Without a doubt, one of the most frustrating aspects of running a restaurant is what to do when a piece of equipment goes down, and it’s downright panic-inducing when your refrigeration equipment is no longer refrigerating! The thought of impending costly repairs and lost profits is enough to make anyone’s head spin.
It’s common in the restaurant industry to not worry about something until it becomes a problem, such as a broken compressor on your refrigerator. However, all it takes is a few preventative steps to save yourself the hassle of a crisis in the kitchen. We’ve listed a few tips below to help make sure your cold things stay cold as long as possible.
Leave Some Breathing Room
One of the most common reasons refrigeration equipment doesn’t hold temperature is because the unit is packed tightly with products. Be aware of your air intake vents and make sure nothing is covering them. Also take note where the blowers are located and be conscious that no large items are in the way of them blowing cold air through the unit.
Another important detail to keep in mind is what’s surrounding your piece of equipment. For proper ventilation, you want to be sure the unit has a few inches of space around it on all sides.
Keep It Clean
(NOTE: Always refer to the user manual supplied by the manufacturer for maintenance details)
Think of the condenser as the lungs of your unit. When they’re dirty, it’s hard for the unit to breathe or function the right way.
Start by checking the condenser coils. These tend to be located on the front of the unit, though it varies by unit and by the manufacturer. Gently pop off the grate protecting the coils and using a stiff brush, cautiously remove any dust or debris that may have collected. You may also use your vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment to vacuum out any dirt stuck in there. Follow a similar procedure for your unit’s condensing fan also.
Call In The Pros
It’s never a bad idea to have scheduled maintenance performed regularly by a professional. Along with the steps mentioned above, make sure your maintenance technician is taking care of the following:
- Cleaning any debris which might block refrigeration lines
- Checking for appropriate refrigerant levels
- Making sure that the unit is keeping the proper temperatures and/or calibrating thermostats
- Verifying that the motor and the belts are in good shape,
- Looking for any cracks or leaks in the plumbing
- Checking all of the electrical connections
With regularly scheduled maintenance and a few preventative measures, you can make refrigeration problems a thing of the past!
Have any suggestions for keeping your machines in top shape? Share them below!