How To Defrost A Commercial Refrigerator

A commercial freezer needs to run at an optimal temperature to be able to keep food products preserved and fresh. But beware, a build-up frost on the evaporator coils can instantly result in spoilt food, costly repairs, and high energy bills. This is where defrosting your commercial refrigerator comes in. 

When it comes to walk-in freezers or remote cabinets, you should enter and exit the freezer quickly and avoid leaving the doors open for longer than needed. This can help minimize the amount of warm air entering the unit, which can cause the compressor to keep running. If your freezer needs repacking or restocking, instead of shutting off the refrigeration system and fan motors, so there is no air turbulence or negative pressure to encourage warm air to rush inside your freezer. 

Most commercial refrigerator units have auto-defrost systems, especially where temperatures need to be below freezing or they need to be maintained. This feature can help automatically shut down the system when ice has built up around the evaporator coils. The type of auto-defrost control on a refrigerator depends on the model, the running temperature, the products stored, and how often the doors are opened.

There are cases wherein a normal compressor off-cycle will turn on, and this can be enough to keep the condenser coils frost-free. There are also instances wherein a defrost timer which shuts off the compressor, but it keeps the evaporator fans on, allows room temperature air to melt the frost. 

Also, walk-in freezers and refrigerators with very low temperatures usually have a timer that shuts off the evaporator fans before elements or defrosts heaters turn on to melt any frost off the coil surfaces and warm the drain pan. The system will only turn the evaporator fans on once the system has cooled the coils down. 

The normal defrost cycle is three to four times a day, they are set for specific times, and they ultimately kick in where there is enough frost build-up. Around 15 to 20 minutes should give the heaters time to defrost the coils. Remember, if your freezer or refrigerator has an automatic defrost control, it needs to be regularly checked and serviced. It should be done at least once a week to make sure that the coils are free of water and ice that can exit freely down the drain line. 

You can contact your local service providers to check on your commercial refrigerator regularly. For example, commercial refrigeration repair in Fort Worth can schedule regular maintenance to make sure that there won’t be any future issues with your refrigerator. 

Also, if you notice that your freezer has a hard time to reach the correct temperature settings, and it can’t seem to manage a defrost cycle, you need to shut it down manually to allow it to defrost properly, or you can call in a technician. 

There are do’s and don’ts in defrosting your commercial refrigerator. It is important to plan the defrosting ahead, the complete process may take a few hours to complete, so food needs to keep in a cooler. Also, you need to make sure that you turn off the unit first if you keep it on, it will only waste energy, and it can slow down the whole process. 

You can heat a bowl of water and place it in the freezer to speed up the melting of the ice. You can reheat the water every 15 minutes to expedite the process. Once the unit is defrosted, make sure to clean the inside of the refrigerator with soap and water. You can rinse the soap away and wipe it down, but make sure that the interior is completely dry before you turn it back on. 

Never use a knife, an ice pick or other sharp objects to push through the ice as you may puncture the walls and damage the refrigerator. If you need to scrape off some material, use a spatula that is made of plastic instead. And of course, be careful as your refrigerator runs through electricity. If you use a hairdryer to heat the unit, do not stand in a puddle of water or let the appliance touch the melting ice because it may cause an accident 

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