How Long Does an Industrial Chiller Last?

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How Long Does an Industrial Chiller Last?


Are you thinking about buying an industrial chiller for your project? Or perhaps you’re looking for some advice about how you can keep your chiller in good condition. When considering buying or replacing a chiller, worries of life-cycle costs can be overwhelming. It can be a painful inconvenience when something goes wrong with your industrial chiller.

When it comes to choosing a repair contractor, replacing parts, or even just considering the many factors that can impact the endurance and efficiency of these machines, things can get a bit overwhelming.  It’s natural to be concerned about how long your chiller will last when making an investment.

Our Masterflow team is here to help. After reading this article, you will have a better understanding of the factors that influence the lifespan of industrial chillers, and how you can ensure that your chiller stays in good condition.

What is an Industrial Chiller?

Industrial chillers are refrigeration systems that lower the temperature of industrial spaces, machinery and process fluids by removing heat from the system and transferring it somewhere else. Some examples of types of industrial chillers are vapour compressor chillers, vapour absorption chillers, screw chillers and centrifugal chillers. Masterflow’s range of chillers is designed to meet all local and statutory requirements and are available with all the latest and most environmentally friendly refrigerants

Factors that increase the lifespan of an industrial chiller

How does quality affect the lifespan of an industrial chiller?

Without considering quality, it can cost more in the long run if you need to replace faulty parts, request frequent servicing or encounter system failures along the way. It is best to invest in strong and reliable products with a company that’s got your back – as well as a trusted contractor with reputable expertise to keep your chiller operating smoothly long term.

Routine maintenance will increase the lifespan of an industrial chiller

A little bit of effort goes a long way in making sure your industrial chiller stays in good condition. Having your chiller checked every now and again can save time and money in the future. When having a maintenance check done on your industrial chiller, a contractor may look at several things such as:

What routine maintenance should I be doing?

Oil Analysis on Industrial Chiller 

It’s important that your chiller has got the right oil, and that the oil is in good condition. Oil that is in poor condition can impact the miscibility of its lubricant, and contaminated oil can have a very negative impact on the efficiency of your chiller. Having a routine maintenance check will ensure that oil condition is good, and the efficiency of your chiller will not falter.

Eddy Current Testing on Industrial Chiller 

Eddy Current Testing (ECT) is a great non-destructive way of conducting preventative maintenance on your industrial chiller. This can help to detect the presence of corrosion, cracking and stress points in your system before they can be noticed in a visual inspection. By conducting an eddy current test, your contractor can detect flaws in your industrial chiller before they become a larger issue and can figure out what might need to be repaired or if anything needs to be replaced.

ECT should be conducted every three years on the condenser and every five years on the evaporator. It is important to consider different options for detecting holes in your industrial chiller, as ECT can detect corrosion but is not reliable for leak detection. You can check your chiller system for holes with pressurizing or vacuum testing in the vessel.

Vibration Analysis of Industrial Chiller 

When having your routine maintenance check, your contractor should look at the vibration intensity, amplitude, and frequency of vibration caused by rotating equipment. Having a vibration analysis is a good preventative measure because it allows the contractor to inform you of the functions of your industrial chiller which is prone to wear and tear. This can help you to predict failures on your industrial chiller and save you time and money in the long run, so it’s certainly something to keep in mind when having your chiller checked for problems.

A vibration analysis should ideally be conducted bi-annually and will give you an idea of the condition of your chiller’s equipment and prevent deterioration which could add extra repair costs down the line.

Rotor Bar Testing on Industrial Chiller 

If a rotor bar breaks, it won’t often lead to immediate failures in your industrial chiller. However, if left unfixed, this can lead to secondary deterioration in other areas of your chiller’s system which can be cost a lot of time and money. We don’t want this to happen, as we know how pricey it can be to replace the motor in your system. So, we recommend having your rotor bars checked as a part of your routine maintenance. If a broken rotor bar is detected, this will be far less expensive to have repaired than it would be to wait until further damage occurs and a full replacement is unavoidable.

Refrigeration Testing and Correct Operating Pressures on Industrial Chillers 

It’s important to make sure that your refrigerant levels are where they should be for your industrial chiller to function optimally. The refrigerant level requirements will depend on the type of chiller you have. If you’re unsure, give us a call today and speak with one of our specialists to get a better understanding of your system’s refrigerant level requirements.

Your contractor should make sure that the refrigerant levels and operating pressures are aligned with your manufacturer’s unique system requirements – as if the levels are too low, this can cause damage to the condenser tube. You can also have your chiller checked for leaks that may cause your system to lose refrigerant.

Factors that can decrease the lifespan of an industrial chiller

Is my industrial chiller too old?

When assessing the condition of your industrial chiller, your contractor may also consider your chiller’s age. It is true that chillers are intended to be very durable. On average, an industrial chiller can last anywhere between 15 and 20 years. If maintained and serviced regularly, the life of the chiller can increase even more. However, over time the functions of your chiller may begin to decrease, and it may be time to consider replacing it entirely to save yourself repair costs.

Why has my chiller stopped operating?

If your chiller runs into these issues, you should act immediately and call to have your chiller serviced or repaired. Ignoring this issue may lead to an entire system failure and could cost you a lot more money. This could be caused by general pump failure, fluctuating line voltage, or even a pinched process line. Our experts at Masterflow are here to help you assess the issue and advise you on what to do next.

Can a clogged oil filter cause my chiller to stop cooling?

A clogged oil filter may cause your chiller to stop cooling. This is another issue that should be addressed as soon as possible and should also be checked by your contractor during your routine maintenance checks.

Can coolant fluid cause my chiller to stop cooling?

If your coolant fluid is not at the adequate temperature for your chiller’s specific requirements, this may cause your chiller to stop cooling. You can call us to find more information on your system requirements by talking to one of our experts.

My chiller won’t power up

If your industrial chiller is not powering up, it may be for several reasons. Some of the most common reasons for this malfunction are having a faulty fuse, a blown circuit breaker or loose connections in your chiller’s system. We understand this is stressful and are here to help you to troubleshoot your industrial chiller and offer you the best expert advice possible should you end up in this situation.

When should I clean the tubes in my chiller?

Heat transfer efficiency can be negatively impacted by not making sure that your tubes are clean. Dirty tubes cause problems in industrial chillers because they can become blocked with scale, muck, and algae amongst other problematic contaminants. As there is a lot of tubing in industrial chillers, it is very important that these are maintained to a high standard to ensure that your chiller operates optimally. Having your tubes cleaned annually will make your life a lot easier and ensure that your chiller is working as well as it can.

At what point do I need to get my chiller repaired?

If you can see visible signs of damage or corrosion, that’s a good sign that your chiller may need to be repaired. You can also check the performance of your chiller and take note of any strange noises before consulting a professional. Choosing the right repair contractor to take care of your chiller can be daunting. You’ve got to make sure that your repair contractor has your back, is honest and open with you about their skill set, and cares about delivering a top-quality service for your needs. Masterflow has got a strong reputation and proven customer satisfaction history.

We value honesty and integrity and aim to provide our customers with all the information they need as well as the best products and services possible. When choosing a repair contractor, it’s important to feel listened to, valued, understood and above all else taken care of in stressful times where your system may need assistance.

Got More Questions? Call us today!

Call us today to discuss your needs and speak to one of our experts about the options available for your project.