After 43 years in the HVAC and R industry, Paul Greene, admits he is “old school,” when it comes to repairing and maintaining refrigeration systems ranging from multiple ton chillers and walk-in coolers to rooftop air conditioners and appliances.
“I do not like anything in my refrigeration systems except refrigerant and oil,” said Greene, who owns the US service company, Greene’s HVAC and R, and teaches HVAC courses at nearby Kirkwood College.
So it came as a shock to peers and students of Greene when he started touting refrigerant sealants as viable solutions to leaking refrigeration systems. Greene was always an advocate of conventional leak detection and repair, but changed his tune recently after inaccessible refrigeration leaks in local businesses (one a flower shop, the other a restaurant) gave him no alternative but to try a new sealant, Super Seal 3 Phase by Cliplight Mfg, Toronto.
One of Greene’s challenges was to fix a 6X6 metre (20 x 20-foot) walk-in cooler that other contractors could not repair.
In more than two years, the wholesale/retail cut flower, tropical plant and garden centre with the problem had spent a huge amount on service calls from various HVAC contractors.
The 25-year-old cooler looked like becoming a bottomless pit of repair costs because contractors could not find or isolate the leak.
“One contractor spent over three hours searching for the leak when I told him to stop and get out,” said Rollie Pierson, co-owner of Pierson Wholesale Florist.
Since other contractors could not find the leak, Greene skipped his usual leak detection routine.
After checking system pressures with his pressure gauges, Greene injected one 85g (3-ounce) can of Super Seal 3 Phase into the former R-12 system and topped the system off with refrigerant.
The Super Seal product he used works by sealing refrigerant leaks from the inside out reacting with the moisture in ambient air after being carried in solution with oil and refrigerant to the point where the leaks exits.
When the refrigerant carrying the solution exits into ambient air through the leak, it forms micro droplets of water that react with Super Seal to form a low tensile crystalline barrier that prevents further losses.
The permanent seal formed is effective for single or multiple leaks up to a maximum size of 300 microns, which covers a wide range of leaks that are hard to find and cause major and expensive losses in energy and service calls, not to mention production losses.
The service call to apply the Super Seal cost Pierson’s business less in labour and materials and the rejuvenated system has been running up to manufacturer’s original performance specifications for more than one year.
Equally remarkable results have been achieved with a restaurant’s leaking evaporator in a 38 sq metre (125-square-foot) walk-in cooler.
There Green faced a choice between the StarLite room restaurant losing a huge amount in product or sealing the evaporator while waiting a week or more for a replacement evaporator for his client.
Greene targeted the evaporator because of refrigerant traces in the evaporator’s condensate drain hose. Because Greene did not see moisture in the sight glass, he simply added the sealant with plans of cleaning the system once the evaporator arrived.
However, the system worked so well after using the sealant that Greene abandoned replacing the evaporator coil and saved the owner a huge sum in repair costs. The service bill included Greene’s one hour of labour injecting the sealant, topping off the system with refrigerant and one can of sealant.
“I fully expected to replace the evaporator, but the system has been running flawlessly for over one year with just the sealant,” Greene said.
“The restaurant owner (Jim Aossey) owns many rental properties in town and has vowed to give all future HVAC work to me.”
Greene is so impressed he’s carrying sealant regularly in his truck. He also covers sealant application in his plumbing, heating, cooling contractors association-sponsored (PHCC) HVAC/R class curriculum at Kirkwood College.
“There must be thousands of refrigeration systems that are leaking refrigerants into the atmosphere, not to mention what is happening across the globe, that I think is due mostly to poor brazing or soldering techniques on the part of installation technicians,” estimated Greene. “Think of the impact sealants could have on our environment”.
After 43 years, Greene now believes there can be something other than oil and refrigerant in a refrigeration system.
Features of Super Seal available from Go Distribution include:
- Suitability for all air conditioning and refrigeration applications
- Complete kit for one-time use (Super Seal ACR 947 for systems .07 to 5.5kW; Super Seal HVACR 944 for systems 5.3 to 17.6kw and Super Seal 3 Phase 948 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