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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anytown USA
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    2,060
    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    We came to the conclusion that a power washer IS the way to go. Some experience and watching one of us quickly gets the new guys up to speed on how to use it without damaging the fins.

    We use blue alkali cleaner, such as Nu-Brite, one part cleaner and two parts water. You have to play with the mixing valve a little to get that ratio.

    Perhaps THE most important part is learning how to split the multiple player coils. Two layers are frequently used, but some Tranes have three layers.

    Rinsing until clear water with no bubbles runs off is paramount.

    Green cleaner is usually OK for the evaps, but bad ones really need blue cleaner as well. I use sheet metal and a shop vac to keep foam from going down the return air duct.
    Thats exactly whats done at the company i work at.

    Sucks for the coil cleaner kids, sometimes they have to run 500ft of hose, but it needs to be done..

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    East Coast FL
    Posts
    1,058
    Quote Originally Posted by y7turbo View Post
    Thats exactly whats done at the company i work at.

    Sucks for the coil cleaner kids, sometimes they have to run 500ft of hose, but it needs to be done..


    Must be nice Turbo! I work for a smaller shop , and if I dont clean them myself , it wont get done.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,295
    I have seen many units coils destroyed by some dumbass using a pressure washer. I simply use nu-brite and a water hose with nozzle on the end. Have never had to use a pressure washer on any of the coils I have cleaned and I clean many restaurants coils that are sometimes caked in cooking grease/oil. Sorry, but I think that a pressure washer is an uneeded tool. Sometimes on the dirtier coils I have to apply nubrite 2x to get them clean. If you have a unit that is so terribly bad that you for some reason find it necessary to use a power washer RUN! Your going to run into more problems down the road with those units since no one has maintained them in x number of years. Not worth my time.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anytown USA
    Posts
    2,060
    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroTolerance View Post
    I have seen many units coils destroyed by some dumbass using a pressure washer. I simply use nu-brite and a water hose with nozzle on the end. Have never had to use a pressure washer on any of the coils I have cleaned and I clean many restaurants coils that are sometimes caked in cooking grease/oil. Sorry, but I think that a pressure washer is an uneeded tool. Sometimes on the dirtier coils I have to apply nubrite 2x to get them clean. If you have a unit that is so terribly bad that you for some reason find it necessary to use a power washer RUN! Your going to run into more problems down the road with those units since no one has maintained them in x number of years. Not worth my time.
    Think what you want, pressure washers are perfectly fine in the right hands and do a superior job of cleaning coils.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Dry as a bone Tucson
    Posts
    4,303

    1 week

    Quote Originally Posted by eddiegoodfellar View Post
    Thank for the reply i was picturing something like this for some reason....


    http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brows...amCleaners.jsp
    I guess that shark would work, if you had a week to do it. That is to do "1" coil.
    Some Talk, Some Do
    "keeping condensing pressures low and evaporator pressures high"
    "Some customers are more interested in comfort than energy savings"
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  6. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    18,357
    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroTolerance View Post
    I have seen many units coils destroyed by some dumbass using a pressure washer. I simply use nu-brite and a water hose with nozzle on the end. Have never had to use a pressure washer on any of the coils I have cleaned and I clean many restaurants coils that are sometimes caked in cooking grease/oil. Sorry, but I think that a pressure washer is an uneeded tool. Sometimes on the dirtier coils I have to apply nubrite 2x to get them clean. If you have a unit that is so terribly bad that you for some reason find it necessary to use a power washer RUN! Your going to run into more problems down the road with those units since no one has maintained them in x number of years. Not worth my time.

    I feel your pain.

    1) We make sure everyone is fully checked out on the washer before they are let loose with it. Even if they are a dumbass.

    2) We get a lot of new accounts that are in terrible shape, so "running" is not an option. We do what is needed, whenever that happens.

    3) Some units can get the handheld sprayer and a hose. Those are rare for us.

    In our area, we see more hail damage than pressure washer damage. When we find a really bent-over coil, we submit a very high estimate, such as a coil replacement, and they find some numbskull who will spend an hour with a fin comb on each unit. We have too many service calls to go down that road.

    And, we write the units up for hail guards.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

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  7. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    East Coast FL
    Posts
    1,058
    Quote Originally Posted by y7turbo View Post
    Think what you want, pressure washers are perfectly fine in the right hands and do a superior job of cleaning coils.

    Great success here with small electric pressure washer , 90 degree end works awesome on RTU evaps that are really dirty and slimy with algae or whatever plant life grows in there. If your talking a 4 row coil (or more) , than you need pressure to clean all the way through! Just cleaning the inlet face is not doing the whole job. Common sense and skill applies , of course. I dont use it on every job but it has its application. There was a school that had many many air handlers in closets with low level returns , those evaporators were nasty. More cost effective and faster than pulling , cleaning in place with electric pressure washer and lots of old bath towels under worked excellent.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    7,761
    I worked at a place one time that had a portable steam jenny. We never used it on coils but everyone at work had sparkling clean engine compartments in their personal vehicles....

    It wouldnt be much to get it on a roof. It was mounted on a two wheel dolly.....used a gas grill tank and a water connection....

    I bet it would be great for restaurant rooftops or on some plants that spew a lot of grease or oil laden exaust out thru the exaust fans.
    YOU SHALL REAP WHAT YOU HAVE _______ SOWN

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    central illinois
    Posts
    532
    never used pressure washer.Always got them clean with city pressure.I like to wash them myself then i know they are clean.Unless yearly thing then newby can wash them since they are not that dirty.
    work to live not live to work.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Stumptown,USA
    Posts
    1,251
    I like using the calgon foam gun. You pour the Nu-Brite into a plastic container that hooks to the water hose with a spray nozzle. Less chance of chemicals in your face when it is windy. Also it is easy to get uniform coverage on the coil with the Nu-Brite.
    Challenge yourself, take the CM test --- Certificate Member since 2004 ---Join RSES ---the HVAC/R training authority ---www.rses.org

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    2,729
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunn427 View Post
    Most units we use water/hydrofluoric acid (be careful), then power-washer. Coils over four inch we've been using steam with great results.
    Steam should never be used on a DX coil,What is the pressure of r22 at 212 F off the chart,than people blame the mfg's for coil leaks.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pa
    Posts
    758
    why would steam damage a coil? You are not exposing the entire coil to 212 plus steam. It is only a small section at a time so the pressure in a system probably wont go up. Relief valves pop. Also the pressure would have to be around what 1100 psi to burst? Brazed areas are the weakest and the internal pressure needs to be 1000+ psi. We used steam in cleaning coils for labs that have to be tested for any bacteria growth and not one single problem. Most coil leaks are the tubesheet rubbing from vibration and expansion and contraction.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    2,729
    Quote Originally Posted by HvAckid82 View Post
    why would steam damage a coil? You are not exposing the entire coil to 212 plus steam. It is only a small section at a time so the pressure in a system probably wont go up. Relief valves pop. Also the pressure would have to be around what 1100 psi to burst? Brazed areas are the weakest and the internal pressure needs to be 1000+ psi. We used steam in cleaning coils for labs that have to be tested for any bacteria growth and not one single problem. Most coil leaks are the tubesheet rubbing from vibration and expansion and contraction.
    The pressure of liquid and vapor in a sealed non running system is the pt chart conversion of the coldest or hottest point in the system.You are also expanding the copper tubing that passes through the steel tube sheet,which expands at a different rate. 1100psi in one of our coils yea right!!!! Trane says not to steam clean!!,I have seen it in their IOM's

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