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Many businesses and organizations have need of refrigeration these days. And whether you are a busy restaurant with a large commercial kitchen or a supermarket or small store owner, it’s vital you keep your refrigeration devices in good order and well maintained. Ultimately, however, there is always the chance that your units will break down and be in need of repair.
At times like these, you can always call IceMasters, of course, and we’ll get straight over to you for a timely repair in the event of any refrigeration problem. But before it gets to that stage, there are a few things you can do to ensure your walk-in cooler, freezer or chilling unit stays in fantastic condition.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about commercial refrigeration repair – and how to prevent damage happening in the first place.
Use Your Refrigeration Checklist
First and foremost, you can prevent serious problems occurring with your refrigeration unit or units by keeping up to date with your refrigeration checklist. Ultimately, you need to keep your inventory nice and fresh, so keeping the cooling or freezing system in perfect shape will save you money in the long-term. Your checklist should have a detailed outline of every maintenance task that needs doing regularly, and it’s important for your staff to ensure they are keeping up with the routine. In general terms, a clean and well looked after refrigeration system is a happy refrigeration system!
Next, let’s take a look at some of the major culprits when it comes to refrigerator system breakdown.
The hinges of a commercial refrigerator get a lot of abuse. Day in, day out, night in, night out they are opened and closed by all and sundry, and it eventually takes its toll. And let’s be clear – broken hinges can have a serious impact. Doors can fall off – possibly on top of an employee – and that is likely to end in tears, and possibly a lawsuit. So, make sure you check the structural integrity of your hinges and doors regularly,. And if you do see something wrong, give us a call here at IceMasters sooner rather than later.
Corrosion occurs when the ingredients of liquid products combine with air, moisture or the elements in your unit, and become acidic. The typical culprit is spillages, so it’s vital that you mop and wipe your system on a regular basis – especially if you often store products like citrus fruits or alcohol. But there is also a risk of airborne corrosion, too. Leaving certain food products open can cause a chemical reaction, and create a corrosive effect on the elements of your units.
Just like your fridge at home, you should avoid filling your refrigerator system completely. Not only will you find it difficult to find products, but you will also be more likely to cause an accident. But the most important reason for keeping your units a maximum of three-quarters full is down to your fans. Overcrowding can block your fans, stop air moving freely in the unit, and – possibly – be cause for a breakdown and repair.
When you are a business or kitchen that is short on space, the top of your refrigerator units can be a tempting place to store products or equipment. One word on this – don’t. A lot of modern systems have a compressor condensing unit on top, which could be blocked by whatever it is you put up there. Without being able to breathe and circulate air properly, you run the risk of having to write off all the fresh produce inside. Furthermore, we have attended refrigerator systems that have caved in because of heavy objects placed on top. It’s a mistake you don’t want to make – and a very costly repair!
Sometimes, it’s possible to be a little too clean and tidy with your refrigeration system. These are finely-tuned pieces of kit, especially the condensers, which come with incredibly delicate fins that are easy to break with the slightest bit of overaggression. So, while we recommend shutting down the unit and giving it a periodic clean – every three months or so – please be careful! Use a vacuum rather than wiping the area, and avoid touching it wherever possible. The condenser might be small, but it’s essential to the workings of your refrigerator system. If you start to notice that your temperature is not getting any colder, or that your produce you store in the unit is spoiling, rather than freezing, it might be a sign you have condenser problems. If so, give us a call – IceMasters will be happy to give you a full diagnosis.
Again, over-eagerness with cleaning can cause you trouble in more ways than one. While your evaporators are a little tougher than your condenser fins, it doesn’t take much to ‘overdo’ it. Also, make sure you are taking a peek through the fans to ensure there is no ice buildup around the backside. It could be a sign that you are suffering from a defrost issue, or even some heat transfer inefficiencies. Can’t work out the problem? Once again, contact IceMasters and we will sort it all out for you!
We get more calls on refrigeration leaks than we would like, so our final point is to ensure you understand what causes the problem. As with any modern piece of commercial machinery, refrigerator systems can be very complex, and the chances are that you will have a refrigerant leak at some point. If you do discover a leak, you need to contact us – or your local refrigerator mechanic – as soon as possible. Leaks can occur for all kinds of reasons, from degradation through to negligence. But make no mistake about it – a leak can cause your business serious trouble. Ideally, aim to check your equipment properly at least once every twelve months, and regardless of the size of the leak, make sure you report it to the relevant authorities. Fines can be incredibly expensive – up to $250,000.
If you need help with a commercial refrigeration repair, don’t hesitate to get in touch today on 403-294-9384!