The Importance of Regular Maintenance
The purpose of a PM program is to prevent or greatly reduce the risk of failure to the covered equipment. This objective can only be accomplished by cleaning, checking and inspecting the equipment on a regular basis. When necessary, worn or suspect parts must be replaced as soon as possible to catch small problems before they cause a complete system failure.

When deciding how often to perform regular maintenance, remember that the local climate outside and the environment inside the kitchen have a strong influence on the recommended service intervals. For example, bakeries require the condenser coils to be cleaned more often than kitchens preparing soups and salads. A small walk-in cooler refrigerator in a church kitchen that is only used two or three days a week for six hours a day may require an inspection twice a year. But a busy casual- dining establishment with self-contained refrigeration equipment will require service every 30 to 60 days. A production kitchen in a large hotel or college that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner may require monthly inspections.

A trained service professional who knows your local environment and types of equipment will be the best source of information on tailoring a plan for your specific requirements.

Benefits of a PM Program
The benefits of a robust PM program are innumerable.
For example:
· The refrigeration equipment will operate more efficiently and for fewer hours per day. This will translate into reduced electrical consumption, which saves money.
· It will extend the operating life of your equipment, therefore delaying the substantial cost of equipment replacement.
· Proper preventive maintenance will reduce your emergency service repair costs by resolving many potential problems prior to failure.
· Properly maintained equipment has a lower failure rate. Frequent equipment failure can hinder the success of your business.
· The savings in electrical consumption, along with reduced repair cost, should more than offset the cost of implementing a refrigeration PM program.
The contractor or individual performing the PM should have the proper state contractor’s license or certification to work on commercial refrigeration systems.
It is critical that he or she is an EPA Rule 608 certified technician.
The technician or company should have experience working on commercial refrigeration equipment. There is a difference in many of the skills between technicians who work on commercial air conditioning and refrigeration.
Energy Savings Help Pay for PM Program
The typical commercial refrigeration system’s compressor is designed to operate 10 to 12 hours per day. This translates into a typical operating range of 3,650 to 4,380 hours a year. A system that is not properly maintained would easily increase the compressor run time up to 15 to 18 hours per day, or 5,475 to 6,570 hours annually. This will add another 1,825 to 2,190 hours per year of needless wear and tear, on top of the wasted energy consumption. Assume that the extra run time of a neglected system is 1,825 hours a year. A typical medium temperature 1-horsepower commercial compressor is consuming 3.4 kilowatts of power, and the local utility rate is $0.10 kW/h. So, 1,825 hours x 3.4 kilowatts = 6,205 kilowatt hours x $0.16 kW/h = $992.80 in additional electrical consumption a year for this one system. This example takes a very simplistic approach to the many variables that are not being included, such as changes in compressor amperage along with the airflow and/or refrigerant restrictions to the compressor. This example of savings of $992.80 a year is probably conservative.
A Typical PM Consists of The Following Items
¨ Checking the system’s overall operation, including temperature readings, along with temperature checks to the discharge, liquid and suction lines.
¨ Further detailed inspections of the major sub-systems should include the compressor, condenser and evaporator coils and refrigerant flow control device.
¨ Check for proper refrigerant level, along with any indication of moisture in the system.
¨ Check and verify the thermostats, pressure controls, contactors, relays and defrost time clocks are all working correctly.
¨ Inspect the low- and high-voltage electrical components and tighten the connections.
¨ Ensure proper operation of airflow by inspecting the fan motors of the evaporator and condenser coils.
¨ Clean and lubricate motors as required.
¨ Inspect and clean the condensers and evaporators coils.
¨ Check the refrigerant level indicator and inspect the condensing unit, evaporator coil and exposed refrigerant lines for any damage or visible signs of refrigerant leaks.
¨ Check the refrigeration system door gaskets, hinges and latches for proper seal and closure.
¨ Check/clean the evaporator drain pans.
¨ Check/clean the condensate drain lines to prevent obstructions.
We’d be happy to tailor a custom PM Program to suit your specific needs. Feel free to send us an email.