Tools and Equipment

Preventing Copeland Refrigeration Compressor Failure

“The compressor is bad.” These are words no business owner wants to hear. Copeland refrigeration compressors can eventually fail and it can be devastating to any company or organization trying to stay under budget. Commercial refrigeration units work very hard and must operate 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. However, there are things you can do to help eliminate common issues with your cooling equipment.

Eliminating Excessive Heat Buildup

Heat is one of the biggest enemies of compressors. When heat builds up it can cause oil in the unit to lose its viscosity and break down. This results in limited lubrication and can cause compressor components like pistons and seals to wear out prematurely. Two things are responsible for most heat related failures, dirt and refrigerant leaks. Let’s take a closer look at these issues.

Dirty Coils

It is absolutely essential to keep both condenser and evaporator coils clean to keep Copeland refrigeration compressors in good condition. For example, the condenser coils are there to condense heat (which has been removed from the unit). Cooling is accomplished by removing heat and not by creating cold air. Heat has to escape (from the condenser coils) and dirt interferes with their ability to release heat. As a result, heat builds up inside the compressor and this starts a chain reaction of events, leading to ultimate failure.

Evaporator coils are essential for refrigerant to change from liquid to gas. A basic principle of refrigeration states, “evaporating gas cools”. As the refrigerant evaporates it removes heat from the surrounding areas, and takes it to the condenser coils, where it escapes as the refrigerant condenses back into liquid. This scenario plays out over and over again in most refrigeration or cooling systems.

Regular maintenance with cleanings will help to keep Copeland refrigeration compressors in good condition. Your technician will make sure all components are clean and also inspect the unit for possible trouble. Plus, condenser coils can usually be accessed by employees for routine cleaning and this should be part of someone’s weekly or monthly job duties. Your technician may recommend installing a high pressure switch which shuts the system down before the compressor is damaged. This way, you can clean the coils and put the unit back into service, without problems.

Refrigerant Leaks

If your commercial refrigeration system has a refrigerant leak, fix it as soon as you can. Adding more refrigerant will help but as the compressor becomes low of refrigerant it also loses its ability to lubricate inner components. This creates added friction which leads to increased heat inside the compressor.

Remember, keep the coils clean and take care of leaks promptly and well-made Copeland refrigeration compressors should last you for many years.

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