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Is it time for a new refrigerator?

While most commercial refrigerators last an average of 10-15 years, eventually, there's going to come a day when this question will cross your mind. To keep your commercial kitchen running in tip top shape, learn the five warning signs to look for so you never have to spend a day without a fully functioning fridge. Already convinced that it's time for a replacement? We offer tons of affordable options and limited-time promotions.

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Warning Sign #1: A Leaking Fridge

A Leaking Fridge

"Why is my fridge leaking?" is a common question we get all the time. Ranking at #1 on our list for a reason, leaking may be one of the most common warning signs of older or on-the-fringe commercial refrigerators. Here's what your fridge is trying to tell you:

  • I'm "sweating": The fridge cooling system is constantly removing heat, which requires the unit to compress gasses inside the system. Sometimes, these gasses form condensation which creates leaking.
  • My drain hose broke: Given the above info, gasses exit the unit through a drain hose, which may overtime break, become unplugged, etc.
    • Quick Tip: Start by cleaning out the drain line and checking the gasket around the door for proper sealing

If neither suggestion will fix your leaking problem, we recommend contacting a commercial fridge repair specialist. As the most common fridge issue, an expert will be able to quickly identify whether the problem is "fixable".

Warning Sign #2: A Loud Refrigerator

So, what exactly qualifies as a "loud noise"?

First, let's talk about the normal, standard refrigerator sounds. You've undoubtedly heard your refrigerator at home kick on. That sound is completely normal—it's just the fridge telling the cooling system that it's time to go to work.

But if you're hearing clangs, bangs and whining when your cooling system kicks on, that's an issue—it's quite literally your commercial refrigerator making a cry for help. If your system is making these noises, it's time to have it inspected.

Warning Sign #3: It's Not Cold Enough

It's Not Cold Enough

If your refrigerator won't get as cold as it used to, here's what might be happening:

  • You're low on refrigerant, and it's a simple fix of adding more to your unit
  • You may have leaking problems—check out warning sign #1 above for more info

If your commercial refrigerator won't cool down even after troubleshooting, you should get an inspection immediately. Not only can this be costly since food will start spoiling faster, but you'll also start racking up a higher energy bill because your unit will be working overtime to maintain cool temperatures.

Don't let another penny go to waste on unwarranted energy bills. Check out one of our affordable, energy-efficient countertop merchandisers. Interested in finding more energy-efficient options? We have lots to choose from, and we're eager to share. Contact an expert to get started.

Warning Sign #4: Noticing More Spoiled Food Than Usual

In most cases, increased spoilage is caused by an internal operating problem in your commercial refrigerator that needs to be fixed ASAP. Unfortunately, most of the time this is a telltale sign that your unit may be past the point of repair, and it might be time to consider a replacement.

Curious to see what type of fridge you should get next? We have two go-to solutions for finding your best fit:

EQWIP SURVEY TOOL

Try our interactive survey tool. Like a virtual shopping assistant, EQWIP will curate a custom refrigerator to fit perfectly in your kitchen.

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RESEARCH FOR YOU

We've done our own homework on what to look for when buying a commercial fridge, plus quick tips to consider when making your purchase.

VIEW RESEARCH

Warning Sign #5: Excessive Moisture in the Fresh Food Compartment

Excessive Moisture

A little condensation in your commercial refrigerator isn't a huge problem since fresh foods naturally contain a lot of moisture. However, when food begins to appear damp you need to start troubleshooting issues.

Temperature fluctuation is the main culprit. Drastic changes in temperature throughout the day cause the moisture from food to evaporate causing unnecessary dampness, which leads to premature food spoiling.

Temperature fluctuations can be caused by two main things:

  • Leaving the fridge door open for too long
  • A faulty seal that's allowing warm air to enter

Both of which are easy to combat and fix.

FAQs About Commercial Refrigerators

How do I know when to repair vs. replace?

Commercial refrigerator maintenance is the cost-effective way to keep your fridge's lifespan long without breaking the bank with a total replacement. To distinguish even more aging signs not mentioned here, take a look at cost-saving ways to stretch your dollar on equipment purchases.

Or, if you're still deciding which option is best for you, get in touch with an equipment expert today.

How long before food spoils in a fridge without power?

While the amount of time varies depending on the food, here's a helpful tip. According to the FDA, the general rule of thumb is most refrigerators will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened and the power is shut off. A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.

Given the information above, if your business runs into a sticky situation like this, we recommend keeping your refrigerator closed as long as possible until you have a repair/replace solution.

Here's our suggestion: for peace of mind, stock up on high capacity coolers as a makeshift option to store your perishables in the meantime. We love this cooler in particular—it can keep ice from melting for up to five days! Remember though, this is just a temporary solution that is intended to buy you some time while waiting for your main unit to be repaired or replaced.

Why isn't my refrigerator cold?

Even slight drops in commercial refrigerator temperatures can cause food to spoil faster than usual. As a busy kitchen with lots of hungry customers, chances are you spend a significant amount on food, and you don't want a penny of this to go to waste.

Check out warning sign #3 above for all faulty temperature troubleshooting.

Meet Hubert

We've been partnering and working with foodservice providers for 75 years, so we know what they need. Commercial kitchen equipment that makes their employees and kitchens more efficient. And the way our team of experts deliver & install equipment sets us apart from the competition. Hubert offers turnkey services, so you don't have to lift a finger—we'll even help you design the perfect kitchen layout for your facility.

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Meet Hubert

We've been partnering and working with foodservice providers for 75 years, so we know what they need. Commercial kitchen equipment that makes their employees and kitchens more efficient.

And the way our team of experts deliver & install equipment sets us apart from the competition. Hubert offers turnkey services, so you don't have to lift a finger—we'll even help you design the perfect kitchen layout for your facility.