The discharge hose is a crucial link in the condensate pump system. It carries the removed water from the appliance to a suitable drainage location. It’s essential that the hose remains free of any obstructions or restrictions to ensure the smooth flow of water.
Condensate pumps play a pivotal role in maintaining the efficiency and functionality of chiller cabinets when gravity is not available. These simple devices, have unjustly earned a poor reputation in the food retail environment. In this article, we look at some of the reasons.
Understanding Condensate Pumps
Condensate pumps serve as the unsung heroes of refrigerated display cabinets, purposefully designed to eliminate excess water generated as a dynamic alternative to traditional gravity-based systems. In today’s ever-changing retail landscape, the significance of maximising flexibility in store layout design cannot be overstated. With consumer needs evolving rapidly, the ability to swiftly relocate display chiller cabinets without the burden of extensive construction for new below ground drainage installations has become a critical advantage. Condensate pumps step up to meet this challenge, offering retailers a versatile and efficient solution that empowers seamless store design changes while ensuring optimal product presentation and customer experience.
So if this is the case, why are more not used?
The idea that condensate pumps are an alternative to gravity drainage is not entirely true, condensate pumps rely on good gravity drains to bring the water to them, and any failures here, are usually, wrongly attributed to the pump. But the pump is not just dependant on the incoming drains. At the other end of the condensate pump system lies the discharge hose, a crucial conduit responsible for carrying condensed water to a suitable drainage location. The seamless flow of water through this hose is essential for optimal pump performance.
Poor quality discharge hoses are a major reason in condensate pump failure, especially in a supermarket environment beneath a chiller cabinet. The main failure in hose is by kinking in the hose, restricting the flow of water. Hose usually comes in a tightly wrapped coil, and when fitted, often retains twists, that become the weak spot for kinks. This is a problem beneath the cabinet, where other maintenance works can involve moving the pump or hose for service access, and at these times, the hose is at its most vulnerable.
The Dangers of a Kinked Discharge Hose
A kinked or restricted discharge hose can spell trouble for your condensate pump and the appliance it serves. Let’s examine the potential risks associated with this issue:
* Reduced Pump Efficiency: A kinked hose obstructs water flow, causing the pump to work harder to remove the condensate. This increased strain on the pump can significantly reduce its efficiency, leading to higher energy consumption and reduced performance.
* Overheating: The added workload due to a kinked hose can cause the condensate pump to overheat. Over time, this overheating can lead to pump failure, disrupting the entire system and requiring costly repairs.
* Pump Damage: The increased pressure resulting from restricted water flow can damage the internal components and seals of the condensate pump. This damage may lead to leaks or complete pump failure, necessitating replacement.
* Water Damage and Safety Concerns: A kinked hose can cause water to back up and overflow. This overflow can result in water damage to the appliance, flooring, with puddles beneath the cabinet posing health risks to shoppers
Optimising Condensate Pump Performance
To avoid the potential pitfalls associated with a kinked discharge hose, follow these maintenance tips to optimise your condensate pump’s performance:
* Regular Inspections: Conduct routine inspections of the drains and discharge hose to ensure there are no kinks, bends, or obstructions. Promptly address any issues you encounter.
* Proper Installation: During installation, ensure that a quality hose is selected. Avoid sharp bends or tight angles that may cause kinks.
* Cabinet PPM: Regularly clean the drains and pump. This simple step can go a long way in maintaining optimal pump performance.
Condensate pump selection is not nearly as important as the installation, correctly installed incoming drainage, and a good quality discharge hose. By being aware of the risk with maintenance and promptly addressing any issues, you can prevent costly repairs and ensure your condensate pump operates at its best, protecting your equipment and property from water damage.
It was based on this vulnerability to supermarket condensate pumps, that Gel-clear developed the ‘kink proof’ condensate hose. The hose has a stainless steel spiral wire, making collapse, or kinking impossible under normal duty, and impossible if you tried to deliberately cause a kink by hand! You would need a lump hammer.
Investing in the best pumps for your application can be a complete waste of time if you are using a cheap, poor quality hose, and you would be surprised how many people do! Protect your pump and enjoy the peace of mind with your installations by using the Gel-clear Helix hose.
The Gel-clear ‘Helix’ hose is manufactured by Gel-clear Ltd, and is only available form Gel-clear and selected suppliers across Europe, to find out more, check our website for where to buy.