Summer Sizzle Elicits One Word: Maintenance!

 

After this past week’s heat brief, but brutal, heat wave we just cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining your commercial refrigeration equipment. While we love the business, we hate to see you in a bind!

Even one of our friends learned the hard way at home in Lake County. “Who needs to check the air conditioning?”  Our friend has since changed her tune when the a/c unit refused to turn on as the temperature inside the house was soaring to 89 degrees!  The guilty will remain nameless to shelter her from further shame at the lack of preventative maintenance.

She survived, but you don’t want the same thing to happen to your commerical refrigeration equipment!

You NEED your ice machine!

You NEED cooling for your food and beverage service.

Be sure to check out our previous maintenance checklist post!

 

Be sure to check out our SPECIALS all around the web!  Save $ Facebook. Track us on Google Latitude located on our home page and save on service if we’re in your area. Complete 3 Pegs on Pegmo.com and earn cash or a gas card!

We’re here to service your needs in and around Lake County and Cook County! Check out our website and give us a call!


Think Your Commercial Ice Machine Is Clean? Think Again!

They look innocuous enough.  Just sitting there waiting to quench our thirst and cool our beverages any time we need them.

We grab the provided cup, put it under the ice dispenser, then fill up with our desired beverage. Simple. Easy. No worries. Right? We all take soda machines, and commercial ice machines in general, for granted. Maybe we should think twice.

We use them every day as business owners and consumers.  They are reliable and a staple of the hospitality industry, yet it’s easy to forget that the quiet workhorse of the industry needs just as much TLC as its fancy espresso-making counterparts. Commercial ice machines, whether the kind found attached to fountain drink dispensers, or stand-alone units, are prone to scale build-up, as well as mold growth, on the water lines. These undesirables can come in contact with the lines and DIRECTLY with the ice that goes into your beverages! This can create taste issues, health concerns, and equipment failure!

The idea that we can come in contact with mold or lime scale overgrowth as we enjoy our icy cold beverage is reason enough to take care to clean these machines, but beyond cleanliness there is the issue of proper maintenance. Many machines, even leading brands, such as Manitowoc, Scotsman, and Hoshizaki are as sensitive to lime scale build-up as the lesser known brands.  ALL commercial ice machines need regular professional cleaning to maintain the integrity of the unit. If commercial ice machines aren’t cleaned properly their parts may fail to operate, and eventually become irreparable.  When lines become overgrown with lime scale or mold they may cause other parts, such as sensors, water pumps, and water distributors to fail, rendering your equipment useless. This can cause huge problems, especially in summer months!

Don’t think it’s enough to pour some stinky chemicals into your machine and walk away. This isn’t proper cleaning and benefits no one, least of all your machine. You need to have the machine professionally disassembled and thoroughly cleaned. There is intense soaking and scrubbing involved that is best left to professionals. You can maintain your unit on your own between service calls by investing in replacing water filters every six months, using antimicrobials, and sanitizing your machine regularly.

As summer approaches consider having your commercial ice machines checked and properly serviced. We, at Northeast Cooling are happy to help accommodate your needs! Give us a call! We certainly don’t want to see you lacking ice when the summer heat and vacation crowds descend upon us!

Check out our Website and Facebook page for Special Offers on service!


Spring Cleaning for Commercial Refrigeration Equipment – Comprehensive Maintenance Checklist

Spring has Sprung!

Thoughts turn to blue skies and flowers. (Shh! Yes, it is snowing right this very minute in Chicagoland!)

Have you given thought to your commercial refrigeration needs? Probably not. When everything is chugging along in perfect working order, preventative maintenance often slips our minds. So, we’d like to give you a gentle reminder that preventative maintenance is always better than trying to find a cure for something that has already met its demise.

The best way to stay on top of your preventative maintenance needs is to keep a to-do list. Sounds like one more thing to add to your already full schedule, but it can be very simple. No need to complicate things. All you need is a straightforward checklist with the following:

  • Task
  • Department
  • Person
  • Date Checked

To make things easy for you, we’ve put together a list of items you should check on a regular basis.

Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance Checklist

Basic Refrigeration Maintenance Check List:

  • pressure clean / degrease condenser coils
  • clear condensate drain lines
  • check condition of  door gaskets
  • monitor thermostat operation and adjust as needed
  • monitor temperature and cycling
  • check compressor operation and control wiring
  • check refrigerant level
  • oil motors if oil ports exist
  • check unit thermometer
  • check suction line insulation
  • inspect door hinges & door closers
  • check and adjust defrost timers

Ice Machine Maintenance Check List:

  • all removable parts should be taken out and cleaned
  • bin drain should be pressure cleaned
  • an acid wash should be done on evaporator
  • bin should be scrubbed and sanitized
  • after cleaning ice level sense probe will need to be adjusted

Maintenance Check List for A/C:

  • pressure clean condenser coil
  • replace air filters
  • replace blower belt
  • clear condensate drain
  • check thermostat operation and settings

Did you know it can be dangerous to have a dirty ice machine?  It is very important to keep your ice machine clean!

Important Ice Machine Maintenance Tips

  • Clean Ice Cooler: Do this every other week and you’ll have ice cubes that are uniform in shape and don’t harbor an unpleasant odor. You risk your machine shutting down if you don’t clean regularly.
  • Check for Brown Slime: Ice machines can develop a brown slime.  This brown slime develops from specific types of yeast such as: airborne yeast, beer, brewing yeast, and baking yeast. We recommend that you consult your ice machine manufacturer’s manual.
  • Check Ice Machine Temperature: It’s important to keep your ice machine in a cool location. It will expend less energy and make better cubes.
  • Replace Ice Machine’s Water Filters Regularly: Every six (6) months. Ice quality will increase, and the speed in which ice is produced also increases.
  • Clean Your Condenser Coils: Condenser coils are often ignored by restaurants. Dirty condenser coils have an adverse effect on your ice cooler’s temperature, resulting in slow ice production. If your condenser coils are weighed down by gunk and grease, you should give us a call or Tweet us!
  • Maintain a Regular Professional Cleaning Schedule: Ice machine cleaning should be on your list of highly important kitchen jobs.  We recommend you hire a certified technician, like Northeast Cooling, to clean your ice maker every 6 months.

It’s easy to take your commercial refrigeration, especially your ice machine, for granted. It’s always there: churning out perfect cubes for your every need. To keep those cubes perfect, you need regular preventative maintenance.

Benefits of Regular Preventative Maintenance

  • Reduce power consumption. It’s easy to be GREEN with a little preventative care.
  • Extend life of equipment, especially critical components like the compressor, capillary tube, and condenser fan motor.
  • Avoid costly EMERGENCY service caused by lack of maintenance.
  • Avoid mold growth and contaminated “spotted” ice. (To combat this, have ice machines taken apart and cleaned at least twice per year.)
  • Properly maintained line coolers won’t cause system oil and capillary tube breakdown and/or compressor failure.
  • Proper door seal reduces power consumption and extends life of equipment.

Find more helpful information on how you can save energy, and money, by following @Refrigeration on Twitter and Northeast Cooling on Facebook.


Cooler repair season has hit Chicago!

We are in the middle of a heat wave in Chicago. The cooler & freezer repair calls are flooding in.  Time and time again, I find that most equipment breakdowns this summer are due to lack of maintenance.

Lack of freezer maintenance and dirty condenser cause several problems, including:

  • High head pressure
  • excessive run times
  • condenser fan motor failure
  • compressor failure
  • restriction of capillary tubing
  • warm box temperature
  • increased electrical usage

Northeast Cooling recommends that commercial refrigeration maintenance be scheduled at least twice a year.

Having units cleaned & checked will save money in the long run. When equipment is not regularly cleaned it is bound to break down. This seems to happen after hours or on the weekends, which is when the repairs come at a premium. The result of not having a planned cleaning is usually a bad compressor or a restriction in refrigerant tubing caused by overheated oil. Both of these repairs can be costly and time consuming.

We are pleased to announce that New customers receive a 10% discount!

When you need fast expert service  in Chicago Land contact us on Twitter @refrigeration or call directly 847.409.3332

For additional information about services provided, please visit out our website northeastcooling.com


Save Money On Electricity and Repairs – Have Preventive Maintenance Done On Your Commercial Refrigeration.

Who doesn’t want to save precious dollars on their electric bill, right? If you are one of the millions who think along these lines, then take heart because help is on the way!

Let’s focus on your refrigeration equipment. This is the equipment that works the hardest for everybody. One of the most useful as it helps us keep our food fresher longer and gives us relief after a hard day’s work under the scorching sun by giving us cold water to drink among a host of other things it can do.

Unfortunately, we tend to take our refrigeration for granted maintenance wise. So what should we do to make this equipment work for us in the longest most efficient way? Try not over stock your cooler or freezer. The tendency is to put everything inside until you will have a hard time closing it. Air must be allowed to circulate inside so that it can freeze and or cool the items inside. Overstocking it will just make the compressor work harder, thus shortening its life span.

If you want to get the most out of your refrigeration equipment, you must take good care of it even before it shows any wear and tear. One of the primary mistakes is that we wait for our refrigeration to show warning signs that something is wrong before we do something to remedy it. The best thing to do is to have a preventive maintenance plan to keep it working longer at a very efficient rate. This will prolong the life of the equipment, minimize repair expenses, and reduce electrical consumption.

Have a professional check your refrigeration equipment on a regular basis. All condenser and evaporator coils should be cleaned and degreased  if necessary. Drainage should be blown out and condensate pans cleaned. All contacts, controls, and wiring should be inspected for wear or pitting. This will prevent equipment failure and reduce amperage draw. Refrigerant level and compressor operation should be monitored. Door seals, hinges, and closers should be inspected. Temperature and cycling should be checked.  Stationary thermometers in equipment should be calibrated. Motors with oil ports should be lubricated. Only a certified professional should do this preventive maintenance for you because if you don’t know what you are doing, then instead of saving a few bucks you’d be spending much more for repairs. The people from Northeast Cooling can do all this for you in Northern Illinois And Southern Wisconsin.