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Commonly Asked Questions: Ignition, DIY & Temperatures


Here at Tundra Restaurant Supply, many of us on the team have worked in the restaurant industry as servers, chefs and even service technicians in our previous lives. That’s why you know that when you call us or contact us online, you’re speaking to someone who is knowledgeable about the subject and can help you with your specific issue.

We regularly receive lots of questions through our social media channels (FacebookTwitterGoogle+Instagram or Pinterest), on the phone or here on the blog. Check to see if any of these questions sound familiar!

Question #1 – DIY gone bad
“Hi there I have a small commercial bottle cooler with a coiled bulb at the end of the thermostat but it was placed under the evaporator not in it. So I replaced it with a straight bulb but fridge cuts in and out every 5 min” – Neil

Answer: Put it back together, the right way
It sounds like the first one was an air sensing thermostat and below the coil where the air is first introduced to the coil was the correct place for it. I would suggest getting the Make, Model and Serial number from inside the unit and give us a call at 1-888-388-6372 to buy the correct thermostat.


Question #2 – Ignition problems
“My propane on my temperature knob on a True unit is off center so the coldest setting is at 4. Is there a way this could keep my refrigerator from getting to the coldest or does it not matter? Even goes out and relights every few seconds. The pilot stays lit…” – Robert

Answer: Some units are pickier than others
It sounds like you have an ignition problem. I’ve seen this with models that have ignition control boxes and spark igniter. There could be a number of issues that would lead to the unit doing this. The incoming and manifold gas pressures need to be checked as well as orifice size verified for your altitude requirements. Also, it could just have an issues with the control box or igniter. These are very picky units when it comes to getting everything dialed in correctly and should be performed by a licensed technician.


Question #3 – Temperature controls
“My temperature knob on a True unit is off center so the coldest setting is at 4. Is there a way this could keep my refrigerator from getting to the coldest or does it not matter?” – Alyssa

Answer: There might be more to the problem than you think
The plate with the numbers on it is just that, a plate with numbers on it. The control doesn’t know what it’s pointing at.

Now let’s talk about those controls. The mechanical controls are adjustable, but the factory doesn’t recommend adjusting to the “coldest” setting.

“Excessive tampering with the control could lead to service difficulties. Should it ever become necessary to replace temperature control, be sure it is ordered from your TRUE dealer or recommended service agent.”

If you’re having problems with your unit not getting cold enough and you already have that control set at its lowest setting, then you either need a new thermostat or the condensing coil needs to be cleaned. Or both. That unit should only require slight adjustments to the thermostat. It leaves the factory set to number 5 and that is designed to get the unit to 35 degrees. Any adjustments to that should be made in ½ number increments, but too many people think they should just turn it all the way down. If the unit runs too long your coil inside will start to freeze and then the box will get warm.

I would say the first step would be to get that coil cleaned really well and set the thermostat to the middle of its range and give it a day to see what it does. If the fans are strong and the coils are clean then you need a new thermostat.

About Natalie Fauble

Natalie Fauble is the Online Marketing Manager - Content & SEO for Tundra Restaurant Supply. As a digital marketer with a passion for the restaurant industry, Natalie helps companies shape their brand through thoughtful, fun and innovative content strategies. When she isn't blogging for Tundra Restaurant Supply you can find her in her vegetable garden or in the kitchen whipping up one of her favorite dishes.

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  1. Hello. I have a small commercial tri-star 40,000 but fryer 12″ wide. The old style was 50,000btu. I really see a big difference when busy. Unfortunate I Do Not have anymore space not even one inch to buy a bigger fryer with more btu’s:( . Any way to increase btu’s on my new model fryer?

    • Hi Boris,

      Unfortunately, there isn’t. Those units are developed by engineers to operate how they’re designed. You’re on the right track though. You now know what can happen when you don’t source the correct fryer for your application. When choosing a fryer it’s all about recovery time. Anything can get oil to 350 degrees, but it’s important to have a unit that will recover quickly. The main reason being of course, is that when you put the new batch of food in the fryer and it’s not at the correct temperature, your food will not get flash cooked on the outside and will soak up unwanted oil into the food.

      – Paul
      Tundra Team

  2. Does ANYONE manufacture well engineered retrofit piezo igniters for commercial restaurant cooking quipment?

    I support a mix of semi-professional & volunteer ‘foodies’ at a non-profit, and as organization Safety Officer I want to be able to shut all cooking equipment down pilots and all when not in use. Some of the gear we use is very difficilt to light, and I now am forced to leave standing pilots operating when the heat kitchen is unattended, a violation of our internal safety policy. Why isn’t more North American gear engineered with Pilot off controls built in?


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