Refrigeration takes many forms in foodservice operations including walk-ins, reach-ins, and display cases.


Cleaning and Maintenance for Reach in Refrigerators

Cleaning and maintenance needs for reach-in refrigerators may be overlooked since these units don’t require much interaction other than opening and closing doors.

Unlike other equipment, though, these units operate all day, every day. When properly maintained, reach-ins can last on average 15 years, although some units have been in service as long as 30 years.

Cleaning is simple and basic, with soap and water used to wipe down the refrigeration’s interior and exterior as needed.

Clean reach-in condenser coils on a monthly basis with a condenser foam cleaner that penetrates dirt and rinses off. Operators can perform this task themselves, but failure to use the appropriate cleaner could lead to coil damage. In between cleanings, staff can occasionally brush off the condenser to help ensure optimum operation. Keep evaporator fins clean, especially when the unit is exposed to grease.

Regularly check gaskets and hinges since loose components will cause the door to drag and allow outside air into the unit. Every three months, examine the fan motor and compressor, checking for any loose parts or excessive noise.

There are signs of trouble with reach-ins. Temperature checks at least once a day should be recorded in a log. Units not maintaining proper temperatures or not coming down to temperature quickly enough need servicing as soon as possible. Unusual noises may also indicate service is needed.

Reach-ins more than 10 years old with a compressor malfunction will need replacement due to the cost of a repair. In addition, warped doors warrant a reach-in replacement.


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