Not often does a water chiller service of evaporator fault occur. The evaporator can freeze up and burst the tubes inside the shell. This fault involved the shell itself bursting. On close inspection- the shell was made out of thin steel- not the usual heavy rolled steel. It looked like the near end on the photo had sagged down- causing the evaporator shell to buckle.

Replacement of Evaporator

This option would be expensive due to the cost of the evaporator. It would be a difficult visit because of access issues. The builders decided to site the chillers round the back of the building, this makes them very difficult to service. Our lift and shift guys would be needed to get the old chiller evaporator out and the new one in. There is a difficult corner to get round where the evaporator would have to be tilted up to get it round. Also, a fence wound have to be taken down around the chillers. Of course, security is an issue but so is access to the chillers.

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Water Chiller Service of Evaporator using Silver Solder

Because of the above, it was decided by the customer that we would fix the leak using silver solder. The Risk Assessment Method Statement allowed for the job to be carried out with a half hour fire watch. The oxy-acetylene lines were leak tested prior to the job. Both leaks were soldered up but despite the evaporator being drained down, there was still water and steam trying to get out. Not the best soldering resulted- but it held.

Water Chiller Service of Evaporator Paintwork

Because the chillers are outside, the paintwork is essential- poor paintwork will reduce its life. After preparing the surface, specialist paint was applied so as to protect the evaporator for the future.


The purpose of lagging is to reduce heat gain from the environment and provide protection from the elements. Therefore, the lagging was reinstated after the job.

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See the Institute of Refrigeration Evaporator Efficiency