Maintaining a Walk-in Cooler/Freezer

Maintaining a Walk-in Cooler/Freezer

The restaurant walk-in cooler is a workhorse that can limp along for years without much complaining. But regular maintenance makes it far more reliable, keeping inventory safe and reducing energy costs. With observation and corrective action, walk-in coolers can serve your restaurant clients long and well.

By (Own work) [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=The following issues signal it’s time for them to call a service technician.

Ice Buildup
Over time, ice can build up on the cooling coils. A properly functioning evaporator regularly defrosts, melting the ice and draining it away. But on older units the ice may not melt completely. When a coil becomes covered in ice, heat transfer plummets, and the compressor has to work harder and longer. If ice buildup is excessive the compressor runs constantly, but the unit still can’t maintain temperature.

Trapped Moisture

During a properly functioning cooling cycle, ice will form in your freezer, then melt and drain away. Sometimes a blockage prevents the water from draining. Trapped water can seep into cracks, then refreeze and expand, causing structural damage. Stalactites and stalagmites of ice in a freezer are a signal for swift action to avoid costly damage.

Inadequate Ventilation
The condenser coil removes heat from the refrigeration system. When the condenser is located in an enclosed or cramped space, it may not have sufficient air flow to efficiently remove heat. This leads to a higher temperature around the compressor, requiring it to work harder.

A condenser needs a well ventilated area to do its job. If it has to be kept in an enclosed space, use a fan to move additional air through the area to aid cooling. Directing exhaust directly outside also reduces ambient heat.

Check condenser coils regularly for dust and debris – these insulate the coil, reducing the heat transfer and airflow, causing the compressor to run harder and longer.

Leaks and Overcrowding
Inspect the refrigerator shell regularly for leaks which can lead to excess moisture in the system. Make sure doors seal properly to keep out moisture and warm air. Watch for frost buildup on doors, which can keep them from closing, or possibly freeze them shut. Also avoid overcrowding, which leads to poor air circulation. If the contents of the fridge block evaporator fans, the unit won’t perform at peak levels.

Regular maintenance solves problems before they become destructive, and it keeps energy bills from skyrocketing.

Find a helpful Walk-In Cooler/Freezer Diagnostic Protocol on the Contracting Business website and if you have any other tips, let us know in the comments.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]


  1. Jack Mulligan August 3, 2016 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    I didn’t realize that ice buildup could be such a big problem in a walk in cooler or freezer. The cooler at work must be in pretty bad shape since we have ice in a lot of places. We’ll have to have someone come take a look at it, or get it replaced.

  2. Wesley Colberth March 3, 2016 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    I think its very important to maintain a walk in fridge as well as clean the interior surfaces. I assume that a business can cut a lot of costs if these simple procedures are put to action. Adequate ventilation would allow a freezer owner to save on bills and allow a fridge to work properly.

  3. Ricotta Heating and Air May 1, 2012 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Ricotta Heating and Air…

    […]Maintaining a Walk-in Cooler/Freezer |[…]…

Leave A Comment

Get news and updates from SpeedClean!

Fields marked with an * are required