Maintenance Techniques For Your Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

The food service industry relies heavily on dependable commercial refrigeration to chill and store food safely. A refrigerator malfunction or breakdown can cause spoilage and a massive disturbance to your day-to-day routine. This can lead to lost time and ultimately, lost revenue. As an owner of commercial refrigeration equipment, it is necessary to know the basics of maintenance to reduce the risk of costly problems now and in the future.

How to Maintain Commercial Refrigerators

Many problems can be avoided by maintaining regular equipment inspections. The constant use of commercial refrigeration equipment brings with it the potential for errors that can be spotted during a visual inspection. Therefore, it’s important to be consistent in your maintenance routines, picking up signs of a problem early and rectifying the issue before it worsens. This diligence and consistency will pay off in the future and save you a significant amount of funds down the line.

Clean Condenser Coils

Since every refrigerator uses compressors and condensers, the coils must be cleaned regularly to achieve the correct operating temperature. A coil brush is the tool that is used to remove hair, dust, dirt or other debris that clog the coils, making it more difficult to maintain accurate temperatures. Condenser coils should be cleaned once each month to help extend the operating life of your commercial refrigerators.

Refrigerator coil cleaning brush for commercial refrigeration maintenance
A refrigerator coil cleaning brush

Check for Drain Clogs

The defrost setting for refrigeration systems is what keeps ice from forming inside the doors and on food products. A clogged drainage hose can prevent proper defrosting and cause water leakage. Most commercial refrigeration units have a rear access panel; this allows you to easily get to the drainage hose. This should be checked regularly to keep clogs from causing motor or electrical damage.

Fix Cracked Gaskets

The gaskets used inside of commercial refrigeration units create a tight seal when the door is closed, but they can crack and wear over time. This allows cold air to dissipate, forcing the compressor and condenser units to work harder. Leaking door gaskets are a common cause of failure to hold correct temperature in commercial refrigerators. The gaskets have a retaining clip that should be unscrewed to allow the gasket to be removed. Inspecting the gasket will reveal any cracks or holes. A new gasket should be installed if defects are found.

Commercial refrigerators will have a long, useful life when properly maintained with routine inspections and accurate maintenance techniques.

Have more questions regarding your commercial refrigerator maintenance? Give us a call at 800-319-0690 or send us an email at

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    You’ve put together a great post here.

    I’ve learned from experience that when buying a commercial refrigerator it’s important not to be tempted by cheaper, cut-price models. The initial savings may be offset by future servicing and repair costs. If in doubt, go for a reputable, long-standing brand. They’re a popular sellers for this very reason and are more likely to offer good customer support.

    Best wishes, Alex.

    Thank you so much Alex! I’m glad you found the article to be informative and we definitely agree with you! Investing in reliable, quality equipment will save you a lot of headaches and money in the long run. =)

    We just moved into a house that’s connected to an old vacant movie theater and diner. It wasn’t our intention, at first, to do anything with the add on, but my husband and I have taken an interest. We decided that we are going to open up the diner and see where it goes. We’ll be sure to have someone inspect the fridge before we use it. Thank you for the advice!

    I didn’t even know that some refrigeration systems have drainage hoses. If I were trying to figure out what was wrong with one, I would have never even thought about that. I can see how this would be a good thing to check regularly, so thanks for the info!

    It’s interesting that commercial refrigeration needs to be checked for drain clogs. I didn’t know that needs to happen to drainage hoses. Having a clogged drain seems like a pretty serious problem if it can prevent a refrigerator from defrosting and cause water leaks. It’s understandable why a business needs to prevent that from happening, so having regular checks on drainage hoses and other components seems necessary to have a working fridge.

    Thank you so much for the advice on keeping my equipment maintained — it is much appreciated! I was unaware that a refrigerator requires this much maintenance. I do not think that I have done any of this to my refrigerator, so I am excited to see how this turns out. This information would be perfect for someone who might be seeking to keep their systems in check. Thanks again!

    Could you imagine what restaurants would be like if we didn’t have a refrigeration system? It would be totally crazy! I don’t even think we could have any food there. I’m glad that if something breaks down, you can get parts to repair it instead of having to buy a completely new system.

    I’ve been inside commercial fridges before, and I can say that they’re a lot bigger than a regular unit. It’s interesting to learn that the maintenance is still about the same, though. Cleaning the coil is something I need to start doing on my home fridge, so I’m sure companies need to do it to!

    Thanks for explaining that drainage hoses for refrigeration units should be checked regularly to keep clogs from causing motor or electrical damage. If I were to work in this area, I would want to make sure all refrigeration case parts were in working and proper order. Getting cracked gaskets fixed would also be important.

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