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4 Things You Should Check Before Restarting Glycol Chillers

by Donald Woods

It is possible for laypeople to conduct some basic glycol system chiller maintenance, such as topping up the glycol solution when its level drops. However, several precautions have to be taken before the system is restarted. This article discusses some of those checks that you should perform before you restart the chiller system. 

Electrical Connections

You need to verify that all the electrical connections on your glycol system are tight before you restart that chiller. For instance, you should check the electrical connections at the condenser. Tighten any loose connections that you find so that you prevent the system from overheating as it operates.

Storage Tank Status

You also need to make sure that the tank containing the glycol solution has the right quantity of the solution. For instance, one manufacturer may advise that the tank should always be about 80% full. Exceeding this level may cause the system to overflow when the solution heats up and expands. Going below the recommended level can also create opportunities for air to enter the system. Thus, it is important that you confirm that the glycol solution is at the recommended level before you restart the chiller.

Glycol Pump Rotation

It is possible that you may have tampered with the glycol pump during the maintenance project.  Check the rotation of the pump and confirm that it is moving in the direction stipulated in the manual of the chiller. Move the motor with your hands and note the direction in which it moves freely. Restart the chiller once you are sure that the pump will push the fluid in the correct direction.

Mains Energisation

It is usually advisable to turn the power on for several hours before restarting the glycol system chiller. Energising the system before you restart the chiller allows the crankcase heater to vapourise any refrigerant solution that had collected within the crankcase. Such fluids can damage the crankcase in case the chiller is started before they are warm enough. It is therefore advisable for you to let the system to stay energised for the recommended duration so that you don't unwittingly shorten the life of some components by restarting the chiller prematurely.

Each make/model of a glycol system chiller may have additional precautions that one must exercise before restarting the system after it was taken out of service for maintenance work. Follow those guidelines provided. Ask a professional to inspect your chiller periodically so that he or she can advise you about the technical aspects that may be beyond your capacity to handle.