Why Is My Commercial Refrigerator Leaking?

Commercial refrigerators are amongst the most important kitchen appliances for any commercial kitchen. These machines are designed to keep food and other items fresh. However, failure can sometimes lead to severe disruption and you have to call in commercial refrigerators repairs services. A common problem commercial refrigerators face is leakage. Below are some potential reasons and possible fixes along with other issues to help prevent damages in the future.

Blocked Drains

Commercial refrigerators come with drains that help frozen water exit the unit. It is often that the evaporator coils freeze up and the refrigerator has to initiate the automatic defrost cycle to melt the ice. However, sometimes the drains can become clogged due to food particles or ice.

This causes the water to find another way to leak. If your refrigerator is facing this issue, you can simply try removing the pipe and clearing it of any ice or blockage. Keep in mind that this is one of the most common leakage issues with commercial refrigerators, which means it is the first thing you should check.

Misaligned Drain Pan

The drain pan is designed to collect excess water and is mostly located underneath the refrigerator. But if the refrigerator or the drain pan itself is misaligned, it will not be able to collect water and instead it will leak. From the outside, the unit might seem leveled but, in some cases, you will need to measure the angles to ensure the refrigerator is not tilted to one side.

And if the refrigerator happens to be level, check the pan for ice buildup, which might indicate a problem with the heater, or look for signs of damage or replacement. Unfortunately, this problem you won’t be able to fix on your own and will need to call in an expert.

Damaged Water Line

If the commercial refrigerator comes with a built-in ice dispenser, you will need to check the water line for any damages as well. With time, it is common for water connections to crack or leak. It might be that the connection has turned loose and simply needs to be tightened.

If the pipe happens to be damaged, you will simply need to replace it. Make sure that you opt for the same exact replacement. If you are unsure about the replacement, consult the manufacturer.

Damaged Seal

Another reason your commercial refrigerator might be leaking is a damaged seal. Commercial refrigerators come with rubber seals that keep the moisture out and prevent the outside air from entering. With time, these seals can wear out, crack, and will need to be replaced.

As a result, condensation takes place and water begins leaking. Fortunately, replacing the seals is neither time-consuming or expensive. Following the user manual, you can replace it yourself or get commercial refrigerator services fix it.

Check The Defrost Cycle

The defrost cycle is an inbuilt automatic feature inside commercial refrigerators that helps the unit melt and get rid of excess ice. If the defrost cycle is not working properly due to some reason, it will lead to excessive ice build-up and leakage.

To make sure that the defrost cycle on your refrigerator is not working properly, you should inspect the unit for excessive ice buildup. If there is ice buildup on the evaporator coils, it might indicate a problem with the defrost cycle.

Furthermore, if you notice some areas or food items being cooler than others, it means the refrigerator is finding it difficult to defrost. Excessive ice buildup can prevent proper airflow and heat dissipation.

If neglected, it could damage the components, especially the evaporator coils. Therefore, if you notice significant ice buildup, immediately attend to the issue.

Why Is My Commercial Refrigerator Not Cooling?

Thermostat Issues

In addition to your commercial refrigerator leaking, there could be several other issues bothering the unit. For instance, you might observe that your refrigerator is simply not cooling enough and is struggling to maintain the temperature.

Although, determining the root cause of such problems is always complicated, you should start from the basics. First, check the thermostat to see if it is working properly. If you have an aftermarket thermostat installed, try replacing the batteries and cleaning the dirt and dust.

If that does not solve the issue, it might be that the thermostat needs calibration. For that, you will need to consult a professional.

Door Gasket

If you observe that the items inside the refrigerator are spoiling and the unit does not seem to show any signs of malfunction, it means the door gasket is causing the problem. To identify the issue, you will need to check the door gasket in detail and depth.

As mentioned earlier, gaskets and seals are mostly made of rubber or plastic. The door gasket is particularly designed to prevent air from entering. If the gasket tends to be cracked or damaged, both moisture and air will enter and will influence the temperature inside.

Then again, replacing the door gasket is neither expensive nor time-consuming. Simply remove the current gasket and install the new replacement.

Refrigerant Issues

Refrigerant issues are fairly common in old units but that does not mean new units are immune to such issues. In the case of old units, refrigerant leaks could be due to rust, cracks, and damage. However, in the case of new units, it could be an improper installation or maintenance job.

Regardless of the case, low refrigerant levels not only impact the performance of the unit but also overstress the components like the compressor. The compressor functions with a certain refrigerant level. If that is not the case, the compressor will heat up and malfunction. Eventually, the compressor will become faulty and you will need to replace it. Replacement of a refrigerator compressor is costly.

How To Prevent Commercial Refrigerator Problems?

Preventing commercial refrigerator problems is sometimes pretty easy and simple but, in some cases, you will simply have no control over the situation whatsoever. The reason is that such issues arise due to factors such as lifespan. If your commercial refrigerator has reached the end of its lifespan, it will surely develop problems on a regular basis.

As a result, you do not have any option but to replace the unit. However, the majority of the problems other than that could be avoided by scheduling expert maintenance. A lot of people tend to think of it as an expense without considering the benefits it has to offer.

Expert maintenance is not only about cleaning the unit but also performing an in-depth inspection of the unit to repair or replace components that are either worn or damaged. This prevents the unit from breaking down in the middle of busy business operations.

And in the longer run, you get to keep your air conditioner running for years without spending extra money on repairs and replacements that could have been easily avoided in the first place.


Commercial refrigerators are slightly more complicated than regular household units. And since they are expensive as well, they don’t give you much space to experiment with the problems. Therefore, if you experience a leakage issue, keep the tips mentioned above in mind or simply hire a commercial freezer repairs expert. topac

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