Water on Floor Resolved
THE TRUE COST OF A FLOOD
Everybody knows commercial refrigeration units flood; especially due to the build-up of damaging gel in the condensate drain line. But while the issue is often dealt with by the refrigeration engineer the true cost of the incident goes far beyond the time and parts used to remedy the situation.
The gel, which analysis has shown, is an exopolysaccharide secreted by bacteria in a nutrient deficient environment, forms in the condensate drains serving refrigeration units causing blockages and floods. The main cause of this gel would appear to be the lack of fall in these pipes, as they are often laid directly on the shopfloor allowing the relatively warm condensate water to pool in the pipework.
In Cleveland Biotech’s experience these gel blockages occur most frequently in the high temperature units, and then chiefly in the dairy, meat and produce counters. Though having said this the gel can affect any refrigeration line, and some lines, often adjacent, will remain unaffected.
Until recently this has really been an on-going problem with few effective technologies available to refrigeration maintenance engineers to help combat it. Most products on the market are purely biocidal (i.e. they work by killing the bacteria before the gel is formed). However these are not environmentally friendly and can cause problems down stream where bacteria may be being dosed to digest fat from the kitchens. There are various health and safety concerns when handling some of these harsh chemicals too.
Other systems are not only bio-cidal but work as dissolvable blocks or socks filled with chemicals that sit in the condensate tray. Yet as the condensate flow can vary significantly there is no way to determine how long a single application will last. So dealing with the issue of gel blockages has at best been a dark art and at worst almost impossible.
Cleveland Biotech has recently developed a model, the ’FridgeFree™ Calculator’, to illustrate the impact of flooded chillers on the store and maintenance company.
What the calculator shows is that while the cost to mop-up the flood and repair any damage can be significant, the real cost is in the lost revenue when chiller shelves are left empty.
Other intangible factors that cannot easily be incorporated into this calculator include the effects of floods on customer perception and also the costs of de-merchandising and re-merchandising the chillers and replacing any stock lost. All of which increase the actual cost of the damage caused.
The installation of a preventative system, such as FridgeFree™, would not only free up a significant amount of the engineer’s time, but it would also demonstrate to the end-users that their contractors are considering the broader implications of their activities on the whole business.
As companies look to streamline processes and look to work smarter and therefore make savings, preventative solutions should be seriously considered.
Ben Hoskyns, managing director, Cleveland Biotech, one of the UK’s leaders in environmental biotechnology, which specialises in providing innovative natural solutions to the growing problems of pollution and those arising from the discharge of effluents and wastes into the environment. www.clevebio.com.
For more information on this, the FridgeFree™ calculator, or the FridgeFree™ system itself please contact Cleveland Biotech Ltd on 01642 606 606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
N.B. The information contained in this entry is provided by the above supplier, and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher