Tag Archives: commercial refrigeration troubleshooting

What Causes Commercial Refrigeration Leaks

There are many reasons why your commercial refrigeration system may be leaking. It could have been improperly installed, or handled poorly during service or maintenance. Some reasons why include:

  • Compressor discharge lines vibrations

Lines or fittings may break due vibrations, with most of a system’s vibrations being on or around the compressor discharge lines.

  • Corrosion

Exposure to certain liquids or condensation may cause corrosion. Copper exposed to anything acidic (including foods that are acidic) will corrode – an evaporator made of copper will develop pinhole leaks. Condensation forming can cause leakage to certain components such as a compressor rack. Cleaning the system with the wrong kind of cleaning material can cause corrosion. It’s very important that the correct cleaning material is used, as not every kind is compatible with every refrigeration system. Make sure technicians cleaning your system use the correct kind.

  • Fittings not tightened well

Threaded or flared fittings can cause leaks if they are under tightened or over-tightened to the point cracks form.

  • Improper Brazing

The brazing alloy used may be the incorrect kind, the metal before the brazing may not have been cleaned properly or the brazing technique was simply faulty, such as the temperature not being distributed well and the metal not melting as it should.

  • Metal contact with tubing

Copper tubing can come in contact with other tubing, or other harder metals such as steel and can rub through the tubing walls.

  • Missing valve caps/seals

Valve stems must have valve caps as well as seal/o-rings to prevent leaking.

  • Retrofitting or different kind of oil or refrigerant used

The parts of a system respond differently to different kinds of refrigerant or oils. If the system is being retrofitted with a new refrigerant or oil, some parts may swell differently than before and will need to be replaced.

  • Stress on tubing

Copper tubing that is not correctly supported will sag, like at 90 degree turns, and cause stress which can lead to lines or fittings to break.

  • Thermal stress

Expansion and contraction of the piping is normal, as the temperature in a refrigeration system is always changing. However, if there is not suitable room for it to expand the fittings supporting the pipe may break. Further more, constant expanding and contraction can affect the sealing of gaskets and seals.

An electronic leak detector may help with determining whether there is a leak or not. Make sure it can detect the same kind of refrigerant your system uses, as there are different types on the market, some that can detect some kinds of refrigerant better than others.

If you think your commercial refrigeration system has a leak, or would like to sign up for our preventative maintenance program please give us a call or contact us today. B & G Refrigeration is licensed by the State of Florida and all of our technicians are qualified to installĀ  and work on your refrigeration system.

Have a great day!