Glycol is a substance that prevents freezing of fluids to ensure flow at low operating temperatures. As an additive to other liquids, it is used in a cooling system. Small businesses are adopting glycol systems especially in beer dispensing and other beverage cooling systems. But even in a small operation, the glycol system is an expensive investment and is in the best interest to have it working around the clock with minimal outages. Here are a few do-it-yourself tips on how to care for glycol systems:
- Use Distilled Water – Tap water will break down the glycol additive over time, making it corrosive to metals, which reduces the reliability of the entire system. Rather than having a water treatment plant, it is cheaper and more convenient to buy distilled water for the system.
- Regularly Refill the System – During its operation, air is trapped in the closed system, which reduces the overall efficiency of the equipment. The system should be regularly refilled to ensure the continuous flow of the fluid.
- Install a Voltage Stabilizer – In just the same way that a domestic refrigerator requires a fridge guard to operate, the glycol system will need an industrial grade automatic voltage stabilizer. The stabilizer protects the system from voltage fluctuations that may damage it.
- Use Food Grade Glycol – There are two commonly used types of glycol: ethylene and propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is a food grade substance that is used in beer dispensers and other beverage chilling equipment. This type is also easier to handle and dispose of due to its low toxicity compared to the ethylene type. It is the most preferred form in small systems.
- Regular System Checks and Service – All equipment, whether industrial or domestic, require regular preventive maintenance by qualified personnel. In the case of breakdown, ensure the technician uses parts recommended by the equipment manufacturer. Glycol system maintenance is not limited to the system only but also applies to other related accessories. These include external power supply units and automatic voltage regulators.
- Follow Manufacturer Guide – The glycol system is a complicated piece of equipment. Read and closely follow the guide issued by the manufacturer. The guide will likely include instructions on how to operate the system as well as how to detect equipment malfunction.
The life and efficiency of the glycol system depend on the care given. Spending regularly on maintenance prevents expensive repairs, part replacement and the need to acquire a new system. For a more technical guide on glycol system maintenance, talk to a professional.