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