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Commercial Refrigeration Systems: How To Repair Common Problems

Posted by Paul Tuson on August 11th , 2021

How To Repair Common Problems With Large Commercial Refrigeration Systems

While commercial refrigeration systems have become more reliable in recent years, problems can still occur from time to time. Let’s look at some common issues and how they can be resolved without suffering major downtime.

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Loss Of Temperature Control

Commercial refrigeration systems are temperature control units that should maintain cool temperatures within a cold storage room, kitchen, laboratory or chilled warehouse. Cool air circulates freely around the system, and temperature is maintained through an interplay of refrigerant chemicals and ambient temperature in the room itself. In this respect refrigeration systems differ from refrigerators, which depend on an airtight environment to contain cool air.

Failure to maintain the required temperature can therefore result from several faults:

  • Defective thermostat
  • Faulty evaporator
  • Faulty condenser
  • Refrigerant leak
  • Faulty compressor

Thermostat issues are easy to diagnose and can usually be dealt with quickly. However, issues such as refrigerant leaks or a broken compressor will require the assistance of a qualified professional. Repairs may be provided free of charge if the refrigeration unit is still under warranty. Otherwise, it is best to speak with a technician for further assistance.

Evaporator Fan Failure

The evaporator fan is an essential component which helps to maintain a constant temperature, so if the fan fails temperatures may become erratic or begin to rise. Failure may be due to an obstruction (such as a build-up of dust on the grille). Remove the fan assembly and have it thoroughly cleaned. If the problem still occurs, the motor may be defective or there could be an issue with the fan's power supply.

Frozen Condenser Coils

There can also be times when moisture from the air freezes to the evaporator coils. This causes airflow to decrease and can impact the internal temperature of the unit. The most common cause is a blocked defrost drain or the associated hose.

Faulty Compressor

Compressor coils require regular maintenance and cleaning to sustain efficient operation. In large commercial systems this is best carried out by a trained engineer as part of a Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) schedule. A faulty compressor may cause your refrigeration unit to overheat and shut down. Symptoms that require urgent attention include a sudden rise in temperature and noisy operation – as the compressor is normally quiet.

Refrigerant Leak

A refrigerant leak can be diagnosed by a sustained increase in temperature, a drop in system pressure – which may also indicate a faulty compressor – or the presence of ice or frost around the refrigerant pipes. Refrigerant gasses require professional handling, so as soon as you suspect a leak we strongly recommend speaking to an engineer to carry out a full diagnosis.

Speak To Us

Are you experiencing ongoing problems with your commercial refrigeration system? If so, there is little time to waste. Speak with a representative from Lowe & Oliver to properly troubleshoot the issue.

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