Some owners of microbreweries incur heavy costs to repair the refrigeration system after the system breaks down due to the mistake of resetting the freeze alarm without addressing the reason why the alarm went off. Here are some common causes of a freeze alarm going off in your glycol refrigeration system.
Improper Glycol Solution Freeze Point
The glycol solution in your refrigeration system plays a big role in ensuring that the refrigerant does not freeze. Glycol acts as an antifreeze agent because it has a lower freezing point than the refrigerant in the system. However, the freeze alarm can go off if you placed less glycol in the glycol/water mixture within your refrigeration system. The limited amount of glycol in the mixture will cause the solution to freeze at a higher temperature than it would have frozen if the correct amount of glycol were used.
You should therefore check and ensure that the proper volume of glycol is in the system so that the freeze alarm does not go off shortly after you reset it. You can even prepare a fresh glycol/water mixture in case you suspect that you used the wrong ratios when refilling the system.
Improper Glycol Solution Quantity
The possible cause of the freeze alarm above deals with the composition of the glycol solution. This second factor deals with how much of that solution is in the system. The glycol loop has marks that show you where the proper amount of the glycol/water solution should reach.
The freeze alarm can go off if the solution is less than it should be. This is because air can enter the system and cause cavitation in the glycol pump. Cavitation will stop the flow of the solution within the cooling system. Avoid this problem by always ensuring that you top up the glycol/water mixture so that it never goes below the recommended level.
The freeze alarm may also go off in case something has impeded the flow of refrigerant or glycol solution within the cooling system. For instance, a valve within the system may have spontaneously closed. This can cause the refrigerant to stop flowing even if all other components are working correctly. Similarly, something may have squeezed a section of the piping. You need to inspect the cooling system carefully so that you identify any anomaly that is affecting the flow of the glycol solution. Fix that anomaly and reset the alarm.
Avoid trying to fix refrigeration system malfunctions unless you have the experience in troubleshooting your model and make of refrigeration system. Any mistake that you make due to inexperience can cause major components to fail. It is therefore better to invite a technician to fix the system so that the alarm does not go off again.