Store staff were frequently required to mop up water overflow on the shop floor to
mitigate slip risks and unload stock from the bottom shelf of each leaking case to
enable technician assessment.
The store is located above a railway station meaning there is no drainage through the concrete slab underneath each refrigerated case like most regular stores. As a result, condensate pumps have been installed under each of the refrigerated cases to discharge all the condensate water into common tundishes in the ceiling space.
Each of the condensate pumps at the store regularly formed biofilms stemming from their respective refrigerated case. If the refrigerated case and subsequent condensate pump was not proactively cleaned, this biofilm evolved into thick sludge. The sludge caused the condensate pumps to block, stop operating and resulted in water leaks.
A Sauermann Australasia Gel Clear trial was conducted with the 36 medium temperature cases on the trading floor. It was agreed only five of the worst cases would be trialled initially with Gel Clear tablets.
Prior to the trial the store had logged an average of 11 refrigeration service calls a month, costing an average $350 each, for the 24-month period between 2016 and 2018. During the six-month trial period, there was a 95 percent reduction in water leaks as a result of the installation of Gel Clear tablets.
The trial results confirm that the Gel Clear product eliminated the majority of issues related to condensation pump failure and leaks. The service call history was drastically reduced from an average 11 calls per month ($4000 p/m) with the use of the Sauermann Australasia Gel Clear tablets. It is recommended that the Gel Clear tablets be installed as part of each store’s case clean schedule.
In this trial, the maintenance call costs could have been reduced by an estimated $40,000 per annum had the tablets been applied to all refrigeration cases. Further, based on the trial it is recommended the Gel Clear tablets be reinstalled every six months in each of the refrigerated cases.
Whilst the trial was conducted in a problematic store that was fitted with condensate pumps, the tablets are just as effective in reducing biofilms in stores with standard drainage systems not only in commercial refrigeration, but other air conditioning applications such as air handling units, split systems fan coil units.
Read the full case study here.