September 17, 2019
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In a medical or industrial setting, chillers perform an invaluable service. They keep powerful equipment from overheating through a variety of means. They represent a critical piece of protective gear in many industries as they allow modern equipment to function flawlessly most of the time.

Even with routine maintenance and proper care, an industrial chiller or MRI chiller can experience problems. Some of these problems can be expensive to fix, while others are easily remedied. In order to fix them, however, you must first identify the problems. Some issues that are experienced with chillers are simple to correct, while others require the assistance of experienced professionals. Read on to learn how to diagnose the causes of some of the most common chiller problems.

Chiller Won’t Power Up

When a chiller won’t power up, the cause could be simple and obvious, or it could point to a larger, more complex issue. First, make sure the chiller’s power switch isn’t turned off. Because chillers can be high-draw appliances, make sure that the chiller didn’t flip a breaker or blow a fuse when powering up. If everything there is in order, the problem may be improper line voltage or an incorrect phase connection.

Fluid Pumping Issue

Many MRI chillers use fluid to maintain appropriate temperatures. That fluid must be circulated for the chiller to work. If the fluid is not circulating properly or the pump won’t work at all, it could be caused by insufficient fluid or fluid that is not matched to the temperature requirements. Also, circulation can be restricted if there’s a restricted fluid line, clogged fluid filter, or a partially closed fluid valve. Finally, if none of these issues are the culprit, it could be pump failure.

Lack of Cooling Power

The primary purpose of a chiller is to keep equipment cool. When it can’t maintain cool temperatures, you risk not only damage to the chiller, but damage to your equipment as well. If you notice a lack of cooling power in your chiller, make sure that there is enough fluid in the reservoir. If the fluid level is acceptable, check the air filter for clogging. If neither of those issues is a problem, it may be time to replace the cooling fluid, as it can deteriorate beyond functional requirements. Finally, check to make sure the evaporator isn’t frozen over and there is no refrigerant leaking from your chiller.

If you rely on an industrial or MRI chiller to protect your costly equipment, make sure you recognize these common issues and know how to troubleshoot them. Some are obvious enough that you can remedy them yourself without a service call. Others may require more significant repair and remediation.