Refrigeration

                              Refrigeration takes many forms in foodservice operations including walk-ins, reach-ins, and display cases.

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                              Cleaning and Maintaining Refrigerated Display Cases

                              Proper care and maintenance play crucial roles in keeping refrigerated display cases operating at optimal efficiency. The typical service life for these units is about 7 to 12 years.

                              The cleaning requirements will depend on where the unit is located and if there is an excessive amount of dirt and dust in the environment. Also, a remote condenser on a roof with trees losing leaves nearby will need more attention.

                              Check the temperature daily to confirm it is in the proper range. On a weekly basis, thoroughly clean cabinets using the proper chemicals. On a monthly basis, clean the condenser coil and check gaskets for rips and tears. Check fan motors, compressors and other areas for loose parts and excessive noise quarterly. Mechanical fasteners should regularly be inspected for loose screws.

                              Clogged condenser coils are the main cause of compressor failure, and water leaks could signify a clogged drain line. Condensation on door interiors may indicate a problem with the seal or alignment.

                              In glass- and solid-door cases, make sure the door gaskets seal and close properly and that interior surfaces are kept clean.

                              Look for anything in the compressor area that may affect airflow, such as paper or dirt on the condenser coil. Also, be aware of any potential service issues, such as loose casters or legs that appear to be bending.

                              Install these units on level surfaces, allowing space for air to move across the coils. If there is no room for air movement, this will shorten the equipment’s service life.

                              Signs a display case has reached the end of its service life can be obvious or subtle. Sounds or rattling coming from the compressor, or the motor running loudly, may signal it is time to consider purchasing a new unit. Inside temperature fluctuations or excessive condensation on the door interiors may indicate the unit is failing. When the display case shows extensive wear and experiences multiple service issues after years of use, the unit may be near the end of its service life. This is even more likely if the cost of repairs is becoming prohibitive and parts are becoming difficult to find.

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