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Thread: OIL MUD

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    104

    OIL MUD

    Have you ever had a copeland oil pick up screen so dirty it looked like mud? I had to scrap it off with a screwdriver it was so bad. The screen actually split. I'm guessing that's how it kept running. My question is cleaning the screen and changing the oil I'm assuming isn't enough. I would assume the whole bottom of the sump is full of this mud substance. Anybody see this before?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
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    25,765
    Quote Originally Posted by mjm88 View Post
    Have you ever had a copeland oil pick up screen so dirty it looked like mud? I had to scrap it off with a screwdriver it was so bad. The screen actually split. I'm guessing that's how it kept running. My question is cleaning the screen and changing the oil I'm assuming isn't enough. I would assume the whole bottom of the sump is full of this mud substance. Anybody see this before?

    I've seen some pretty bad ones. Don't think I've seen a split screen, though.


    What I have done are the following.

    I have tried flushing fresh oil through the sump. This will remove SOME of the sludge

    I have done a second oil change a day or two later. This will carry out more.


    I have not taken the step of taking the bottom plate off in the field, though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Bay Area California
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    1,123
    That's sort of an interesting dilemma. If the unit is still on line, and you try cleaning that sludge, you could make the problem worse. Yet, if you don't do anything, and the compressor dies, then it's on you. Tough call.

    What kind of oil is it? Is it a unit that was converted from mineral to POE? I did this one conversion during a compressor change then checked on the unit a few days later and the oil was black. I was quite alarmed. This was in the early days when POE was first being widely used.

    I made a bunch of phone calls and learned about the scrubbing qualities of the POE oil. So I did a couple of oil changes until it was coming out clean. Still, it kinda freaked me out. No sludge that I'm aware of though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    104
    It's AB oil, I've seen dirty screens before I've just never seen it so bad it had to be scraped off. I'm curious what all the sludge came from?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    104
    It was converted from mineral oil and 502 to AB oil and 408a. This was years ago it was converted. It must have had oil issues in the past as someone put an oil separator in it. I just think if the sump is full of sludge. What does the rest of the system look like, and stirring all that up might start causing blocked TXV screens.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    11
    I have seen some really dirty screens. Like in your case I was surprised there was any way for gas to get back to compressor. I ended up first pulling all the screens on the rack and cleaning them, including the oil pump screens and oil float screens. Replaced all LL drier cores and suction filters. Also dropped the bottom plate on the oil seperator and cleaned it as my rack was also having oil feed issues. Changed oil and oil filters. Let the rack run for 1 week and returned to do it all over again. Again let rack run one week this time screens were clean and I only had to change oil and oil filters. After the third oil change oil quality was back to an acceptable level. I only had 2 txv screens plug up during the process. It was a lot of work to get it cleaned up though. Hope this helps, good luck.

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