Technical Corner: Handling The Unknowable

It is well understood that air handlers are essentially an enclosure for heat transfer coils and system fans and filters. It is also a fact that removing and replacement of these units is expensive – quite expensive.

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It is well understood that air handlers are essentially an enclosure for heat transfer coils and system fans and filters.  It is also a fact that removing and replacement of these units is expensive – quite expensive.

Often, owners wisely elect to refurbish the AHU instead of replacing the unit.  This saves major dollars in almost all cases.  It is almost surprising to see a corroded AHU almost literally falling apart be turned into a usable piece of equipment with a considerable renewed life span, often greater than 15 years.

While the owner might do the refurbishment himself, he may also elect to have an outside contractor perform the refurbishment if he has no staff or limited maintenance support staff available.

Older units gradually lose their galvanizing (the zinc coating over the sheet steel), particular in those areas where there is a lot of water – like the condensate water collection pan, and the coil structural supports.   When corrosion occurs in these places, metal thins of course, and small perforations occur through the metal.  These holes are normally small, the size of pinheads.

They are exceeding difficult to see, if they can be seen at all, when the water is drained from the condensate pans.  This is because the pans sit on concrete and there is no backlight to see these small holes are there.  Larger ones yes, but the smaller ones no.

Because Pancrete was engineered to a water-like consistency to help it flow all over the pan surfaces and under the coils, it will also, like water, tend to seep out through pinholes.  Thus, one can  pour in Pancrete and have it slowly drain out of the pinholes, depending upon the size of the pinhole and the number of them.

Service technicians can hardly be blamed for not seeing the pinholes in the first place – they may be very small and unnoticeable, or the crew  may be working in the middle of the night to do the refurbishment, be in a hurry to finish and not notice them.

A significant method to solve these possible problems is to use the Panhole Filler.  It is designed to be an underlayment for Pancrete that Pancrete will seamlessly adhere to.   The new Panhole Filler will fill holes up to 50 mils in diameter so as to prevent Pancrete from running out of these small, unseen pinholes in the metal.

The Filler is rolled onto the horizontal surfaces first, let to set up, and then Pancrete is poured as usual.  Use of the Filler prevents any surprises so the job goes A to B.   Outside of wasting Pancrete that has leaked through, it invariably is an embarrassment to the refurbishing staff.

Call CRT customer service to learn more about how the new Panhole Filler can help you compete jobs faster with no surprises.

Lynn Burkhart is the founder and president of Controlled Release Technologies, Inc. located in Shelby, North Carolina. More information about the company, and its products, can be found at http://www.cleanac.com and by calling (800) 766-9057.

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