Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 9:05am

Most reach-in coolers/freezers and walk-in coolers/freezers seem virtually indestructible and problem free, but you will get longer life out of yours by following these safety and maintenance tips.  Clean the door gaskets and hinges regularly.  The door gaskets are made of rubber and can rot more easily if they are caked with food or grime, which weakens their sealing properties.  They can be safely cleaned with a solution of baking soda and warm water.  Hinges can be rubbed with a bit of petroleum jelly to keep them working well.  Dirty coils force the refrigerator to run hotter, which shortens the life of the compressor motor.  They should be cleaned every 90 days.

Walk-in floors can be damp-mopped but should never be hosed out.  Too much water can get into the seals between the floor panels and damage the insulation.  Your commercial refrigeration equipment only works as well as the air that is allowed to circulate around its contents.  Cramming food containers together so there is not a spare inch of space around them doesn't help.  Try to keep containers (especially cardboard ones) from touching the walls of the cabinet.  They may freeze and stick to the walls, damaging both product and the wall of your commercial refrigeration equipment.  Use a good rotation system:  First in, first out (FIFO) is preferable.  Or put colored dots on food packages, a different color for each day of the week, so everyone in your kitchen knows how long each item has been in the reach-in cooler/freezer or walk-in cooler/freezer.

Basic Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance Checklist

  • Pressure clean/ degreased condenser coils
  • Clear condensate drain lines
  • Check condition of door gaskets
  • Monitor thermostat operation and adjust as needed
  • Monitor temperature and cycling
  • Check compressor operation and control wiring
  • Check unit thermometer
  • Check suction line insulation
  • Inspect door hinges & door closers
  • Check and adjust defrost timers

Call Kirby at Bill's Sales and Service for all you reach-in cooler/freezer and walk-in cooler/freezer maintenance and repair.  417-334-4486


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