Is A Condenser Fan Failing On Your Walk-In Freezer?

If your business relies on a walk-in to keep food cold, you know how disheartening it can be to step into your freezer and discover rising temperatures. While a slight increase may not ruin your stores, any sign of trouble means the clock is ticking on fixing the problem. Unfortunately, complex commercial refrigeration systems have numerous potential failure points.

One possible and relatively common issue can occur with the condenser fans. Like an air conditioning system, commercial freezers rely on outdoor condensing units to reject heat from the freezer. The coils on your condenser require steady airflow to help the refrigerant transfer its heat to the environment. If the fans that provide this airflow fail, it can reduce your freezer's efficiency or cause it to shut down.

The Symptoms of Condensing Fan Failure

Depending on the size of your freezer, the condensing unit may have only a single fan, or it may have multiple fans. A failing fan can reduce the freezer's efficiency, causing the system to work harder and resulting in warmer temperatures. If you notice the temperatures in your freezer creeping up, especially when the outside temperature is high, you may have a condensing fan issue.

While you may be able to operate a freezer in this way for some time, a failed fan will eventually cause the unit to stop functioning. If the temperature at the condenser becomes too high, the high-pressure limit switch will trip, shutting the compressor off to prevent further damage. Once this happens, you'll need to repair the problem quickly to get your freezer operating again.

You can check the fans' condition yourself if you have access to your freezer's condenser unit. The condenser fan or fans should turn on with the compressor. If you hear the compressor running but don't see the fan come on, you've likely found your problem. A failing fan motor can also produce a loud grinding noise or struggle to get up to speed.

Repairing Condensing Fan Issues

Condensing fans can stop working for numerous reasons. While the fan motor itself may be failing, electrical issues can also be the underlying cause. For example, a bad connection on the contactor or even a blown fuse or grounding issue may be stopping the fan. In these cases, simply replacing the condensing fan won't resolve the problem.

Since diagnosing problems issues with a walk-in freezer condenser requires testing numerous components, it's a job that you should generally leave to an HVAC professional. An experienced technician can help you get your freezer working quickly enough to avoid spoiling your food and costing your business even more money.