A company that practices what it preaches carries a lot of weight with hard-nosed mechanical contractors and building service specialists maintaining industrial, commercial, residential, retail and hospitality properties.
So the Australian distributor of Super Seal HVAC and refrigeration sealant was interested to hear the result when a fellow distributor in the US had to put his money where his mouth is when one of his own leased premises developed leaks in a rooftop condenser.
The US company, cfm Distributors, had only just started to supply customers with the environmentally beneficial Super Seal sealant when it got the bad news that a rooftop condenser was leaking in one of its two-ton air conditioning systems on its leased building. The company faced the expense of firstly tracking down potentially tiny holes, then the even worse prospect of burrowing into awkward places to seal them.
The same problems are widespread in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems in Australian properties including factories, shops, offices, apartments, hotels and primary product processors dependant on refrigeration, says Gary Oborne, director of Australian Super Seal distributor GO Distribution .
US Serviceman Michael Martin performed the standard leak detection with hopes of fixing the leak conventionally, but his diagnosis revealed an inaccessible leak in the 10-year-old condenser coil from which R-22 refrigerant was exiting.
The manager of cfm Wichita Rick Swenson then turned to Super Seal, which works from the inside of a HVAC’s system’s vital refrigerant arteries (in the same way that blood from a human wound coagulates as it exits to seal damage).
The sealant is a patented formula of organosilanes that remain in a liquid state within the refrigerant once injected into the refrigeration system.
When the refrigerant leaks out of a hole of 300 microns or smaller, however, the reaction with atmospheric moisture causes Super Seal to crystallise into a hardened bond around the exit point, thus stopping the leak.
Gary Oborne says one of the great strengths of the system is that users don’t have to dig through concrete and steel to get to pipes that may be buried within structures, costing money to access and causing long-term harm to the environment.
“Apart from greenhouse gases getting loose through sneaky leaks that may pass unnoticed for some time, a lot of electricity is used up as compressors have to work harder to compensate for the lost efficiency of major plant,” he says.
The Super Seal application engineered by cfm proved the point they were making to customers because three years later the system is working flawlessly - up to original pressure specifications, without any additional refrigerant charges, according to the last spring maintenance check.
Rick Swenson says he was delighted it worked so well “because we don’t want to tout or sell anything to our customers that doesn’t work well”.
He says using a product such as Super Seal in the company’s own building’s a/c system helps curb scepticism while positively impacting sales. “In the case of refrigeration sealants, many service technicins are sceptical of putting in anything but oil and refrigerant,” said Swenson. “When you show them solid evidence that a sealant like Super Seal actually stopped a refrigerant leak on your own equipment without damaging components; they are more apt to try it.”
The sealant continues to seal leaks for several years. Based on the fact that the cfm building’s unit is 10 years old, Mr Swenson theorizes that subsequent leaks may have been sealed as they occurred over the last three years.
Besides being economical, stopping and preventing leaks, be the benefits are also environmental because refrigerant is no longer leaking into the atmosphere.
Super Seal addresses the many problems that arise with post-warranty evaporator coil leaks, says Gary Oborne.
“When a customer takes our recommendation of a sealant process involving a few hundred dollars, versus the time/materials cost of an evaporator coil replacement, they’re pretty happy about it.”
Proven in Australia and internationally in professional applications ranging from commercial and hospitality, property maintenance to food and automotive manufacturing, Super Seal HVAC refrigerant sealant is available throughout Australasia in three varieties, for systems from 0.7 kW to 5.3 kW; 5.3 kW to 17.6 kW; 17.6 kW plus. (1/10hp to 7hp; 7hp to 23hp; 23hp plus).
“Super Seal is very effective in applications ranging from, residential, small individual outlets – such as motels or shops, supermarkets, hospitals – right through to equipment used in major industries, such as one of the plants of the Ford motor company and an ice-cream manufacturer who have successfully employed it for ongoing savings.”
Features of the product, made by Cliplight Manufacturing Co of Toronto, Canada, includes:
- Suitability for all air conditioning and refrigeration applications
- Complete kit for one-time use (Super Seal ACR (947KIT) for systems .07 to 5.5kW; Super Seal HVACR (944KIT) for systems 5.3 to 17.6kw and Super Seal 3 Phase (948KIT) for systems above 17.6 kW
- Compatibility with all oils and refrigerants
- Blended formula that seals leaks permanently in evaporators, condensers and lines
- Remains stable within the refrigerant stream
- Will not interfere with compressor valves, capillary tubes or TX valves
- Easily installed in minutes
“We know from experience gained with the product that it can be used to revitalise equipment that could otherwise end up prematurely in the junkyard,” said Mr Oborne.
“Whether it is applied to a walk-in freezer or a complete HVAC system, it has proven potential to save users considerable money”