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Common Issues Seen in Commercial Refrigerators

If you're the owner or manager of any commercial facility that includes a refrigerator, this will naturally be one of the most important items you're regularly focused on maintaining. Commercial refrigerators are a very different beast from residential ones, typically much larger and running at cooler temperatures, and this means their care and upkeep will be a bit more involved.

At Dick Kearsley Service Center, we're happy to help. We provide a number of appliance repair and related services to clients throughout Roy and other parts of Utah, including commercial refrigeration solutions for all your business's needs. Within this area, what are some of the most common issues we see, and how might they be remedied, either by our team or by other simple fixes you can carry out on your own? Here's a primer.

Power Issues

Because of the simple amounts of power required to generate and maintain the colder temperatures of a commercial fridge, even a slight drop in voltage can cause major issues. If you notice that your fridge isn't as cold as it should be, one possibility is an issue with the power being supplied to it.

Check breakers and fuses first, as these are typically the culprits when power is lost. If those seem to be in working order, you might need to contact a professional electrician to investigate the issue further and make any necessary repairs or adjustments.

Fridge Is Overloaded

While a home fridge is often packed to the gills with all sorts of food items, this isn't generally a good idea with a commercial one. If your fridge is too full, it won't be able to circulate air properly, and this can lead to warmer temperatures as well as potential food spoilage.

The solution here is relatively simple: just make sure not to overload the fridge, and leave some space for air to circulate. You might also want to rearrange items so that the ones that need to be kept cooler are closer to the vents.

Frost or Ice Buildup

This is a common issue in commercial refrigerators, and it can have a few different causes. One possibility is that the freezer temperature is set too low, which can cause frost to form on food items as well as on the evaporator coils.

If you think this might be the case, first check your fridge's manual to see what the recommended freezer temperature should be. If it's set lower than this, adjust accordingly and see if that helps to mitigate the problem.

Another possibility is that the door isn't sealing properly. This can allow warmer air to enter the fridge, causing ice and frost to form. Inspect the door gasket to see if there are any cracks or holes, and replace it if necessary.

If none of these solutions seem to be working, it's possible that there's an issue with the defrost timer or the defrost heater. These are both best left to a professional refrigerator repair technician to deal with.

Fan Problems

A key element in any commercial fridge is the fan, which helps to circulate air and keep temperatures consistent throughout the appliance. If the fan isn't working properly, it can lead to a number of issues, including frost buildup and warm spots.

If you think there might be a problem with the fan, first check to make sure that it's free of any debris or blockages. If it seems to be clear, then the issue might be with the fan motor itself, in which case you'll need to call a technician to take a look.

Compressor Concerns

The compressor is another important component, one that helps to circulate coolant and keep the fridge at a consistent temperature. If it's not working properly, you might notice that the fridge isn't as cold as it should be, even if the settings are correct.

In some cases, simply resetting the compressor can fix the problem. To do this, unplug the fridge and then plug it back in after a few minutes. If that doesn't work, then the issue is most likely with the compressor itself and will need to be looked at by a professional.

Lighting Issues

In many cases, lighting issues are among the simplest to fix. If a light bulb has burned out, simply replacing it should take care of the problem. In other cases, the issue might be with the light switch, and flipping it a few times can often help to get it working again.

If neither of these solutions seems to work, then there might be an issue with the wiring. This is best left to a professional to deal with.

Safety First -- Always

During this blog, we've gone over a number of things you might be able to do on your own to remedy certain commercial fridge concerns. However, if any of the approaches we've outlined make you remotely uncomfortable, or if you're unsure you can carry them out without creating a safety hazard, please don't hesitate to call a professional repair technician.

While some commercial fridge issues can be relatively minor and easy to take care of on your own, others can pose a serious safety risk if not handled properly. So always err on the side of caution, and never try to repair something yourself if you're unsure about how to do it or worried about your safety.

For more on this, or to learn about any of our appliance repair services in Roy and surrounding areas, speak to the staff at Dick Kearsley Service Center today.


520 S State, Clearfield, UT 84015

[email protected]

Hours Of Operation:

Mon-Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sunday: Closed

Find Us On:


Davis/Morgan: 801-773-4836

Weber County: 801-393-1265

Brigham City: 435-553-4556

Salt Lake: 801-292-1636


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