Your Icebox: What To Do Before Calling for Service

Commercial grade refrigerators are complex systems that require specialized knowledge to service and repair. As a business owner though, you owe it to yourself to understand the basics of your equipment and what to look for if you suspect that it’s not working properly. It can save you time, stress and money.

Every system can experience occasional malfunctions. If your freezer’s thermometer gauge registers an increase in temperature from your normal thermostat settings, it doesn’t spell disaster. To assess the gravity of the problem, follow these steps before you dial your refrigeration technician.

*(Note: If the products in your freezer are not solid frozen, but rather soft to the touch, don’t wait. Your problem is beyond your control and you should call for service immediately.)


  1. Measure the temperature inside the box via a thermometer and register the temperature.
    *(Note: Most of the time, the built-in thermometer next to the service door is not very accurate, so you should place a stand-alone thermometer someplace in the middle of your box.)
  2. After 30-45 minutes, re-check the temperature in your freezer.
    *(Note: Your box may be in defrost mode which may explain the raise in temperature. To determine if the temperature increase is not a result of the defrost mode, it is important that you re-check the thermometer reading.)
  3. If the temperature has increased, your next step is to check the breaker for the compressor (outdoor unit). If the breaker is not tripped, you have a problem that must be addressed by a refrigeration specialist. Give your refrigeration company a call.


  1. Look for ice built up on the back of the coil inside the walk-in cooler.
  2. If you find ice on your coil, you must stop the outdoor unit (compressor) to melt the ice.
  3. Leave the fans running and call for service. Once the ice has melted, on average about 1.5 – 3 hours, a refrigeration technician will be able to diagnose the problem quicker than if he had to melt the ice or wait for the ice to melt. In so doing, you save time and money!
  4. If you don’t find any ice on your coil then check the breaker for your outdoor unit (most of the time, they are located outside). If the breaker is not tripped, you have a problem in need of professional assistance. Call your refrigeration company for service.