Clement (Bud) Gavin: Clement.Gavin@cityofchicago.org
All parts of all mechanical refrigeration systems employing refrigerant shall be inspected periodically. Therefore all air conditioning equipment in the city of Chicago, and all refrigeration systems, such as, walk-in coolers and freezers, reach-in coolers and freezers should be inspected to assure the safety devices on these systems are functioning correctly. (The exceptions to this rule are single family residences and 3 dwelling units or less). The Refrigeration Bureau checks all the cooling equipment in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, restaurants, bars, office buildings and recreation centers.
Refrigeration inspectors visit meat and food processing plants and inspect the mechanical equipment within the plant to assure that everything meets city code and the accepted safety requirements of the industry. There are approximately 100 ammonia refrigeration systems that are closely monitored by this department. The refrigeration bureau's inspectors will also inspect industrial occupancies and check the mechanical equipment used for the process cooling of whatever is produced in every plant in Chicago.
Q: Do we really need a relief valve on our unit?
A: Relief valves are needed on any refrigeration system that contains more than 4 pounds of refrigerant or that has a pressure vessel as part of the system.
Q: What is a relief valve?
A: A relief valve is a mechanical device that, at a preset pressure, will open and release refrigerant pressure from the system until a safe pressure in the system allows the valve to reset itself.
Q: What is the difference between soldering and brazing?
A: Both are ways to join copper pipe. Soldering is when the temperature of the filler metal is approximately 400-500 degrees. Brazing is when the filler metal is in excess of 800 degrees. The brazing method will withstand vibration much better than a soldered joint.