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Troubleshooting Tips for Your Commercial Refrigerator

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A commercial refrigerator is typically durable enough to last for many years without any needed repairs, but eventually parts will break down and need replacing or fixing. If you have a commercial refrigerator in your diner or other establishment, note a few simple troubleshooting tips. This will help you to know where to start looking for the needed repairs, and you can know what to discuss with a repair person if they need to be called.

1. Compressor

A compressor is a motor in the unit and its job is to move coolant through the unit. The compressor is sealed and has enough oil inside to last its expected lifespan, so you usually don't need to change its oil as you would another motor. If the compressor starts to break down, you may hear a loud noise coming from the unit as the motor tries to work but fails. If you hear this loud grinding and the unit stops cooling, first check the compressor relays, located near the motor itself. These are easy to replace, but if they're not the problem and the compressor itself is broken, it usually needs to be replaced altogether as it's not typically meant to be opened for repairs.

2. Condenser coils

Condenser coils are used to move refrigerant through the unit, after it's been compressed. These coils sometimes get clogged and in turn, this puts pressure on the compressor and may cause it to break down earlier than it should. The condenser coils should be cleaned regularly so they don't see a buildup of dust, dirt, and debris which could then make them get warmer than they should and cause the refrigerant to clog. If these coils should break, this also leaks refrigerant out of the unit so that it fails. When condenser coils break, you may notice a leak under or behind the unit and these coils can then be repaired or replaced as needed.

3. Fan blades and motor

A fan is needed in a commercial refrigerator to remove heat and circulate air; this keeps the mechanical parts of the unit cool so they don't overheat and get damaged. You need to check the fan blades fairly often to ensure they're not dirty, as this can slow them down can put excess wear on the fan motor. The bearings inside the motor also may need to be oiled on a regular basis; if you hear a loud squeal from your unit, the bearings may have gone bad and need replacing.

For assistance with refrigerator maintenance, talk to a professional.