The heat exchanger is the heart of the closed cooling system. It uses raw or ocean water to cool your antifreeze or coolant. The heat exchanger acts like a radiator does in an automobile, however rather than air, raw water is used. As the raw water flows through the plates inside the heat exchanger, the water absorbs and exchanges the heat and will exit the heat exchanger through the exhaust overboard. The marine plate heat exchanger is just as important as the radiator in your car. If a car radiator is not maintained, flushed, or replaced periodically, it can destroy your engine.
2) Why do heat exchangers need to be cleaned?
Over time the heat exchanger plates become fouled with marine organisms and scale. This will gradually cause your engine(s) to run hotter. Have you ever noticed your gauges are slowly showing hotter temperaures? If a plate heat exchanger is not serviced , it can also develop leaks and become hard to disassemble due to corrosion and salt. It is an easy task if done on schedule but can become much more difficult when bolts become corroded. A properly maintained heat exchanger will assure a cool running engine and it will definitely extend engine life.
3) Replacing the gaskets
When a heat exchanger is disassembled, it is necessary to replace the gaskets. It is a fairly easy process, as most gaskets just clip or glue into place. The gaskets in a heat exchanger can become brittle, compressed, or distorted over time. Attempting to reuse the old gaskets is not a good idea, especially since we have made gaskets much more affordable than your local dealer.
Plate heat exchangers are usually disassembled and cleaned every 2 to 3 years. If a heat exchanger is reassembled using old gaskets and develops a leak, the entire plate heat exchanger assembly has to be removed again and meticulously cleaned.
4) How do you clean a plate heat exchanger?
In most cases pressure cleaning/power washing will be sufficient to clean the plates. Chemical baths are sometimes necessary to remove heavy scale.
Older units should be dye tested and repaired as necessary. We can service your units if you ship them to us, or we can send you the correct replacement parts.