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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pa
    Posts
    758
    Like I said you are NOT exposing a large part of the coil to steam so you are fine. If it is done properly you will be fine. This lab we work at demands it and this has been done for years with no problems. Just like so many things we do, if it is done properly you wont have an issue but you will find the exception. They also say dont use a pressure washer, we use it all the time with no issues. Pressure washers are more for speed and some applications are difficult.

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    23
    You don't fire high pressure steam at two inches away, it's merely a way of supplying warmed water at the end of a 300' line. Works best on organic matter like dandelion. Have never had coil leak issues, but have knocked 100lbs off head pressures. The coils we're cleaning are large and some have been cleaned a dozen times over fifteen years with no problems. When I first took over one contract it was their spring ritual to supply all their units with garden sprinklers (2000' of hose).

  3. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    2,738
    http://books.google.com/books?id=tH6...page&q&f=false. Sometimes we need to go back to the basic

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Manchester NH
    Posts
    208
    I have working in the field for 2 1/2 years. Like many people have said there should be no reason to clean an evap coil as long as filters are getting changed regularly, but we have 3 building (12 large RTU's) that are from 98 that we will be cleaning this year. You must use an evap cleaner not as harsh as cond cleaner. I also would not recommend using a pressure washer or air to clean, you can but a spray mixer at any supply house and hook it to a hose and select the concentraion of cleaner to water you want.

  5. #31
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,415
    We use a mix of methods to clean coils. Most of the RTU's get just a regular hose with a sprayer end on it. We try not to use coil cleaner unless it's needed. I've been using Simple Green for a coil cleaner (diluted of course), and it seems to work pretty good, not to mention is kind handy to have on the van for misc other mess's I create too.

    We do have a power washer that we use too. It mostly gets used on remote sites that don't have water, and it works great on the job sites where the water is a mile away since that line is a lot easier to drag around, not to mention you have pressure at the end of 200' of line vs a trickle at the end of 200' of garden hose.

    We also use the power washer on the thick coils, there's just no way you can blow through 4, 6 or more inches of coil with regular water pressure. Just takes some common sense when you're doing it.

    I don't think there's really a right and wrong way to clean coils (ok, well there's plenty of wrong ways, like smashing coils flat etc, but you know what I mean), it's all subject to personal opinion and technique.
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  6. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    18,613
    Quote Originally Posted by HVAC-matt View Post
    I have working in the field for 2 1/2 years. Like many people have said there should be no reason to clean an evap coil as long as filters are getting changed regularly, but we have 3 building (12 large RTU's) that are from 98 that we will be cleaning this year. You must use an evap cleaner not as harsh as cond cleaner. I also would not recommend using a pressure washer or air to clean, you can but a spray mixer at any supply house and hook it to a hose and select the concentraion of cleaner to water you want.
    I think you will find that this is not the case, as time goes by and you build more experience. You see, the filters will NOT catch 100% of what is in the air. During economizer operation you suck in whatever is flying around out there, including clouds of fine dust that is upwind of the unit during mall builds and expansions. This stuff DOES find its way through the filters, as well as many other fine particulates, and it builds up on the evap.

    One really bad set of evaps belonged to a place that baked fresh bagels every morning. The units had only seen filter changes and on-demand repairs. The evaps were 90% blocked with a mixture of oil and flour. It took most of the day with blue alkali coil cleaner and a shop vac to get the coils clean.

    If you will be there to use no-rinse green cleaner on a regular basis, then I agree it is theoretically possible to avoid using a stronger cleaner. BUT, and it's a BIG but, commercial is a merry go round of companies and service brokers. For example, I am going to an office supply store tomorrow that I used to service two years ago for a different service provider. So, it has come full circle.

    The key is to use the method that is EFFECTIVE, and that method will vary from site to site, and unit to unit.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

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  7. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Brownsville,TX
    Posts
    36
    I see here that everyone is going back and forth about steam and pressure washing... I'm still in school so I may be wrong... I do agree that using steam will cause the pressure to increase and go off the chart IF and that's on IF the system is still connected if you take the coil off of the system to clean it which most people do there won't be any refridgerant in it and the system would be open so the pressure wouldn't increase. As for the pressure washer wouldn't it mess up the fins even with a water hose sprayer if you don't sprap the water straight to the fins it will mess them up... Like I said I'm still in school and have 5 months left but its my thoughts and the way I see it and I could be wrong...

  8. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anytown USA
    Posts
    2,060

  9. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Brownsville,TX
    Posts
    36
    LOL y7Turbo who was that relpy for?

  10. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    2,738

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by y7turbo View Post
    Now you guys want to kill a poor cat just because you don't know how to clean
    A coil ,very sad

  11. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    18,613
    Quote Originally Posted by tflint89 View Post
    I see here that everyone is going back and forth about steam and pressure washing... I'm still in school so I may be wrong... I do agree that using steam will cause the pressure to increase and go off the chart IF and that's on IF the system is still connected if you take the coil off of the system to clean it which most people do there won't be any refridgerant in it and the system would be open so the pressure wouldn't increase. As for the pressure washer wouldn't it mess up the fins even with a water hose sprayer if you don't sprap the water straight to the fins it will mess them up... Like I said I'm still in school and have 5 months left but its my thoughts and the way I see it and I could be wrong...
    Removing the evap for cleaning is done more often in residential service.

    In commercial, you "clean in place."

    Using a pressure washer takes a little instruction and a little practice, and it is easier to get the pressure washer up on a roof than a steam jenny.

    Frankly, it's already hot enough on a roof when I have to clean coils, so I'll pass on the steam.

    As for the cat, as long as it is "effective," you can do it any way you like.

    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

    AOP Forum Rules:







  12. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Brownsville,TX
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by y7turbo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    Removing the evap for cleaning is done more often in residential service.

    In commercial, you "clean in place."

    Using a pressure washer takes a little instruction and a little practice, and it is easier to get the pressure washer up on a roof than a steam jenny.

    Frankly, it's already hot enough on a roof when I have to clean coils, so I'll pass on the steam.

    As for the cat, as long as it is "effective," you can do it any way you like.

    Ok we haven't covered too much in commercial right now its mainly been residential with a little commercial so i didn't know you would "clean in place" I still think the steam would increase the pressure in the coil...and everything takes practice but I'm still thinking that the pressure if not directed at the coil properly will bend and smash the fins...but like mentioned as long as its effective you can do it anyway you like

  13. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anytown USA
    Posts
    2,060
    Quote Originally Posted by tflint89 View Post
    LOL y7Turbo who was that relpy for?
    Just bringing a funny post into this thread man, its not directed to one person.

    All of us have a different way to do things, if you ask 10 guys a question you'll get multiple answers.. I may not agree with some of them, but if they are cleaning the coils good without damaging the fins then who are we to say someone is wrong?

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