Like any other piece of equipment in a commercial establishment, a walk-in freezer requires regular maintenance in order to continue to function properly. Some repairs may appear minor but when neglected, they may worsen. In addition, problems with your refrigeration unit can jeopardize the safety of your workers and your patrons.
Here are a few problems that can arise with a commercial walk-in freezer and the reasons why you should have them remedied as quickly as possible.
A build-up of frost on the items within the freezer typically indicates that temperatures within the unit are fluctuating. As the temperature inside the freezer drops, the contained items may thaw. In turn, the moisture from the thawed contents form frost as the temperature drops to refreeze the items again.
Frost may also appear on the freezer walls. This is often due to frozen condensation, which may be caused by improper humidity levels within the freezer.
Frost may also accumulate near the freezer door. This zonal buildup is usually associated with seal issues. If the door does not seal sufficiently, the warm air from outside of the freezer can seep into the unit, affecting the walls and items that are close to the leak.
Keep in mind that freezer burn can set in at temperatures above 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, simply lowering the temperature setting on the unit to try to maintain adequate temperatures will not remedy the problem. Instead, you will likely be left with inventory that has a less-than-palatable taste, color, and texture.
If the setting of your walk-in freezer remains the same but the temperature inside the unit does not, there could be a sensor problem. The freezer may not consistently detect the internal temperature to make the needed adjustments.
Temperature fluctuations can also be due to employee errors. Workers who prop open the freezer door for prolonged periods allow cold air to escape and warm air to enter.
If the erratic temperatures of the freezer regularly rise above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the safety of the freezer's contents may be at risk. The danger zone for the food rests between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit. By leaving the freezer unrepaired, you run the risk of having to discard large amounts of inventory or being liable for people becoming ill after ingesting the freezer's contents.
Foods can have a wide variety of odors, but most people in the food industry can quickly discern smells that are not food-borne. Strange chemical odors within a freezer may be due to leaking coolant, which may be an indication that the condenser is failing. Coolant often smells like nail polish remover or ammonia.
Since foods sometimes absorb odors, leaking coolant could ruin the items within the freezer. In addition, low levels of coolant can prohibit the freezer from cooling properly.
Water leaks can occur due to a number of issues, such as a worn seal or aging insulation. The leaks can be particularly bothersome because they can invite the development of mold around the unit. If the mold invades the walls and other areas of your establishment, a costly remediation may be required.
Odd noises coming from your walk-in freezer are likely due to a mechanical issue. Components of the freezer may be loose, vibrating, or otherwise malfunctioning. To save time, inventory, and money, it is important to have the problem repaired before it worsens.
By addressing issues as they surface with your walk-in freezer, you can avoid having to replace the unit earlier than expected. If you have noticed that your freezer is not operating properly, contact Golden State Commercial Equipment Repair to schedule an appointment.