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Short #9 – Commercial Maintenance (Podcast)

Today's short episode covers five things residential techs need to consider when tasked with doing maintenance on a commercial system. We mostly talk about light commercial package unit maintenance in this episode.

If you come across fresh air filters, be sure to wash those. Some commercial units have economizers that bring in fresh air, but not all fresh air is high-quality. Wash those filters to avoid pollen and other types of outdoor gunk buildup.

Then, you'll want to check and adjust belt tension. Make sure you adjust the belt in each direction correctly; don't get them too tight. Otherwise, you might break or stretch the belt. You may also wear out the bearings or cause higher amperage on the blower motor. In general, you want the belt to be tight enough not to slip off and no tighter. We recommend using the Browning belt tension tool. You may also consider replacing the belt if need be.

You'll also want to align pulleys. Don't just align the edges; align the entire pulley. If you're dealing with sheaves, you can adjust those to tweak your CFM rate. Make sure the motor mounts are square, too.

The next maintenance step is familiar with residential techs: properly wash the condenser coils. However, you may have to “split” the coils; you'll pull them apart and put them on a piece of wood as you separate them. Even though it sounds difficult and time-consuming, splitting the coils is the only way to do a thorough cleaning.

Lastly, you'll want to check the phase balance on three-phase equipment. Phase imbalance can lead to the death of a motor; more than 2% of imbalance can cause issues, and 4% indicates a severe problem.

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