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What To Do When Your Commercial Freezer Stops Working?

If your commercial freezer stops working, it's essential to take prompt action to minimise potential losses and prevent spoilage of perishable goods. Here's a step-by-step guide on what to do when your commercial freezer stops working: 

Check Power Supply: 

Verify that the freezer is properly plugged in and that the electrical outlet is functioning. Ensure there are no tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses affecting the power supply. 

Temperature Setting: 

Double-check the temperature settings on the freezer's control panel. If the temperature setting has been accidentally adjusted, reset it to the appropriate level. The Food Standards Agency advises that “it is good practice to keep frozen food at -18˚C or colder. (Food labelled ‘Quick frozen’ must be stored at -18˚C or colder, or displayed at -12˚C or colder.)” 

Verify Ventilation: 

Ensure that the freezer has adequate ventilation. Restricted airflow can lead to overheating and affect the unit's performance. Remove any obstructions around the vents. 

Check if Freezer is Overloaded: 

Overfilling a freezer can hinder proper air circulation and temperature control. When food is stacked above load lines or packed too densely, the airflow within the equipment can be restricted, leading to uneven cooling and potentially causing the temperature to rise above safe levels. 

Check for Frost or Ice Build up: 

Examine the interior for excessive frost or ice build up. If the evaporator coils are covered in ice, it may indicate a defrosting issue. Follow the steps in our article to address ice build up. 

Minimise Product Loss: 

If frozen food starts to defrost, harmful bacteria could grow and would have to be destroyed. If the freezer downtime is prolonged, take steps to minimise product loss. Transfer perishable items to temporary storage, such as another working freezer or refrigerated space. 



Guidance from the Food Standards Agency: 

“If you find that your freezer or frozen display unit is not working properly, you should do the following things:  

  • Food that is still frozen (i.e. hard and icy) should be moved to an alternative freezer straight away.  

  • Food that has begun to defrost (i.e. starting to get soft and/or with liquid coming out of it) should be thrown away unless it is intended to be sold defrosted, in which case move it to a suitable place to continue defrosting. Always follow the manufacturer’s defrosting instructions. 

  • Food that has fully defrosted (i.e. soft and warm) should be thrown away, unless it is a product designed to be defrosted by you and then sold to the customer at room temperature (or ‘ambient’) e.g. ‘thaw and serve’ products such as muffins.  

  • Do not sell food that is intended to be sold frozen if it has defrosted, or started to defrost. Do not refreeze food once it has started to defrost, e.g. ice cream – you will have to throw it away “  Source:


Contact Professional Freezer Repair Services: 

If the freezer remains non-functional or if you are unable to identify and resolve the issue, it's crucial to contact a professional commercial freezer repair service. Experienced technicians can diagnose and address complex problems, ensuring a swift and effective solution. 

  • Document the Issue: 

  • Keep a record of the issue, including any error codes displayed and the steps you've taken to troubleshoot. This information can be valuable for the engineer. 

Remember that the timely resolution of issues is critical to preventing extensive product loss and maintaining the integrity of your commercial freezer. Regular maintenance and preventive measures can also help reduce the risk of unexpected breakdowns. 

Please be aware that refrigeration units are intricate devices that should ideally be examined and maintained by experienced technicians. These systems contain refrigerant gases and electrical components, which could pose dangers if mishandled. We strongly advise against removing any panels or attempting to access areas specifically meant for professional servicing during your routine checks.


Health and Safety Advisory:

Your safety is our utmost concern. The purpose of our checklists is to assist you in identifying minor issues and performing straightforward monitoring safely. These guidelines are not meant for conducting major repairs or maintenance tasks. We strongly discourage taking any actions that may jeopardize your safety or that of others.


If during your checks, you encounter something you’re unsure about, we strongly encourage pausing and seeking advice from a qualified technician. It's crucial to consult someone with the appropriate expertise to ensure any potential risks are adequately managed.


Our checklists are designed to offer basic guidance and should not replace the need for professional assessments and interventions. For any significant issues or anything beyond simple checks and minor tasks, getting in touch with a certified refrigeration specialist is the best course of action.


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