work-amicable relationship between tired employees and stubborn, large-scale coolrooms. If that explanation stops just short of clarifying the mechanical component, picture it as a coolroom access assistant, a device that overcomes pressure differentials. Here’s a deeper look into the functions that define this atmospheric equalizer.
Low-Pressure Walk-in Conditions
When the locking clasp of a coolroom door is disengaged, instinct says we should pull. Curiously, there’s a suction effect that needs to be overcome before the door moves outwards. The larger the door, the stronger this effect becomes. So what do the walk-in cool room designers have to say about this phenomenon? They talk about air seals and fans, suction side pressures and the cooling air that makes airborne molecules condense. In short, the sealed enclosure maintains a lower pressure environment because of that seal and the refrigeration unit chugging away inside the closed chamber.
Pressure Relief Vents: What are they?
If that pressure differential is to be mechanically equalized, a feature-rich walk-in freezer or equally well-equipped walk-in cooling unit will come preinstalled with an atmosphere-balancing pressure relief vent. Assembled from springs and metal sleeves, plus an electric element to stop the mechanism from freezing, the venting device relieves pressure differentials. As the atmospheric variance is negated, the enclosure door then opens effortlessly. Therefore, primarily, this is an access assisting vent, a low-pressure valve that equalizes inside and outside pressure discrepancies. However, that primary feature is accompanied by another important function, one that will be explained in the next paragraph.
Additional Functions for Pressure Relief Vents
If this spring-loaded device helps to address low-pressure coolroom conditions, what other functions could it be squeezing into its feature list? Well, pressure relief vents also reduce walk-in enclosure stress. Think of it, the pressure offset caused by the cooling mechanism places a strain on the seams and joints of the cooling chamber. The parts expand a little, then they contract. Over time, those seams will split. Energy leakage is next, plus a corresponding breakdown of panel insulation as the moist air escapes into those seams. The pressure relief vent earns its middle descriptor here, for it really does “relieve” pressure-induced stress.
Described as self-regulating environment equalizers, these vents serve as door balancing aids. They assist tired operators by reducing the force required to open and then close the seal. Next on the function sheet, pressure relieving vents minimize seam and joint stress, which means the walk-in unit will work at its operational best for years to come.
Just for the last few minutes, you’ve watched water dripping. It’s inside your biggest freezer, this wet drizzle, inside a space you diligently clean all the time. What’s in that dripping water? Is it clean? It can’t be left to pool and become a bacteria-populated wet spot, a puddle that darkens with dirt as foot traffic ploughs through it, so how do you stop that steady drip?
A mess of towels and rags on a cool room floor isn’t something anyone wants to see. This is a wet patch, an area that’s an ideal breeding ground for mould. If the water is beading and gathering itself into rivulets, condensation is a likely culprit. First of all, such problems are usually traced back to obvious explanations. Don’t keep the freezer door open for an extended period of time. If the staff has learned this little nugget of information, then there may be a problem with the door seal. Have that seal inspected by an expert technician. Another moisture culprit in your freezer, the evaporator coil, causes excess moisture when there’s an icy build-up. Maintenance is the likely remedy this time. Clear the coil drainage channel of dirt and ice, then test the cooling unit to see if it’s still producing excess water.
Freezer Drip Cure-Alls
The diagnosis of an unbalanced refrigeration unit or a faulty door gasket takes us halfway through the battle. The water drip is definitely on its last legs, so where do we go from here? Before you wipe up the puddle with soapy detergent, check the chamber defrost gutters and the drainage pans in and around the refrigeration appliance. Due to the nature of that latter clean-up task, this job is best left to a qualified refrigeration engineer, someone who can safely remove a housing cover and wipe away the moisture, plus the dirt that’s accumulated in that pool. Next, water is attracted to easy-access pathways, so they’ll use the seams of your freezer instead of the built-in drainage channels when they’re overly exposed. Older models suffer from this flaw when the caulking in the enclosure seams break down. Consider a recaulking job if those seams continue to funnel condensates.
A mucky puddle, produced by some unknown dripping water source, draws dirt and mould like some frosty magnet. Trace the cause of this liquid rivulet, if possible. Keep the freezer door closed, replace the gasket, and generally have the compartment inspected for energy leakage. Then, if the problem repeats, incorporate a predictive planned maintenance program into your freezers’ operational schedule, one that’ll keep the refrigeration unit’s inner workings balanced and moisture-free.
C&M Coolrooms can create a custom solution for your specific needs. Talk to one of team members today.