Posted on 29 August, 2017 in Maintenance, Refrigeration

Commercial Refrigerator Problems: What to Fix and What to Leave to the Pros

Commercial Refrigerator Problems: What to Fix and What to Leave to the Pros

No one wants the headaches associated with their commercial refrigerator breaking down, but when bad luck strikes and things go wrong, it pays to know what you can fix yourself and when you need to bring in a professional. Having some basic knowledge about commercial refrigerator problems will help you make an informed decision on how to get your refrigerator running in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. If you aren't sure where to start, here is a list of the most common malfunctions and some quick fixes.

  • Problem: Your refrigerator is running too often. Check the seals are clean and working properly. 
    • Old seals can become cracked and will not keep air in as well, resulting in your system working overtime. 
    • The most common cause of an overworked refrigerator is build-up around the condenser coils. 
    • Turn the unit off first to be safe, and then clean them with a vacuum cleaner and a damp cloth. 
  • Problem: Inefficient or ineffective coolingThere are a few simple tasks you can perform yourself before you call in a professional:
    • Check to see if anything is blocking the fan. If the fan is not getting the right airflow then it will overheat and shut off as a safety mechanism.
    • Clean the fan; if the unit is dirty, this can also cause overheating.
    • If neither of these makes any difference and you’re not sure what else could be wrong, then it might be time to call in a professional.
  • Problem: Water Leaks. Finding little puddles of water in your cool room or around your commercial refrigerator is never a cause for celebration. Generally, it indicates there’s something wrong. The good news is that it’s usually relatively simple to fix yourself.
    • The most common cause of water leakage is a blocked defrost drain, where food particles and dirt clog the drain hose, leading to a build up of ice.
    • Try flushing warm water through the drain with a small funnel or use a pipe cleaner to remove the clog.
    • If that doesn’t work, you might need to remove debris from the valve at the base of the drain hose. You’ll find the rubber check valve at the bottom of the service panel. Clean this out with hot water and soap and reinstall.
    • If you’re still having problems, you’ll need to call in a professional.

When You Need a Pro

You can save a lot of money by having some basic knowledge of your particular model and what can go wrong. Keep in mind that these are complex electrical appliances. While there are plenty of small problems you can fix yourself, there are certain problems only a professional can fix.  

Commercial appliances, generally speaking, are not as easy to fix as home appliances. If you find any other the following problems, then you'll need to get in a professional:

  • Fan or compressor problems: It might seem like a simple task just to replace a part, but some of the more complex components need professional installation.
  • Temperature controls and anything to do with electrical wiring: In most cases, anything in a business to do with electronics requires a professional to sign off on any repairs for safety reasons.

Safety First

While you can save a lot of money by fixing things yourself, keep safety in mind. Turn off your refrigerator and unplug it, too, before attempting to clean or fix anything that moves. If you’re in any doubt, call a professional for help. 

You can save a lot of money by having some basic knowledge of your particular model and knowing how to avoid the things that can go wrong; however, commercial refrigerators are complex electrical appliances. There will be times you'll find it necessary to call in an expert. Knowing when is the key. 

References: Image 1

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