Commercial Refrigeration Repairs in Claresholm

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Commercial Refrigeration Repairs in Claresholm

404 Refrigeration & HVAC Services is proud to serve our friends and neighbors in Claresholm with professional commercial refrigeration maintenance and repair services. If you own a commercial refrigeration system then you need a company that can help you to maintain and repair that system on an on-going basis. 404 Refrigeration & HVAC Services operates from Champion Alberta, and we’re proud to call the residents of Claresholm our neighbors.

Claresholm Sign

Commercial Refrigeration Is Our Specialty

The HVAC/R trade is highly specialized and is becoming more specialized every day. It takes a substantial amount of effort to keep up with even one aspect of the trade, yet alone every part of the trade.

404 Refrigeration specializes in servicing commercial refrigeration equipment.

If you look at many of our competitors, they claim to be able to handle whatever work comes along.

Residential Furnaces? No Problem! Commercial Chillers? No Problem! Ice makers? No Problem! Roof Top Units? No Problem! Sheet Metal Duct Work? No Problem! Residential Air Conditioning? No Problem! Commercial Refrigeration? No Problem!

Only after they have completed their work is when you start to experience all sorts of problems. Their “experts in everything” approach translates into doing everything poorly (except filling their bank accounts). A sure way for you to ensure that you’ll be receiving mediocre workmanship is to find a small HVAC/R service company that claims they can do everything.

To be fair, there are exceptions to the rule.

For example, Gateway Mechanical headquartered in Edmonton (and servicing all of Alberta) is an excellent mechanical services company that offers a wide variety of mechanical trades and services. But they don’t service smaller customers (like a restaurant). Instead they focus on larger commercial and industrial projects.

Also, K & B Heating & Air Conditioning from Lethbridge is an excellent residential plumbing and HVAC provider. If you have K & B Heating in your home to repair your HVAC system, you can rest assured that the job has been done right. However, K & B doesn’t serve convenience stores with commercial refrigeration repairs services – that isn’t their business.

Both of these companies are laser focused on their core strengths, and by doing so they serve their customers excellently – they don’t scatter their efforts and resources by trying to serve everyone with everything.

404 Refrigeration & HVAC has a similar business philosophy. Here’s what we offer to our customers:

~ Commercial Refrigeration repairs, maintenance, and installations.

~ Roof Top Unit repairs, maintenance, and installations.

~ Make Up Air unit repairs, maintenance, and installations.

~ Commercial HVAC unit repairs, maintenance, and installations.

That’s It! No more and no less.

We don’t service (the increasingly complex) residential HVAC units, we don’t service water heaters and plumbing systems, we don’t work on PTAC units, etc.

We focus on what we know and we do that well.

Please feel free to visit our main page and have a closer look at our company. If you need commercial refrigeration repair services we would be happy to talk with you and discover how we can serve you and your needs.

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Commercial Refrigeration Repairs in Lethbridge

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Commercial Refrigeration Repairs in Lethbridge.

High level bridge Lethbridge

Southern Alberta is our home and our place of business. We have been serving customers for over 12 years in Lethbridge. Regardless of whether you are running a restaurant, a bar, a C-store, a grocery store, or any business that relies upon its commercial refrigeration systems, 404 Refrigeration & HVAC can handle your refrigeration repairs and maintenance needs.

Commercial Refrigeration is our specialty

keepright condenser package

We specialize in repairing and maintaining commercial refrigeration systems for our customers. We serve C-stores, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, as well as industrial customers that have refrigeration needs for their processes.

We work on many different types of commercial refrigeration units, regardless of if they are 1/2 horsepower reach in refrigerators or 40 horsepower freezer units. With our extensive parts supply network we can get the parts needed for any make and model of commercial refrigeration system quickly, and we offer 24 hour per day emergency services to minimize downtime and keep your business up and running.

Although we often repair equipment for our customers, we focus on maintenance programs such that your equipment will rarely if ever break down.

Professional Maintenance

An ounce of maintenance is worth a pound of repair.

As with any mechanical machinery, maintenance is key to prolonging the lifespan of the equipment. We pride ourselves in offering regular, ongoing preventative maintenance contracts to you that will help you to keep your commercial refrigeration equipment running efficiently long into the future. Contact us to find out how we can design a custom maintenance schedule for your company.

Call us today

Call us 24/7 at (587) 575 – 2111 with your refrigeration maintenance and repairs. We’ll be happy to serve you and help you with any issues that you may be experiencing.

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HVAC/R

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What does HVAC/R mean?

This is a question that I get asked a lot, so I thought that I would write a blog post on the subject to explain it to you.

Five Letters and Four Concepts

HVAC/R stands for Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration.

There are five letters and four concepts, and all four of these concepts revolve around the subject of controlling temperature.

thermometer

HVAC/R mechanics are really only concerned with temperature.

Ultimately, all that a HVAC/R mechanic is concerned with is to control the temperature within a given space to produce a desired effect.

What the HVAC/R trade is attempting to accomplish

The effect may be to keep a residence at a comfortable 18 degrees Celsius during a hot summer day, or flash freezing fresh produce to -50 degrees Celsius within half a minute. The equipment that is used to achieve these effects can vary widely, but the general concepts are the same across all of the HVAC/R disciplines.

It is interesting to note that there are several sub-specialties and specializations within this trade – so much so that it is impossible for one person to know all of the aspects of the entire HVAC/R field. For example, I am well versed in commercial compression refrigeration equipment. There is a sub – specialty within the trade known as TAB, or Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing, which has to do with balancing air pressures and air flows within a building. That is already a challenging job on a small structure, so imagine attempting to balance the air flows in a large shopping mall. Although I have a good rough idea what Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing technicians do, I really would be lost if I attempted to perform their work. Better that I stick to repairing commercial refrigeration.

So now you know what HVAC/R stands for. Feel free to demonstrate your new knowledge at your next dinner party and impress all of your guests!

Until next time, stay warm (or cool).

 

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Polar Vortex

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I’m writing this post at the beginning of March 2019, and the current outdoor air temperature is -32 Celsius. It’s damn cold out!

When the temperatures hit this level, your HVAC system is working overtime to keep your house warm and comfortable. In my home, the furnace has literally not shut down for about two weeks.

Often times, homeowners will “test”their furnace in late September by turning on the heat when it gets a little chilly at night. It cycles on and runs for five minutes and shuts down having done its job. Everything is fine.

But when the real Canadian winter hits, your furnace is being put through a severe stress test. That’s when the machine has to work its hardest to maintain the temperatures in your home – and this is when the weakest link will fail.

When you contract with a HVAC company to properly test your furnace, we use electronic test equipment that physically tests the gas pressures, air flow pressures, exhaust gas makeup and temperatures, and the running voltages and amperages of the furnace, and compare those readings to the manufacturer’s specifications. If anything is out of range its an indicator that the unit will require tuning and perhaps some replacement parts.

UEI DL489
The UEI DL489 digital multimeter, one of the test tools in our arsenal to measure and assess the performance of your HVAC equipment.

Unless you own several thousands dollars worth of electronic test equipment specialized for the HVAC trade, and you know how to use that equipment, then judging the operating condition of your furnace by giving it a test run can be very misleading. You might believe that your furnace is ready to face the winter, when in fact it might be struggling.

The best defense is a good offence.

Instead of guessing whether your furnace is going to operate trouble free throughout the winter, why not schedule a HVAC professional to give your furnace a thorough tune up before the cold winter weather settles in? You will avoid emergency service call fees, as well as delays in getting parts for your furnace. In the worst case scenario you might have to deal with frozen plumbing pipes and the expenses that come with water damage.

The least costly method of keeping your HVAC system performing well is to have it serviced once a year. 404 Refrigeration & HVAC Services offers furnace and air conditioning system tune-ups year round to our present and new customers.

Feel free to call us at (587) 575 – 2111 and we`ll be happy to discuss things with you. Read more about us here.

 

Stay Warm!

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Professional Equipment Installation

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Condenser copper work

Here’s a few pictures of a new commercial refrigeration system that I built and installed for a customer’s drink cooler at his C-Store.

I take pride in my workmanship, and I think that is evident by the copper pipe work in the preceding picture. But this goes beyond just making things look neat and tidy, the equipment runs better and lasts longer when the installer takes the time to make sure that everything is done correctly.

evaporator coils installed

When you are looking to get your commercial refrigeration units repaired or rebuilt, look no further than 404 Refrigeration & HVAC Services. We’ll be happy to provide you with a quotation for your commercial refrigeration needs. 

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24/7 Emergency Refrigeration Repairs

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A late night refrigeration repair that saved my customer money.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts to maintain your refrigeration equipment, things still break down. Commercial refrigeration systems work hard in Canadian winters to keep products cold and fresh, and sometimes they require an emergency repair. That is why it’s good to know a company like 404 Refrigeration & HVAC, because we provide 24/7 emergency refrigeration repairs.

Recently, one of my customers experienced a breakdown of their walk in refrigeration cooler in their C-store. Approximately 30% of the cooler’s product load was perishable dairy product, something which they obviously wanted to avoid spoiling.

By the time that I got the system fault diagnosed and had all of my tools and equipment up on the roof to service the machine, it was 6:45 P.M., on a cold night during a snowstorm.

As it turns out, the piping had a refrigerant leak that allowed some of the refrigerant charge to escape from the system. The refrigerator used R-22 refrigerant, a HCFC compound that is getting phased out in the year 2020. Because it is getting phased out of production (for environmental reasons), the government has imposed levies on this refrigerant, which makes it very expensive to purchase and use. After discussing this with the customer, he agreed that this would be an ideal time to upgrade his cooler with a newer and more modern (i.e. less environmentally harmful) refrigerant.

After recovering the remaining R-22 refrigerant from the machine for recycling, I repaired the piping leak on the machine, changed the filter dryer, changed the oil in the compressor from mineral oil to Polyol Ester Oil (necessary for the new refrigerant to work properly), pulled a deep vacuum to remove contaminants from the machine, and then recharged the machine with 9 1/2 Lbs. of virgin R407C refrigerant.

As you can see from my manifold readings, the system returned to normal pressures and temperatures after the repair. The photo on the right shows the supply air temperature coming from the evaporator cooler inside of the walk in cooler box.

By switching the refrigerant from R-22 to the more modern R407C, I was able to save this customer over $400 on the cost of this repair, and the customer has the peace of mind knowing that the refrigerant that his cooler is using is far less harmful to the environment.

If you find yourself in this kind of situation and require professional repairs and servicing of your commercial refrigeration equipment, I’d like you to consider giving 404 Refrigeration & HVAC Services a call and let us take care of the problem for you. You can read more about the company here.

I can be reached at (587) 575 – 2111. Thanks.

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Refrigeration Rebuilding Judgement Calls

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On Monday November 19th 2018, I started rebuilding a walk in cooler for one of my customers. After a thorough inspection of the system, I found that the low side head pressure control, the liquid receiver, the condenser coil & condenser coil fan, and the compressor were in good operating condition – every other component of the machine was in poor condition. 

Old Keepright coil
The original 21 year old (leaking) coil.

The existing evaporator coil was leaking refrigerant from the center of the coil and was an obvious candidate for replacement. The TX Valve, solenoid valve & coil, and thermostat, while functioning, appeared to be in very poor condition. 

Further inspection revealed that the evaporator coil and its related components were original to the system, whilst the compressor, condenser coil, etc. (i.e. the compressor package) was replaced about 8 years ago. The evaporator coil, TXV, solenoid coil, and thermostat were 21 years old. Also, it’s worth noting that the low side pressure control that was installed on the compressor package saved the compressor because it shut it down when the evaporator coil leaked out all of the refrigerant. 

Because the system was out of refrigerant gas, I was unable to test the TX Valve. I was, however, able to test both the thermostat and the solenoid valve and coil, both of which tested ok despite their age and appearance. 

When I changed the evaporator coil, I chose to change the copper linesets, the solenoid valve and coil, the Thermostatic Expansion Valve, and the thermostat as well. This decision added about $500 extra to the final bill for the customer. 

So, the question is then, did I make the right judgement call by replacing parts that otherwise appeared to be functioning properly? If I base my judgement simply on the appearance of the parts it would seem like a good decision. But regardless of the appearance of the parts they tested out well and were functioning properly. 

Why, despite the fact that the parts tested good and were functioning properly, did I chose to replace them? 

Although the parts functioned well, they were original to the system and to the evaporator coil. Given the age of the coil and the parts, it’s reasonable to assume that these parts have literally cycled on and off hundreds of thousands of times. For example, if the machine ran an average of 16 hours per day, and cycled on and off 4 times per hour (both assumptions are conservative), in a 21 year time span the machine will have cycled on and off 490,560 times. That is both a testament to how well made commercial refrigeration equipment is, but also highlights how hard a commercial refrigeration system works to maintain a set temperature within a refrigerated space. 

The machinery works quietly in the back round doing its job unnoticed hour after hour, day after day, and year after year, often with little or no maintenance being performed on the machine.   

In this situation, I chose to replace the parts even though they were still functioning because I am aware that the parts have very high cycle times already. If a piece of equipment has moving parts, eventually those moving parts will fail. 

In the case of this machine in particular, it is probable that the contacts on the thermostat, and the solenoid valve have opened and closed close to half a million times. The solenoid coil also has energized through a half million cycles. The TX Valve has likely modulated open and closed ten million times. 

When I get called in to replace parts on a refrigeration system, I have to use my best judgement to determine what is the best course of action for my customer. I could have re-used all the parts discussed in this example (not including the evaporator coil, of course) but given their age and their cycle count, would I really be doing a service to my customer if I chose that route? I guess that it isn’t impossible that those parts could have lasted a few more years, but my customer would be gambling that their refrigeration system would not break down again in the near term future. That scenario could entail loss of product, loss of business, and more repairs bills. 

I chose to scrap as much of the system as was practical so that my customer would have the best chance at having a reliable problem free refrigeration system.  

New Bohn Refrigeration Coil
The brand new Bohn coil and its related components getting set up.
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Service is in our name

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Service

If you look closely at the following pictures you’ll see that we’re performing a service call at 9:18 P.M. on a cold November Sunday night, because of a no-heat situation in a water plant. As it turns out, the blower fan in the unit heater developed an open short, and the furnace was tripping out on a high temperature limit switch.

It’s this kind of dedication to our customers that makes 404 Refrigeration & HVAC Services the go to service provider for our customers.

Reznor Access    Failed high temperature limit

Customer's water plant

Keeping the heat on in a commercial water plant with a half a million dollars worth of equipment that cannot be allowed to freeze. Pictured above is the malfunctioning unit heater, & the failed high temperature limit switch (caused by the limit cycling repeatedly due to the failed fan motor).

When you need it repaired right and there is no option for failure, consider giving 404 Refrigeration & HVAC Services a call.

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New Customers Required

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Of course, as a small business, we’re always on the search for new customers. That is a necessary function of any company. But, we don’t want to get every customer that we possibly can acquire at the expense of quality.

We are accepting new clients. In order to qualify, you must be looking for a tailored service provider / client relationship. We have needs and expectations that need to be fulfilled, as do you. In order to cultivate a successful business relationship with you, both of our expectations need to be realized. That is simply a reality of doing business in this day and age.

So, what do you require in a business relationship with your HVAC/R service provider? When you tell us what you want and need, you can rest assured that we are listening intently. The only way that we can meet our goals is by fulfilling your needs.

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7 year new equipment warranty

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404 Refrigeration & HVAC Services offers all of our customers a comprehensive 7 year warranty on new equipment installations and retrofit equipment installations.

This is the best new equipment warranty on commercial refrigeration and HVAC equipment in the business. 

When you contract 404 Refrigeration & HVAC Services to sell and install a new or retrofit commercial refrigeration or HVAC system into your business, we offer a full 7 year warranty against mechanical breakdown of the following components:

  • The compressor 
  • The condenser coil
  • The evaporator coil
  • The liquid sight glass
  • The copper lineset
  • The liquid receiver
  • The suction accumulator (if equipped)
Bitzer compression unit

We offer this warranty to our customers to provide them with the peace of mind that comes with having their commercial refrigeration or HVAC  equipment protected by a warranty. New commercial refrigeration and HVAC equipment is costly, and having an equipment warranty helps to ensure that the equipment operates properly and lasts as long as possible.  

When it comes time to purchase and have new commercial refrigeration or HVAC equipment installed into your business, I want you to compare the 404 Refrigeration & HVAC Services new equipment warranty to the warranty offered by our competitors. Often times you’ll find that our competitors don’t offer a warranty on the equipment, or they only offer a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty on the equipment.  

This warranty applies to all new commercial refrigeration system installations, all new commercial refrigeration retrofit system installations, all new commercial HVAC installations, and all new commercial retrofit HVAC installations.  

In keeping with many other company equipment warranties, there are some obligations that must be adhered to by the customer in order to qualify and be eligible for the 7 year warranty. If you would like more information, please click on the link below to read more on the subject, or contact us at (587) 575 – 2111 anytime.  

http://404refrigeration.com/7-year-new-equipment-warranty/

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