Routine Refrigeration Maintenance: A Case Study

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The following table is a case study of two clients of ours. Our service records from 7/1/12 – 6/31/13 were used to create this table. This comparison is between two bars located in the West Loop area in Chicago. One location (Bar #1) has had a routine maintenance schedule and the equipment is serviced quarterly. The second location (Bar #2) has never accepted a maintenance quote and never had all equipment cleaned and checked on a regular basis. They always call on the hottest days and nights getting whatever piece of equipment fixed that needs immediate attention. The table below will illustrate the importance of routine maintenance and the consequences of equipment neglect.

EstablishmentTotal Number Of Coolers & Freezers Scheduled Maintenance 7/1/12 - 6/30/13Non Emergency Service Calls 7/1/12 - 6/30/13Overtime Service Calls 7/1/12 - 6/30/13Compressor Failures 7/1/12 - 6/30/13
Bar #127Every 3 Months1021
Bar #224None1843

This table clearly shows the benefits of a maintenance plan. Bar #1 has more total equipment than Bar #2, but has less service calls for the year. Also, Bar #1 had only one compressor failure as compared to three at Bar #2. The overall cost of service for the year was much less at the client with a maintenance plan. The properly maintained equipment required far less electricity as well. Routine maintenance plans reduce service calls, save electricity and extend the life of refrigeration equipment.

When it comes to reliability of any equipment, preventive maintenance is a crucial factor. Failure to properly maintain commercial refrigeration will almost always lead to costly repairs and loss of product. As Murphy’s Law would have it, these breakdowns usually occur at the most inopportune times like nights and weekends. It is at these times that service of coolers and freezers comes at a premium. Failure to properly maintain equipment also causes much higher utility bills and shortens life of equipment.

Problems caused by failure to maintain refrigeration equipment

  • Increased utility bills

  • Burnt wiring due to increased amp draw

  • Failure of fan motors caused by dirty coils

  • Failure of thermostat due to increased amp draw

  • Failure of compressor due to dirty coils

  • Restriction of metering device caused by overheated & damaged refrigerant oil

  • and more!

Benefits of routine maintenance

  • Reduced electrical consumption

  • Less equipment breakdown

  • Lower service and repair costs

  • Longer equipment life

  • Fresher product

  • Reduced product spoilage

  • Decreases chance of emergency service due to neglect

  • Decreases stress

  • and more!

More information available on the following blogs

  • http://refrigerantcompany.com/ James Gasia

    Very interesting case study. Regular/routine maintenance of refrigeration system is actually good for system’s health. Checking the status of refrigerants and replacing it time by time makes your refrigeration systems sustainable.