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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    In my head
    Posts
    213

    De-icing coils in grocery stores

    Hi,

    Does anybody have any advice on how to de ice evaporator drain pans FAST in grocery stores and supercenters? What do you do when the condensate is pumped out and can't handle the amount of water you need to put down the drain to de ice the coil?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    11
    Heat gun, torch, warm water. A senior tech taught me a trick. Unit off, hook up your guages and equalize the pressure on high and low side should speed things up. Take drain out of condensate pump and place in bucket or other large container, recirculate this water until ice is gone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Cochrane, AB
    Posts
    572
    Nothing beats hot water, and a shop vac will replace a condensate pan. (18v vac is great)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    florida
    Posts
    466
    I also do the shop vac with very hot water in a pump up sprayer, if you circulate the water wouldn't it get too cold to be as effective ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    24,938
    Been playing with an idea that kinda works.

    Got a smallish submersible pump from Lowes that I carry in the truck. When I've got to deice a case and can't run hoses to it, I'll put a large trash barrel on a cart, fill it with hot water and drop the pump in.

    Pressure and flow rate isn't quite as good as you get with a standard garden hose, but it is adequate for the job. Better hose helps that a LOT.

    Drawback. Leaving the pump idle in a barrel of HOT water tends to cause thermal overload trips.

    I suppose that this rig could be modified to work in a walk-in by draining the coil into the bucket and just using the same water supply. Yeah, it'll get cold eventually, but cold water still melts ice.


    I also like to use the hot water to "cut" the ice into manageable chunks and remove it from the case rather than melting all of it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    24,938

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    4,188
    they make shop vacs with a built in pump that you can connect a garden hose to. They work awesome for these situations.


    I was once thawing out a case that was solid ice while some guys were steam cleaning the butcher section with a high pressure hot water/steam cleaner. He saw me bumbling around with my hot water garden hose and came over with his diesel powered steam gun and blasted all the ice away in less than 5 minutes. it was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. I slipped him a $20 bill

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    In my head
    Posts
    213
    A pump!!!!! Great idea!!! No more 200ft of garden hose strung across the floor with managers and employees complaining. I'm totally going to buy one. Wonder how hot I could get the water before tripping the pump on thermal OL....wonder if they make hot water submersible pumps?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    mid-Tennessee
    Posts
    580
    Quote Originally Posted by craig1 View Post
    I was once thawing out a case that was solid ice while some guys were steam cleaning the butcher section with a high pressure hot water/steam cleaner. He saw me bumbling around with my hot water garden hose and came over with his diesel powered steam gun and blasted all the ice away in less than 5 minutes. it was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. I slipped him a $20 bill
    I always wondered how much more effective steam would be!

    The pump is a great idea! However, hot water or cold...water is still much more effective than a heat gun. Water carries far more BTU than air.
    Gotta be careful if using a torch. I never used one to defrost, but we had a tech who did and had done some damage to the coils that our company ended up having to pay for to replace.

    Now I've never been convinced that hot water was so much more better (more better...?) than regular, room temperature tap water. The difference in BTUs per lb of water isn't huge factor (only 65 BTU difference between 75 to 140ish degrees) compared to the fact that you're delivering still 144 BTU of latent heat of melting per lb of water IF the water you're using was a frigid 32 degrees. (At 75 degrees? 144+43 more=187 total BTU per lb of water you sprayed with your pump up)
    Still, I've always felt I was getting it done a bit faster with hot water over cold.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    In my head
    Posts
    213
    Quote Originally Posted by ECtofix View Post
    Still, I've always felt I was getting it done a bit faster with hot water over cold.
    I like hot water to kind of cut a channel to the drain. If the drain is iced too, I'll use my turbotorch on it for a few minutes. If anyone knows a better way, I'm all ears.

    But you're right; trying to use a torch or heat gun on an iced coil is a total waste of time.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    florida
    Posts
    5,495
    I use a sump pump with a 8' garden hose with a spray handle. Oh and hot water.
    I love the smell of phosgene first thing in the morning:

    To apply for professional membership click here


    Educational forums are open.

    If you would like to submit a link or an article or other related info to the EF. click here

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    24,938
    Quote Originally Posted by Servicerunner View Post
    A pump!!!!! Great idea!!! No more 200ft of garden hose strung across the floor with managers and employees complaining. I'm totally going to buy one. Wonder how hot I could get the water before tripping the pump on thermal OL....wonder if they make hot water submersible pumps?
    Like I said, my pump tends to trip on thermals if I leave it in the hot water too long.

    Mine is also a fairly inexpensive pump that I bought at Lowes to help dry out my basement after a sump pump failure. Perhaps a pump of better quality would run better in the hot water.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    florida
    Posts
    5,495
    Mine is from harbor freight and will last through 3-4 big trash cans before tripping on ol.
    I love the smell of phosgene first thing in the morning:

    To apply for professional membership click here


    Educational forums are open.

    If you would like to submit a link or an article or other related info to the EF. click here

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