Why is My Vending Machine Leaking Water and What Can I Do About It?
Everyone wants to ensure that their machine vends cold beverages, especially during the warm summer months. In high humidity areas you may find some condensation building up on your vending machine. This can happen even if it is located in an air-conditioned building. You may see water leaking out from under your vending machine.
We would like to offer you some ideas to check if your machine is having an issue with excess condensation and some solutions to help you fix the problem. You don't always need to run out looking for a new machine. Chances are you can get to the bottom of the issue with a few quick checks.
The primary causes of excess condensation are:
1. An air leak from a damaged door gasket
2. A loose door
3. A worn out T-handle or missing parts
4. Missing or broken delivery flap
5. Mis-aligned door or mis-aligned inner door
6. Low air flow from the fan or a very high humidity environment
7. A compressor issue
The compressor issues can range from low freon causing excess frost on the evaporator to a short cycling thermostat that doesn't stay turned off for more than a minute or two which can cause excess condensation.
One thing you should check is if you have over tightened the door. Over tightening the beverage compartment door can damage the seal used to keep the warm air out and the cold air in. These small gaps will create a mixture of warm and cool air to combine and can possibly produce condensation. To prevent this, turn the locking handle until the gasket around the door is flush. Then turn the handle another half a turn to secure the connection to ensure you do not over-tighten the door.
You’ll want to check for any gaps in the inner door as well. Look at the inner door and make sure the lower edge of the gasket isn't sagging below the door. Make sure that it fits snugly and that there are no places where the cooled air can escape.
Another thing to check is for any leakage of water into the machine or below the machine from the drip pan. This can be remedied by adding a sponge to the drip pan to help it hold more fluid, and evaporate. You could also place an inexpensive baking dish or tray below the vending machine to catch any water that may escape.
Once you have checked a few of these things, get a thermometer and put it inside the machine drink compartment so you can confirm the temperature. You are looking for approximately 38 - 43 degrees Fahrenheit. You want to feel inside and see if you can feel the air flow and vibration of the fans. If you can feel the air flow but it’s not getting cold, you may have an issue with the fans. Many problems that you are having with your cooling deck require a specialized technician to troubleshoot. A technician should be called to work on this area of your machine.
You may also want to check where the cooling line enters the tray and if there are any gaps you can seal those with plumber’s putty. A small hole could be drilled for an additional drainage line if your collection pan is not big enough to hold the excess condensation. That way it can drain down in to a pan placed under the machine.
Lastly, cleaning the condenser coil is vital to the lasting success of a vending machine, which along with a few precautions can insure that your machine vends cold product consistently. When placing a vending machine, it is important to make sure that the vending machine is located at least 4-6 inches away from the wall to assure proper ventilation for units that have a refrigeration system. It is recommended to clean it at least once a year, and possibly up to once every couple of months depending on the location. A factory location will naturally have more debris in the air than an office setting, and therefore require more attention. A small vacuum, a rag, or a can of compressed air will go a long way to insure that your vending machine goes the distance.
Every machine is different and you will want to check the owner’s manual for your machine. The manual should have information about how to set the temperature in your machine. It may also have a diagram to help you see the inner workings of the cooling deck. It may offer some troubleshooting techniques you can try. It’s always a good idea to go to your manual first when you have any issue with your machine. If you have purchased your machine from The Discount Vending Store, you may give the technical support department a call for any further assistance. We are here to help you maintain your machine and keep it in good running order.