It’s every foodservice business manager’s nightmare: you walk into the kitchen only to find your commercial refrigeration unit is not working. Your perishable food has spoiled, and you’re in a bad spot. Hungry customers will arrive soon, and you have no supplies. Not a great way to keep loyal and new customers happy.
You can stop this dream from becoming reality, by taking care of commercial refrigerator maintenance. Not only that, you can also save yourself time and money. Here are some important things to consider before attempting to make a repair yourself.
Diagnose the Problem
The first thing you want to do is identify what’s wrong with the commercial refrigeration unit.
- Is the unit not keeping food cold?
- Does the inside of the unit not feel as cold as before?
- Is refrigerant leaking out of the unit?
- Are coils frosted or iced up?
- Is the thermostat not reading correctly?
Evaluate the Challenge
There are different levels of commercial refrigerator maintenance. Before you attempt to do it yourself, you should assess the difficulty of the repair.
- Easy fixes involve replacing shelving, light bulbs, knobs and water filters.
- Intermediate repairs include door closers, latches, hinges, gaskets and fans.
- The most challenging repairs have to do with compressors, motors, condensers, and evaporator coils.
With these things in mind, gauge whether it’s realistic to make the repair yourself.
- Do I have enough information about the unit?
- Do I have the right tools on site?
- Do I need to repair or replace a part?
- How easy or difficult will it be to install that part?
Consider the Cost
Do-it-yourself (DIY) commercial refrigerator maintenance can save you money. However, you need to weigh the cost of fixing it yourself versus having a professional evaluate and repair the problem. Turn to a professional if the problem is too severe, seems too difficult and time is of the essence.
You may also want to consider whether it is better to replace and repair the part or purchase a new commercial refrigeration unit.
Proceed with Caution
If you are going to attempt to maintain or repair a commercial refrigerator yourself be sure to keep safety top of mind.
- First, unplug the unit to reduce the potential for injury.
- Next, review the owner’s manual for troubleshooting information.
- Most manufacturers have service and support resources on their websites.
- Don’t be afraid to call a customer service representative from the manufacturer so they can walk you through the repair. That’s why manufacturers have support and service professionals. They are there to help.
Call for Backup
Commercial refrigerator systems are complex pieces of equipment. After reviewing all of your options and the urgency of the situation, it may be better to contact a professional technician. A professional technician can evaluate and repair the problem.
If the maintenance or repair jobs are too daunting, there are several professional options at your disposal:
First, the Imbera Services division has serviced and maintained commercial refrigerators, freezers and coolers for over 30 years. Today it serves over 1.3 million commercial units from Imbera Foodservice and other manufacturers. Imbera Services provides:
- Equipment relocation
- Final disposal
- Spare parts and accessories
If you want to research other reputable, service options, please check with your local
Better Business Bureau.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Your commercial refrigerator vendor may provide maintenance through a warranty or customer service plan. Keeping a regular maintenance schedule will save time and money. A commercial refrigerator maintenance technician will help spot potential problems and address any repair issues quickly so your foodservice business can resume normal operations.