True Refrigeration Troubleshooting

/ Commercial Refrigeration, Troubleshooting / June 4

True Refrigeration Troubleshooting

True is a mainstay in commercial refrigeration, cooling everything from beverages to key ingredients with ease. That’s why plenty of restaurants, hotels and cafeterias rely on their different units 24/7. However, with any machine that runs for hours and hours, there are bound to be some hiccups along the way.

No worries!  We have some common True refrigeration troubleshooting tips to help get your unit working in no time. This guide offers a simple explanation and quick fixes or cleanups. Any in-depth repair should be completed by a professional technician or service company.

Door Won’t Shut

If you notice the refrigerator door won’t seal shut, it’s most likely due to a broken gasket. This can cause air to escape the unit, causing temperature fluctuations inside that can hinder your food and beverages. When replacing a True refrigerator gasket, it’s important you find the serial and model numbers. Both will help you identify the manufacturing date so you can find the appropriate gasket for your unit.

Leveling also is a common issue that will cause the door to not shut properly. Place a level on the top of the unit, and check it from side to side and front to back. Loosen the bolts on the caster that needs to be raised, and insert the proper amount of shims on each side to adjust the height (do not exceed three shims on each side).

Dirty Condenser Coil

The condenser coil is next to the unit’s compressor, and it can accumulate dust over time. Too much dust and dirt can cause the cabinet to overheat and wear down other components in your machine. Use a strong vacuum or air compressor to clean the coil. Try to make this a routine at least every three months to avoid overheating.

If the coil has a thick grease buildup, this will require specific instructions in your manual. A damaged coil will require professional repair and may even need replacement. If the fins are crushed or damaged, they need to be straightened.

Frozen Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils help cool the inside of a unit by creating a barrier that insulates from the transfer of heat. However, ice buildup can occur on the coils to the point where they actually freeze over. There are three common signs of frozen coils:


  1. A constant ticking sound from inside the fridge.

  2. A puddle of water underneath the unit.

  3. A rise in cabinet temperature.

A cracked or split door gasket is normal in this case (see “Door Won’t Shut”), but there are several other causes to check for. If the thermostat is set too low, this can throw the defrost cycle out of whack where the refrigeration system can’t keep up with the low set-point. Overloading the unit with warm/humid products or blocking airflow near the vents can also cause the coils to freeze overs.

Common True Error Codes

Many True refrigerators feature display codes to help you identify what’s wrong with your unit. Below are lists of some common error codes you might see on a machine. For a complete list, make sure to check your True refrigerator manual. With some of the errors, you’ll need to contact a professional service company or technician.

P1 Alarm/ E1 Code



  • What does it mean? – This indicates a thermostat probe failure. “P1” displays on units with Dixell electronic controls. “E1” displays on units with LAE electronic controls.

  • Associated models with Dixell controls – T-49, TAC-48, TAC-48GS and TAC-72RC

  • Associated models with LAE controls – T-23, T-49 (select only), TFP, TPP, TSD, TSSU, TWT, GDM-26-HC, GDM-49-HC and GDM-69-HC-LD


P2 Alarm/E2 Code




  • What does it mean? – This indicates an evaporator probe “P2” displays on units with Dixell electronic controls. “E2” displays on units with LAE electronic controls.

  • Associated models with Dixell controls – T-49, TAC-48, TAC-48GS and TAC-72RC

  • Associated models with LAE controls – T-23, T-49 (select only), TFP, TPP, TSD, TSSU, TWT, GDM-26-HC, GDM-49-HC and GDM-69-HC-LD


P3 Alarm/E3 Code



  • What does it mean? – This indicates an auxiliary or display probe failure. “P3” displays on units with Dixell electronic controls. “E3” displays on units with LAE electronic controls.

  • Associated models with Dixell controls – T-49, TAC-48, TAC-48GS and TAC-72RC

  • Associated models with LAE controls – T-23, T-49 (select only), TFP, TPP, TSD, TSSU, TWT, GDM-26-HC, GDM-49-HC and GDM-69-HC -LD


HA Alarm/thi Code



  • What does it mean? – This indicates the machine is at maximum temperature. “HA” displays on units with Dixell electronic controls. “thi” displays on units with LAE electronic controls.

  • Associated models with Dixell controls – T-49, TAC-48, TAC-48GS and TAC-72RC

  • Associated models with LAE controls – T-23, T-49 (select only), TFP, TPP, TSD, TSSU, TWT, GDM-26-HC, GDM-49-HC and GDM-69-HC-LD


LA Alarm/tLo Code



  • What does it mean? – This indicates the machine is at minimum temperature. “LA” displays on units with Dixell electronic controls. “tLo” displays on units with LAE electronic controls.

  • Associated models with Dixell controls – T-49, TAC-48, TAC-48GS and TAC-72RC

  • Associated models with LAE controls – T-23, T-49 (select only), TFP, TPP, TSD, TSSU, TWT, GDM-26-HC, GDM-49-HC and GDM-69-HC-LD


Door Open (do) Alarm



  • What does it mean? – In most cases, you might have left the door cracked open. However, this code also displays if the door won’t seal shut (see “Door Won’t Open”). You also could have faulty door hinges that need to be replaced. This code applies to a machine with LAE electronic controls only.

  • Associated models – T-23, T-49, TFP, TMW, TPP, TSD, TSSU, TWT, GDM-26-HC, GDM-49-HC and GDM-69-HC-LD

Need some more help with your unit? Check out some of these other tips for commercial fridge troubleshooting or our selection of True manuals and diagrams.


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