HOW TO PROPERLY MAINTAIN YOUR COMMERCIAL FREEZER
Freezer maintenance is critical to help extend the life of your investment. A freezer is similar to your car in that it will require maintenance in periodic and frequent intervals. The frequency of intervals is dependent upon the freezers usage, it's general location, and the environment it is kept. Irregardless, maintenance should be scheduled: annually, quarterly, or monthly and adhered to as LAW.
The maintenance is simple and can easily be performed by the consumer or a hired hand. If however you are unable or unwilling to commit an employee to this, I strongly recommend to my customers that they sign up for a schedule PM (preventive maintenance) program.
When I do a PM I actually take the time to record the make, model, and serial number of each unit I am working on. I have a check list if you will with the items I examine and clean. I record all of this on my PM card as well and as document any items I noticed that may need attention. I record these PM's on file in my data base and also mail a copy to the customer for their records. I view this as an insurance policy or "peace of mind". The term "PM" traditionally stands for "Preventive Maintenance" but I also like it to mean "Peace of Mind"
Common and easy maintenance steps for ALL freezer owners...
Freezer Maintenance tip #1:
The condensing unit (typically found underneath or above self contained units) must be cleaned on a regular and consistent basis. This can be easily done with a vacuum cleaner, compressed air, or water depending on the freezers location in your facility. I prefer to clean the condensing unit with a power washer but I have the liberty of a nice work shop and need not worry about the floor, surroundings, etc. The idea is to remove the "dust bunnies" from the fans, compressor, and condenser (the radiator looking thing in front of the fans)
IMPORTANT NOTE WHEN USING COMPRESSED AIR:
I have found over the years that many people are under the impression to take an air nozzle to blow the dust bunnies through the condenser. DO NOT DO THIS!
I cannot emphasize enough how ridiculous this is. For one, 9 times out of 10, the end results actually plugs the fins in the condenser as the "dust bunnies" collect in-between the fins rather than push through them. Furthermore, the ones that do pass through end up on the fan(s) behind the coil and go all over the compressor as well. THIS IS INSANE!
The analogy I use here is this: remember when you were a kid and you mom told you to quit sniffling? She would then hand you a tissue and tell you to blow it out - get rid of it!
So, if you insist on using compressed air, blow the stuff out not in!
WARNING: Be prepared though, when you blow it out, the dust bunnies will obviously go all over your building in a huge cloud! For this reason, I recommend using a vacuum in tandem with the compressed air. Suck the mess up and get rid of it!
Filthy / Clean
Freezer Maintenance tip #2:
A periodic cleaning of the inside of the cabinet is also important to preserve your investment. Melted ice cream and even more so - orange juice - can both be very corrosive and can actually cause paint to peel and rust. Many health inspectors ding retail owners when they discover rust and corrosion.
Maintenance tip #3:
A periodic and scheduled maintenance inspection by a certified refrigeration tech (non Clifford type) is strongly recommended. If you have a qualified technicians look over your unit, he can typically find potential problems and make adjustments to ensure the longevity of your freezer. I would recommend an annual inspection and insist the technician cleans the unit thoroughly during his inspection. My belief is: an annual inspection puts some of the responsibility/accountability on your technician. An annual inspection by a technician also will help you to know if you have a good technician or not. If he says your compressor is going bad or it is low on refrigeration consider getting a second (non Clifford) opinion. Remember...refrigeration equipment is NEVER just low on refrigerant. If it needs refrigerant, it has a leak!
Maintenance tip #4:
Check over the fans and lights inside the cabinet. Often times, we get machines in and quickly are able to discern how well a machine was cared for or neglected simply by how clean (or dirty) the lights and evaporator (upper-inside the cabinet) fans are. The fans and lights should be kept clean and free from obstructions. The fan grill can easily be dented or pushed up into the fans blades causing damage to the fan, motor, etc. Also, the lights and associated wiring need to be checked over for cracking, fraying, deterioration, and shorts. This is particularly important with TRUE GDM-49F model freezers. These units may have issues with the door lights and defrost wiring as the wiring is wrapped around the freezers lower hinge on the door (by the factory).
Freezer Maintenance tip #5:
Inspect the door gaskets. Here again, this is a must do. Gasket have a life dependent upon how well they are cared for. Check the gaskets for checking, cracking, fraying, rips and tares. A bad door gasket can make your freezer work over time. A bad gasket will ultimately "leak" out the cold air. If you have a bad gasket, don't panic. A gasket replacement is fairly simply and relatively inexpensive.