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Thread: Freon leaks on milk tanks

  1. #1

    Default Freon leaks on milk tanks

    What do most people do when their milk tank develops a freon leak? Fix it or switch tanks? How much of a pain is it to fix it? And how much does it cost? Also at what point do most people start to get worried about their tank developing a leak? 30 years? 40 years? ( this I know will obviously depend on the type of tank you have) I know around here Surge is almost a swear word on this topic . An input is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    north-central virginia
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    688

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    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but a tank should last almost forever if it's built right and left in one place. Everything is stainless steel, milk doesn't react with stainless, freon doesn't react, so why would it leak?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barron, Wisconsin
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    971

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    Quote Originally Posted by kipps View Post
    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but a tank should last almost forever if it's built right and left in one place. Everything is stainless steel, milk doesn't react with stainless, freon doesn't react, so why would it leak?
    Some tanks were not built/designed right, unfortunately. I have heard of tanks failing where the legs meet the body of the tank. Otherwise tanks can last a very long time. There was a board at Expo last year where people wrote how old their Muller tanks were...plenty of 50+ year old tanks on the list. If a tank has never had a problem, I wouldn't worry at all about its future, if it had already had a leak fixed due to design issues I would avoid it at all costs. Though, like I said in another post, tanks that won't hold freon can still be used for pre-chilled milk, or as a really nice water cistern, whey storage, etc. The new vs. used price gap can be so big it can pay to take some risk. (Meaning if you see a really cheap tank that should work, buy it then have an HVAC guy pressure test it for a week or two. If it holds pressure you should be golden, if it doesn't find it a new use or scrap if and re-coop some of your money.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    197

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    there was a series of Muellers put out years ago that were notorious for leaking. Modified their system on a couple to put a solenoid in them to try to keep the freon in when they were shut off.
    If the tank plates themselves are leaking we used to recommend a guy that did that sort of repair rather than doing it even though we were Mueller dealers. Any of the piping leaks we fixed.
    Had one farm that had a Surge and I do remember that there was a patch on it from having to cut in to repair some leak but I don't know the details.

  5. #5

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    Is that common practice ? Having to test for a week or two? I didn't realize it needed to be that long.But yah, I agree with you on what you said, but yah, I'm leary of buying what could be a 35 or 40 year old tank.

  6. #6

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    I ask about pressure testing process b/c I asked them if tank leaked freon. They called me back telling me they were gonna test it the next day, and that they'll call me back in the next day or two. So they said it passed , does it matter if it was only tested for a short while?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by calvin View Post
    I ask about pressure testing process b/c I asked them if tank leaked freon. They called me back telling me they were gonna test it the next day, and that they'll call me back in the next day or two. So they said it passed , does it matter if it was only tested for a short while?
    Some tanks leak when they are empty, some when they are full, and some when they are washed. Oh, and some only leak after they're moved.
    The best way to test is to pressurize with nitrogen an hour before the milk man empties the tank. Watch the pressure through the complete wash cycle, if its still good an hour later then its not a leaker.

    Tanks usually leak from expansion and contraction. A 6000 g. tank's inner shell can grow 2- 3" during wash. This creates stress on everything that attaches to the cooling plate. Every day pick-up doubles the problem.

    A Mueller often leaks where the freon lines attach to the plate, or one of the spot welds. (Don't ever buy a '72- '73 Mueller)

    DEC tanks and their cousins usually leak by one (or all) of the support cradles. (With every day pick- up it's not when, it's how often.)

    Surge tanks have several problems, but mostly related to the cradles.

    Hurtin' Girtons were just designed to leak.



    Tldr. . . Tanks leak. Get it fixed the first time. Get another tank if it happens again. If it leaks from moving to farm, you probably just drew the short straw.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J320A using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    50

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    We just had our mueller fixed about two weeks ago. Our local dealer had a guy come in from the midwest who specializes in milk tank repair. He gave a better rate because there were about 5-6 of us in the same area that needed repairs. If memory serves me right, He charged a flat rate of $2,000 with a guaranteed repair. It sounds costly, but think of the cost and hassle of switching a tank out.

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