Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

Oil analysis is a key tool used to ensure that compressors stay up and running. Compressor Oil or Lubricant is a necessary component in any air conditioning system that uses compressor(s) in its compression system. There are three main purposes of the oil: lubrication, removal of heat and for sealing.

There are three main categories of oil analysis which include: fluid properties, contamination, and wear debris. To expand on these:Fluid properties focuses on identifying the oil’s current physical and chemical state as well as defining its remaining useful life. The properties answers questions such as:

  • Does the sample match the specified oil identification?
  • Is it the correct oil to use?
  • Are the right additives active?
  • Have the additives depleted?
  • Has the viscosity shifted from the expected viscosity? If so, why?
  • What is the oil’s remaining useful life?

Viewing the contamination of the oil can answer questions such as:

  • Is the oil clean?
  • What types of contaminants are in the oil?
  • Where are the contaminants originating?
  • Are there signs of other types of lubricants?
  • Is there any sign of internal leakage?

Wear debris determines the presence and identification of particles produced as a result of mechanical wear, corrosion or other machine surface degradation and answers the following questions:

  • Is the machine degrading abnormally?
  • Is wear debris produced?
  • From which in ternal component is the wear likely originating?
  • What is the wear mod and cause?
  • How severe is the wear condition?

The lab may also look at the acid and base numbers. If the acid number is too high or the base is too low, the oil needs to be changed. Routine oil sampling is important to a successful maintenance program. Oil testing provides essential information to determine the condition of your equipment and that unscheduled downtime is minimized.

Contact Pleune today if you have any questions regarding your compressor or to schedule an oil sample!

Posted by & filed under Chillers, Chillers .

Is your chiller being taken care of properly? Proper commissioning, seasonal startup, and shutdown procedures along with a regular maintenance program help to ensure that your chiller is dependable and working efficiently. Chilled water systems are typically used for cooling medium and large buildings and, although are more costly upfront, have proven to have greater energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs. As we are heading into our cooling season we will focus on the importance of a proper seasonal start- up for your chiller.

                A seasonal start-up of a chiller normally takes place at light load conditions and provides a great opportunity to ensure that your chiller will operate reliably and efficiently throughout the upcoming cooling season. Start-ups include:

  • Checking control valves are operational and in the correct position.
  • Filling the cooling tower and heat exchangers.
  • Verifying sight glasses are properly operating for proper readings.
  • Check the oil sump and/or compressor oil levels.
  • Check operation of the oil return system (if needed)
  • Check oil filter.
  • Ensure the motor and compressor are in good working condition.
  • Perform an oil analysis with a sample pulled from the compressor: This sample is sent to a factory and is analyzed for particulates such as water, metal, and dirt. The readings enable your technician to be able to “see inside” your chiller and provide maintenance solutions to otherwise costly repairs. For example, if elevated levels of Nickel are found, it may be indicative of bearings being worn.

This check list can identify an issue to be corrected before a catastrophic failure occurs which will also assist with avoiding downtime and repair costs.

To schedule your start-up or any chiller needs, contact Pleune Service Company today!

Posted by & filed under Boiler, Boiler Repair, HVAC .

Pleune Service Company’s boiler team recently retubed a fire tube boiler at a local high school. The job consisted of removing 24 tubes that had corrosion leaks and reinstalling new steel tubes. After the tubes are placed in the shell, they are expanded and roll sealed to produce a watertight connection. Retubing boilers instead of replacing the whole boiler offers substantial savings and allows the user to extend the life of the current boiler.

If your boiler is experiencing water leaks or has poor performance issues, give us a call. Our team can determine the best course of action to address your boiler concerns.

Posted by & filed under Building Automation System, Building Management System, Controls .

A Building Management System (also known as a Building Automation System) is a computer based control system that controls and monitors mechanical, electrical, lighting, security and many other HVAC automated building functions. Within the past year cyber security and technology has been in an ongoing update process. More and more building owners are making the switch to update their IT networks and security infrastructure. With this in mind are you thinking about your Building Management system (BMS)? 

Tridium just announced at the end of July 1, 2021 they will no longer be supporting Niagara AX Licenses and License options. This means Tridium will no longer provide access or updates to patches, security updates, drivers, and AX parts that Tridium puts out.

What does this mean for you and what is the best solution for your BMS if it is running Tridium AX software?

Your Tridium AX BMS system will continue to run and we will be able to still access this system. We recommend upgrade your old Tridium AX front end system to Tridium N4. N4 uses HTML 5 graphics and is compatible with the new security protocols. 

If you would like to learn more about upgrading to N4 or if you don’t know if your system is running AX, please email or call Pleune Service Company.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

As we continue to navigate through COVID19 and as Flu season is upon us, we want to ensure the health and safety of our technicians and customers while ensuring business continuity to minimize further disruptions. We are continuing to operate with precautionary measures in place to reduce the risks to both our techs and our customers; our safety protocols include the following:

  1. Weekly safe site inspections for COVID compliance.
  2. Universal precautions training given, to each employee.
  3. Strict contact records maintained.
  4. Daily basic health checks i.e. temperature readings and site QR scans.
  5. Social distancing and masking protocols in place; stricter PPE as required.
  6. Regular management updates on employee whereabouts and customer contact.
  7. Frequent communication concerning status of employees with potential contact exposures outside of work.

We remain committed to bringing top of the line service while taking care of our employees and customers. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have regarding our COVID19 response protocol @ dispatch@pleuneservice.com.

Specific concerns regarding any Pleune personnel or if the customer has job site concerns with regard to COVID, are to be directed to Jill Malone -VP/HR @ jmalone@pleuneservice.com

We are open and ready to service you today!

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

What is a CSD-1? CSD-1 is a guideline that has been adopted as code in numerous states. CSD stands for Controls and Safety Devices, the rules of this Standard cover requirements for the assembly, installation, maintenance, and operation of controls and safety devices on automatically operated boilers directly fired with gas, oil, gas-oil, or electricity, having fuel input ratings under 12,500,000 Btu/hr.

As a business owner in the State of Michigan it is important to know that Michigan has instituted a CSD-1 must be performed on automatic fired boilers used in commercial and industrial settings. This requires boiler owners to establish maintenance and test schedules for their boilers. Rule 27 specifically requires that controls and safety devices be tested by an individual in possession of a valid mechanical contractor license with appropriate classification. The contractor then must test and document the boiler controls and safety devices and provide a copy of the document that is to be posted near the boiler.

A CSD-1 inspection includes Safety checks dependent on your specific boiler. There are some components that all boilers have including: pressure relief valve, gas valve, high pressure or temperature limit, and operating controller. But the safety check does not stop there for all boilers, the check also can include but, is not limited to:

  • Main Low Water Cut Off
  • Low Fire Hold
  • Combustion Air Proving
  • Pilot Flame Turn-Down
  • Water/Steam leaks
  • Indicating lights

The main purpose of the CSD-1 testing is to prevent boilers from getting damaged and to prevent boilers from operating in an unsafe manner.

In extreme measures the failed safety components such as a leaking gas valve, can cause a gas explosion. Or a boiler under high pressure and temperature can break apart causing the water to flash off to steam at a rate of approximately 1750:1 ratio which can potentially cause catastrophic damage to a building.

With the heating season quickly approaching, please contact Pleune Service Company to get set up for a one time testing or to work with your account manager to be set up for annual service!

Posted by & filed under Air Filters, Equipment Maintenance, HVAC, indoor air quality .

Are they really important?

In short, yes! Air filters are central, but often under-appreciated. The HVAC unit and the filter work in tandem in order to provide the space with clean and comfortable air and assists with increasing the lifespan of your HVAC system.

Filters keep the coils and equipment free from dirt, dust, pollen and debris as obstructions to the air flow increases the workload of the system, causing stress on motors and heat exchangers. Also, filters provide a first line defense against larger objects such as bits of loose insulation from being pulled into the system and potentially causing equipment damage. While this doesn’t always lead to a system failure, the increased stress on these components can lead to premature failure.

Effects of a dirty air filter include:

  • The blower in the HVAC system has to work harder to push air. This causes extra stress on the motor as it is working harder drawing more energy leading to higher bills.
  • Difficulty with air flow. This could lead to poor comfort in the work spaces.
  • Overheating or freezing up of the unit.
  • Potential for mold or bacteria colonies. This can occur when the air filter has too much debris.

Not only are regular filter changes important for your units it is important the proper MERV rated filters are being used. MERV states for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Valves, this reports the ability to capture large particles between .03 and 10 microns. The higher the MERV rating the better the filter is at trapping specific types of particles. Filters include but are not limited to:

  • Pleated air filters- with a MERV rating ranging from 7-13. The increased surface area picks up more debris and pollutants than the standard fiberglass filter.
  • HEPA filters-High Efficiency Particulate Air (filters) is a type of pleated mechanical air filter that is to remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and any airborne particles with a size of .3 microns with a MERV rating of 17-20

To learn more about the benefits of changing your air filters as well as learning about what filters would be a best fit for you, contact us at Pleune Service Company!

Posted by & filed under HVAC, indoor air quality .

What We Know About COVID-19
It can spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes.

 

Protect Your Employees
As managers and business owners, we have a responsibility to make a safe work environment. Managing the air quality is an important part in the overall strategy to protect the health of your employees.

 

There is no “one size fits all” solution to increase the indoor air quality in your facility. Pleune Service Company can assist you and your team to determine the best course of action to address your indoor air quality concerns.

 

HEPA Filters:

These filters typically filter down to a size of .3 microns (for comparison a human hair is 50 microns) when using high quality HEPA filters. The COVID virus is .125 microns in size, or three times smaller than the best HEPA can filter out. The virus is usually attached to a carrier like the aerosols from a cough or sneeze. Those tend to be larger in size and large enough that some of it might be filtered out.
What you need to know:
• No standard HVAC system can use HEPA filtration. Modifications are necessary in order to accommodate HEPA.
• Restriction of airflow of rooftop equipment is a plausible risk. High filtration means less airflow. The blower has to work harder to push it through the filters. This translates to less capacity in both heating and cooling modes.
• HEPA filters may not be able to be retrofitted into all HVAC systems; however, side stream equipment is available.
• HEPA filters are often delicate and must be handled with care to prevent damage. They must be sealed properly into filter racks.

 

 

UV-C Lights:

The letters “UV” relates to the magnetic wavelength spectrum which is known as UltraVoilet light. The “C” is the short wave in the wavelength spectrum. UV-C inactivates viral, bacterial and fungal entities as it passes in front of the lights. The first penetration is roughly 66% effective and with the air recirculating through the equipment, it becomes 99.9% effective after a few cycles.
What you need to know:
• The lights are installed in the blower section of the equipment and are activated anytime the blower is on. The fan needs to run continuously while the space is occupied in order to obtain the best results.
• The bulbs have a usable life of approximately two to three years.
• The wiring is low voltage and the installation is fairly fast.
• Applications: UV-C lights are in-duct air, upper-air and in-duct disinfection.

 

Bi-polar Ionization:

High voltage electrodes create reactive ions in the air the react with airborne contaminates, including viruses. The ions interact with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), bacteria and viruses by disrupting their ability to reproduce and neutralizes them. This method is like ‘fogging” a room with ions as opposed to waiting for the air to travel back up through the equipment.
What you need to know:
• The bulbs need to be replaced every two to three years.
• This device mounts in the systems air stream and it generates both positive and negative ion’s that are then carried into the space by the air movement.
• This is considered new technology and peer review studies do not currently exist. Manufacturer data and claims should be carefully considered.

 

Contact Pleune Service Company today to find out what air filtration strategy is best for your business.

1-800-447-6907
pleuneservice.com

Posted by & filed under Controls, HVAC, Lighting .

A Building Management System (also known as a Building Automation System) is a computer based control system that controls and monitors mechanical, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, lighting, security and many other automated building functions.

 

Within the past year cyber security and technology has been in an ongoing update process. More and more building owners are making the switch to update their IT networks and security infrastructure. With this in mind are you thinking about your Building Management System (BMS)?

 

Starting this year, Java 8 has reached the end of its life and will no longer be receiving continued security updates from Oracle. This will eventually lead to a lack of support on most machines that are using Tridium front end controls which use Niagara’s older java-based graphics to view controls systems unless end-users continue to use insecure and out-of-date web browsers and older versions of Java. The Java Web Start application also relies on Java 8, and thus will become insecure as time goes on.

 

In the meantime, you can keep Java 8 installed on your machine but note that it will no longer be updated and it will become insecure. Web browsers will likely cease compatibility with it, and the software will also begin heavily suggesting that you update to newer versions of Java that are incompatible with Niagara’s java-based graphics. Tridium is working on a new piece of software that can be served from the Niagara login screen called Niagara Web Launcher. The software is not expected to be released until March of 2019. It will use its own updated version of Java that must be installed.

What is the best solution for you?

 

Upgrade your old Tridium front end system to Tridium N4. N4 uses HTML 5 graphics and is compatible with the new security protocols. Keep the computer that you access the controls system on at the java version that works best for your controls. Do not update java or security settings on that computer.

If you would like to learn more about upgrading to N4 or if you could use our assistance resolving any current issues with java, please email dispatch@pleuneservice.com or call Pleune Service Company at 1-800-447-6907.

 

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

As a business, do you run a credit history check on a business you plan to do work with?  Many companies do not have this as part of their standard business practice and it could be costing them much more money than they realize.

By getting a business credit report you get a large amount of information to help your business make decisions about the relationship you want to form with the company you are credit checking.  A credit report contains a compilation of information regarding the way a business has been handling their debt. It includes information such as the amount of debt the business has accumulated, how it pays its bills, whether the business has filed for bankruptcy and other credit related information.

Where does this credit information comes from?  Well, credit information comes from organizations referred to as credit reporting agencies or credit bureaus. Credit bureaus make agreements with businesses in which they send debt information to a pool from which they can all access shared credit information.

Credit checks on a business customer can also help to improve your business cash flow.  One of the most effective (and often overlooked) ways of ensuring your cash flow is positive is by controlling the quality of your customers. A quality customer is not just a customer who pays their debt, it’s a customer who pays their debt on time. Because when it comes to cash flow matters, it’s not only about payment of debts by your customer but also the predictability of these payments.

We can all agree that a company’s ability to attract new customers is what keeps the business growing.  However, with these new opportunities, most business operators are tempted to begin business with new customers without really knowing enough about them. And this is risky because unless the customer is paying up front (which rarely happens), you’ll be selling your product on credit to a stranger.

Think of it this way; you are a bank that gives loans to strangers without evaluating the possibility of getting your money back. It wouldn’t be a great business model if banks did this, would it? By not doing your research to know exactly who you are working with, you could fail to identify crucial information that could indicate late payment or worse – no payment at all.

Let’s face it not all customers that approach your business are financially stable, which means you could find yourself chasing after owed money for a very long time. Waiting on money from an unreliable customer means that you’ll be unable to pay your suppliers, pay your workforce and cover other production overheads. In addition to disrupting operations this will create a bad reputation for your business which will negatively impact your own credit.

This is where credit checking comes in. By performing a credit check on your customers, you are able to take a peek at their financial situation and their past payment behaviours. From this, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about the customer you are working with. Performing credit checks on your customers helps improve your cash flow in the following ways:

  1.  Determining your customers’ long term survival. You do not want to get into business with a company that is likely to go bust in a few months. By conducting a credit check on your customers, you will be able to identify companies that are not doing well financially and those that have already filed for bankruptcy. With this information you will be able to set the terms of trade without putting the survival of your business in jeopardy.
  2.  Determining credit worthiness. All customers present themselves as good debtors who pay their debts on time. By checking the credit of your customers, you will be able to find out for yourself whether the business is likely to pay or not. If the business has a good credit rating then you can almost be sure that they will pay their debt as expected. This will help you ward off bad debts that could significantly affect cash flow and even the future of your business.
  3.  Planning. Maintaining a positive cash flow is not only dependent on your customers paying their debts but also on the predictability of their payments. If you can predict accurately when a customer will settle their debt, then you can plan your budget better. A credit check will help you determine whether the company you are doing business with will actually pay within the agreed upon timeframe.
  4.  Determining the terms of trade to use. When you have a good understanding of the customer’s capacity to clear their debt, then you are able to create trade terms that are most suitable for them. You can sell on a cash only basis to poorly rated customers and allow credit facilities for those with good credit rating. You can also include incentives and penalties for early and late payments respectively.

An annual subscription to a reputable credit agency to allow you to run business credit checks early on in the business relationship process will more than pay for itself in lower A/R balances, less bad debt, wasted resources on collecting outstanding payments and positive cash flow for your business.