Master-Bilt® Refrigeration News & Product Information
How To Take Care Of Your Walk-In
You’ve just purchased a brand new walk-in and you want to make sure it stays bright and shiny, performs as expected and, most importantly, protects your valuable stored products for many years to come. So what are the best ways to take care of this major investment so it takes care of you? Here are some pointers…
First, A Couple Of General Tips…
- Save your manual or bookmark it in your web browser! The manual has important instructions that you should follow to avoid personal injury or damage to the walk-in.
- Depending on your comfort level and available time for maintenance tasks, you may want to speak to your service technician or installer about a regular maintenance plan.
NOTE: To prevent injury, or worse, electrocution, make sure the power is off to refrigeration systems while performing any maintenance task.
- One of the most important things you can do to extend the performance and life of your cooler is to clean the condenser coil in your refrigeration system condensing unit every month. Many technicians use shop-vacs because they not only vacuum accumulated dirt and debris from the coil but can also blow out dust that’s deeply embedded.
- Clean evaporator fans and coils at least twice a year to ensure proper air flow. To clean the fans, simply wipe off the blades and motors with soap and warm water. Lubricate the fan if applicable. For the coil, remove any large debris using a shop-vac with a soft brush end (no wire brushes). Comb the coil vertically (with the fins) in a bottom-to-top direction so you don’t brush debris into the evaporator pan. Once the larger debris is clear, use an NSF-approved indoor coil cleaner, spray on and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Then rinse with hot water in the opposite direction of air flow for best results. Insure the drain pan is clear and not holding water. If it is holding an excessive amount of water you may have a clogged drain. If so, simply flush out the drain with compressed air or nitrogen, then pour 2-4 ounces of bleach in the drain, this will prevent the build-up of algae between cleanings.
- Inside the walk-in, sweep and/or spot mop floors regularly. Large scale wet mopping is not recommended as it can create a slip-and- fall hazard as well as add moisture in the walk-in.
- When cleaning the interior, don’t use harsh cleaners as they may damage the panel finish. For the best results, follow these directions:
- Create a sanitizing solution consisting of one part bleach and 32 parts water (four oz. bleach to one gallon of water).
- Spread solution on ceiling and walls with scrub brush, applying baking soda to the wall with the scrub brush as you clean.
- Wipe down ceiling and walls thoroughly with a clean wet cloth.
- Apply the remaining sanitizing solution on the floor with a scrub brush as needed, applying baking soda to the floor with scrub brush as you clean.
- Wipe down floor thoroughly with a clean damp cloth.
- Wipe the ceiling and walls with towels to avoid mildew and bacteria growth.
- Clean all remaining water off the floor with a clean dry cloth. Avoid any pooling of water on the floor as excess water could cause damage to the floor as well as a slip-and-fall hazard.
- Make sure doors are closing completely. If they are not, you may need to adjust the door closure device typically at the top of the door. Consult your installation manual for instructions, contact your installer, or call the manufacturer. You also may need to adjust the hinges as sometimes doors may get out of alignment over time. Many manufacturers design their doors with adjustable hinges which allow the door to be aligned without removal from the frame. Again, look for instructions in your manual.
- Inspect door gaskets for tears and replace as needed. Typically, the gaskets are easily removed from the door by simply pulling them out. Smaller tears may be repaired by resealing with silicone caulk.
- Inspect the vinyl door sweep on the bottom of the door for tearing. The sweep helps maintain a proper door seal as well as removing excess frost build-up on the door threshold which could lead to a slip-and-fall accident.
- Inspect the panels for any loose caulking used in sealing with common NSF approved silicone type found in hardware stores.
- Remember airflow is important both inside the walk-in and outside. On the inside, don’t stack boxes so they block the flow of air from the evaporator coils. If you have an outside condensing unit, make sure there’s no trash, grass or weeds around it that might block airflow into the condenser coil. Proper airflow is necessary to keep the compressor cooled.
- Don’t stack items on top of the walk-in. Doing so could damage the ceiling.
- Don’t block doors open for a lengthy amount of time. Keeping doors closed as much as possible and as securely as possible is a huge factor in your walk-in’s efficiency.
- Turn off lights when no one is inside. Leaving lights on not only wastes energy but also raises the heat level inside the walk-in, making it more difficult to properly cool stored items. Many manufacturers offer light management systems which will automatically turn lights off after a set period of inactivity. Some systems also integrate door open alarms and temperature read-outs.
- Be sure to monitor inside temperatures each day. Keep in mind there are optional electronic controller systems that do this for you as well as provide alarms should there be a temperature fluctuation.
These tips may not cover every situation, so if you have questions or concerns, consult your service agent or manufacturer. Remember, as a vital part of your business, it’s important to keep your walk-in running great. After all, its performance can have a huge impact on your overall performance.