The Prime Buyer's Report

The definitive guide to local shopping; methodically researched, updated daily.

San Francisco Bay Area Edition

Prime Buyers Guide Refrigeration Contractors

Finding the Best Refrigeration Contractors in Marin County


Whether your need is restaurant refrigeration service, commercial refrigerator repair in Marin County, or refrigerant recharging, you need to find commercial refrigerator contractors in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA that are good, efficient, and proven reliable.

The following research by The Prime Buyer's Report identifies the best refrigeration contractors in Marin County and issues related to commercial refrigeration and repair.

 

Updated December 11, 2016

 The TOP 10 Refrigeration Contractors in Marin County CA

Insulated Structures
(415) 883-2567
35-B Pamaron Way
Novato, CA 94949

Areas Served: Mill Valley CA, San Rafael CA, San Anselmo CA, Larkspur CA, Tiburon CA, Ross CA
Services: commercial refrigeration systems,industrial refrigeration,refrigerant recharging

Restaurant Repair
(415) 456-3555
PO Box 2280
San Rafael, CA 94912

Areas Served: San Rafael CA, Larkspur CA, Mill Valley CA, Corte Madera CA, Tiburon CA, Ross CA
Services: refrigerant recharging, commercial refrigeration contractors

Thermatics
(415) 453-3314
PO Box 9840
San Rafael, CA 94912

Areas Served: Larkspur CA, San Rafael CA, Mill Valley CA, Tiburon CA, Novato CA, Kentfield CA
Services: commercial refrigeration services incl. restaurant refrigeration, freezer repair

Finding the Best Refrigeration Contractors in Marin County  

Licensed refrigeration contractors in Marin County are those which have a C-38 license to practice refrigeration repair, new refrigeration installation, handling of refrigerants, refrigerant leak detection and refrigerant charging. Their work includes commercial refrigerator service, commercial refrigerator repair, refrigerated rooms and insulated refrigerated spaces for temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).  

In California, any refrigeration work of $500 or more requires a C38 licensed contractor. C38 license holders have worked for others for four years of journeyman level refrigeration work experience; then have passed two licensing exams, and purchased bonding and worker's comp insurance. They are not legally required to have liability insurance; however, all refrigeration contractors bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 designation have general liability insurance coverage which reimburses their customers in the event of any damages, in addition to passing all other requirements for certification as Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 such as customer reference checks, hiring only documented workers, clean complaint record, and more.

Refrigeration contractors most often service commercial and industrial refrigeration clients such as restaurants, grocery stores, food processors, warehouses, dairies, bakeries, meat processors, and other industries that require cold storage.  Types of refrigeration units they service or sell include ice machines, meat lockers, air doors, bar refrigeration, blast chillers, chef bases, commercial freezers, commercial refrigerators, display cases, drop-in refrigeration units, food prep tables, merchandisers, milk coolers, undercounter freezers, and refrigeration accessories.  They are able to repair or replace all the main components of restaurant refrigerators and other commercial refrigeration systems, including but not limited to refrigerator compressor repair and compressor replacement.

 
Commercial Refrigeration Parts & Components

Commercial refrigeration systems and industrial refrigeration systems have five main components:

Refrigerant  (A gas that will cycle between gas and liquid state to create cold temperatures in the refrigeration unit)

Compressor (Compresses the gas refrigerant into a liquid)

External exchanging pipes (Refrigeration coils outside the refrigeration unit let the pressured hot gas dissipate its heat, which causes it to condense into liquid at this high pressure)

Expansion valve (A small hole through which the high-pressure liquid is sucked to a lower pressure chamber on the other side where the lack of normal atmospheric pressure causes it to boil back to a gas).

Internal exchanging pipes
(As the liquid refrigerant boils in the low-pressure it causes the temperature to drop. This makes the refrigeration unit cold.) 

 

 

 
Types of Commercial Refrigerants

Refrigeration contractors in Marin County are experienced working with refrigerants, including refrigerant leaks, and refrigerant charging.  

Different types of refrigerants used in commercial refrigeration units include:

CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) such as R-11, R-12, R-114

HCFCs (Hydrochlorofluorocarbons) such as R-22, R-123

HFCs (Hydrofluorocarbons), such as R-134a. All these refrigerants are halogenated, which means they contain chlorine, iodine, fluorine, astatine or bromine.


Types of Industrial Refrigerants

Refrigerants more often found in industrial refrigeration systems include:

R-717 Ammonia (NH3 ) Ammonia refrigerants are more commonly used in industrial refrigeration systems. Anhydrous ammonia is the most common ammonia refrigerant used in industrial refrigeration.  Ammonia has excellent heat transfer properties and is more economically priced compared to other commercial refrigerants, and this low cost is one of the main reasons why ammonia is often used in large refrigeration systems. Ammonia refrigerants do not harm the ozone layer, do not contribute to global warming, and are biodegradable.


Carbon dioxide (CO2 or R-744) Carbon dioxide refrigerants have been extensively used in the past and is growing in popularity today. CO2 refrigerants have a low volume as a vapor which helps reduce the size of the compressor necessary.  Because CO2 is a high-pressure refrigerant, it may require measures to contain it in the event of an emergency shut down or power outage.  CO2 refrigerants do not add to global warming gasses as it's CO2 that was captured from and already present in the atmosphere.

Propane (R-290) or Propylene (R-1270) are two other examples of common refrigerants known as hydrocarbons. These are often used in large chemical processing and refinery facilities. In addition to being refrigerants, these two gases are also flammable, and this restricts their use to places that have safety systems such as explosion-proof electrical devices.

R-125 Pentafluoroethane (CHCF5 ) Pentafluoroethane, R-125, is a blend component used in low- and medium-temperature applications. It is nontoxic, nonflammable, and noncorrosive.

The choice of refrigerant to be used for an industrial refrigeration system should be based on the specific requirements of the cooling process. Additional criteria may include safety considerations, operating temperatures, familiarity with the refrigerant and its specific requirements, and accomodation within existing infrastructure. Experienced refrigeration contractors in Marin County should be able to help you choose which system is best for your needs.

Refrigeration contractors in Marin County will know that each of these refrigerants have their own unique properties and that you should only charge a refrigeration system with the exact refrigerant specified. Use of an incorrect refrigerant can lead to reduced refrigeration efficiency, mechanical problems leading to costly refrigeration repairs, and dangerous conditions.

Secondary Refrigerants These are substances such as air, water, or brine that are not refrigerants in themselves, but have been cooled by the primary refrigeration system to then pass over and around the areas and substances to be cooled; then return with their heat load to the primary refrigeration system. Secondary refrigerants are used where the cooling effect must be moved over a long distance making it cost prohibitive for gas-tight lines to travel that distance.

Some Refrigeration Contractors in Marin County Are A Better Value Than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these commercial refrigeration contractors in Marin County CA: Insulated Structures, Thermatics, Restaurant Repair. Others doing commercial refrigeration in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA who might still be in business include: .

 

 

Questions To Ask Refrigeration Contractors in Marin County CA  

When it comes to refrigeration service and refrigeration repair by C-38 licensed refrigeration contractors in Marin County, ask some questions about the abilities, experience, and credentials of the commercial refrigeration contractors.


• How long have the refrigeration contractors been performing refrigeration services in Marin County?

• How many clients have the refrigeration contractors serviced in Marin County that are similar businesses to yours or that had similar needs or equipment?

• Can the refrigeration contractors give you names and numbers you can call as references? (All refrigeration contractors bearing the Prime Buyer's Report — TOP 10 symbol have already had their client  references called by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report so you don't have to.)

• Do the refrigeration contractors have experience in the same kind of commercial refrigeration unit you need serviced or repaired, and experienced with the same refrigerants used in your unit?

• What are the hours of availability of the refrigeration contractors in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA?

• By what method does the commercial refrigeration contractor charge? Flat rate or T&M (time and material)? If there's a trip charge or estimate fee, is that amount applied to the cost of any subsequent refrigeration work they do?

•  Can the refrigeration service vouch that all its employees sent to your property are legal to work in the U.S.? (All refrigeration companies bearing The Prime Buyer's Report — TOP 10 symbol have already signed a pledge to only hire documented workers.)

• Does the commercial or industrial refrigeration contractor in Marin County have active workers' compensation and liability insurance? (All commercial refrigeration companies bearing the Prime Buyer's Report — TOP 10 symbol have already shown proof of insurance to research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report.)


• Will the refrigeration contractor provide written estimates for the new refrigeration unit, repair or service, and if so, will it detail the exact unit, parts, or materials to be used, allowing you to make accurate comparisons among bids?


• Does the commercial refrigeration contractor provide warranties for their labor, not merely manufacturer warranties, beyond the 1 year warranty mandated by the state of California for C-38 licensed contractors?

• Will permits be needed for the desired refrigeration work in your area of Marin County? If so, who will be responsible for pulling those permits, you or the refrigeration contractor?

• Does the refrigeration contractor perform all phases of the work or do they hire journeymen and/or subcontractors to finish the job?

When you've selected the most suitable commercial refrigeration repair service or industrial refrigeration contractor, make sure they are still licensed in good standing with a C38 contractors license to perform your commercial refrigeration services. (All commercial refrigeration companies bearing the Prime Buyer's Report — TOP 10 symbol have already had their license verified by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report.)

 

 

Good Refrigeration Contractors Repair & Install Many Brands 

Commercial refrigeration equipment most commonly serviced, repaired, sold, and installed by commercial refrigeration services in Marin County are Arctic Air, Berner International, Beverage-Air, Continental Refrigerator, Delfield, Equipex, Fagor, Hatco, LoLo, Master-Bilt, Saturn, Traulsen, True Manufacturing, Turbo Air, Manitowoc ice machines, Hoshizaki, Kolpak walk in coolers & freezers, NorLake, FSW Commercial Refrigerators, Ice-O-Matic ice machine, Scotsman ice machines

 

 

Resources About Commercial Refrigeration in Marin County 

The following is a list of helpful associations and publications on commercial refrigeration & refrigeration contractors.

Associations & Licensing for Commercial Refrigeration in Marin County CA

CSLB Contractors State License Board
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs
ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers)
ARCA (Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractor's Association)
MCAA (Mechanical Contractors Association of America)
BBB Better Business Bureau
MSCA (Mechanical Service Contractors of America)
IIAR (International Instiute of Ammonia Refrigeration)
RETA (Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association)
ARI (Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute)
RSES (Refrigeration Service Engineers Society)



Publications for Marin County Refrigeration Contractors

International Journal of Refrigeration
RSES Journal
Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News
ASHRAE Journal


If you are looking for commercial refrigeration services The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Refrigration Contractors in Marin County within the following zip codes:

94966, 94904, 94949, 94901, 94976, 94960, 94924, 94915, 94950, 94929, 94946, 94912, 94913, 94948, 94914, 94964, 94970, 94937, 94977, 94940, 94974, 94978, 94920, 94947, 94979, 94945, 94942, 94963, 94939, 94930, 94957, 94973, 94925, 94903, 94965, 94938, 94941, 94956, 94933 and 94971




The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Refrigeration Companies in Marin County within the following cities:

Mission Rafael, Mill Valley, Terra Linda, Marin City, Sausalito, San Quentin, San Marin, Muir Woods, Tamal, Almonte, Kentfield, Corte Madera, Forest Knolls, Stinson Beach, Lagunitas, Belvedere Tiburon, Dogtown, Black Point, Nicasio, Inverness, Strawberry Point, Novato, Olema, Bel Marin Keys, Marshall, Point Reyes Station, Bolinas, Woodacre, Lucas Valley, Tomales, Santa Venetia, San Rafael, Larkspur, San Geronimo, Fairfax, Ross, Greenbrae, Sleepy Hollow, Marinwood, Dillon Beach, Ignacio, San Anselmo, Tamalpais Valley, Muir Beach, Belvedere, Kent Woodlands and Tiburon

 

 

 

 

Record or Write a Review

Consumers use the Prime Buyer's Report to avoid the scam, fraud, and businesses with low customer satisfaction.

Independent research conducted by Prime Buyer's Report editors includes phone call surveys with customers of local businesses, checks with state agencies on license and complaint history, verification that each business has insurance coverage to protect you as a customer, phone interviews of business owners, signed agreements that they use only legal workers, and more to determine the businesses that are safe to spend with.

See All The Research Steps

Refrigeration Contractors in Marin County serving Mission Rafael, Mill Valley, Terra Linda, Marin City, Sausalito, San Quentin, San Marin, Muir Woods, Tamal, Almonte, Kentfield, Corte Madera, Forest Knolls, Stinson Beach, Lagunitas, Belvedere Tiburon, Dogtown, Black Point, Nicasio, Inverness, Strawberry Point, Novato, Olema, Bel Marin Keys, Marshall, Point Reyes Station, Bolinas, Woodacre, Lucas Valley, Tomales, Santa Venetia, San Rafael, Larkspur, San Geronimo, Fairfax, Ross, Greenbrae, Sleepy Hollow, Marinwood, Dillon Beach, Ignacio, San Anselmo, Tamalpais Valley, Muir Beach, Belvedere, Kent Woodlands and Tiburon

 

Learn:

Questions To Ask Refrigeration Contractors in Marin County CA

When looking for a licensed C-38 contractor for commercial refrigeration repair or service, ask the following questions of the commercial refrigeration company to determine the best refrigeration contractor for your needs. more »

 

Resources:

Good Refrigeration Contractors Repair & Install Many Brands

The best commercial refrigeration contractors in Marin County will have experience repairing, servicing or installing the most common brands.   more »

 

Learn:

Resources About Commercial Refrigeration in Marin County

The following is a list of publications, trade associations, licensing and regulatory bodies relevant to commercial refrigeration in Marin County and refrigeration companies in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael.more »