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Category : Coil Cleaning

To Scrub or Not to Scrub: Why TotalCare’s True Love Isn’t Actually Cleaning 

‘I contacted TotalCare to assist me with the completion of a tight (refrigeration) maintenance schedule. This was a success: it is safe to say that I am very pleased with the results. They took ownership over their responsibility, allowing me to get on with my own important tasks. I will continue to use them, and would happily endorse them.’

– Greg Lindley, ColdService Ltd

Recent Cooling Post Article: http://www.coolingpost.com/uk-news/bradley-comes-clean-with-new-service/

This might surprise you, but cleaning isn’t our passion. It’s part of what we do, of course: wherever human beings live or work, we create dirt and chaos that must be resolved into cleanliness and order. But anyone can mop your floor or shampoo your office carpet. We’re interested in more than that: we want to promote long-term solutions that will preserve system, facility and human health. The continuing health and happiness of your workforce. The preservation of your equipment to keep it working efficiently and well. A workspace that protects and provides for your employers. We believe that clean conditions, smooth-running equipment and healthy, comfortable inhabitants make a business really soar; a house feel like a proper home.
That’s why we employ Hygienists, not cleaners.

We want our services to make a tangible difference to the way you live and work. So we invest in the latest equipment and technologies, keeping abreast of developments in the industry. And putting the customer first means starting with our own employees.

Every one of our Hygienists is part of our core ethos, from the very beginning of their career. Each has undergone specialised training courses, then shadowed a senior Hygienist before joining a team. As a company we cover domestic, commercial and specialist cleaning and hygiene services – everything from gardens to windows to carpets to fridges, in homes and offices large and small –there’s a lot to learn. We run a strong mentoring programme to keep developing individuals’ talents, and a continuing incentive scheme to recognise outstanding contributions. Everyone is employed full-time on a secure contract, and we are proud to support the living wage for all our staff.

Our theory was that happy Hygienists would make for happy customers. Once we’d put all these systems in place, we found we had motivated, passionate employees who care just as much about your health and happiness as you do.

So when I call TotalCare Hygiene Services and book a session, what can I expect?

Do you have a garden or grounds to spruce up? An office space to sanitise? Toddler-stained carpets to rescue? Congratulations: we’ve got Hygienists ready to help you! Each of our teams is comprised of a trainee, a supervisor and a senior. They are trained in a workflow we call PAC: preparation, where the job is thoroughly assessed, planned and prepared for; application, where each team member is delegated an individual task that will receive their full attention; and confirmation, where every job is checked personally by an appointed supervisor before completion.

We’ll ensure you’re fully informed at every stage. After the initial assessment, we’ll explain what needs to be done, how we’ll achieve it and how long we expect it to take. If anything unexpected comes up during the task, you’ll be the first to know. And once we’ve finished, we’ll take you through what’s been done to make sure you’re satisfied with the results.

What if I’m not satisfied?

We try very hard to make sure you will be! But in case you’re not, our guarantee means that we’ll return quickly and at no extra cost to resolve any problems.

If you’re interested in any of our services, we’d love you to contact us via our website. Let’s make your long-term health and comfort our business: one team of happy Hygienists at a time.

Taming the Beast: How TotalCare Makes Refrigeration Headaches a Thing of the Past

 

Next time you’re in a supermarket, count up the refrigerated display cabinets (yes, we know how to live). Chances are, if you’re a customer, you’ve never noticed how many there are. In fact up to 79,000 throughout a single large grocers estate! Each chiller (another word for fridge) has on average 5-6 fans per fridge to circulate airflow, totalling 395,000 fans across one supermarket brand. If you’re a Store Manager or employee, though, we’re willing to bet you spend far too much time thinking about refrigeration units, and the many problems they tend to cause.

 

Refrigeration units: can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em

A large grocer couldn’t run without refrigeration, to cool and preserve the goods on sale. Sales revenues from chilled foods make up more then 60-70% of all goods sold throughout some single grocers. So, how critical are chilled goods from a sales and profit perspective to supermarkets? The answer is incredibly important!

Yet maintaining, servicing and mending each cabinet consumes valuable time and resources, and can even affect consumer confidence. Here’s a quick run-down of the common issues:

 

  • Drain blockages: Refrigeration units are havens for bacteria biofilms(jelly-like bacterial secretions that thrive in warm, dark and damp areas). Once the biofilms have built up, condensate is unable to drain away, resulting in water spillages on to the shop floor. Employees can only soak up the water with absorption socks called Puddle Pythons, and wait for a refrigeration engineer to be available. In the meantime, customers may slip and fall, resulting in potential injury and possibly out-of-court settlements and increased insurance premiums. 40% of all declared injuries throughout supermarkets are due to slip&trip hazards (Health&Safety Executive).

 

  • Shut-down for cleaning: most refrigeration cabinets are given a deep clean once every 9-12 months (housing and panels are generally cleaned every few weeks). The traditional cleaning method involves vacuuming drain-lines and high-pressure washing with cold to warm water – which means shutting down the cabinet, removing produce, and disrupting customers. No disinfectants are used to remove micro-organisms. However, due to the lack of correct use of chemical products in situ with a poorly executed methodology, the 1-2 time maintenances become more frequent throughout the year, which may result in compromised reputations for both the contractor and grocer.

 

  • Parts/Component breakdown: it’s been reported that, on average, 7% of refrigeration fans and fan motors need replacing every month. Based on what has previously been stated, this is approximately 27,650 per year throughout a single supermarket chain. In larger stores this can work out to be a whopping thirty parts per month per larger store! As a result of faulty fans, due to drain blockages, the evaporator coils are also prone to freezing, necessitating a full defrost and potential loss of goods and sales revenues.

 

  • Increased energy bills: The build-up of biofilms can also affect the heating/cooling flow within the unit, increasing surface corrosion and making the unit less energy efficient. It is a proven fact, throughout the refrigeration industry, that for every 1 degree increase in condensing temperature energy costs can rise by 2-4%. Studies have shown in some cases of an overall increase of up to 36%!

Other costs to grocers and contractors include: Service Contractor call out fees (inclusive contrac or pay as you go), system downtime, loss of sales revenues, component replacements, insurances premiums and energy taxes!

The build-up of dirt and bacteria jelly is worrying for stakeholders, especially when located so close to goods that are for human consumption.

What’s a Store Manager to do about all of this? It’s vital for the store’s reputation and name – and for the health and happiness of its customers – for refrigeration units to be cleaned well, maintained efficiently and mended in a way that causes the least disruption. Unfortunately, current cleaning methods don’t tend to address the underlying issues, allowing bacteria to rapidly return, and the cycle of breaking-down and patching-up to continue.

 

TotalCare does things differently

We’ve got good news for you: we believe our one-time, first-time approachshould apply to even the most troublesome of refrigeration cabinets. That’s why we’ve adopted a new cleaning method for commercial refrigerators, using products that have been registered with the international NSF non-food compounds programme. It means they can be used safely where food is stored and handled. And because we use safe cleaning products not just warm water, we completely remove the damaging biofilms each time, discouraging regrowth for longer. Infact, up to the next scheduled cleaning regime.

We also physically remove dirt and dust from circulating airflows, improving the surrounding air quality. We’ve found that our method preserves component life for longer, reduces the number of service calls, keeps drains leak-free for up to fourteen months, helps units stay energy efficient, and significantly reduces disruption in-store.

We think of ourselves as your reputation insurers: a vital, willing partner in boosting customer and employee satisfaction. This is achieved when the right combination of cleaning products with the right level of technical understanding come together.

Imagine it: no more water leak-and-breakdown headaches. You and your refrigeration cabinets can be friends for good. More importantly your customers will want to come back knowing that their goods are kept in a clean and hygienic environment!

Find out more: http://www.totalcarehygieneservices.com/refrigeration.html

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

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

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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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