If you are a business owner with commercial refrigeration equipment, you understand how important regular maintenance is to the longevity of your equipment. You’ve invested in several thousand dollars’ worth of equipment for your business or restaurant; the last thing you need is for that equipment to malfunction or fail due to something preventable.
If you specifically have reach-in commercial refrigeration equipment, good news! There are three simple things you can do regularly to keep your equipment running in tip-top shape:
- 1. Clean the Gasket. The gasket in reach-in refrigerators are extremely expensive to replace, and all that you need to do to avoid having to replace them is by wiping down the gasket once a month. Once the gasket cracks or breaks, your refrigerator will start to leak air and the gasket then must be replaced. We recently replaced one in a walk-in door and to fix it cost $270. To replace in a reach-in unit, it will cost, at minimum, typically $100. If the gasket doesn’t break but becomes too dirty, you could also face failing a health inspection. By wiping down the gasket once a month with a rag and bucket of soapy water, you’re helping to maintain your equipment, avoid costly repair fees, and continue to pass health inspections.
- 2. Wrap All Food. Any foods that are placed inside of the reach-in should be kept wrapped, particularly acidic foods like onions, lemons, and oranges. The acid from the food can get into the air stream and can start to corrode the metal components of the refrigeration system, causing costly refrigerant leaks. The evaporator is the “inside” coil of your reach-in that can be especially affected. Aluminum fins cover the copper tubes in the evaporator, and the copper has soldered joints called “u-bends” connecting the tubing. When exposed to acidic foods, the solder used to join the tubing can become pitted and begin to leak. The parts can be replaced, but it can be just as expensive as buying a new machine with a brand-new warranty. In addition to wrapping food, you can also place a box of baking soda in the fridge which will help neutralize some of the acids.
- 3. Clean the Condenser Regularly. Just like you would do with your personal refrigerator at home, the condenser on your reach-in unit must be cleaned regularly by simply just vacuuming it. If you have your machine next to a fryer, or other emitter of greasy substances, you may need to have a service company come to degrease and clean the condenser. If you don’t know how to do that, there are companies that will be happy to give you training on how to clean. Otherwise, you can always call us to set up a preventative maintenance contract and we can come and clean everything for you.
Performing regular maintenance on your reach-in refrigeration equipment is just as important as regular oil changes are for your car. If you do these things, your machine will last a long time.
If you have commercial refrigeration equipment that needs to be tuned up or cleaned, give Chill a call and we can set up an ongoing maintenance program for your business, or stop by to provide a training session for you and your staff.