A kitchen staff member has just reported a dripping freezer. The unit in question is creating a small pool on the floor. There’s no way that freezer is reaching the right temperature. Alarm bells go off in the kitchen manager’s head. If the equipment isn’t keeping its contents frozen, a dangerous hygiene jeopardizing incident could be brewing. Quick, time is of the essence, what’s causing the warming effect?
A Damaged Thermostat
Check the obvious causal factors before calling out an engineer. But be quick about it, this issue can’t be allowed to continue. Is the thermostat set at the right temperature? In degrees Celsius, we’re looking for a digital readout that sinks below 0°C. That’s 32°F for those who use the Fahrenheit scale. Use a mental checklist to explore all possible options. If the power has been knocked out, reset the circuit breaker. If it trips again, the problem is electrical, so call the engineer.
Seek Out Insulation Trouble
This next problem requires sleuthing skill. If the door seal is damaged, the freezer can’t maintain its cooling envelope. By the way, this particular defect could be causing the circuit breaker problems. After all, the appliance compressor works harder when the enclosure warms. As that electrical unit labours ever harder, more electrical power is consumed. The result of this off-kilter battle is either a high power bill or a damaged compressor. Again, if that circuit breaker is tripping, call in an engineer. By chance, has a staff member been leaving the freezer door open? Sometimes the simplest solution is to ask around for more information.
Cracking the Mechanical Issues
Dirty condenser coils are next. The heat exchange process works splendidly when the appliance coils are clean, but a thick layer of grime saps performance. It may involve a little acrobatics, but can someone see the dirt on the coils. Are there cobwebs and filth on the underside of the compressor unit? If there is, that’s another hygiene blunder, an oversight that must be immediately addressed. Alternatively, a low refrigerant charge means there’s insufficient chemical power in the system. The only recourse, once more, is to call in a local refrigeration engineer.
Freezer dripping incidents cause much consternation. Is the fluid water? It probably is melted ice, but it could also be freon. Refrigerant chemicals can damage the environment, so shut everything down. The cooling unit is also running continuously, but the temperature isn’t dropping, so that refrigerant level has definitely dropped. However, if the dripping liquid is water, try those common-sense solutions first. If they don’t yield results, the chamber insulation or electrical circuitry likely requires professional attention.
Cables carry electricity. If they’re not conducting power, they’re supporting a load or retaining something. Just to mix things up a little, FLX self-regulating heater cables shy away from both of these applications. As the title implies, this type of stranded wiring is designed to emit thermal energy, which makes the product an ideal match for the coolroom industry. That being said, how do these self-regulating strands work?
An introduction to Basic Electrical Principles
What if we designed a circuit that was built to make heat? Well, it turns out this electrical part has been around for a long time. Look at the electrical elements on a common cooker. These are resistive wires. Coated with a copper sheath and a fine layer of magnesium oxide powder, coiled electrical elements glow red hot when they cook and boil things. An FLX self-regulating cable uses this same principle, but the emitted heat is meant only for freeze protection, not cooking.
Designing A Freeze Protection Solution
A cable coils around a pipe. It’s hooked into the power supply, but the current flowing in the line is slight. Used in a walk-in freezer, the resistive energy produces a slender 10°C heat envelope around the strands, so all nearby contact surfaces retain an above zero temperature level. Remember, the sudden entrance of warm outdoor air, perhaps due to a door opening, tends to cause icy sticking. The air melts the ice, it hardens when the door closes, and it refuses to open the next time someone needs entrance into the freezer. By mounting FLX self-regulating cabling around the door frame, this ice sticking problem is solved.
Where’s Does The Self-Regulating Feature Enter?
Electrical principles regulate the wire. Inside that wire, twin cables are separated by a special plastic core. If the ambient temperature drops, the special plastic conducts more efficiently. Then, if the outside temperature rises, the plastic becomes an insulator. It’s a clever trick, one that ensures this heating cable can control its output without requiring the services of a bulky circuit thermostat.
Five layers of self-regulating wires and insulation shape FLX heating cables. An outer layer of plastic covers a metal braid. Under that woven copper, there’s another jacket of plastic insulation. Below these flexible layers, the real heating magic exists. It’s in here that the insulating plastic core and twin rail wires produce just enough self-regulating heat to stop a freezer door from jamming. Used in pipes, underfloor conduits, and more, this self-limiting feature makes the simple cabling a desirable freeze protection accessory.
C&M Coolrooms can create a custom solution for your specific needs. Talk to one of team members today.