For busy grocery store managers, out of sight often means out of mind. Take cooler case maintenance for example. Calling an HVAC professional in for routine cleaning is expensive. Asking staff to tackle the work costs, less but employees may feel overwhelmed by the task. So, as long as everything is up and running, routine maintenance is easy to ignore.
But be warned. When it comes to refrigeration equipment what you can’t see definitely can hurt you.
U.S. grocery stores house over 1.5 million cooler cases, according to industry estimates. These vital pieces of equipment are expensive to buy and even more costly to run. EnergyStar estimates that refrigeration and lighting suck up nearly 50% of a grocery store’s total energy use.
That number, however, assumes the cooler cases are running at optimal efficiency. Dirty refrigeration coils force units to work harder, potentially doubling the amount of electricity they consume. The extra burden increases the number of emergency repair calls and eventually shortens equipment life.
Yet most grocery managers don’t think about dirty refrigerator coils until there’s an issue. As mentioned, this out-of-sight-out-of-mind mentality is understandable. Grocery stores are busy, margins are thin, and cooler cases are difficult to clean.
Deferring maintenance, however, will eventually catch up with you with higher power bills, increased service calls, and product lost to malfunctioning equipment.
A better option is to tackle the job in-house with a Cooler Case Cleaner from Kaivac. This easy-to-use tool simplifies cooler cleaning so employees can easily and safely complete the task. Here’s how to use the Cooler Case Cleaner.
Set up the Cooler Case Cleaner and the Cooler Case
After donning appropriate personal protection equipment, employees fill the machine’s tank with hot water only (using cleaning chemicals here can cause damage.)
Empty the cooler case and transfer perishable food to a walk-in refrigerator. Be thoughtful and organized here so items will be easier to restock.
Clean the Cooler Case
Rinse the cooler racks with the machine’s spray wand to blast away dirt and dust. Use the scrub brush to tackle any dried-on soils. Once rinsed, remove the racks, and set on a clean surface.
After turning off the coolant, use a 10-inch squeegee attached to the vacuum hose to suck up any standing water from the case trays. Once again, use the scrub brush to remove any stubborn messes. Remove and store case trays, exposing the unit’s fans and fan housing.
At this point, unplug the fans from the fan housing and attach the Cooler Case Cleaner’s dusting brush. This brush makes it easy to clean sharp fan blades and overhead vents. After dusting, spray the housing with the spray wand, pushing dust and soils to the bottom of the case. Avoid spraying directly into the fans or electrical outlets.
Clean the Coils
Now it’s time to clean the coils. Prop open the fan housing with the lift tools and pick up any large bits of dropped debris. Replace the case filter with the case drain stopper to prevent soils from clogging the drain. Rinse the drain filter with the spray wand and set aside.
Set up the Instant Drain tool before rinsing the coils. This attachment sucks up excess water and debris, protecting cooler’s drain. Once the coils are rinsed, swap out the Instant Drain tool for the crevice tool and remove any leftover water or soil. Then wrap up the hoses and turn the machine off.
Now put the case back together and use the vacuum wand to clean up any water standing on the floor. The clean, fresh-smelling cooler case is now ready to be restocked.
Empty and Rinse the Cooler Case Cleaner
The Cooler Case Cleaner keeps refrigeration equipment working well. But the Cooler Case Cleaner needs a little attention to keep it in good working order too. After use, vacuum the remaining water out of the freshwater tank before dumping the contents of the vacuum tank into a floor sink.
While rinsing out the vacuum tank, pay special care to the float screen. Be sure to clean it well every time to dislodge any clogs that could impact the machine’s performance. Once rinsed, put the machine’s lids and hoses back in place and plug in the charger.
Now your Cooler Case Cleaner is fresh, charged, and ready for the next task.
Maintaining refrigerator equipment saves money, energy, and extends the technology’s useful life. The Cooler Case Cleaner empowers grocery employees to deep clean just like an HVAC professional at a far lower price.
Click here to learn about more about the Cooler Case Cleaner from Kaivac.