Whether the commercial refrigeration equipment you’re working on is a small under-counter refrigerator, a keg refrigerator, a large walk-in freezer, or a transportation refrigeration system, many of the technical concerns will be the same.

The difference, of course, is the amount of product affected when the equipment isn't cooling properly.

There are various popular brands of medium and low temperature condensers and evaporators used in walk-in type commercial refrigeration equipment, as well as major brands of reach-in type commercial refrigeration equipment.

I've worked on units and systems from a variety of companies, and my opinion as a technician is that they’re all well made, and deserve their reputations for quality and durability.

But with all refrigeration equpment, maintenance is essential.

You have to keep the evaporator and condenser and coils (and filters, if installed) clean, and make sure the fan blades are clean, and the right size, to maintain proper airflow.

When airflow through either the evaporator or condenser is restricted, efficiency decreases, and electrical energy consumption increases.

If the condenser coils gets dirty enough, the compressor discharge pressures can get high enough to break the compressor in a short period of time.

If the unit is a reach-in, with the condensing unit in the bottom, and it’s located in a dusty area, dust can build up on the condenser coil and filter in a surprisingly short time, so make it a point to establish a maintenance schedule, and stick to the schedule.

If you’re retrofitting older commercial refrigeration equipment to the newer refrigerants, make sure you follow the refrigerant and compressor manufacturer’s recommendations.

Get all the old mineral oil out, and use the correct synthetic oil for the new refrigerant.

Change the filter-drier, and when the unit is running, make sure the operating pressures, temperatures, superheat, and subcooling are in the correct range.

Publication date: 12/5/2015

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