Walk-In Coolers & Freezer Installation

Walk-In Coolers & Freezer Installation

A local restaurant bought out an existing restaurant here in town and was remodeling the interior and exterior of the building to suit their needs. Part of our task was to install an indoor walk-in freezer in a back room of the restaurant next to an existing walk-in cooler.

Walk-in coolers and freezers

One of the most important factors in the installation, of almost any piece of restaurant equipment that is sitting on the floor, especially a walk-in cooler or freezer, is to make sure the floor where it is going to sit is level. So, the first thing we do is put a laser leveling device on the floor and make sure we are dealing with a floor that is sufficiently level to install our box on. I say "sufficiently" level because ideally the floor should be perfectly level. However, few floors are ever perfectly level. If the floor is very badly off level it may have to be repaired first. If it is slightly off we may be able to use shims to level the box.

After checking this floor before installation, we found it to be real close to perfect (which you don't see too often) so we had a good floor to begin our installation.

The existing walk-in cooler drain line and defrost timer were mounted on the side where we needed to butt the new unit up against so we had to disconnect and cut out the drain line on the old unit as well as remove the wiring and defrost timer. Both the drain and defrost timer had to be relocated so that the new walk-in could go next to the old one. We re-routed the drain line in a different manner to the floor drain and reinstalled the timer in a different location and rewired it to the electrical box and evaporator.

The installers then brought in the new walk-in which comes in panels that are positioned in place, installed and locked together to build the box. Once the box itself is completely built the installers hang the evaporator in the box and locate and mount the condensing unit on the roof above the walk-in. Once the condensing unit is mounted and secured a 4" hole is made in the roof for the penetration boot. The boot is then attached and sealed to the roof so the refrigeration copper line set can run from the evaporator up into the attic and out through the boot to the roof and connect to the condensing unit.

The installer then seals the perimeter of the walk-in box, removes all plastic wrap and labels, and cleans up the area.

At this point our refrigeration technician pipes the interconnecting piping from the evaporator to the condensing unit, installs any thermostat or TXV parts that may or may not be pre-installed, runs the drain line, installs the drain pipe heater on the drain line if required, vacuums the system to 500 microns, and wires the control wiring from the evaporator to the defrost timer.

When all is ready the technician will check the thermostat, defrost timer, and pressure controls for proper settings and perform a startup on the system. After the system gets down near operating temperature he then performs a superheat test to make sure it is operating at peak capacity.

Once the new freezer was operating and all checked out our tech proceeded to start up and test the old cooler since we had moved the timer and rewired it.

When our technician started testing the old cooler he found the left side evaporator fan motor was stiff and seized up (store had been closed and sitting for a while). After advising the owner the tech replaced the evaporator fan motor and got the unit up and running again. After a while he noticed it was struggling to cool down below 58-60 degrees F. Further checks found a lot of frost only on and near the expansion valve. After placing his refrigeration gauges on the unit he noticed the pressures were indicating what looked to be a restriction, which coincides with the frosty expansion valve that was noticed. Further superheat testing showed a high superheat number which is also an indicator of a possible restriction. He attempted to open up the expansion valve but no improvement was noticed. Therefore, he had to recover the refrigerant, replace the TXV (expansion valve), vacuum the system to 500 microns, and reinstall the charge. Since he replaced the expansion valve he had to perform superheat adjusts on the new valve until the unit had a good superheat setting. He set it at 8 degrees superheat. A good reading is typically between 6-10 degrees superheat.

Once these repairs were made the cooler cooled down properly and all problems seemed to be resolved.

Did you know we also do complete commercial kitchen design and consulting ?