Servicing Water-Cooled Condenser

  • Water removes heat from metal surfaces about 15 times more rapidly than air.
  • Therefore, water cooled condensers are much smaller than air cooled condensers.
  • A common problem with water cooled condensers, however, is formation of deposits from water on the tubing walls.
  • These scale deposits act as an insulating layer, causing lack of proper heat transfer for condensing of refrigerant.
  • This causes high refrigerant discharge pressures and loss of refrigeration capacity.
  • When condenser tubes have hard lime or iron scale they may be cleaned with an acid solution.
  • The procedure is as sketched as below.
  • Water-Cooled Condenser Cleaning diagram
  • Caution: always wear goggles and rubber gloves when using an acid solution.
  • The pump must be designed for acid solutions (see figure 2).
  • Use of plastic pipe or tubing is recommended. Warm solutions will work best, but do not heat above a warm temperature.
  • Mix warm water and acid according to container instructions (usually 10 parts water to one part acid).
  • Circulate acid mixture through condenser for 15-30 minutes.
  • Remember acid is corrosive so do not circulate longer than 1 hour.
  • A ‘tee’ fitting could be installed in the inlet and outlet of the condenser water circuit for future condenser cleaning.

For more information about Cleaning Water-Cooled Condenser call the Advantage Service Department at 317-887-0729.

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