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  • Condenser filters: yes or no?

     guest updated 1 year, 6 months ago 1 Member · 17 Posts
  • guest

    Member
    December 11, 2016 at 12:00 am

    What is your opinion / experience with some sort of filter media for condensers in air cooled, self contained units?

    Reach in fridges, freezers, sandwich prep tables, draft boxes etc. 

    There are some units near flat top grills and fryer that get a greasy film. Other units are exposed to dust and even sand. Wide variety of situations.

     

    We also have a couple of newer walk ins that have air cooled condensers sitting on top of the walk in as well.

     

    I realize that any restrictions of air flow will increase head pressure, but figure that if we can pay attention to a set schedule of checking, cleaning or replacing them that we can save time and expense of deep cleaning or worse.

     

    If yes, what thoughts on type of material? Foam? Fiberglass? Other?

  • olivero

    Member
    December 12, 2016 at 9:04 am

    I use Dacron filters on all of my condensers for buffet stations, reach ins and roll in fridges.

     

    My walk ins are water cooled, can’t figure out how to get a Dacron in there but I will one day….

     

    If you keep an eye on em, I definetley recommend it, coil cleaning is a pain and messy.

     

    Whats you average ambient temp where your fridges are?

  • fixbear - ADK NY

    Member
    December 12, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    The nemesis of refrigeration is to have a condenser in a grease area. Definitely a no no. Remote condensers are to best solution if a cooler has to be next to a grease source. Many Ice machines have fiberglass filters from the factory just for that reason.The pleated filters have to much restriction for a condenser fan. Ice machines also have oversize fans for the same reason. If you coolers are all close one can set up a common condenser and pipe refrigerant to them. Or one can convert to water cooled condenser and solve all the cleaning problems. But what is your cost of water.

     

    Only you can cost out the solutions for your site, but these are a few ways you can go.

  • ectofix

    Member
    December 12, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    If you’re a regular PMer, then that cut-to-fit fiberglass filter media (held in by bar straws) worked best for me.  Very little restriction to affect head pressure.

     

    Next PM visit (hopefully in a month…depending), throw it away and cut out a new one.

  • davejohnsonnola

    Member
    December 12, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    I’ve found a wide variety or materials left on these units. Some washable, others too funky to bother with.

    Thickness? or pictures of what I should recommend we buy a HUGE roll of?

  • davejohnsonnola

    Member
    December 12, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    One of my worst cases is a two drawer chef’s table base refrigeration unit located below a 48″ flat top grill next to a bank of four fryers.

  • davejohnsonnola

    Member
    December 12, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    That and the minimum wage server idiots who can’t keep 4 oz portion cups of salad dressing from falling out of their pans, falling to the back of the unit and preventing the drawers from closing completely. Not to mention the mold/sludge formation that results.

  • davejohnsonnola

    Member
    December 12, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    In the majority of concessions and bars I would say mid to upper 70s F. 

    Other individual units, unfortunately placed too close to cooking equipment…. need to take some readings.

    Just got my upgraded personal DMM with temp probes in the amazon package today. Off for a couple of days, will check it out this weekend.

  • davejohnsonnola

    Member
    December 12, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Even with my extensive bartending background, I’d prefer bent jumbo paper clips to sip stir straws for attachment!

  • olivero

    Member
    December 13, 2016 at 8:36 am

    We use this type of fabric/mesh that has a yellow side and a yellow side. I think its Dacron but after googling, I am not sure anymore.

     

    IT does not need any type of retaining clips or anything, you just kind of tuck it into where its mounted and it stays put. The stuff we have is 1″ thick

  • wyotech

    Member
    April 21, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    After using the cut to fit foam media for years, today I have decided to never use it again. Here’s why: on a True T-23F I had to replace the compressor which included condenser coil chemical cleaning. Having all coils clean and fans operational and performing typical

    compressor replacement procedures with new liquid line dryer, 470 micron vacuum and weighing in virgin R-404a by digital scale, I was shocked to observe pressures of 31/426 PSGI at 20F box temperature and kitchen ambient entering condenser of 76F. I removed

    the new foam media and watched the pressures decrease to 26/283 PSGI. From now on I’m going to brush and blow out the coils as True recommends (True Manufacturing | Support | Resource Library , Equipment Care and Cleaning, Preventative Maintenance PDF), and chemically clean when needed. I have found using a low pressure steamer like MC1275 on a turned off unit useful for removing

    oil and flour deposits.

  • guest

    Member
    April 27, 2017 at 8:23 am

    I believe in the filters especially in grease conditions.  I only recommend using the 1/4″ foam media to be used as the others are too restrictive and cause more problems then they cure.  Also, they must be changed on a regular basis and I prefer monthly but have done it every other month in certain conditions.  I will say however, there are some units that cannot support filters of any kind and I blame the manufacturers who know the conditions the equipment is operating in and do not design enough capacity to allow for a filter to be used.

  • buddy-moore

    Member
    April 27, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Just removed one not more than 20mins ago which the customer hadn’t or didn’t even know it was there. Full of flour and no air flow…. I gave it to the manager. I personally don’t like to use them. However if I had a cooler the maintenance would be kept up a lot more due to my experience. For a customer they have to help… even if they pull that filter media and run it through a dish machine if it get too bad. All in all the end user has to be aware and willing to keep their equipment maintained. 

  • fixbear - ADK NY

    Member
    April 27, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Condenser manufacturers make their condensers for certain conditions.  The best ones for dust/dirt conditions are the low temp Copeland’s that are only 3 or 4 fins per inch, but then they have to have a bigger unit to get the square inches of heat transfer.  Different brands are designed to different ambient temperatures for operation. Some are as low as 95 F.  Others are 120F.  I have even come across some designed for 145F.  That’s the one you want to avoid overheat.  Then we get into specialized units like dehumidification kiln’s.  Condenser temp is designed for 170F. I have seen compressor discharge temps of over 250F on these. Finding a suitable replacement refrigerant for R12 on one of these was a real problem that I worked with the manufacturer.  The high temp can break down most of the replacements and oil’s.

     

    The kiln’s and some ice machines required filters.  As do window AC’s.   But to add a filter without knowing the design or having the manufacturers blessing is asking for a premature failure of the compressor.  Also the higher air temperature at the condenser fan will coke the oil in the fan motor.  As wyotech stated, they will raise the head and temp.  Have a real problem location?  Make it a remote condenser.

     

    I hate high grease kitchens for any condensers.

  • guest

    Member
    April 28, 2017 at 5:23 am

    There is no onesize fits all answer to this question. If your in-house, thin foam works well. We still wash the condensors twice a year. Traffic (people walking by) also affect how often things get cleaned. Flower can change the whole game. Popeyes used to give me fits untill they changed the way they were breading the chix. I usuall don’t filter flower areas. Its easier to just blow/wash more often. The tighter the filter, the quicker it raises up the psi. I haven’t seen the dramtic head increases stated above, using thin foam.

    When it comes to grease, all bets are off. I use the thin foam to slow the grease down but still end up washing more often than other areas.

    Olivero, I have water cooled walk-ins too. When you figgure out how to get those in there, let me know too.

     

    Rico 

  • guest

    Member
    October 1, 2018 at 10:05 am

    If you are looking for a filter solution then maybe we have the answer. Take a look at the website which talks mostly about industrial size filtration but we make everything from 300mm square in a washable, low airflow resistance material.

     

    Richard @RABScreen

  • olivero

    Member
    October 4, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Rico,

     

    Still trying to figure out how to get Dacron in there, I think it’s a lost cause.

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