This is a common scenario. The technician tells you your piece of refrigeration equipment isn't worth fixing, it's a hunk of junk. He says it would probably just be one repair after another. He offers you a killer deal on used piece and he will even haul off the old unit. You take the deal. He brings you a nice looking replacement.
He takes, the old unit to his shop and repairs it. After steam cleaning, it is a nice looking piece of junk. In a couple of weeks he sales it to another customer and takes their old equipment away for free. See a pattern?
For years I have discouraged my customers from buying used refrigeration equipment. I've done it for selfish reasons. I can't stand the complaints when they spend more on repairs than it cost. I do think that used kitchen equipment is a much safer bet.
The problem with used refrigeration equipment is that you can not see the most important part. There is no way to effectively inspect the inside of the refrigeration circuit. The compressor could have 3 years of life left in it or 3 months. There is no way to tell.
Here are 3 very common problems that can seriously damage the compressor. It is likely an older used refrigeration unit has experienced all of these. There is no telling how many times.
Problem 1 The condenser isn't kept clean and the compressor overheats. The oil starts breaking down. The oil is damaged and may lead to future problems. even if the condenser is kept clean. If the compressor continues to overheat it will fail.
Problem 2 The unit is allowed to run while the evaporator is frozen. This could be because of a bad fan, thermostat or defrost component. Liquid is refrigerant floods back to the compressor and foams up the oil. The motor runs without lubrication and is damaged. If this goes on long enough, the compressor will fail.
Problem 3 The unit is run in a space that gets below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Refrigerant vapor migrates to the compressor during the off cycle. It condenses into liquid. At start up the liquid refrigerants violently explodes damaging the compressor in a number of ways. This is called a flooded start.
These are only 3 of the many possible ways a compressor could have been damaged over the years. It all adds up. There is no way to accurately tell what condition the unit is in internally.
Before buying used refrigeration equipment, you should shop around for the best price on new. Consider the benefit of not having to pay for repairs during the warranty period. Even after the warranty is out, there usually are not many repairs for a couple of years. There are more in the last few years of equipment life.
Maybe you have found a great piece of used equipment, Maybe circumstances dictate the lower up front cost of used refrigeration equipment. Now I'll give you some tips on getting the best piece of used equipment you can. Remember, it is always a gamble.
How To Buy a Commercial Used Refrigerator How to evaluate a commercial used refrigerator before buying it. How to avoid costly mistakes. A simple step-by-step strategy. FREE REPORT 2B
How To Buy a Commercial Used Freezer How to evaluate a commercial used freezer before buying it. How to avoid costly mistakes. A simple step-by-step strategy. FREE REPORT 2C
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