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There are many reasons for premature coil failure. Sometimes the coils are frozen, sometimes, there is corrosion in the system, or other times, the measurements are incorrect. Despite these challenges, most coils can last from 10-30 years! Many variables impact how long a coil will perform. Factors like maintenance, air quality, and water quality play a significant role in a coil’s lifespan.

When Would I Need a Repair or Replacement?

Coils ultimately fail because of old age. If you notice any of the following about your coils, it may be time for a repair or replacement.

1. Weakened Fin/Tube Bond

Up to 70% of a coil’s performance is dependent on the fin, which is known as the secondary surface. The fin/tube bond is an essential manufacturing aspect of any coil. The coil will never function properly without a strong fin/tube bond.

Over time, this fin/tube bond naturally weakens and becomes less efficient with constant expansion and heavy wear. As a result, a coil is roughly 30% less efficient after 20 years.

2. Coil Cleaning

In many cases, cleaning coils will often push dirt to the center of the coil.
Additionally, cleaning agents can corrode the aluminum fins. Since the fin is essential for proper heat transfer, corrosion is detrimental to the coil’s performance.

3. Erosion

Even if well-maintained, no coils are immune to old age and erosion. Under higher pressures, steam can be corrosive and erosive.

Common Solutions

The lifespan of a coil varies between all types. Some will last for five years, while others can go on for thirty years. A coil repair is a temporary fix to a problem, so we usually recommend a replacement. Save your time and money and invest in a solution that will provide guaranteed lasting results!

Temporary Repairs

Here are temporary repair methods you may run into:

1. Drop the failing tubes from the circuit

One temporary fix is to remove the failing tubes from the circuit. Dropped tubes reduce a coil’s performance by three times the tube’s surface area. While this will help your coil hold up in the short term, it will ultimately lead to high energy costs. In this case, it’s better to buy a new coil.

2. Cover the existing braze with a new braze

Often if a braze is failing due to erosion, people may try to remedy this by simply covering the existing braze with a new braze. This method will also hold you over for a bit, but not for long. You are essentially just pushing the pressure to another braze, which will ultimately begin to fail.

3. High-Pressure Cleaning

This method pushes more dirt into the center of the coil by bending the fins and further restricting the airflow. This method is only a temporary fix, as the center of the coil can never be adequately cleaned, which will lead to more problems down the road.

Replace > Repair

As you can see, these quick fixes won’t help your coils hold up for a long time. If you try any of these repair methods, you’ll likely have to increase the energy to make the coil work at its peak performance. These energy increases will continue to rise, leading to higher operating costs.

In most cases, coil repairs should be viewed as nothing more than a temporary fix until you can get a replacement. Mainstream has seen the struggles resulting from quick coil repairs, and we want to help you find a better solution. If you have any questions about coil replacements, contact our experts at Mainstream today!