The signs that your commercial fridge needs repair work

If your business has one or more commercial fridges, regardless of size, you know how important it is that they run perfectly. A lot more than mere money is on the line. If you use refrigeration to store food, medications, or other items that must stay cold, it’s critical to make sure the refrigerators are always working properly.

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and preventative maintenance is the key to maintaining the longevity of your commercial refrigeration equipment.

Hiring a professional company like Southern Air Conditioning can immediately can save you extensive money on perishable inventory and help you get things up and running again with little downtime.

We’ll tell you the signs to look out for that will tell you that you need an expert to look into your commercial fridge.

Ice on the exterior

One of the first warning signs of a refrigeration problem is ice on the exterior of your air conditioning unit. You could spot ice forming on the freezer door, the evaporator coils, or building up inside the freezer. This could mean the temperature is not correct on the inside, or that your refrigerator or freezer is overloaded and not allowing for sufficient airflow.

Which brings us to…
It is imperative to ensure that the products in your fridge are evenly distributed and there is space for the air to flow around the products. If you pack the products in, this will hamper airflow and your fridge won’t cool properly. You either need to reduce the amount of food in the refrigerator or invest in a larger refrigeration unit.

Temperature problems

If the door feels hot or the inside of the refrigerator isn’t as cool as it should be, your unit may be low on refrigerant. This is a fairly easy fix, but it should be handled by a Southern Air Conditioning technician, as handling the chemicals used inside your fridge can be dangerous.

Other signs of temperature problems include water droplets inside your fridge or a unit that has condensation on the exterior.

Frost build up

If you notice frost or ice building up on the walls, floor, or ceiling of your commercial refrigerator, it could be a problem with your evaporator coil. When this coil malfunctions or has frost build up, it becomes difficult to regulate the temperature. In some cases, frost may only build up on the coil if your fridge has a self-defrosting system, making it more difficult to diagnose the problem. The best way to repair the issue is to have a Southern Air Conditioning technician replace the coil and inspect it for any other internal frost damage.

If your freezer is operating properly, you should rarely, if ever, have to defrost your system. This is particularly true for newer installations, many of which come with automatic defrosting functions.

Compressor damage

The most common system breakdown is a broken or damaged compressor. The humming noise that comes from commercial refrigeration systems signals a healthy compressor. If this noise stops for an extended period, your compressor may be broken. Associated signs include the compressor running but temperatures rising in the fridge, as well as rattling sounds from inside the fridge.

Dirt, hair, grease and more may build up in the compressor and keep it from functioning. Verify that the compressor has been cleaned recently, and is working as it should. A compressor that is running hot will certainly stop a refrigerator from getting cold.

My fridge is not running

You may have an issue with the power supply to the power outlet. If you have a non-contact voltage tester you can use this to check if there is any power coming to the outlet. If the power switch hasn’t been turned off or the cable knocked out, then check if the wiring for the outlet and ground wires are active. The issue may be the power supply and not your unit. Use a voltage detector to make sure the outlet has voltage present.

Remember: most manufacturers warn users to never use extension cords for their commercial fridges, as a use of those cords will void the warranty.

Wear and damage to the door

Regular opening and closing of refrigerator doors can cause the seals to wear and tear quite quickly/easily. If your seals are torn or worn out then you might be losing cool air this way. A way that you can check this is by placing a high powered torch inside the fridge with the light facing the door. Turn all the lights of in the kitchen and if you can see any of the light coming out of the fridge, you will need to replace the seals.

My fridge light isn’t working

It’s not all doom and gloom! Sometimes your problem is a minor one. To replace a bulb, make sure it’s verified and approved by your equipment’s manufacturer, or else you run the risk of burning out the electrical sockets for the lights. Make sure you always put the diffuser or cover over the lightbulb when you finish replacing the bulb.

Maintenance you can do yourself

Double check the drip pan. It might be that the drip pan is full and you might need to empty the pan and if it has a chamois in it (this is typically cardboard or material piece that is there to help absorb the moisture) check them to make sure that they aren’t mouldy or old as they might need replacing.

Make sure that the coils of the condenser are clean and free from dust. If there is a lot of dust gathered around the coils this will act as insulation and stop the heat from being removed. In some cases the coil can get damaged and crack.

The evaporator removes the heat from inside the unit, if this is frozen it won’t work properly. Make sure that the coil is clean and the drain line is clear. Whilst checking the condenser and evaporator, just have a look to see if there are any fans and ensure they are moving freely.

What next?

After you have done what maintenance on your commercial refrigerator that you can, it’s up to the experts. This is where Southern Air Conditioning Canberra steps in. Maintain your commercial fridge for the long term and call us today.