3 Reasons Why Your Refrigeration System Won’t Cool Efficiently

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018
commercial refrigeration maintenance and repair amarillo tx

One of the most common issues that companies request a service technician for is when a space has a temperature that is too warm. The reason for the warm temperatures usually relates to the head and/or suction pressure of the refrigeration system. Even though the system runs cool, it will run inefficiently because it is not properly secured. Your system may also freeze food too often, which causes it to spoil more quickly and freeze slower.

The three most common reasons your refrigeration system will cool inconsistently are a leaking compressor valve, worn compressor rings, and a leaky oil separator. The following can help you understand what may be causing low efficiency in your commercial refrigeration system.

Leaking compressor valve

A compressor valve is self-actuating, meaning changes in pressure cause it to operate without human or computer intervention. However, that also means that if something goes wrong, it is sometimes one of the last places you might check.

A leaky compressor valve can happen from many problems, but the most common include incorrectly set or damaged thermostatic expansion valves and refrigerant issues like flooding or migration. Acids and sludge in the system, moisture, excessive heat, and the slugging of oil or refrigerant can also cause this problem. Most of these issues happen due to inconsistent temperatures in the compressor valve.

If the compressor isn’t kept at the correct temperatures, then the mineral and polyolester oil lubricants could polymerize. Polymerization is a process that refers to the coagulation of oil. The molecules in the lubricant begin to combine into larger molecules. Eventually, you will see a thick, dark sludge. Finally, the sludge will turn into a solid powder. This end product is referred to as “oil breakdown.” An oil breakdown can result in plugged inlets and screens that further damage the compressor.

If the discharge valve isn’t closing or setting properly, it could cause head pressure to be low. The result is refrigerant vapor being forced out of the cylinder and into the discharge line. If you encounter these problems, you should contact an experienced commercial refrigeration technician to help you correct them.

Worn compressor rings

Worn compressor rings will result in many of the same problems as leaking compressor valves. You will see fluctuations in temperature, discharge gases leaking through the rings, and higher than normal suction pressure. These problems are easier to diagnose than leaky compressor valves and can usually be found in a physical inspection of the refrigeration system.

Leaking oil separator

The oil separators in a commercial refrigeration system are simple devices. When the oil level is high enough, the oil return needle is opened, which moves the substance into the crankcase. The pressure differences are what drive the oil needle. However, if the needle or float mechanism is no longer operational, it could allow hot discharge gas to pass into the crankcase. The oil needle can also get stuck in “partial opening” status, which causes the high pressures to transfer into the crankcase rather than to stay in the separator.

Commercial HVAC/R services in the Texas Panhandle

If you encounter any of these problems with your commercial refrigeration system, contact the experts at Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc, in Amarillo Texas. Our technicians specialize in diagnosing and treating commercial HVAC/R systems, among other services. We can inspect your system, repair problems, and help you come up with an inspection and service schedule to keep it operating at peak efficiency. To learn more about our Commercial HVAC/R services, call us today at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us via email. We are available 24 hours a day for your convenience.