Common Commercial Refrigeration Issues to Watch Out For

Common Commercial Refrigeration Issues to Watch Out For

A commercial refrigerator remains one of the most essential pieces of equipment for any food business. It helps businesses properly store their inventory and preserve the quality of food items. But sometimes issues pop up along the way that prevent the fridge from running properly. In such cases, it’s crucial to act quickly, so you can determine the possible causes of the problem and identify solutions.  


What Is the Life Expectancy of a Commercial Refrigerator?

The average life expectancy of a commercial fridge is around a decade. Of course, there are also various factors involved that can affect its life expectancy. One of these factors is its usage. How heavily the fridge is used will contribute to its subsequent wear and tear over time. Another factor is the brand and quality of the unit itself. Its durability will play a role in how long its lifespan will be.

There is also maintenance. Applying best practices in maintenance can help lengthen the product’s life expectancy. If there is little to no maintenance involved, the fridge will likely have a shorter life expectancy.


Why Does a Commercial Refrigerator Need Proper Maintenance?

A commercial fridge needs proper maintenance so that it can run efficiently. If your fridge breaks down, it can affect how you run your business, whether you have a restaurant or a supermarket.

A well-maintained fridge also means not having to replace it sooner than expected. This lets you maximise the use of the refrigerator and helps your business cut down on potential replacement costs.


Common Commercial Refrigeration Problems

Curious about what is the first thing to check when a refrigerator stops working? Below, we’re sharing some of the most common commercial fridge issues you may encounter to help you in diagnosing refrigeration system problems.

Refrigerator is not powering up

A fridge that’s not powering up can be more than a nuisance, particularly if it starts to impact your business’s sales. There could be various answers to the question “Why is my refrigerator not running?”

Some of the first things you can check are the fridge’s power button and cord. If the power switch is on, check the cord for damage or if it’s plugged in properly. If you don’t see any problems there, check if you’re using an extension cord. Note that extension cords are generally not recommended for use with a commercial fridge. You can also inspect if there are any wiring issues by using a voltage detector.

Refrigerator is not cooling efficiently

Like the first issue, there could be several reasons behind your refrigerator’s temperature problems. Check for dirty condenser coils, and clean any dirt, dust or grease build-up. Inspect whether you have a faulty thermostat or compressor. Another reason for inefficient cooling is poor airflow, in which case you’ll have to check if anything is blocking the vents. You can also go look at the door of the commercial fridge itself and see whether there are worn gaskets that need replacing.

There are water leaks inside or outside the fridge

One of the most common issues encountered by commercial fridge owners is finding water puddles outside the unit. In case of water leaks, check the condition of your door gaskets and assess them for damage. You can also inspect the drain lines and verify whether any food particles are clogging the hose. If this is the case, an easy way to fix it is by removing the valve found at the end of the hose. Then, use warm water to flush out what’s clogging the hose and re-install the valve.

There is ice accumulating inside the refrigerator

Ice build-up within the unit can cause your compressors to work overtime just to keep the temperature at an optimal level. To determine the cause for the build-up, check for poor airflow. If that isn’t the problem, inspect whether you have faulty gaskets. Leaving the door open for too long can also contribute to ice build-up. Another likely reason is the frequency of the defrost cycle may not be set properly.  

Unusual noises are coming from the fridge

Always be on the lookout for noises coming from your refrigerator that are out of the ordinary. These loud and unfamiliar sounds can indicate mechanical troubles, such as a compressor failure. Aside from the compressor, loud sounds can also be due to issues with the fans or motors of your refrigerator.

There are issues with the compressor

The compressor is a crucial component in the process of refrigeration. It essentially serves as the heart of a commercial fridge. Without proper maintenance and if any issue isn’t spotted early, a compressor malfunction can be costly. Signs indicating you have a defective commercial fridge compressor include overheating issues or strange compressor noises.

There are issues with the evaporator fan

The evaporator fan is responsible for keeping the air flowing throughout the entire unit. To determine if there are issues with the evaporator fan, watch out for any ice build-up.

The lights are not working properly

If the lights of your fridge are not working, they may simply need replacement. However, be sure that the bulbs you’re using as replacement match the manufacturer’s recommendations.


Proper maintenance ensures that your fridge stays in tip-top shape for as long as possible. It also helps you spot issues that can be costly in the long run if you don’t address them early.

Got any fridge parts that need replacing? You can rely on The Bond Group for your parts replacement needs. Contact us now by calling +44(0) 1795 668515 or emailing [email protected]

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