Why Is My Walk-In Cooler Freezing Up?

Commercial walk-in coolers are heavy-duty equipment that are designed to store food items for future use. While it may seem common for a walk-in cooler to freeze up, it can be a frustrating issue to resolve. Several reasons could cause a walk-in cooler to freeze up and you need to go through every single one to make sure it doesn’t happen again. So, let’s take a closer look at how you can troubleshoot the issue before calling up a walk in cooler repair technician.

Check The Gaskets

If your walk-in cooler is freezing up, the first thing you need to check is the gaskets. Gaskets are made of rubber or plastic and depending on the make, model, and variant could be multiple in a single unit. Although gaskets will last quite a bit of time before needing a replacement, the usage frequency of the walk-in cooler can take a serious toll on them.

The gasket prevents the outside air from entering the inside. This could influence the temperature and result in icing up. Not only that, the food items stored inside could also spoil. However, ensuring that the gaskets are the culprit can be difficult sometimes.

This is because gasket leaks are usually very small in the beginning and are very hard to observe. The only way you can check them for flaws is through running your fingers over them. If you feel air escaping, it means there is a leakage. If the leakage is minor, you can use a sealant to cover it.

But, if the leakage is quite visible, you will have to replace the gasket. Make sure you consult the user manual as well. Your walk-in cooler might have a gasket installed inside that might be leaking. Unless you have the tools and skills to access it, ask an expert to handle it.

Inspect The Door

Part of the reason inspecting walk-in coolers and freezers is difficult is due to the difference in features, types, etc. For instance, some walk-in freezers have a heater wire installed inside. So, if you notice the gasket sticking to the metal trim of the door frame, it might be that the wire is burnt or not strong enough to heat the trim sufficiently.

At the same time, you should also take a close look at the door. Doors consist of hinges and screws that become loose with time. Modern walk-in coolers come with safety features that help the doors lock properly to prevent air from entering inside.

Depending on the situation, a bit of adjustment or bending the hook can bring back things to normal. However, if the hinges have become loose, you can’t repair and must have to replace the hinges. If your walk-in cooler is old, you should not be surprised about the door experiencing problems.

If it is fixable, you should contact the manufacturer or an expert to find the exact replacement parts.

Insulation Failure

If you have a walk-in failure that is 10 or more years older, it could be that the insulation is not working the way it used to. It could be saturated with ice or water. The icing is an indication that the panel is not providing enough insulation and is increasing the energy costs.

When the walk-in cooler or freezer is turned off, you will notice water leaking from the panels if there is accumulation in them. If it’s simply a panel problem, you can fix it by replacing it. However, if the problem is not fixed, it means you are looking at a slightly more complicated problem.

Instead of playing around with the cooler, you should consult an expert who can inspect your kitchen equipment.

Reduce The Humidity Entering The Walk-In

As mentioned earlier, commercial walk-in coolers are used multiple times daily. If you are using it in a restaurant, the employees may leave the doors open when stocking food items. This could lead to warm humid air entering the cooler. Furthermore, employees may also not ensure the door is closed properly and will go away.

Even if there is a tiny gap, the humidity will enter and spoil everything inside. This is why the door of your walk-in cooler should have properly functioning hinges and screws to let the door close and lock itself properly. Check them yourself or better yet, get assistance from an expert who can thoroughly inspect your walk-in cooler for problems.

The Walk-in Cooler Needs Maintenance

One of the biggest reasons walk-in coolers and other similar commercial appliances tend to ice up is due to a lack of negligence. Although, every manufacturer and expert recommend their buyers and clients to follow a maintenance schedule, but it is mostly ignored.

Because walk-in coolers are used to store food items, they could accumulate layers of dirt, dust, oil, etc. In addition to that, the fans, coils, and other important components also become covered with dirt, dust, and debris and need to be cleaned.

If ignored, the components will bear the stress and work harder than usual to compensate for the loss. This eventually leads to permanent damage and needs replacement. Keep in mind that commercial walk-in cooler components are not cheap.

That said, spending a few hundred dollars on an expert to look after your expensive machine is way better than ignoring and spending on replacements. This is particularly the case if you have an old commercial walk-in cooler. At this stage, you wouldn’t want to take any chances.

Unless you are willing to spend on the repairs and replacements regularly, you should not underestimate the importance of expert maintenance. You need commercial refrigerators repairs Springfield services who can create a maintenance plan for your commercial equipment. This will ensure that your expensive equipment is maintained and repaired on time.

In the meantime, train your employees to look after the unit and make sure it is clean.

How Often Should A Walk-In Cooler Be Maintained?

The frequency of maintenance depends on the usage of the walk-in cooler. First, you should consult the user manual. Some external factors may also influence the maintenance frequency. If the walk-in cooler is used throughout the year, you will need professional maintenance at least once in two months or more.

However, keep in mind that you should always hire a licensed professional. Do not think of saving money by hiring an amateur. It is easy for them to make things worse for you and your business. Some business owners are tempted to hire individuals offering services at a lower rate.

In most cases, they end up complicating things a lot more than they were. And since your business is dependent on it, you cannot afford to stall the issue for long. Therefore, ask around or contact the manufacturer to recommend someone who specializes in maintaining such appliances.


Troubleshooting a walk-in cooler can be complicated at times so use the above-mentioned tips. Always keep a close eye on usual signs & symptoms and schedule expert maintenance to keep the same problems from repeating in the future. A little investment goes a long way in prolonging the life of the unit. Just make sure to hire the right commercial appliances repair Alexandria expert for your walk-in cooler.

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