Tools Talk: Seal of approval


15 October 2018
Scott Davies, UK sales director for JAVAC UK, explains why there is no system downtime for plugging leaks with Spectroline Cool Seal.

Moisture entering an ACR system through leaks in condensers, evaporators, O-rings or hoses can quickly create irreversible damage. 

When moisture enters a system, the refrigerant can degrade and turn into acid, meaning damage is inevitable. Poorly maintained systems where leaks are not repaired or damage is not rectified can lose energy efficiency and cooling capacity, resulting in costly repairs.

Moisture only appears in the system if it has not been commissioned properly or if a leak has appeared over time due to the age of the system or poor maintenance. If a leak is difficult to get at to repair, sealants are designed to seal the leaks, allowing out of date, out of warranty systems to continue for as long as possible before additional repair/replacement is required.

Traditional polymer sealants have been known to damage ACR systems and contractor tools during their use. They have also been known to affect the performance of manifolds and gauges, vacuum pumps and refrigerant recovery machines due to their toxicity.

Oil viscosity, foaming and wear properties are all taken into account when qualifying refrigerant oils for systems, so much care needs to be taken when introducing a foreign substance into systems such as sealants as they can have damaging effects. Cool Seal is made with an oil soluble formula, meaning that it works alongside compressor oil in harmony and doesn’t damage the system. 

Stick capsules
Products such as Cool Seal have introduced stick capsules which can be connected directly to manifolds and gauges, meaning engineers can charge the product into the system alongside refrigerant, whilst the system is running - meaning no system down time at all. By putting the compound in when charging the system and sealing any leaks straight away, engineers can avoid degassing or pressure testing the system and spending time finding a leak.

Current sealants on the market generally come in one size fits all sizes. When commissioning a 14kw system, the current options of sealant in a 5kw-17kw one shot formulation means that sealant is wasted as it cannot be reused. A new method of injecting sealant whereby engineers can use a stick capsule is much easier to manage and reduces waste. For example, if a unit is 14kw, by using a stick capsule that is suitable for a 7kw unit, an engineer would use 2 sticks meaning that nothing is wasted, unlike current options.
A sealant that stays in the system without damaging it also means that the system is protected against future leaks.
This new method of leak sealing means that engineers ultimately save time and money on site and the system will get back on its feet quicker and last for longer.
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