Wax Strips or Gel-clear tablets?

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I still get asked to compare Gel-clear tablets to other products on the market, along the lines of ‘What’s the difference between the tablets and x?”.
It’s best to start with some simple, basic facts, and then move onto some that are not so simple. But they are facts, that need to be understood.
There are a couple of un-contestable constants like gravity, and velocity- these are both important factors in cabinet condensate drainage.

The smooth movement of water from point A to point B is the key to good drainage – smooth surfaces reduce friction; less friction means less turbulence, less turbulence means smooth movement of water and so the drain can do its job effectively. Drains by design, are self cleaning, relying on the velocity of the moving water to keep themselves clean. This hasn’t changed much since the Mesopotamians and it works well.

However, most cabinet drains are laid flat to the floor – so they don’t benefit from either velocity or gravity. This is generally because the cabinet profile doesn’t allow much room and drainage provision is often limited. But it means that what we are left with is a sub-optimal system – the water trickles slowly, with barely enough flow to move itself.

You could say then that cabinet drains are at an operational disadvantage to start with. They are simply not fit for purpose when they are laid flat.
So, we have to work with what we have to work with. Therefore, we need reasonable consideration of how these facts will apply to the cabinet maintenance: the drains will need cleaning more often than functional drains; they cannot keep themselves clean, no water velocity means all debris isn’t carried away but sits in the condensate drain beneath the cabinet; in turn, more debris creates more turbulence; more turbulence cause more debris to settle – it’s a snowball effect.

So when considering a condensate drain treatment, something that actually adds to this problem doesn’t seem the best option? Wax strips are only partly soluble – they leave around 90% of their weight as a carcass that breaks down into small wax pieces. The required velocity to move this debris (0.6 metres per second),isn’t there.

In fact, if we take a round number of 10,000 cabinets, using pink wax strips as directed by the manufacturer, (six strips a year for an 8ft cabinet), would leave behind 220g of wax per cabinet. This would equate to 2.2 tonnes of wax debris a year in the most vulnerable area of the condensate drainage chain.
Compare this with Gel-clear tablets which weigh only 34 grams per cabinet a year, but which is 100% water soluble, so is fully dissolved in water and leaves no residue whatsoever. 

There are a number of three-stage approaches currently on the market offering a package of drain cleaners, pan treatments and chemicals. None of which can come close to the empirical efficacy data of Gel-clear in any long term study, having proven to reduce condensate drain blockage by between 93-100% over a years use. Also proven to reduce drainage call outs across a retail estate by 70%. That’s results.

The Gel-clear tablets can also be used in conjunction with our combined coil, pan and drain cleaner concentrate, which is ten times more concentrated than conventional cleaners. As the only non-hazardous concentrate on the market, it offers a 100% reduction on the noxious chemicals entering the water system.
So it seems pretty clear that wax strips & 3 stage process are not the right solution for condensate drains in food retail refrigeration.
Gel-clear tablets, I would argue, are far more suitable for cabinet drains, and the operational context.
I’m open to any discussion on it.

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