HVACR maintenance specialist Gel-clear has picked up a top industry accolade for its latest weapon to fight the scourge of blocked condensate drains.
The family firm won Maintenance Product of the Year at the ACR News Awards last Thursday for its bio-beta Pipe Chair – an innovative product that can play a big part in stopping blockages in refrigeration cabinets. Developed with the assistance of the University of Central Lancashire, it has been extensively tested to provide superb results, time after time.
Blocked condensate drains are an all-too-common hazard that is estimated to account for up to 40 per cent of refrigeration maintenance call-outs from supermarkets.
The pipework running away from refrigerated cabinets can easily get blocked lacking the required velocity to keep themselves clean. The blockages can cause condensate pump failures, as well as often causing water to spill onto the shop floor.
The puddles of water are not only a maintenance issue, but also a slip risk.
The Association of British Insurers reported last year that claims against retailers reached £3.6 million per day for slips and trips – a figure that was double the losses incurred through shoplifting.
The blocked drains are the most common drainage callout by a factor of nine to one, but for the engineer fixing them they are often a cold, wet uncomfortable environment – and they are often under great pressure to do the job quickly, as stores are eager to get the cabinets back up and running.
The bio-beta Pipe Chair is an adjustable, simple retrofit pipe support that holds the drainage pipes at an angle. This ensures that gravity keeps the wastewater flowing at sufficient velocity that it doesn’t get blocked.
The pipe chair is designed to enable a contractor to quickly and easily achieve the best angle of fall from drainage pipes laid flat to the floor, without disrupting the store’s trading.
It can be adjusted up to 90 mm, allowing it to retrofitted to any size or shape of cabinet, creating an immediate benefit.
On a six-month trial in a supermarket, use of the pipe chair resulted in complete elimination of maintenance callouts for drainage blockages and associated water leaks.
This is calculated to have saved the retailer over £9,000 so far and the installation paid for itself in less than one month.
Gel-clear is a specialist in drainage in refrigerated cabinets and its range of Gel-clear tablets have seen it win a numerous awards.
Managing director Paurick Gaughan said: “I am pleased that this award gives due recognition to the importance of improving refrigeration drainage. It may not be a glamorous area, but it is a costly for retailers and Pipe Chair can literally save thousands of pounds.”