Common Reasons a Commercial Refrigeration Unit Fails



Commercial refrigeration systems are essential for keeping perishable goods fresh in restaurants, grocery stores, and other commercial establishments. However, these units are not immune to malfunctions and breakdowns. In fact, there are several common reasons why a commercial refrigeration unit may fail, leading to spoiled food and potentially costly repairs. In this blog post, we will explore these common reasons and provide insights on how to recognize signs of commercial refrigeration failure.

Poor Installation

One of the most common reasons that a commercial refrigeration unit fails is due to poor installation. If the unit is not installed correctly, it can lead to problems such as leaks, inefficiency, and compressor failure. Proper installation is crucial for ensuring that the unit functions optimally and lasts for a long time. It is important to hire a professional technician who has experience with commercial refrigeration systems to install the unit properly.

Lack of Maintenance

Another common reason for commercial refrigeration failure is a lack of proper maintenance. Just like any other mechanical system, refrigeration units require regular maintenance to function efficiently. If the unit is not properly maintained, it can lead to issues such as dirty condenser coils, clogged filters, and refrigerant leaks. Regular maintenance tasks such as cleaning the coils, changing the filters, and checking the refrigerant levels are essential for keeping the unit running smoothly.


Overloading the commercial refrigeration unit with more food than it can handle is another common reason for failure. When the unit is overloaded, it has to work harder to maintain the desired temperature, which can put stress on the compressor and other components. Overloading can also restrict airflow, leading to uneven cooling and potential hot spots in the unit. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for loading capacity and avoid overloading the unit to prevent premature failure.

Electrical Issues

Electrical issues are also a common cause of commercial refrigeration failure. Problems such as faulty wiring, electrical shorts, and power surges can disrupt the operation of the unit and potentially damage the components. It is important to have the electrical system of the unit regularly inspected by a professional technician to identify and address any issues before they escalate and cause a complete breakdown.

Temperature Fluctuations

Temperature fluctuations inside the commercial refrigeration unit can lead to spoilage of food and potential failure of the unit. Fluctuations can be caused by factors such as a faulty thermostat, improper sealing of the door, or a malfunctioning compressor. Monitoring the temperature regularly and addressing any fluctuations promptly can help prevent spoilage and ensure the unit operates efficiently.

Signs of Commercial Refrigeration Failure

Recognizing the signs of commercial refrigeration failure is essential for preventing costly repairs and food spoilage. Some common signs that indicate a problem with the unit include:

1. Excessive icing on the evaporator coils or other components

2. Unusual noises such as banging, humming, or rattling

3. Uneven cooling throughout the unit

4. Leaks or puddles of water around the unit

5. Inconsistent temperature readings on the thermostat

6. Food spoiling before the expiration date

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to contact a professional technician to inspect the unit and address the issue promptly. Ignoring these signs can lead to more significant problems and potentially result in the need for costly repairs or even replacement of the unit.


Commercial refrigeration units are essential for preserving perishable goods in commercial establishments. However, these units are prone to failure due to various reasons such as poor installation, lack of maintenance, overloading, electrical issues, and temperature fluctuations. Recognizing the signs of commercial refrigeration failure is crucial for preventing food spoilage and ensuring the unit operates efficiently. By addressing any issues promptly and having the unit regularly maintained by a professional technician, you can prolong the lifespan of the unit and avoid costly repairs.

Need Commercial Refrigeration, Heating and Cooling in Eugene, OR?

Call American Refrigeration for your commercial heating, ventilation & cooling needs. Founded in 1995, American Refrigeration has been proudly serving the Eugene & Portland areas with honesty & integrity for over 19 years. We specialize in commercial HVAC, air conditioning & heating repair, including medical laboratories and winery chillers. Emergency Repair is available 24/7 and we honor manufacturer rebates & warranties. Contact us today!

Freeze Your Worries Away: Expert Tips and Insights for Professional Freezer Repair

Freeze Your Worries Away: Expert Tips and Insights for Professional Freezer Repair

A freezer is a crucial appliance in any household or commercial setting. It helps preserve food, maintain freshness, and extends the shelf life of perishable items. However, like any machine, freezers can encounter problems that require professional repair services. In this blog post, we will provide you with expert tips and insights for professional freezer repair, ensuring that your freezer stays in optimal working condition.

1. Recognizing Common Freezer Problems

The first step in addressing freezer issues is to identify the problem at hand. Common freezer problems include inadequate cooling, excessive frost buildup, unusual noises, and faulty temperature regulation. Familiarize yourself with these signs, as they can help you determine when it’s time to call for professional freezer repair.

2. Importance of Timely Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential to prevent freezer breakdowns and avoid costly repairs. It is recommended to clean the freezer interior, including shelves and drawers, with mild soap and warm water regularly. Pay attention to the freezer’s condenser coils, as they can accumulate dust and debris, affecting the appliance’s efficiency. If you notice any issues during maintenance, seek professional assistance promptly.

3. Choosing the Right Repair Service

When it comes to freezer repair, it’s crucial to choose a reputable and experienced repair service. Look for technicians who specialize in freezer repairs and have the necessary certifications and licenses. Reading customer reviews and seeking recommendations can help you find reliable professionals who can diagnose and fix your freezer problems effectively.

4. DIY Troubleshooting

While professional assistance is often required for complex freezer repairs, there are some troubleshooting steps you can take on your own. For example, if your freezer is not cooling adequately, check the thermostat settings and ensure that the door seals are clean and intact. If there is excessive frost buildup, make sure the defrost heater is functioning correctly.

5. Handling Defrost Issues

Defrost problems are quite common in freezers and can lead to improper cooling and excessive frost accumulation. If your freezer has a manual defrost option, allow sufficient time for the defrost cycle before turning it back on. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for defrosting to prevent any damage to the freezer.

6. Taking Safety Precautions

When attempting any DIY freezer repairs, it is crucial to prioritize safety. Always unplug the freezer from the power source before inspecting or repairing any components. Wear protective gloves and goggles when handling any internal parts to prevent injuries. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with a particular repair, it is best to leave it to the professionals.

7. The Role of Regular Inspections

Regular inspections play a significant role in identifying potential issues before they escalate. Perform visual checks for any signs of leaks, loose electrical connections, or damaged components. Keep an eye on the freezer’s temperature and listen for unusual noises. By catching problems in their early stages, you can save yourself from costly repairs and extend the lifespan of your appliance.

8. Investing in Quality Parts

If your freezer requires replacement parts, investing in quality components is crucial. Using subpar or incompatible parts can result in further damage or malfunction. Ensure that the parts you purchase are genuine and compatible with your specific freezer model. Consult with professionals or the manufacturer if you have any doubts.


A properly functioning freezer is essential for preserving food and maintaining its quality. By familiarizing yourself with common freezer problems, conducting regular maintenance, and seeking professional assistance when needed, you can ensure that your freezer stays in optimal condition. Remember to prioritize safety, choose reputable repair services, and invest in quality parts to guarantee reliable and long-lasting freezer performance. Freeze your worries away by following these expert tips and insights for professional freezer repair.

Got Questions? Let Us Help!

Call American Refrigeration for your commercial heating, ventilation & cooling needs. Founded in 1995, American Refrigeration has been proudly serving the Eugene & Portland areas with honesty & integrity for over 19 years. We specialize in commercial HVAC, air conditioning & heating repair, including medical laboratories and winery chillers. Emergency Repair is available 24/7 and we honor manufacturer rebates & warranties. Contact us today!

Helpful Tips for Maintaining Your Brewing and Distillery Equipment

There’s no doubt that owning any food or beverage establishment comes with extra responsibilities to ensure consumer health and safety. Important tasks include checking your ingredient storage area monthly for needed commercial refrigeration repair in Eugene, OR and regularly cleaning distillery equipment. Regular maintenance is a crucial step in preventing the growth of bacteria that can lead to illnesses, bad tasting drinks, wasted products and equipment failure. Those in the beer and spirits production industry can attest to this.

Did you know that properly cleaning and sanitizing distillery equipment often goes overlooked? You may rinse and wipe down distillery components after each use, but sanitizing equipment is what will kill unwanted germs, bacteria and yeast.

With that in mind, here are some tips for maintaining your brewing and distillery equipment.

Implement a cleaning routine

Make sure to clean all brewing or distillery equipment parts after use. If you skip this step, you’re taking the chance of germs spreading through the entire system. Parts to clean include the brew kettle, mash paddle, fermenter, fermented lid, pump, hoses, hydrometer, airlock, thermometer, yeast containers and measuring spoons and cups. Always wear eye and hand protection when using cleaning solutions (your cleaning product will depend on what your equipment is made of). Some parts can be washed in an automatic dishwasher, but washing by hand ensures effectiveness and proper flushing.

Sanitize it all

Although cleaning and sanitizing sound like the same thing, they are not—especially when it comes to the food and beverage industry. To clean means to get rid of dirt, debris, stains and other matter, while to sanitize means to kill or greatly reduce spoiling microorganisms to minimal levels.

If you don’t get every area and surface on every piece of equipment, you run the risk of contaminating your next batch. Both cleaning and sanitizing your equipment—all of it, from the large kettle to the handheld measuring instruments—provides the best brewing or distilling conditions possible. Use chemical sanitizers manufactured specifically for sanitizing distillery equipment, and consider making a soaking bath for equipment you cannot reach inside to dissolve leftover ingredients. You should also schedule monthly and yearly maintenance appointments to avoid costly distillery equipment and commercial refrigeration repair in Eugene, OR.

Applying heat is another step you can take in the sanitation process. Heat is good at blasting bacteria from your equipment; you may be able to use the high-heat drying cycle on your commercial dishwasher as the final step in the sanitation process. While metal does great in high temperatures, plastic components do not. Avoid putting plastic pieces in the high-heat cycle.

Clean and sanitize immediately

Yes, you’ve spent the last several hours in front of hot equipment making alcohol, but the time to clean up is right away. Waiting to clean and sanitize gives bacteria time to grow, and makes the mess tougher to remove.

Keep your distillery equipment healthy and clean for fresh batches of beer or spirits every time. Luckily, the team at American Refrigeration Inc. is here to help. Give us a call any time you need distillery equipment maintenance, parts repair or commercial refrigeration repair in Eugene, OR!

Selecting a Specialist for Commercial Refrigeration Repair in Eugene, OR

Your business depends on its commercial refrigeration equipment. Whether you’re keeping seafood at the correct temperature to meet important safety standards or chilling wine to the perfect temperature, you know that so much rides on a functioning unit. That’s why it’s crucial to have a commercial refrigeration repair specialist readily available when disaster strikes. Choosing the best in commercial refrigeration repair in Eugene, OR can be a tricky process, though. You need someone you know to perform high quality work exactly when you need it.

To help you choose only the best, here are a few things to look out for when hiring a specialist for commercial refrigeration repair in Eugene, OR:

At American Refrigeration Inc., we understand the important role a working commercial refrigerator plays in the success of your business. That’s why we offer the best in commercial refrigeration repair in Eugene, OR and the surrounding areas. Call us today to learn more about how our experienced professional repair team can help you. We look forward to assisting you soon!

Keep Your Wine Cooler Running Efficiently with These Helpful Tips

You may not need a huge walk-in wine refrigerator or a massive wine vault for your dining establishment, but it’s a good investment to have a decent sized cooler to preserve the taste and quality of what’s offered on your wine list. After all, though bottled, wine needs storing at the right temperatures before being served. But none of this can happen when a wine chiller is not maintained properly or inspected on a regular basis. From cleaning the inside of the refrigeration unit to checking all electrical components, don’t put off important preventative maintenance—do it yourself or hire a pro.

If you are like most people, you want to avoid needing restaurant refrigeration repair in Eugene, OR. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips to keep your business’s wine cooler running efficiently.

Place it in an ideal location

The first thing you want to take into consideration is the placement of the wine refrigerator’s ventilation system. Units with front ventilation can slip under counters just fine, or you can even custom-build them into your bar’s or kitchen’s cabinetry or shelving. Wine coolers without front ventilation should not be placed in confined spaces, unless there are at least a few inches of breathing room on each side. Alternatively, leave front or side vented wine refrigerators standing on their own, as long as ventilation grates are not hindered.

A word of caution: To protect your wine from high temperatures that will ruin your product, keep wine coolers away from direct sunlight and sources of heat, like stoves and other large appliances.

Don’t overload with bottles

Bottle shape plays a role in whether you can chill six oversized bottles of sparkling wine per rack or eight regular shaped chardonnays and still be able to have organized rows. Professional grade wine refrigerators are typically made to hold standard size bottles of wine (that’s 750 ml per bottle). Consider this: not only does overloading your wine fridge run the risk of bottles falling out and an overworked refrigerator, it also won’t chill your wine to the proper drinking temperature. This can lead to spoilage.

If your restaurant or bar serves a variety of wine in different bottle shapes and sizes, then it’s best to purchase a large capacity wine cooler to accommodate your wine selection.

Keep it clean

Hands down, cleaning your wine refrigeration unit will ensure that it performs as it should. While wiping it down, take the opportunity to inspect for frost buildup on the inside, as well as moisture pooling around or inside of the cooling unit. Always remove bottles and shelves and unplug it from its power source before a cleaning. Clean it so you don’t have to spend money on restaurant refrigeration repair in Eugene, OR every month, especially repairs that are easily avoided with occasional cleanings.

At American Refrigeration Inc., we are here to help with all your needs for restaurant refrigeration repair in Eugene, OR. This includes, but is not limited to, repairs to specialty equipment like custom wine vaults, walk-in coolers and reach-in coolers. Call us today!