We are often asked what is required for walk-in cooler installation.
This document will give you an overview of what is required once you specify your walk-in cooler. We will discuss the specification, delivery, and installation of your walk-in cooler.
Walk-in coolers are a mainstay of most food service establishments, whether it is a restaurant, stadium, school, or medical facility. Frequently accessed cold storage requires a walk-in cooler.
Working with a professional team verifies your walk-in cooler will meet your needs.
Specifying a Walk-In Cooler
RSI provides expertise and extensive knowledge in helping you select the proper walk-in cooler for installation in your facility.
After working with RSI sales technicians to determine the proper size and placement for your walk-in cooler, RSI will place your order with the appropriate manufacturer.
The manufacturer will provide lead time and manufacture your walk-in cooler to your specifications.
Your walk-in cooler will be delivered for installation on the day it is scheduled to be installed.
Several factors can alter your scheduled install date, such as construction and remodel delays, inspections, slow progress, and other issues.
The walk-in cooler manufacturer in conjunction with RSI will work with you to make sure your walk-in cooler delivery is delivered when needed.
The Walk-In Cooler Installation Processes
The walk-in cooler is loaded on a flatbed trailer for delivery with enough time to allow the cooler to arrive promptly on the morning of installation.
When the hotshot driver arrives, RSI personnel will be on hand to unload, inspect and verify the order is complete and undamaged.
Once inspected, RSI team members will stage the panels for proper assembly.
At this time, RSI will also verify the walk-in cooler installation location is prepared and ready for installations.
Most remodeling and construction areas are messy with construction debris prominent.
RSI will sweep or clean the area, as needed, to allow an issue free installation.
The walk-in cooler is installed one inch off the finished wall.
This gap creates a thermal break from the surrounding building and provides optimal proficiency for the cooler when it’s installed.
Walk-In Cooler Installation Steps
Step 1: The Channel
The first step is to install the base channel which is attached directly to the floor with concrete anchors.
A thermal insulation material is installed between the channel and the floor as an additional thermal break.
Once the channel is installed, the wall installation can begin.
Step 2: The Walls
The second step entails assembling the walls of the walk-in cooler enclosure.
The wall assembly starts in a corner opposite the main door.
A molded corner piece is inserted into the channel.
A flat wall section adjacent to the corner piece is installed next.
Before these two sections are joined, silicone is applied to the mating groove between the two panels.
Although the panels are generally airtight, the silicone allows them to become water tight also.
Panels are added from the pre-staged setup area according to the installation schedule shipped with the walk-in cooler.
Each panel is clamped to the previous panel forming a structural enclosure.
The installation crew verifies the panels are lined up correctly and tightened sufficiently.
Additional panels are added to the existing wall until reaching the next corner.
The RSI team assembles the next corner after checking alignment and position of the existing panels.
This continues in both directions until a majority of the enclosure is constructed.
Step 3: The Ceiling
In the third step, the ceiling panels are added.
Once three walls have been partially completed, the first ceiling panel is placed atop the structure.
This first ceiling panel is installed after applying silicone to its mating services.
This helps increase the strength of the partially built enclosure during construction.
It also aligns the structure to be perfectly square before the walls are completed.
After the first panel or two is installed, additional panels are placed above them as a staging area, as needed.
Additional panels are placed on top of assembled ceiling panels before the ceiling is completed for easier access and assembly once the final wall is installed.
As the walls progress, ceiling panels are installed helping maintain a square, true, and plumb structure.
Step 4: The Door
In the fourth step, the door is installed.
The door unit comes as a completed assembly and is assembled similarly to a typical wall panel.
The weight of the door assembly requires multiple people working together to achieve correct installation.
The door panel is inserted in the opening between two walls.
Alignment is critical for proper installation.
Although it sounds easy, installing a walk-in cooler door is the hardest step in the installation process.
Once the door assembly is installed, the final ceiling panel can be fitted completing the enclosure.
Step 5: The Evaporator
In step 5, the evaporator is installed in the assembled walk-in cooler.
To install the evaporator, the RSI crew drills four holes through the ceiling for each evaporator.
Typically, the evaporator is installed opposite the door.
Threaded nylon rods hang through the ceiling, and the evaporator mounts to these threaded rods.
The threaded rods allow the evaporator to be adjusted until level and positioned at the proper height inside the walk-in cooler.
Silicone is used to seal the holes cut through the insulation panels, maintaining a water tight seal.
At this point, the walk-in cooler is assembled; however, it is not ready to be used. The evaporator needs to be plumbed and attached to the external condenser. Drain lines must be installed, and the unit must be wired electrically before being ready for use.
The benefit of specifying RSI for your walk-in cooler installation is their ability to plumb and power your walk-in cooler after installation. RSI provides complete turnkey walk-in cooler installation service. This includes design, delivery, installation, plumbing, electrical and testing.
This one stop solution provides peace of mind and security knowing one company will complete your walk-in cooler installation from start to finish.
Step 6: The Refrigeration and Plumbing
In step 6, the evaporator is plumbed and connected to the condenser.
The condenser is located outside the walk-in enclosure.
It can be located inside or outside the facility, depending on space and need
A walk-in cooler can have many types of uses ranging from food storage to beverage delivery.
Each type of storage may require different refrigeration and plumbing needs.
For food storage, the evaporation may be all that is required.
Alternatively, when the walk-in is used for beverage storage, such as keg beer, additional plumbing, and refrigeration needs are required.
A professional company like RSI can help you determine your needs.
Step 7: The Electrical
In step 7, the walk-in cooler is wired for power.
As each walk-in cooler is different, the specific electrical requirements will vary from walk-in cooler to walk-in cooler.
Some systems require single phase power, while other systems require three phase power.
Additionally, programmable logic controller (PLC) are used to control cooling and defrost cycles.
Choosing RSI for your walk-in cooler installation verifies that your electrical requirements will be met and installed correctly.
Step 8: The Shelving
In step 8, the shelving is installed.
Wire shelving is assembled and placed around the inside perimeter, allowing easy access to needed items.
The wire shelving allows air flow in and around the stored product.
Shelving systems can accommodate small items such as butter all the way to large items such as kegs.
Most walk-in coolers are designed to store product for easy access and optimal cooling.
We mentioned at the beginning of the article, we are often asked what is required for walk-in cooler installation.
This document gave you an overview of what is required to deliver, and install your walk-in cooler.
We covered more of the delivery and installation of your walk-in cooler than the specification of your walk-in cooler.
For more information on what and how to specify the proper walk-in cooler for your needs, please reach out to one of our specialists and start a free no obligation discussion. During that discussion, we will engage you in a conversation where we ask numerous questions on your location, use, power, storage items, the frequency of access, and other questions.
These will not only help us determine your needs, but will help you address items you may not have thought of that are critical in getting the optimum walk-in cooler installed for your needs.
As each customer’s needs are different working with a professional is the best way to determine your optimal requirements.
In choosing a professional company like RSI, we can ask questions to determine your needs and specify the proper walk-in cooler for you.
Please feel free to call one of our specialists to start your free discussion to determine your walk-in cooler installation needs.