Commercial refrigerators are often larger, run at a cooler temperature, and may have many more sections than a standard home refrigerator. Because of cooling a larger space and running at a lower temperature, commercial units may suffer more wear and tear and may break down more often than the refrigerator you have at home.
You may not need to think about replacing the refrigerator in your restaurant when you're having problems with it, as sometimes it's simply a part that needs repair or a quick fix that's needed. Note a few troubleshooting tips when it comes to commercial refrigerators:
1. Power issues
You can typically tell that a commercial refrigerator is experiencing power issues versus problems with other parts when the lights inside the unit don't come on, or may dim when you open the door. The lights inside a commercial refrigerator are not affected by the motor or condenser or other such parts, so when they aren't working, it's typically a power issue.
Wiring is often a common culprit; when the wires get frayed or bare, they may not be delivering as much electricity to the unit as they should. In turn, you may see the motor slow down and the lights dim. A bad connection can also be to blame. If you're familiar with the wiring of the unit, turn off the circuit and check the connections and wiring, otherwise call an electrician.
2. Frost buildup inside the unit
Your commercial refrigerator should have a defrost cycle set, which helps to remove any frost buildup and excess condensation inside the unit. If this cycle is not adjusted properly, frost can build up. You can find the defrost cycle inside the unit; it's set with a timer that may look like a temperature control. Adjust the defrost cycle so that the unit defrosts more often and this may address the problem. If this doesn't do the trick, call a technician to see if this control needs to be rewired or repaired.
3. Ice in the drain pan
A commercial refrigeration unit will have a drain pan that may need emptying; if you notice ice in this pan, this often means that the drain line is somewhat clogged and in turn, the water that should be draining gets cool and icy before it drains completely. Ignoring this problem can mean that the drain line becomes clogged completely, and cause the unit to overheat or the water to backup into the unit. Check the line for obstructions, kinks, or other repairs that need to be done.
Contact a commercial refrigeration service if you have other questions or concerns.