Industrial Refrigeration – Problems with Oil Draining Procedures

If you want to keep your ammonia cooling system running well and in good condition, it’s important to change the oil occasionally. This is a standard maintenance procedure, but unfortunately, several things can go wrong with the process. Here are some important reasons to leave this kind of work to experienced industrial refrigeration contractors or services.

The Dangers of Oil Draining

There are no automated systems for draining refrigerant oil. It has to be done by hand. When you drain oil from a system, you have a pressure differential to consider. The oil is usually at a higher pressure than the atmosphere, and depending on where you drain the oil, the pressure can be very high.

As oil drains, it will contain some ammonia, and when the ammonia reaches atmospheric pressure, it expands. As ammonia expands it cools the oil and this can cause the oil to thicken considerably as it drains. This makes the oil drain very slowly.

Industrial refrigeration contractors understand that oil draining can be a slow process. However, the inexperienced maintenance person may see that the oil draining has slowed and he may open the drain valve more to speed up the process. This may be a huge mistake.

At some point, the oil ceases to flow from the drain valve and ammonia gas escapes into the air. This can create a serious health hazard.

OSHA Compliance

To make sure that safety procedures are followed, always wear protective gear and remember these things:

* Oil draining should not be done alone.

* Make sure workers have adequate training.

* Perform maintenance after hours.

* Always shut the system down first.

* Have emergency plans in place

To make sure you keep your workplace safe, it’s best to use qualified Industrial refrigeration contractors for maintenance and repairs. They have the necessary training, equipment, and knowledge for the work.


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