Refrigeration System Problems


 Common malfunction issues & commercial refrigerator problems

  1.  Beverages freezing due to cold temperature below 32 degrees
  2. Refrigerator/freezer “not cold enough”
  3. Refrigeration “not cooling at all” Blowing warm air while compressor is running is due to defective compressor or sealed system refrigerant leak
  4. Compressor shutting off due to excessive condenser dirt obstructing air flow
  5. Fan motor defective causing the compressor to overheat
  6. Evaporator fan motor failure
  7. Ice build up in evaporator due to low refrigeration levels preventing thermostat from cycling off
  8. Frozen evaporator coils due to dirt
  9. Frozen  refr. evaporator coils due to defrost system malfunction (Note: This depends on make Some true refrigerators do not have defrost heaters since thermostat is designed to allow defrosting of evaporator coils)
  10. 10. Commercial refrigeration unit door did not seal properly causing moisture to freeze
  11. 11. If there is an ice build up in freezer but defrost system appears to function properly: Turn off unit and allow thorough defrost before turning unit back on (see if problem returns)
  12. 12. Defective thermostat may also cause coils to freeze in evaporator
  13. 13 dirty evaporator, defective evaporator motor, leaving door open too long also can cause evaporator to freeze.       NOTE: Many customers are surprised to learn that frozen coils could be the source of cooling problem. Frozen or obstructed evaporator (or condenser) coils prevent heat exchange and block the refrigeration cycle!
  14. 14. When unit is not cooling well if fans are both working, it is a good idea to make sure condenser and evaporator coils are not dirty and obstructed
  15. 15. Dirty evaporator coil as source of obstruction of air flow and subsequent freezing of coils – is not very frequent in our experience: but more likely in a commercial establishment than in a private home
  16. Frozen coils: 16 As noted above: True refrigeration typically do not have a defrost heater. The thermostat might be the source of problem (or low refrigerant charge) Allow unit evaporator to thaw completely before restarting unit if you determined that thermostat was defective and it was replaced (or defrost problem was solved)
  17. typically  compressor
  18. Free Technical support is sometimes available through commercial refrigeration manufacturer. Customers have reported that when they called tech support and stated that they were not professional techs: The tech support represented stated that they are prevented from providing support to home owners/non techs


  1. TYPICAL ISSUES WITH REFRIGERATOR/freezer    defective relay or overload protector
  2. Defective condenser motor and dirty condenser are common!
  3. Water leaks are another problem that is reported
  • Commercial appliance repair and diagnosis troubleshooting
  • Refrigerators freezers, appliance service and repair
  • Note regarding “sealed system leaks” Before working on the sealed system, or calling for a repair it is wise to find out about the warranty.
  • Many sealed systems are guaranteed by manufacturer for 5 years (includes leak repair and compressor).It is a good idea to first find out from the manufacturer what the warranty covers.
  • Also: To be covered under many sealed system warranties IT IS OFTEN NOT REQUIRED to provide PROOF OF PURCHASE in the form of a receipt. In many cases the Refrigeration unit’s model and serial number suffice!
  • Keep in mind that some compressors and HVAC units might come with a 10 year warranty

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