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A Wet Floor Sign, doesn’t mean clean floor!

Some years ago, a former colleague and I met a team of Refrigeration Engineers at a Supermarket. I was interested in what they were doing. Wet Floor Signs littered the floor, water puddles were everywhere to be seen. Initially, any passer-by would have assumed that the floor was being cleaned, so to take caution, but on closer inspection, it was evident that signs had nothing to do with cleaning…The Engineers were infact unblocking a drains.

Insite:

Refrigeration produces moisture – Warm moist air is transported by fans through a heat exchanger called an Evaporator Coil. The Evaporator is set a low temperature – its purpose is to draw in heat energy from the objects stored in the fridge.

As the air passes through the coil, moisture molecules are attracted to each other, as more and more molecules come together water droplets form. These droplets then run down the Evaporator coil into a water collection tray called the Condensate Tray. The build-up of moisture needs to flow away, via a condensate drain (which runs underneath the fridge and the store).

Dirt, packaging and bacteria cause restrictions and blockages in the drains. Water, not able to flow away, will back up and over spill all over the shop floor.

With 40% of all reported incidents across Grocers is linked to Slips and Trips, preventative measures are extremely important.

I have since noticed the same issues raising across many different Grocers at home and abroad. I have spent many years travelling in building awareness in the correct principles surrounding maintaining clean and clear drains and coils. This is truly a universal problem and for this reason TotalCare was born.

Back to the story…

Engineers vacuuming drains from blockages. What are they vaccuuming? What is the root cause of the  blockage and why does it effect so many stores in so many towns?

It is true that packaging and plastic bags can get caught in the drains, but the real colperate are Biofilms!

Biofilms are micro-organism communities. Clusters of bacteria and germs come together to support a small ecosystem within dark, damp environments. It just so happens, that refrigeration is the perfect breeding ground for microbes and pathogens. To adhere to a surface (to create a bacteria community), bacteria produces a gel  called Exopolyshaccarides – This gel forms in layers resulting in a thick congealed goo, which then fills water drains in fridges, resulting in blockages. Exopolyshaccarides (technical name for bacteria goo), are removed from drains via a vacuum.

The process of vacuuming drains is repeated again and again, meaning that the root-cause of the problem (micro-organisms) are not treated. There are many treatment methods, many of which act as a bandaid over a wound instead of treating the wound first for possible infections.

It has become evident that the correct application method needs to marry-up with the correct chemical solution. Without the two working closely together, you’ll find the same problem re-occurring way ahead of any planned maintenance.

This year has been a great testing platform for our services. We have helped and assisted the following refrigeration clients in achieving the best results: Tesco, Epta, Westway, M&S, Newman Ref and many more.

Since our visits water leak call-outs have reduced to practically zero…unfortunately we can’t prevent pieces of broccoli getting caught in the plug.

In conclusion, don’t look under that refrigerated trap door! You may just meet the Exopolysaccharide Boogy Man!
For more information follow the link:
http://www.totalcarehygieneservices.com/refrigeration.html

#drainublocking #health&saftey #calloutreduction #refrigeration #refrigerationmaintenance

Fast Drying vs Slow Drying

Just as with many things, each and every item has its advantages and disadvantages. This is the same with carpet cleaning. The first and most important is the consistency in stain removal.

Stain removal can be a hard and complex science. There isn’t a once size fits all scenario, this is because of the pH level of different substance that are drop, leaked, trodden onto the fabric. Choosing the right chemical solution and method for removing the stain is skilled job and in many cases experience wins.

The most common carpet and upholstery cleaning methods are:

  1. Bonneting – A heated (Damp) pad is used in conjunction with a slow rpm rotary machine. The pad softens the fibres and lifts dirt off the surface. Low to medium pile carpets, the likes of which found in offices, hotels and public areas, benefit from this system. Other benefits include: Fast drying, low noise, more efficient turnaround.
  2. Extraction – An Extraction wand with jets force cleaning chemical under pressure deep into the carpet pile. At the same time, as the extraction wand is moved over the carpet while powerful vacuums evacuate the moisture. Measuring the moisture level both before and after ensures the minimum amount of liquid remains in the carpet. Benefits of this cleaning are: deeper clean in between the fibres, ideal for heavily soiled carpets, removes deeper darker stains.

Extraction takes longer to dry. Bonneting is faster drying. The balancing act for any expert is matching the quality expectation vs drying expectation. The longer and slower isn’t always the best step forward, as more moisture introduced the carpet will take longer to dry. Less moisture may not remove most stains.

Both have there uses. Both can be used in combination each other. The nature of the clients expectations, operations and quality expectation will determine which is best suited to the job. An expert carpet cleaning provider should offer multiple options to get the best results.

Stain removal is a complex task. The general rule for successful stain removal is time. The faster one can react more likely the stain can be removed. Simply cleaning it with either of the above method after a long period isn’t enough. The correct steps in line with the correct chemical choice is key, but again speedy reactions will prove the most successful.

The client should also not hold its vendor to ransom, if certain stains are not removed…there something’s outside of everyone’s control.

The Golden Rules of Commercial Fridge Maintenance

It’s a debate that still rages within the UK’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning industry: which product performs best at keeping drains clear and free from water leaks? It’s particularly fierce between the manufacturers of those chemical products, all of whom recommend their own strip or tablet options, with impressive claims as to their effectiveness and longevity.

But that’s not really where the discussion should begin at all: here at TotalCare Hygiene Services Ltd, we know it’s important to understand the cause of a repeatedly blocked drain, before a solution can be recommended. And the root causes of blocked drains tend to be threefold:

  1. Poor Drainage Installation:

There are two common offenders here –

a. Design.In recent years, the designers of refrigeration display cabinets have tried to maximise the amount of goods the cabinet can hold. As a result of this trend, the space between the bottom of the cabinet and the drainage area is reducing. A smaller space reduces the flow levels in which drain pipe can run.

b. Installation.For water to flow freely, the drainage equipment should be installed with a minimum gradient to allow free flow of water. It’s an easy thing to miss, and done incorrectly it leads to big problems.

 

  1. Dirt and Contaminants: 

It’s astonishing what our engineers have found in the bottom of refrigeration cases over the years: foodstuffs, packaging, labels, pens, tools, bulbs, coins, hair and even mice. Each has the potential to block the drain. As customers and staff restack goods or take them away, items can fall into the condensate collection tray under the refrigeration cabinet, adding to the blockage risk.

 

  1. Exopolysaccharides:

Or, to use their more common name, biofilms. They’re robust, jelly-like substances secreted by colonies of bacteria, especially in damp, dark placeslike refrigeration cabinets. Not only do they look unsightly and unhygienic, they can very quickly plug the drainage system, causing water to short-circuit the fan motors and put the whole unit out of action.

 

What’s the solution?

After correcting any issues with installation and drainage, the most vital change to make is also the simplest: at minimum, booking a deep clean once a year. While we do have effective cleaning products we prefer and use, the frequency of cleaning matters even more.  The dirt layer acts like insulation, with Refrigeration equipment relying heavily on heat transfer, this layer will reduce its efficiency and then a cascade of problems will follow.

Some supermarket chains only allocate a deep clean once every two years, and the strain on the refrigeration unit tells – One such tell, are water puddles around the refrigeration equipment. Other chains will allow for more frequent visits, these may not resolve all problems, but in many cases water leak call-outs can be significantly reduced.

And those wonder products that promise to keep drains blockage-free for up to twelve months? They’re effective, but they should be the last step in the process rather than the first port of call. Just as doctors need to clean a wound before they can treat it, to reduce the possibility of further complications, so we need to find the cause of repeated blockages in supermarket refrigeration before we treat the area with preventative measures.

 

Good refrigerator hygiene helps your bottom line

When a unit breaks, it’s never just about the unit. Keeping your refrigerators in good health for longer means:

  1. A reduction in service calls
  2. A reduction in potential visitor and staff injuries
  3. A reduction in system downtime
  4. A reduction in component failure and replacement parts
  5. A reduction in possible health hazards from multiplying bacteria
  6. A reduction in store operation disruptions
  7. An increase in sales

All of which include a direct cost benefit to the business. What’s needed is more than the correct chemical choice: it’s the right service provider delivering its thoughtful cleaning solutions in the right way.

TotalCares top tips for maintaining refrigeration plant are:

  1. Pumps & Drains cleared from blockages, via Vacuum or Heavy Duty Drain Unblocker
  2. Chemical Selection:
    1. Disinfectant and Cleaner for the removal of dirt and eradication of biofilms.
    2. Biocidal tray treatment – Ongoing protection between maintenance visits
  3. Frequency – Frequent visits to monitor and regular cleaning cycles.

Call TotalCare Hygiene Services Ltd, and we’ll work to understand the problem and find the right solution. No ‘wonder products’ required.

 

 

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Safe Contractor, F-Gas, Altius certification and approvals

TotalCare Hygiene Services achieves new accreditations, with more to follow in 2019.

Our mission statement, here at TotalCare Hygiene Services, has been the same since we launched in 2016: to promote clean conditions for the preservation and longevity of system, facility and human health. That vision sets the tone for our day-to-day work, where we want our cleaning services to provide long-term preventative measures as well as immediate solutions, and it also informs our strategic path ahead. We always want to be in the vanguard of the professional hygiene industry: championing safer procedures, investigating new technologies and processes, and going the extra mile in customer service.

As part of this vision, we’ve been working hard on achieving accreditations from various industry-recognised regulatory bodies. Over the past few months, we’ve accomplished the following:

  • Assured Vendor, via Altius
  • Certified Safe Contractor, via Alcumus
  • F-Gas Certified and Registered with Refcom
  • Registered with BESA Training
  • Partnered with Business Edge for all HVAC training
  • Health and Safety Awareness Training, via Praxis42

Each of these regulatory bodies has assessed our procedures, reviewed evidence we’ve submitted and confirmed that we’ve met their requirements for above-and-beyond health and safety practices.  The accreditations affirm our commitment to maintaining safe practices and investing in continual staff training, and we’ll pass the benefits of those practices onto our customers. Our next step is to work towards compliance with ISO 9001, the international standard that confirms the ability to provide services that consistently meet customer and industry requirements. We’re now building the back-end framework to support our application, once we feel ready to make the jump.

It’s essential to us that our customers have confidence in us: confidence that our work will be of the highest quality, confidence that we’ll always be open, transparent and accountable, and confidence that we ensure safe and effective procedures at all times. When customers use our services, especially repeat customers, it’s a sign of trust we take very seriously. We’re excited for where the industry will develop in 2019, and, as ever, hope to be at the forefront of positive change.

 

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External Condensers for Convenience Store Refrigeration Plant

Lime scale chocked condenser…no problem!

TotalCare works with operators and contractors in solving problems with contaminated on refrigeration heat exchangers.

TotalCare was called to attend a site inspection of some large condenser coils situated on top of known supermarket. The coil being covered in lime scale kept tripping due to high pressure, resulting in the unit switching itself off – The possible losses of food revenues would have cost 1000s – Luckily with our trained eye, TotalCare team showed how the issue was caused by the lime scale and demonstrated the right method on removing the cause without compromising the integrity of aluminium coil.

Final Score

Lime Scale 0 – TotalCare 1

#coilcleaning #refrigerationmaintenance #ppm #condensercleaning #fridge #service #heatexchanger

#refrigeration #hvac #hvaclife #airconditioning #service #hvactechnician #hvacr #heating #engineering #refrigerator #chiller #cooling #aircon #contractor #hvactech #airconditioner #technician #instagram #fgas #commercialkitchen #hvacservice #commercialhvac #temperature #chilledfood #gl #businessman #installation #hvaclove #socialmedia #bhfyp

Air conditioning coil cleaning in retail and cafe environments.

Contaminated AC = COST £££

Every environment may have different types of airborne dirt. A coastal environment, one would expect to find higher concentrations of salt. An office may have printer inks, moisture, paper and fabric fibres. A salon you will find hair and proteins from lotions and hair sprays. All of these contaminants, overtime, will find their way into both refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

Both types of cooling systems circulate air through a refrigerated coil, which is designed to remove heat energy from the environment. Airborne particulates follow the circulating air and are then drawn into the unit. Dirt begins to collect and clog the coil and filter (if fitted).

A dirty heat exchanger, if left untreated, could see energy costs increase by up-to 36%. Other related issues around poorly maintained coils include:

System refrigerant leaks

Higher energy costs

Higher tax on climate change levy’s

System repair

Component failure

Drain blockages

Ice build-up

Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) helps to

Other benefits may also be enjoyed, such as improved Indoor Air Quality fewer particulates in the air and a reduction in potential cross contamination.

Cleaning the filter isn’t enough, it will help, but dirt can find its way into all surfaces within a AC and Fridge.

TotalCare supports refrigeration contractors in the delivery of their PPM contracts.

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