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Beat the cold weather this year and help avoid frost damage with our hints & tips section!

Posted: 30th October 2014

At Beehive, we regularly receive frost damaged coils sent to us during the winter months - most of which are beyond repair.

Frost damage is normally caused by water or condensate held within an inactive coil (in temperatures of 0°C or less) which freezes and expands, normally resulting in irreparable damage to the coil. This is the most common cause for frost damage and normally takes place first in the tubes/bends outside of the fin area or in some more severe cases, within the finned area itself.

Frost damage can normally be identified by bulging or cracking of the bends.

Occasionally, frost damaged coils may be repairable but although this may fix the immediate problem of a leak - the issue is much more likely to repeat itself the next time there are drops in temperature if the root cause is not resolved.

Some of the more frequent causes of frost damage are listed below:

  • System shutdown without draining coil - resulting in no movement of fluid within pipes and no airflow over the coil face exacerbating potential for frost damage in cold weather
  • ‘Frost-Jump’ which is the result of frost moving over frames between heating and evaporator coils which are within the same framework or connected. Unbolting coils if possible should prevent the frost spreading
  • No airflow which comes as a result of dirty coils allowing evaporators to produce air below zero degrees so ensure coils are regularly cleaned for optimum performance

If the coil is not in use, we would suggest draining all fluid from it if freezing temperatures are present. However, even after draining, enough water may still remain in the coil/system to cause frost damage - so following one or both of the proactive steps below is suggested to help try and avoid this common issue:

  1. Once drained, use air to fully blow out coils through terminations (not using vents/drains). This process may take an hour or more (depending on the size of the coil) but check dryness by holding a mirror or similar in front of the coil outlet. If water still remains, the mirror will become foggy but will remain clear when all liquid is removed. Try tilting or carefully bumping the coil to help free any trapped water.
  2. Flushing coils with antifreeze/glycol solution - this process will require a pump and suitable glycol/anti-freeze solution once the water supply has been disconnected and the coil has been isolated.

If you do have a suspected frost damaged or leaking coil in your system, then remove and send to Beehive for repair cost (if possible) or a quotation for a replacement unit which we can supply on a fast lead time to assist - see offer below.

Try our FASTRACK service for quick, bespoke or small quantity coil replacements - contact our Sales team on 01638 664134 or info@beehivecoils.co.uk for details & available options. Check out the link below to get a special offer giving 50% off our standard FASTRACK charges if using code BCFT14 when ordering: