December and tempering problems always seem to go together and this year is no different. Things had been going really well until last week when our Selmi Top tempering machine started cooling a lot less effectively. It still worked just enough to temper the chocolate but it made everything so much less efficient, just what we needed for the holiday rush. After demonstrating that the compressor would come on but not stay on and that the machine had plenty of liquid coolant, we narrowed the problem down to low refrigerant, a broken compressor, or some control problem (a circuit not supplying power to the compressor when it should). While we wear many hats as chocolate makers, a refrigeration specialist isn’t one of them. After most refrigeration people told us they only worked on specific brands of appliances, we got in touch with Ceasar at KC Refrigeration. He was able to come out the next day and he quickly got to work diagnosing the problem. After about 45 minutes, he found the culprit: a failed compressor thermal overload protector:
Not only was the part cheap ($3!), but he had a spare with him! After swapping the bad one for a new one, the compressor was able to stay on and the machine was fixed! We feel pretty lucky that it wasn’t the compressor (expensive and time consuming to replace) or something wrong with the machine’s circuit board (even more expensive and time consuming to replace). Now we can get back to making more chocolate!