.....frequently asked questions .....
I plugged the unit in but the lights are not on and the fans are not spinning. What is wrong with the unit?
Most freezers will not allow the lights or fans to come on until the unit reaches temperature. Simply wait for the temperature in the box to come down and the lights and fans should follow. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
Some manufacturers have a door switch which operates in conjunction with the evaporator fans (the ones inside the box). If and when the door is opened, the fans automatically shut off. Sometimes, one of these switches gets inadvertently moved out of position and this will cause the fans to be inoperable. Simply check the fan switch and it's function to determine of this is the cause of the problem or not.
I plugged in my freezer, the lights come on and the fans come on but it does not sound like the compressor has started. What is wrong with the unit?
In particular, the Master Bilt Freezer has a built in delay from the factory. Though the factory says this is a 2 minute delay, I have witnessed 5 and even 10 minute delays before the compressor starts.
CAUTION:Another common problem involves the power to the unit. Most units require 115 volt to power the lights and some fans....if for some reason, one of the "hot" wires from the 230 power is defective or non functioning, the unit will still be receiving 110 volt - enough to power the lights and fans. Simply checking the power source, plug, outlet, cord, etc may reveal the problem. I do recommend consulting a licensed electrician in this area as 230 volt or 115 volt can kill.
How often should I clean the condensing unit?
This question does not have an exact answer. Like a car needing an oil changed every 2,500 miles or 3 months dependent upon how it is being driven... your freezer should be Maintained as often as necessary. I typically tell my customers this should be done once a quarter or "as frequently as needed" dependent upon it's placement and surroundings. A high traffic dirty area will require more frequent cleanings then a low traffic clean area. I recommend the condensing unit to be checked at least once every three months. Most manufacturers recommend the condenser be cleaned once a month.
Once it is determined how often it should be cleaned (on a check and see basis), this should become habitual. Often times, my clients are "too busy" to even think about cleaning their units. In this case, I recommend they sign up with a preventive maintenance agreement (PMS). Many techs offer such contracts but BEWARE and be knowledgeable on the "do's and don't" when hiring someone to do the PMS.
How do I clean the condensing unit?
I recommend using a soft bristle brush and a shop vac - this is the best way to get a good thorough cleaning. NOTE: Care must be taken to avoid damaging the fins on the condensing unit during the cleaning process. Also, be very certain to shut the unit off during this process. If the unit is left running, there is a potential to get the vacuum or worse yet, a finger caught in the fan.
How old is the freezer OR how can I determine the age of a freezer?
All makes and models come with serial numbers from the factory. This number is located inside the cabinet typically on the upper left hand side. SEE: Data Plate
In most cases, if you contact the manufacturer, they will tell you the original build date and in some cases, tell you the original destination of the freezer. Some manufacturers have codes that can tell the manufactured date and a tech (with the proper info) could share that info with you. (Master Bilt Freezers have this code)
How long will a used freezer last?
This is an impossible question to answer. I have seen units 20 years old ticking like a Timex....and I have also had 3 month old units in the shop that were junk. I will note that proper maintenance and care of your freezer 'should' increase the life of your freezer. Again, proper Maintenance will definitely increase the life, longevity, and efficiency of your unit.
How efficient is the freezer?
Freezers today are much more efficient than days gone by. Most commercial grade freezers in use today are 230/208 powered. These units are for more efficient then the older 110 volt units just by the power source itself. Furthermore, 2007 built units and newer are being built with more efficiency each year. The high demands for energy and cost savings have manufacturers scrambling to have the best energy efficient units. Newer generation refrigeration equipment will continue to improve and meet higher standards. These savings are apparent with the compressors too. Some manufacturers are switching to the "tin can" hermetic compressors over the Semi-hermetic compressors ones of old to meet the higher demands of efficiency.
Also proper Maintenance will help your unit to run more efficiently
What refrigerant does this unit require?
All critical information about a particular unit, including the type of refrigerant it utilizes can be found on the Data Plate
What are the electrical requirements of the freezers>
Most commercial grade FREEZERS I sell require 230/208/110/1 power. So what does that mean? Lets break this down. The 230/208 is the voltage requirement. The 110 also indicates voltage requirement. Though I am not an electrician, in simplistic terms, the compressor requires 208 volt (a derivative of 230 volt), this unit also requires 110 volt (one leg of the power source at the plug) that powers typically the lights and evaporator fans. The 1 indicates single phase power - if this number is a 3 - the unit will require 3 phase power. In America, all unit will have 60 hz so don't worry about that piece of information. See: Freezing Wiring / Electrical Requirements for more details on electrical requirements of commercial freezers.