Having a large refrigerator or refrigeration unit is a must-have for any restaurant or diner, and can also be useful for a florist, baker, or anyone that sells or works with delicate items or perishables. Your refrigeration unit is probably designed to last for many years before anything breaks or needs repair, but how you maintain the unit often affects its overall lifespan. While you can and should call a contractor in to examine and maintain your unit with a professional inspection in areas that are not easily accessible, you might note a few things you can do on your own to keep your refrigeration unit in good working order.
Corrosion can be caused by water leaks and resultant rust, and this corrosion can then allow leaks to get bigger and more serious over time. Look for corrosion on copper tubing and especially on solder joints, where they're most common. If you do notice corrosion, you want to address this quickly rather than waiting until it eats through pipes and hoses. Replace any joints or tubing that are showing the first sign of corrosion.
2. Clean the evaporator coil and blades, and clear the drain pain
Inspect the blades of your refrigerator fan and clean them periodically, but avoid corrosive cleansers that might cause damage to the metal or plastic material. Use a simple wet rag or mild soap solution. Do the same for the evaporator coil.
Pull out the drain pan underneath the unit and clean it as well; this will ensure no mold or mildew is growing that can damage the drain lines, and you can also note if the drain pan is holding an excessive amount of water. This will tell you that a line in the drain might be crimped or damaged and needs replacing.
3. Inspect the wiring
As with tubing, the wiring on a refrigerator unit can become corroded, worn, or bare over time. You should inspect all the wiring and electrical connections of your unit and note if there are any tears or corrosion in the covering of the wires. Note if any connections are loose and if so, tighten them or replace the wiring and panels to the unit. If you notice any irregular cooling cycles of the refrigerator, this usually means the wiring is becoming bare and frayed and cannot deliver constant power. Have the wiring then checked by a professional in refrigeration service maintenance and upgraded or replaced as needed.