If you are a restauranteur or spend time in a commercial kitchen, you know that the walk-in freezer is the heart of the kitchen.
The staff relies on this machine for food storage and preservation, particularly if a large part of your inventory starts out frozen.
The reliability of the walk-in freezer may be taken for granted, but what happens when it goes on the fritz?
If your walk-in freezer isn't maintaining its temperature, it can be frustrating. However, it's no reason for a major meltdown. There are some troubleshooting processes. Read on to learn why this could be happening.
The first possibility is also the simplest. Walk-in freezers have temperature control settings. They are often inside the freezer near the thermostat. With all the foot traffic and storage going in and out, the knob could bump up to the wrong temp.
This may sound obvious, but it's easy to overlook when the food starts to thaw unexpectedly. Check the gage. The industry-approved temperature is at 0° F.
Place a thermometer inside to check the calibration of the built-in thermostat.
Depending on your restaurant set up, it's common to use the tops and exterior sides of the freezer for storage. However, be careful not to pack too many boxes in front of walk-in fans.
This will suffocate the airflow for the freezer and hinder it from maintaining temp. Give the fans room to breathe. Look for storage somewhere else.
Condenser Fan Issues
With the fans in mind, let's look at another possible issue. The condenser fan handles the ventilating and cooling of coils. It will be running any time the walk-in freezer is reaching temp. You should hear it blowing.
If not, your freezer won't cool down. It could be the fan motor has gone bad. This doesn't mean you need a new commercial walk-in freezer. An HVAC and refrigeration tech will be able to diagnose the fan issue and replace the motor if necessary. With a new fan motor, your freezer should last many more years.
In a commercial kitchen, things get dirty. No exception to this rule is the cooling coils on the walk-in freezer. The condenser coils are often clogged with dirt and debris.
Dirty condenser coils are the most common reason a freezer isn't maintaining temperature. If they stop working, the food won't keep. Regular maintenance and cleaning are required to keep the coils in peak shape.
However, this is not a DIY task. Condenser cleaning requires a trained technician and tools such as an industrial vacuum. Have your coils looked after the right way. Set up routine maintenance every six months.
Chill Out With a Functioning Walk-in Freezer
These are the common issues why your walk-in freezer won't maintain the right temperature. Run through some of this troubleshooting or have a technician come out to diagnose the issue.
If you think you need a service or cleaning, don't hesitate to give us a call.