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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    cleaning grease-laden condenser coils

    In the restaurant kitchen in the hotel where I work as a maintenance person, among other refrigerator and cooler units there is a reach-in cooler unit in the vicinity of the deep fryer and hood vent. The condenser coil for the reach-in is located on top of the unit. The coil cleaning has been neglected much longer than it should have been so needless to say the fins are gummed up pretty bad with kitchen grease from the air, combined with dust. With the condenser coil still in place on the unit I sprayed some foaming condenser coil cleaner on it (the kind that's supposed to cut through grease), let it foam up for 10 min or so, then spray-rinsed it with water, as the instructions said to do. It helped some but not much; still looks dirty/greasy and really not a very satisfactory cleaning job. Plus of course it makes a mess up there, difficult to keep the greasy cleaner and water sopped up lying rags all around. Did a search on this forum about this issue and came up with the following response from back in 2004 from Icemeister, which seemed to make the best sense to me:
    "The foaming alkaline coil cleaners (like CalClean) are the best chemical to use for these greasy condensers. I won't clean them in-place though because of all the mess and more importantly the liability of somehow getting this highly caustic stuff on food that is then served to the public. I simply schedule a shutdown of the box, recover, disconnect and remove the condenser coil to an area where I can properly clean and rinse it. It takes a couple of hours or so, but when you're done, it's done right, the coil is spotless and so is the cooler."

    My question(s), are: (1) What does he mean by recover? (2) What all will be involved in disconnecting (and then reconnecting) the condenser (as I've never done it before).
    Any advice/comments appreciated for this issue. thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    small island in the Pacific Ocean
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    My question(s), are: (1) What does he mean by recover? (2) What all will be involved in disconnecting (and then reconnecting) the condenser (as I've never done it before).


    You have to be properly trained to perform this work. Four year apprenticeship and about 8,000 hours working with a journeyman. Would not recommend attempting. Call a refrigeration company.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    manitowoc wisconsin
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    Use a steam generator.The grease will roll right off of that coil.Not nearly as messy as chemical cleaning.
    Take your time & do it right!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    In the sticks,Northern Idaho
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    Another example of why this forum should be in the pro section.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Rochester, New York
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    Not to sound rude, but greasy refrigeration condenser coils should not be cleaned by a maintenance person.

    Much, much, much damage can occur if not done properly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Thread Starter
    No offense taken, it seems obvious to me now that do this kind of job PROPERLY will require someone more trained/experienced than myself. Thanks for all your input, guys.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Rochester, New York
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgull View Post
    No offense taken, it seems obvious to me now that do this kind of job PROPERLY will require someone more trained/experienced than myself. Thanks for all your input, guys.
    Good. That's all I was trying to say.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Rochester, New York
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    Where are you located sgull?

    Maybe someone here can swing by, and help you out if you currently do not have a refrigeration company on stand by.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Memphis, TN.
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwolf View Post
    Use a steam generator.The grease will roll right off of that coil.Not nearly as messy as chemical cleaning.
    Mark,

    Tried to email you but I didn't see any contact info... can you tell my what you use (model and brand) of steam generator you use? I really need one for exactly this sort of thing as well as working on greasy friers and grills! Thanks in advance for the help!

    CW.
    "I don't care what you could get it off the net for, they wont warranty it and neither will I"!

    And if you don't like my "flat rate up front pricing" try and negotiate the price on that big mac you just bought pricing is exactly the same method!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
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    A Steam generator should never be used on Refrigerant coils, the pressures could cause the unit to burst. Most modern coils including water coils are not designed to take that much heat.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
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    Best de-greaser I've found is econo lab grease strip plus. Works in most cases with a blast of CO2 and a water rinse. It works great but occasionally you need to disassemble the unit if its really nasty.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    17,050
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    Remove condensing unit and remote and or replace its only going to get dirty in a short time taking out compressor

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    maine
    Posts
    796
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    ive had good luck using blast clean letting it sit and then sproying it with water. I do this 2 or 3 times then hit it with some nitrogen, they seem to clean up pretty well. But It does make a heck of a mess.

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