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Pre-maintenance Lessons



Cleaning the Air Cooled Condenser

Lesson 1

I'm very excited to be able to share with you information

that will help maintain your equipment. I have over 30 years

of ice machine and refrigeration repair experience. My goal is

to not only help the longevity of your equipment, but to help

you save money on expensive refrigeration repairs.

Most units are air-cooled and need to be cleaned or

the compressor will run hot, overheat, and the unit

will not perform properly. It's like your car running

low on anti-freeze. I recommend that you check the

condenser every 6 months for dirt build-up. If it is very

dirty, then check every 3 to 4 months. First find

where the air-cooled condenser is on your unit.

They look like a radiator of a car. They have a fan motor that forces

air across it to cool the refrigerant down. Be careful working around

a moving fan blade. Always turn unit off when working on the system.

If it is a Hoshizaki ice machine, most models have the air filter

on the front panel and just need to be rinsed off in the sink.

If Manitowoc, some models have a aluminum filter that should

be cleaned with mild soap. Whatever type of unit you have, ice

machine, refrigerator, or freezers, they all have a condenser. If you

have a water cooled unit, there is no cleaning for you to do. If you

have a "W" in your model number for your ice machine, then it is

water-cooled. If you have an "A" in your model number, it is air-cooled

(ice machines only). Most refrigerators and freezers are air-cooled unless

you had a repairman change it over to water-cooled because it was not

able to perform in the extreme heat.


After cleaning filter, you want to check the fins on the condenser.


Clean the condenser with a soft brush or a vacuum with brush attachment.

Shine a flashlight through the condenser to check for dirt between the fins.

Be careful not to bend fins. If dirt remains, blow compressed air through fins.

A clean condenser will help maintain good ice production (ice machines) and

help keep the repairman away. Use this tip for all of your refrigeration. If

you have any questions, please e-mail me at [email protected]

Best Regards,


Sales Manager



Ice Machine Bin Maintenance

Lesson 2

Greetings! Hope all is well. I would like to share with

you this time something that most people do not think

about. If you have an ice machine with a bin, the bin

if not maintained will get contaminated at the bottom.

Many times you do not reach the bottom of the bin unless

your ice machine stops producing or you just have a busy

weekend. When I was servicing ice machines years ago,

I saw the bottom of the bins many times and it wasn't

pretty. Even though the ice is constantly melting and water

is moving out the drain at the bottom, it needs to be cleaned

at least twice a year. You do not want your employees

reaching to the bottom with an ice scoop and putting that

contaminated ice where food or drinks will be distributed.

So, I recommend that you empty the bin out and clean with

warm water, rinse thoroughly, and sanitize. Let it air dry out.

This will help maintain a clean operation and protect your customers.

Best regards,


Sales Manager


Understanding Basic Refrigeration

Lesson 3


Greetings! I just wanted to share some information on the

basics of how ice machines, refrigerators, etc. function. Most

of you will probably will never repair your own equipment,

but I believe it is always valuable to have some understanding

of how your equipment works.

Most people think that in a refrigerator or air conditioner that

the room is being cooled down from the cold air blowing in,

but really its not. The unit is really absorbing the warm air in

the cabinet or room. As it continues to absorb the warm air,

the area being cooled gets colder and colder.

The sizing of the parts used in the equipment are calculated

by BTUs. The more work load or the more space to condition,

the higher the rating of BTUs which will result in larger

compressor, evaporator and so on.

The basic mechanism of a refrigerator works like this:

First, the compressor compresses the refrigerant gas. This raises the

pressure and temperature.

As it passes through the air or water cooled condenser, the refrigerant

condenses into a liquid form and flows through the expansion valve.

When it flows through the expansion valve, the liquid refrigerant

expands and evaporates. In evaporating, it absorbs heat, making

it cold.

The coils inside the refrigerator allow the refrigerant to absorb heat,

making the inside of the refrigerator cold. The cycle then repeats.

I hope this has brought some understanding. Never stop learning!

Know the truth and the truth will make you free

Best regards,


Sales Manager

800 913-0192


Procedures How to Clean Ice Maker

Lesson 4


Greetings, I hope all is well. I would like to give you the

procedures on how to clean your ice machine. You really

should try to clean your unit at least once a year. This will

help prevent scale and lime build up and will help keep the

ice machine running properly. It will also keep the Board

of Health happy. The procedure is usually on the back of

the front panel of your ice machine, but just in case it has

worn off or is unreadable, you can click on the link below,

and then click on “Info Center” (in the right top corner)

which will bring you to a page that has Hoshizaki or

Manitowoc information. Click on the manufacturer that you

have and then click on the one that would best fit your machine.

All the cleaning procedures are at the top of that page for easy

access. Most of the cleaning procedures are the same for the

particular series. The cleaning method on the back of the panels

are not as informative as these. Have fun!

P.S. You should wear gloves for safety and take the ice out

of the bin before starting cleaning process.


Best regards,


Sales Manager

800 913-0192

Subject: Do you need a freon recharge?
Lesson 5

Hope all is well. I wanted to give you some general information
on your refrigeration equipment. To my surprise, most people
have been lead to believe that they have to have their refrigerators
and air conditioners recharged with freon once a year or once in
awhile. That is not the case. If your equipment ever needs some
freon added to the system, it is because there is a gas leak in the
system. Somewhere freon is leaking out and it needs to be addressed.

Over the years as a mechanic myself, many new customers would tell
me that they need their a/c, refrigerator, etc...recharged again and
did not know they had a gas leak. They were told that their unit had
to be recharged every year or season. If you are a customer that is
paying every year for a refrigeration company to add freon to your
system, it is time to tell them to find the gas leak so you will not
need to have to pay to fix it and also your unit will not go down.

Many companies prey on the ignorance of the comsumer. Many
refrigeration companies have guaranteed work always coming in
because they know the customer will be calling again for a recharge.
Keep in mind that the longer your system takes before it needs a new
charge, the smaller the leak. A good mechanic with some patience
will find the smallest leak if he takes the time.

Another tip; freon does not get old and will perform as good as new
freon. I hope that this has given you some information that will
help keep the costs down and equipment running without downtime.

SUBJECT: Refrigerator Not Getting Cold Enough


Greetings! I would like to share with you this lesson on something

that would be a regular problem especially in the hotter months of

the year. Many times I would travel to an account and the

complaint was that the refrigerator, walk-in, etc. was not cold

enough. When I would check the unit out, I would find many

times that the evaporator blower would be frozen with ice. The

evaporator blower is inside the unit which is being cooled and has

a fan motor with some coils that look like a radiator.

Many times I would just ask the customer over the phone to check

the evaporator and if it was frozen up with ice, I would tell them to

lower the temp control to the off position. Wait a couple of hours

and when the ice is gone to turn back on. You do not want to

unplug the unit. You want to only turn the compressor off and

leave the evaporator fan motor running so it will melt the ice off

and cool the box down at the same time. If you unplug the

refrigerator, it will take many hours to melt the ice off and the

product will all have to come out of the box. Find the temperature

control and turn that off. Just make sure you look to see what it is

set at so you can turn it back to where it was.


Temp control set too cold Set at higher setting

Very humid in the building Keep doors closed the best you can

Gaskets no good Replace gaskets

Doors left open too long Keep doors closed the best you can

Compressor inefficient New refrigerator or compressor



Simple Tips on Central Air Conditioning Systems


It is always good to have someone check the system before a

season starts. If you or someone you know is handy, this simple

checklist could help save you money and downtime.


Clean condenser coils outside to help compressor run cool and


Check belt (if applicable) to get the most air flow possible

Check for clean drain line, so you do not have water leaking

through ceiling

Check for a clean air filter to protect your evaporator from getting




If you are not getting cold air blowing out of the vents, then you

could check the following. Keep in mind; you should get a (T/D)

temperature difference of 17-21 degrees between the air that is

going through the air filter (also called the return air) and the

air coming out of the vents. If the temperature is lower than

17 degrees difference than it could be one of the following:

Low on Freon

Condenser is dirty

Inefficient Compressor


If the T/D temperature difference is over 21 degrees than it could

be one of the following:

Too many vents closed; need to open all vents

The drive belt is not tight enough causing too low of air speed

Not charged properly


Finally, you want to check each vent to make sure that you are

getting air out of them. Do not just assume because if duct work in

the attic have come loose, you could be air conditioning the attic.

800 913-0192


Is The Compressor Really N/G ?

Many times as an ex-refrigeration mechanic, I would go to a new
customer's place and they would tell me that their mechanic
diagnosed that the compressor was no good and needed to be replaced.
With a simple tester I was able to see if that was true or false.
Most times the compressor was fine and just needed a capacitor or
a starting relay. These are the two components that help the
compressor to start. If they are N/G then the compressor will
usually just hum and then you will hear a click and it will turn off.

Sadly to say, many mechanics do not carry this tester or even
look to see if it is one of the components that are no good. They
just tell the customer that the compressor is shot and needs to be
replaced. Its the last thing the customer wants to hear because it
means big bucks. To replace both of the components its only about
60.00. Sure beats paying for a compressor.
After speaking to a person at a local refrigeration supply outlet,
he said that 70% percent of the compressors that the mechanics bring
back for warranty that are supposedly no good are just fine. That is
pretty scary!

I am not saying that all mechanics are like that, but just letting
you know, so you can make sure that your mechanic has checked these
components before replacing your compressor.
Until next lesson...God Bless :)

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In order to run a efficient kitchen without losing product
and serving food that is bad, we need to make sure that our
refrigerators are operating at peak performance.

I have found that the best time to check the temperatures in
the refrigerators are first thing in the morning when you first
come in. The refrigerator doors have been closed all night and
undisturbed. This will assure the most accurate readings. You want
to use a digital thermometer so it is easy to read and it will
also give you good quick response time. We do not want to spend
too much time doing this because if it takes us too long, we
usually won't want to do it again. This is something that we need
to do frequently to insure that the customers are getting quality
Most franchises that I did service work for, always had someone in
charge in the morning of documenting each refrigerator and their
temperatures. It keeps a kitchen running very smooth and in order.

When checking the temps you want to stick the thermometer in the
center of the product. Have some sanitizer with you so after each
product is checked, you want to clean off the tip of thermometer.

If you see temps that you do not like and are out of the proper
range for that particular product, try to adjust the temp for
that refrigerator if you know how. [Lesson 6 has more info]
There should be a thermostat or whats called a low pressure
control that tells the compressor when to go on and off.
You should not make big changes on controls if you are just
a little off on temp. Call refrigeration company if need be.

Remember, if you stay on top of this simple duty, you will save
money, keep your customers happy, and catch small problems
before they become big problems.

The Very Best to You,
John Fraser
800 913-0192