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  1. #1
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    Moth balled site



    Hi all hope your well and business is good.

    We have a large site containing around 65 systems. Unfortunately certain areas of site have been moth balled due to budget issues. Anyway this means the areas will no longer be occupied and so the aircon stood unused for a unknown period of time. My question is what's best practice can the units be isolated and left or is there a specific procedure to follow. I am aware that if the system requires a leak check under F Gas then this still has to be done. Is there anything else ? A large percentage of the systems are on R22. Cheers



  2. #2
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    Re: Moth balled site

    Just a few immediate ideas:

    Might be worth considering the reclaim of refrigerant from the systems so annual/bi-annual visits unnecessary - probably depends of how many years and visits involved, I guess.

    The R22 systems would be a problem if you do that, of course. You'd be unable to put it back in and new kit needed on recommissioning.

    Isn't there something about leaving a system unused, can cause seals to give after a while (ie leaks). If so that would imply a higher frequency of leaks/lost refrig.

    I recently spotted plastic sheet-bags that people would fit over condensers. Nicely fitting etc. Presumably when the systems were not being used: ) I wondered at their popularity... but this might be something to consider in your mothballing.

    More for bigger aircon plant, if you power off the electrics suggest labels to warm up any crankcase heaters when re-commissioning.
    Last edited by Makeit go Right; 22-05-2019 at 07:44 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Moth balled site

    Hi Kirky,

    Here's a worst case since you didn't provide any more than "aircon stood unused for a unknown period of time":
    As you probably know, the absolute worst thing you can do to a refrigeration plant is to shut it down and leave it be over a longer period of time.

    O-rings, seals, gaskets and even threaded fittings will dry out and start leaking when they are not lubricated by the oil that is carried around the system while it's running.

    Compressor and motor bearings will get "seating damage" unless they are rotated every now and then (once every 2 weeks, minimum once a month"

    Evaporator and condenser fans often has a zinc or aluminum body, they will start corroding and will probably seize unless they are run.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    It would be nice to know what kind of Aircon units we are talking about? is it larger systems connected to a central airhandling unit? or is it smaller split units?

    I'm kind of leaning towards it being several smaller units, since you are saying there are 65 of them.

    so if it's smaller units, pump them down and contain the refrigerant in the condensing units.
    -Cheers-

    Tycho

  4. #4
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    Re: Moth balled site

    Pump down sounds better than reclaim all the gas, thinking about it. Add say 8-10yrs in stasis, maybe R410a will be a banned refrigerant by then (gulp) and all that plant will be snookered from recharging. If still in the system (condenser), customer should be able to continue using the kit, as was case with R22.

  5. #5
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    Re: Moth balled site

    Yes all units stand alone splits. My client has recently taken over the lease but only intend to use a skeleton crew and so a very small amount of the aircon will be utilised approx 10 of the 65. Obviously they don't want to spend money needlessly so cant see them doing anything they don't have to. I will suggest pumping down the unused systems but if not legally obliged cant see they going for it. Cheers

  6. #6
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    Re: Moth balled site

    Just an observation,
    If the building is leased (and the units were existing) there may be an obligation to maintain them and keep records.
    Client would need to check the Lease, otherwise they may be faced with a large bill for replacements later.

  7. #7
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    Re: Moth balled site

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirky View Post
    Yes all units stand alone splits. My client has recently taken over the lease but only intend to use a skeleton crew and so a very small amount of the aircon will be utilised approx 10 of the 65. Obviously they don't want to spend money needlessly so cant see them doing anything they don't have to. I will suggest pumping down the unused systems but if not legally obliged cant see they going for it. Cheers
    I'd leave them as is, if you cover them up you are just trapping moisture inside, probably best to pump them down, but don't know any laws that says that has to be done other than periodic leaktesting
    -Cheers-

    Tycho

  8. #8
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    Re: Moth balled site

    Because they are R22, what are UK laws on that these days?

  9. #9
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    Brian_UK is offline Moderator I am starting to push the Mods: of RE Site Moderator : and general nice guy
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    Re: Moth balled site

    Quote Originally Posted by RANGER1 View Post
    Because they are R22, what are UK laws on that these days?
    They can run but you can't put a gauge on them.

    If you connect a gauge then the next action is recovery of the refrigerant for safe disposal.
    Brian - Newton Abbot, Devon, UK
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