It’s the dinner rush, and your restaurant is packed with customers. They’re enjoying the fare you worked hard to create when suddenly one of the commercial refrigeration systems stops working, causing business to come to a screeching halt.

This nightmare scenario is possible if your commercial refrigeration systems are not properly maintained. These expensive units are critical to the success of your restaurant, as they store and keep food and beverages at the proper temperature. A properly functioning walk-in cooler is one of a restaurant’s most important assets and ensures food stays fresh.

Keep your commercial refrigerator in tip-top shape – and your customers happy and well fed – with these tips from SLM Facility Solutions.

Commercial Refrigeration Troubleshooting

If you’re experiencing mechanical issues with one of your commercial refrigeration systems – whether it’s a walk-in refrigerator, beverage machine or ice maker – call an appliance repair technician so they can diagnose the problem before food spoils and disrupts business, potentially costing you thousands of dollars.

Here are a few common reasons your restaurant’s refrigeration unit might be experiencing difficulties.

Trouble Maintaining Temperature

If the unit is struggling to keep food cold, check the system is set to the right temperature. If there are temperature issues, the thermostat might be operating improperly and may need to be replaced.

Temperature fluctuations are caused for several reasons, including: dirty fans or evaporator coils, a malfunctioning compressor or poor air flow inside the commercial refrigerator.

Water, Frost or Ice

Is ice or frost forming inside the commercial refrigerator? This could be a sign of poor air ventilation or a refrigerant leak. Check the temperature and the frequency of the defrost cycle.

Refrigeration leaks are caused for several reasons, including door gaskets that have loosened over time, causing warmer air to seep in. This can lead to condensation, wet floors and eventually ice or frost.

Frost or ice buildup can also occur because of a malfunctioning defrost system, dirty fans and filters or excessively low temperatures.

Loud Noises

Loud noises could indicate issues with one of the systems many components, including the compressor, fans, motors or another mechanical component. If this is the case, contact an appliance repair technician.

Broken Motor Fan

Motor fans help control the temperature inside the refrigeration unit and ventilate the air. Broken or damaged evaporator fan motors can often be a common problem with large, commercial refrigeration units.

A Bad Compressor

A compressor does just as its name indicates: it compresses the refrigerant and sends hot gas to the condenser. If you don’t hear that constant humming sound, there could be an issue with the compressor, and you’ll need a qualified technician to inspect the unit.

High energy bills could indicate a problem associated with the compressor, signaling it has become less effective and may need to be replaced.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

Clean commercial equipment on a regular basis. Proper maintenance is the key to extending the lifespan of your commercial refrigerator.

Perform a self inspection at least on a weekly basis. This includes checking the defrost frequency setting and thermostat. Finding the sweet spot temperature wise will keep the food from spoiling, preventing the unit from breaking down due to being overworked. Check for any leaks which can cause your unit to work harder than it should.

Schedule a tune-up for your commercial refrigeration equipment at least on a bi-yearly basis. Technicians will clean and inspect evaporator and condensing coils and clean ice makers. The maintenance will also check other key components for wear and broken parts, as well as clean blades, lubricate components and check refrigeration levels.

Many of these tasks should only be done by a certified technician. Performing repairs on your own could void the unit and its equipment’s warranty.

Contact SLM Facility Solutions today to have one of our team members help with your commercial refrigeration needs and repair service.