How to Prevent to Your Restaurants Freezer Compressor Failure

“It’s the compressor”, that’s what every restaurant owner hates to hear. Your restaurants freezer can be spared that fate.

Overheating causes most compressor failures. The intense heat causes the oil to breakdown. Motors do not run long without lubrication. A compressor failure is the result. There are two main causes of overheating.

Dirty Condensers Kill Compressors

I think this is pretty well known. The condenser is clean on most of the restaurants freezers that I have found with a bad compressor. Unfortunately they were cleaned after the failure.

The compressor rejects heat through the condenser coils. The warm air you can feel coming out of the condenser is actually the heat from the cooled product plus a little more.

A dirty condenser makes the system less efficient at getting rid of that heat. As the heat builds up, the pressure builds. The compressor has to work harder and makes more heat. This cycle continues until failure.

A high-pressure safety switch can cut the compressor off before the situation gets critical. Then you are forced to clean the condenser to get the unit working again. Unfortunately this safety seldom comes on a restaurants freezer. It can be added easily.

Adding Refrigerant to a Leaking System Kills Compressors

Compressors on most restaurant freezers are refrigerant cooled. As the refrigerant leaks out there is less to cool the compressor. The compressor overheats. Compressor also has to run longer with the lesser amount of refrigerant.

There is another dynamic going on too. That would require a lot of math to explain. The bottom line with it is the same though. Less refrigerant = more heat.

The compressor continues to overheat. Hopefully you will notice the restaurants freezer in warm before the compressor fails. Even then the compressor has probably been damaged.

The technician throws some refrigerant in it and gets it going again. He says he didn’t find a leak and suggests you wait to see how long it will take to leak out. After all, he says it might take a couple of years and finding and repairing the leak can be expensive.

Repairing the leak and changing the compressor costs more. Leaks do not go away and only get bigger. If refrigerant needs to be added, it got out somehow. You should insist that the leak be found and repaired.

A low-pressure safety switch can cut the compressor off before the situation gets critical. Then the leak can be repaired before any damage is done. Like the high-pressure safety, they seldom come on restaurants freezers. They are also easy to add on though.

The ideal safety is a dual pressure switch with a manual reset. It will cut the unit off in both situations above. It might be cost effective on small units. It is certainly worthwhile on your restaurants freezer if it is full size one, two or three door. You can have it installed when a technician is there working on another piece of equipment.

Most compressor failures are preventable. This is a simple way you can prevent many failures and extend the life of your restaurants freezer.

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