Troubleshooting techniques for Chillers in the printing and OEM industries

Chiller problems can be easily addressed with the below step by step chiller check list.  Below the troubleshooting techniques range from checking fuses to your air filters.  Under no circumstances should anyone perform these tasks unless properly trained or licensed.  

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Chiller system does not start:

1. Have all voltages and fuses checked (if system is not operating) If fuses are blown-check for shorts or grounds before new fuses are installed. There was a reason for the fuses blowing-find it first.

2. Make sure chiller has water in the closed loop reservoir tank. This can cause the flow switch to chatter or the system to ice up.

3. Check the thermostat set point and make sure the water in the closed loop reservoir is above that setting. If the water is cool the chiller may not need to run.

4. Keep all air, water filters and coils clean and clear for proper air flow.

5. Make sure any belts have been checked and spares are on hand.

6. Make sure that there is at least 1-2 printing or OEM  machines have open water circulation. This can be also obtained by the use of a water bypass at the end of the process water loop.

7. Safeties: Reset them 2-3 times maximum. If the system continues to trip the safety then call a chiller service technician.

Chiller-Start ups and Shut downs:

1. Do not shut off chiller by main power disconnects. Use control power switches provided on the chiller control panel.

2. First time start ups should be done by a qualified chiller service technician. Serious damage can occur if certain steps are not taken from the beginning.

3. Start ups (Daily): make sure the chiller recirculation pump is on and running before the compressors are started.

Operating Adjustments: (Printing)

1. Printing rollers and Ultraviolet (UV) housings are very susceptible to sweating. Sweating of rollers or UV housings is a serious problem because the condensing water drops on the web (or paper roll) and can deform the product and break the web.

2. Temperature ranges: Keep chiller no lower than 60F to help any sweating. Some run as high as 70F. This can over load the chiller so be careful as to the operating conditions of your equipment.

3. Water flow adjustments-Sweating: On certain presses flow meters can also be adjusted to reduce the flow, raise the water temperature, which reduces the sweating on the web.

4. Water pressure: Some pressures, primarily ones with Ultra violet housings (UV) need a certain supply water pressure. These pressures are to properly remove the extreme heat that UV housings can generate.

5.  If sweating is excessive and the chiller is not designed to run at more than 70 F, add a temperature controller that can be set for the higher needed temperatures.

Operating Adjustments: (OEM equipment)

1.  OEM equipment will tell you the desired temperatures, water pressures & flows.  Go by these parameters and read the guidelines as to the operations of your specific equipment.  There are many different types of specialized equipment that can use chilled water.

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Professional Refrigeration Troubleshooter

The first hands on Chiller/HVAC/R troubleshooting handbook is out in publication. This is a must have book for you and your service technicians.  It will save you time and money along with passing on the vast knowledge of 60 years experience.

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This page was last updated on January 1, 2014

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