G.A.R.S., Inc. is Charleston's leading walk in freezer repair & servicing specialist. We provide sales, design & installation, repairs & service. We deal with a wide range of cooling and heating units from all manufacturers. We will perform your walk in freezer repair in Charleston quickly and efficiently. G.A.R.S., Inc. can also give you advice and specialist knowledge enabling you to be confident of any new walk in freezer purchase you may be considering.
We are dedicated to providing quality workmanship, professional service, and customer satisfaction every time. Whether you're running a family-owned restaurant or a five-star hotel anywhere around Charleston, no walk in freezer, walk in cooler, ice machine repair job is too small or too big for us. Our highly skilled commercial refrigeration technicians are available seven days a week, including holidays.
Walk-in freezers are too often neglected from regular maintenance resulting in high energy costs and unnecessary expenses. The common problems that we encounter lead to high energy costs, premature equipment failure, and safety issues.
Most issues that we encounter are with the walk in freezer box itself. The most common problem is water leaking from the seams. Dripping water not only causes wet floors, but when combined with dirty floors and shelves, creates the perfect environment for mold to grow. The dripping water, in most cases, is actually the result of warm air being sucked into the colder air space thus, causing condensation. The gaps in the seams can be caused from poor installation or from old age. This problem can be easily fixed by caulking the seams with a high grade mold resistant silicone.
Walk in Freezer Door - Common Problem
The walk in freezer door itself is also a commonly neglected component. The problems we look for here include door gasket condition, door closure assist, and heater strip functionality. Torn/worn door gaskets, while they may seem like non replaceable parts, are actually a fairly inexpensive, easy items to replace. The best way to check the condition is to actually walk inside the freezer with the lights off and close the door. If you can see light coming in, then they might need replacement. Air leaks from torn gaskets around the door can cause excess water on the floor as well as higher humidity levels inside the cooler. This environment is a cause for concern in regards to safety issues and high energy demands.
The walk in freezer door closure assist on the outside of the door grabs the door and pulls it tightly closed. These assists are usually made up of springs or a small hydraulic cylinder. Both can wear out over time resulting in a door that never completely closes. If you replace it with the exact same style, a door closure assist can be replaced in 5 minutes or less.
Fault Walk in Freezer Heater Strips
The heater strip is a little more difficult to replace and should only be completed by a trained refrigeration repair technician. It keeps the gasket pliable in order to make a tight seal. It is located in the frame of the door opening, usually behind a shiny metal strip. It should be warm to the touch. Faulty heater strips will cause stuck doors in freezers and even ice buildup around the door frame.
Walk in Freezer Evaporators
The other problems that we see occur with the evaporator itself. The walk in freezer evaporator is the unit inside the freezer box that actually cools the air by removing the latent heat or humidity. Frozen coils and water dripping from the drain pan on the evaporator are two issues that can usually be avoided if a good maintenance program is implemented. Frozen coils on the evaporator are usually caused by excess dirt and build-up resulting in poor airflow. This causes the freezer unit to work harder. The other reason is due to a lack of refrigerant. Both issues will cause the evaporator to operate inefficiently.
Walk in Freezer Drain Pan
An overflowing drain pan is caused from the drain pan or line being clogged. This is usually an easy fix that can be resolved by clearing the line. There are products available that can be placed in the drain pan to help breakdown and reduce the sediment in the lines.
All of these areas should be evaluated on a regular basis in order to avoid costly repairs and product losses. It is much cheaper to be proactive and address these issues before they become major problems.
Whether you run a restaurant, convenience store or a supermarket, your walk-in is an important investment. It should be taken care of to ensure many years of efficient usage. Here are tips for maintaining your walk-in freezer.
How to keep your walk-in freezer operating efficiently:
- Close the door when not in use. Do not block or prop the door open for extended periods of time. Make sure it is closed at all times except when entering and exiting the walk-in.
- Periodically (minimum of twice a year) clean the evaporator and condensing coil. If located outside, the coils should be cleaned more often. Clean the fan blades to reduce drag.
- Make sure fan motors are running at optimum speed.
- On outside condensing units, maintain clear and adequate airflow. For example, do not allow trash or weeds to accumulate around the walk-in.
- Make sure there is nothing stacked around the coil to prevent restricted airflow.
- Do not pile anything on top of the walk-in. This could cause damage to the ceiling panels.
- Occasionally have a service technician check all electrical connections to make sure they are good and tight. Loose wires could cause high amperage, which will cause your unit to use more energy.
- Check for damage or decay in the insulation on suction lines between the condensing unit and evaporator coil. Replace as needed.
- Hinges should be lubricated once a year to ensure they close properly. (Some hinges utilize self-lubricating nylon cams, so this will not be necessary if that is the case.)
- Make sure the lights are off when exiting the walk-in. Lights produce heat, which will cause your unit to run more to hold its optimal temperature. Make sure your walk-in has a switch with a pilot light so you can tell if the light is on without opening the door.
- Check the door sweep for tears and make sure it is sealing properly against the threshold.
- Periodically, check gaskets between panels to make sure they are not cracked or weathered. Replacement of damaged gaskets will ensure your walk-in is efficient and up to local health codes.
How to keep your walk-in freezer clean:
- Soap and water is the best cleaning method for your walk-in. Do not use harsh chemicals as it may react and harm the metal surface of your walk-in. For chemicals not to use read this pdf.
- Minimum of twice a year use a self-rinsing cleaner, soap and water or stiff bristled brush to clean your evaporator and condensing coils.
- Drain lines – at least once a year, work with a service tech to make sure the drain lines are clean and not clogged with any debris.
- Door gaskets – Regularly wipe down with soap and water to prevent bacterial or mold growth. If door gaskets are damaged, cracked or stiff, the magnet will not seal and will need to be replaced.
- Sweep or mop floors to make sure they are kept clean from food debris that will mold or attract pests.
Mistakes operators most commonly make:
- Turning holding temperature too low for product, this causes the refrigeration to overwork.
- Walk-in manufacturers install a thermostat on the outside of the door that reads the internal temperature of the walk-in. There is a chance that the thermostat is faulty or needs to be re-calibrated. Always have a backup thermometer in the walk-in to make sure the walk-in is holding the optimal temperature.
- Stacking boxes or food too close to the door thermometer-sensing bulb or thermostat-sensing bulb can cause a false reading of the temperature in the walk-in.
Advice on walk in freezer safety related issues in Charleston:
- Make sure you clean up any liquid spills as soon as they happen. This is especially important in freezers as the liquid will start to freeze immediately and can be dangerous.
- Non-skid strips are available for the floors, to ensure a non-slip environment.
- Keep aisles clear and do not overload walk-in by stacking too much in your freezer. Stack things neatly to make sure you are able to take good inventory of your stock.
- Power outage – A typical walk-in will maintain temperature for about 12 hours as long as door is kept closed. If the power outage lasts longer than 12 hours, consider a back-up generator.
Call G.A.R.S., Inc. in Charleston, SC Now and Get on our Schedule Today!
"One of the Best Refrigeration Repair Companies I have ever worked with"
~ Bo Bryan
Business Hours: Monday - Friday 8 AM - 5 PM *24 Hour Emergency Service*
5700 Dorchester Rd. Ste B3 N. Charleston, SC 29418
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