How to prevent an industrial refrigerator from breaking down

19 December 2016
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog

An industrial refrigerator represents a significant expense for any manufacturer.  If it breaks down as a result of a lack of maintenance, it can be very expensive to repair. It could end up costing them even more if the refrigerator malfunctions whilst it is being used to keep perishable goods cool. Luckily, this scenario can easily be avoided by establishing an effective refrigerator maintenance routine, as outlined below.

Keep track of the refrigerator's performance and functionality

One of the most crucial elements of any refrigerator maintenance routine is keeping a consistent and thorough operating log. Performance data, such as the oil, condenser and evaporator readings, along with the temperature values for the refrigerator water, the refrigerant flow rates, fluid levels and the voltage of the drive motor, should all be checked and recorded in this log on a daily basis. Ideally, the measurements should be taken at the same time each day. Whilst this can be a somewhat time-consuming process, it is a very important one; it will allow those using the refrigerator to quickly identify and repair faults which are causing it to operate inefficiently, thus ensuring that running costs are kept to a minimum. A daily log also enables users to spot minor defects at the earliest possible stage, which reduces the chance of them developing into much bigger problems that will be significantly more expensive to fix.

Pay close attention to the condenser and evaporator

In order to operate properly, a refrigerator's condenser and evaporator must both be clean and functional. Over time, the former can become covered in algae, dust and grime. If the business is located in a hard water area, limescale may also build up on this part of the machine.

If these contaminants are not removed often enough, a blockage can occur which will reduce the amount of air flow; this can place extra pressure on the refrigerator and result in higher operating temperatures. This, in turn, will mean that it will use up more electricity and will, therefore, be more expensive to run. This is why it is absolutely essential to clean the condenser regularly. The cleaning should be done using a soft brush and a specialist cleansing foam; this cleaner should be non-acidic, in order to prevent corrosion of any metal sections. The refrigerator should be disconnected from the mains electricity before the cleaning process begins.

Looking after the evaporator is equally important; a refrigerator unit relies on this part to prevent the accumulation of condensation. This component should be checked frequently for a build-up of ice or other types of blockages. Additionally, its terminals and wiring insulation should be examined for faults on a regular basis.