We asked our Manufacturing Engineer at CellarPro some key questions about Breezaire units based on customer complaints—and explored why CellarPro units avoid those problems.
Background: Our Experience with Breezaire
Prior to 2008, our company Le Cache installed Breezaire WKB 1060 and WKB 2200 cooling units inside all of the wine cabinets we made. During those years, we received many calls from customers reporting the failure of their Breezaire cooling units.
"It won't get below 60 degrees," "It runs all the time," and "It won't cool properly" were some of the most common complaints we heard.
As a premium brand with a keen commitment to customer service, Le Cache couldn't afford to continue depending on units with only a 3-year average lifespan. For that reason, in 2007 we decided that we would address the Breezaire problems by building our own cooling units under the CellarPro brand name. After a year of R&D, we began shipping all wine cabinets with CellarPro cooling units in 2008.
Learning from our intimate experience with Breezaire, we resolved to build our cooling units from the highest-quality components and to apply the most advanced manufacturing processes. We also committed to provide the highest level of customer support to our customers.
Although it is significantly more expensive to build a CellarPro cooling unit, we believe that our customers deserve quality products, reliable performance and outstanding customer support.
Q: What were the most common Breezaire failures?
A: This chart, based on 56 failed units, illustrates the defects that customers reported to us during a 4-week time period. Note that some units had multiple issues; those instances were counted more than once.
As you can see, the most common failure was a leak in the evaporator coils, which could have been avoided by adding a high-quality coating.
Q: What causes these Breezaire failures?
A: For the majority of defective units, the failure was due to a faulty component. It probably wasn't a customer issue. The manufacturer could have prevented most of the problems.
Evaporator Leak (42 Failures)
Possible causes include internal source leaks due to controller problems and undersized units with excessive run times.
In addition, Breezaire does not always evacuate their coils effectively. They might leave their systems open too long during the brazing process, which creates acids in the oil. Breezaire's low-quality grey coating may not be sufficient to prevent atmospheric contaminants from corroding the coils over time as water condenses on the coils.
Bad Controller (9 Failures)
Breezaire's controller is not a quality component and directly causes 15 to 20% of their unit failures. Controller failures contribute to the following component failures:
1. Increased coil wear from extended run times, resulting in excessive moisture buildup and corrosion on the coils.
2. Corrosion of the hot gas loop results from continuous moisture buildup in the bottom of the cooling unit, generally due to extended run times, high infiltration of ambient (moisture-laden) air into the cellar, and/or high-humidity ambient conditions.
Q: How can Breezaire longevity be extended in the field?
A: Breezaire units are riveted shut, so the internal components cannot be accessed without voiding the warranty. Therefore, the only option is to raise the unit's set-point to the highest level that you can tolerate in order to reduce run times and therefore moisture buildup and corrosion.
Unfortunately, a 55°F set-point tends to overtax Breezaire WKCE 1060 units, forcing them to run constantly to maintain the desired temperature. The need to run non-stop increases both noise levels and operating expense and considerably shortens the cooling unit’s expected useful life.
Q: Will CellarPro cooling units experience the same failures?
A: We're confident that they won't—and we've been hearing great feedback from customers in place of the complaints we used to get. We engineer our units precisely to prevent the kinds of issues we saw with Breezaire.
Our systems have Electrofin-coated evaporator coils, an Electrofin-coated hot gas loop, a high-quality European controller, and larger coils to maximize airflow and minimize condensation. Our expansion valves also regulate internal refrigerant flows to prevent high internal velocities, which can lead to refrigerant leaks or damage to internal components.
Q: Does the CellarPro manufacturing process make improvements?
A: Yes, we regularly make improvements to our units based directly on feedback from use in the field. This communication results in continuously evolving design, components, and manufacturing processes that minimize unit failure.
Q: If someone purchased a Le Cache cabinet several years ago and the Breezaire cooling unit failed, what should he or she do?
A: If your Breezaire cooling unit fails after the warranty has expired, refer to our Breezaire Out-of-Warranty Instructions.
The answers above will help you guide the repair technician to the problem if you decide to repair the cooling unit. CellarPro wine cooling units are designed to be interchangeable with Breezaire 1060 and 2200, if you choose to purchase a new system.