Equipment & System Upgrades

Avoid Costly Failures While Staying Ahead of the Curve

Planning for equipment replacement is always the smart decision. Why? Because a major equipment failure, most of the time, takes place when the unit it is needed the most. For example, the 350-ton chiller in the above image is replacing a 30-year-old R-12 chiller that failed in the month of July. Since the replacement chiller would have taken approximately 16 hours from the order to the delivery, the old chiller was repaired. Three condenser tubes were replaced and the unit was dehydrated. Cost: $18,000. After 4 days of operation the compressor grounded and was rebuilt. Cost: $45,000. This added cost of $63,000 could have been avoided if the replacement order was planned, as it should be, so the install could take place in between seasons. Sadly, previous eddy current tests revealed 60% wall loss in over 50% of the condenser tubes. A case of “let’s try to get one more summer out of it.”

Another reason for planned replacement is that often times the desired replacement equipment may not be available when needed. So, an alternate piece of equipment is selected that may not the best fit, or it is not as energy efficient as it otherwise could have been. In that case, Utility rebate incentives are diminished. In some cases, the Utility will pay a lesser incentive if the unit being replaced is inoperative. The three most important things are planning, planning and planning.

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