Although it’s not considered a common problem, a gas leak in your commercial cold room or walk-in freezer can drastically reduce its efficiency. Gas leaks can be problematic in many ways including wasting money and causing other problems in the unit, as well as being a potential health risk for employees.
Detecting leaks in commercial cold rooms and freezers can be a complicated process, so the team at Cold-Rite have put together this guide to spotting the warning signs.
Different Types of Gas Leaks and Their Causes
Previously, commercial and industrial systems used Freon as a refrigerant. This gas is harmful to the environment, especially the ozone layer when it leaks into the atmosphere, so it’s vitally important to identify these leaks early. Modern cold rooms and freezers use Tetrafluoroethane which is a less harmful and more effective refrigerant but it does make it harder to detect leaks.
Leaks can be caused by broken compressor pipes or worn-down gaskets and seals around the door of the unit. The connecting valves in cool rooms and freezers can cause leaks if they haven’t been properly sealed off by an experienced technician.
Detecting a Leak in Your Cold Room or Freezer
It’s very easy to detect a major Freon leak in your cold room or walk-in freezer because it gives off a distinct odour. Slower Freon leaks and Tetrafluoroethane leaks are harder to detect, so if you suspect there could be a leak you should call a repair person who will use specialised gauges and equipment.
Some of the signs you may be experiencing a leak include:
- Inconsistent internal temperatures
- A distinct smell of Freon
- Constant hissing or whirring sounds coming from the motor
- Frozen evaporator coils
- Unusually high power bills
Don’t Always Assume it’s a Gas Leak
Many people who rely on commercial cool rooms and walk-in freezers for their business are quick to assume their problems are caused by a gas leak. This is a common misconception, and a loss of cooling power can be caused by ice build-up around the coils, trapped dirt and debris, bad electrical connections, and many other issues. A qualified professional will be able to inspect the cool room or freezer and identify the cause of the problems.
When you can smell a Freon leak, there’s a good chance your commercial cool room or freezer is about to run out of gas because it only has limited stores. A gas leak isn’t dangerous in the way that a natural gas leak is because it isn’t continuous, and it will dissipate over time. The main issue with Freon leaks is the environmental effects of CFC refrigerants (link to new article 6)
Book Your Repairs and Maintenance with Cold-Rite
If you believe your equipment is suffering from a gas leak, speak to Cold-Rite about our technical repairs. You can also schedule preventative maintenance to avoid these kinds of problems in the future! Get in touch with us online and we’ll get back to you.