Important Things to Keep in Mind When Dismantling a Coolroom

03 December 2018

Hygiene, that’s the very first word and thought that comes to mind when dismantling a coolroom. Procedures have to be discussed and managed, then the operation begins. Are the old insulation panels recyclable? For newer materials, that’s an option. However, older materials, including fibreglass, are not normally recyclable. They absorb moisture. Wet and falling apart, the glassy insulation needs to be disposed of properly.

Obey Proper Disposal Procedures

The first matter of concern is a properly enforced disposal procedure. Older insulation panels need to be scrapped according to all national and international guidelines. For fibreglass, incidentally, it’s okay to just scrap the stuff in sealed bin bags. For refrigerants, the solution is significantly different. We can’t allow this stuff to be vented. The gas can’t be allowed to fade into the atmosphere. Remember, refrigerants, especially the older chemical CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons), are environmentally volatile. They hurt our planet. Safe chemical recovery procedures, as enforced by word of law, must be implemented when refrigerant-loaded coolroom equipment is dismantled.

The Product Dismantling Guidelines

Turning off the gear for the last time, it’s put into defrost mode. For a coolroom that keeps its contents at or about 0°C, this stage may not be required. For enclosures that have icy build-up, that ice melting stage is unavoidable. Drain the meltwater and dry the room. Get the cabinetry and shelves out of the coolroom. Take the powered refrigeration unit out, but only do so after it has been mechanically and electrically isolated. In split systems, carry out a similar action; Isolate the condenser and evaporator coils. To greatly simplify the job, label the parts. Label the vent sections, walls, ceiling panels, and all supplementary components.

The Modular Advantage

Older constructs can’t come out unless they’re forcibly removed by a demolitions company. Unfortunately, the single-piece design won’t budge until a construction mallet and a handful of light construction workers get on-site. For modern units, the refrigeration engineers can turn to the aforementioned item labelling approach. The walls and open surfaces, insulation panels and cooling equipment all assembled modularly, so they dismantle easily. And, unlike the single-piece design, these parts are reusable. Approached by a demolition-minded construction team, those panels face quick and fast execution, which is why the original installation personnel should be on-site to manage the entire project.

That’s right, demolition experts can dispose of refrigerants, and they can take charge of most recycling duties. For the best option, however, a walk-in refrigeration expert should be on-hand. The professionals know just how to remove the refrigerant. They also know which module components can be saved or trashed, and that’s a beyond convenient preference.

Mark Connelly
C&M Coolroom Services
Mobile: 0412 536 315

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