Recently we received a call from a large North American distribution company requesting a second opinion as their large nation wide refrigeration provider quoted the replacement of a leaking freezer coil at $35,000.
Through inspection of the coil we were able to cut the leaking pass-out and save the coil. The results ended up saving the customer $27,000 as the repair and refrigerant re-charge cost was only $8,000.
After the repair was completed, we noticed that the rest of the facility’s equipment was also in poor condition. They had very dirty equipment which was not being maintained correctly so we proposed a preventative maintenance contract that the customer was unfortunately not interested in. Fair enough; their business, their choice.
The costs of neglect
A couple of weeks passed before we received a call that the facility maintenance man believed that the unit is low on oil and needs to be topped up. After a thorough inspection, we found that the circuit #1 compressor was dead, and — $21,000 later — the unit was back up and running. Again we mentioned that it may not be a bad idea to get on a proper maintenance schedule, and again the customer was not interested.
A couple of months passed by until we received a call that the facility had a small electrical fire. All we needed was to do some simple repairs to the damaged wiring. Unfortunately, after re-starting the equipment we found one circuit short-cycling, which meant that it was short on refrigerant, and found a leak in the other coil. So we cut the leaking tube out of the evaporator coil and topped the refrigerant charge and all is well.
Again, we flicked the switch to start up other circuit, yet the unit did not turn on. What we found… ouch! At some point the fan blade had broken off and sent the blade flying. This caused the motor to run unbalanced, breaking the motor mounting welds, and dropping straight onto the condenser ripping a hole in the tubes and blowing its charge. Once these repairs were complete the bill totaled $15,000.
Through a quick inspection of the other blades at their facility (twelve in total) we found that three more blades had hairline fractures; meaning that this exact issue would have occurred another three times. Needless to say, this customer is now on a preventative maintenance contract.
Repairs made over the last year at this facility would have been easily prevented through routine maintenance inspections and would have been far less costly than emergency break down repairs. The total for one year of emergency repairs would have covered approximately five years of maintenance checks. We are proud to work with this company to be able to give them the refrigeration service and efficiency that they deserve to continue to run their business without delays and un-needed costly repairs.