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Punching above his weight
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Discussion Starter #1
No idea what sub this goes under.

I've got a couple specific questions about what is possible with walk in cooler installations in areas with difficult footprints and low ceilings.

I'm also looking for somebody in North Jersey to consult/bid a project. If you've got an experience in this, could you tell me what's the lowest ceiling height I can get a walk in cooler in? Also, if it's a slab floor, do you need to install a floor, or can the slab be the floor?
I assume they get assembled in panels(basing this on what they looked like when I used to work in a kitchen). Can you make them L shaped? What foot increments can you build to? 2 feet? 4 feet?

Lastly, if you've got a name you'd like to throw out for an installer in North Jersey please PM me. I'm looking to start talking to people now about a job that's going to happen later this summer.

Thanks as always.
 

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Every now and then poster
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Contact Norlake. Thats who we get all of our walk ins from for subways. The units go together like ikea furniture but with less peices.

Im pretty sure they will fabricate to any specifications but getting an L shape is going to be a gigantic waste of money.

As for subfloor concrete is perfect. In some cases they make you lay plastic down then the unit. Some times they go directly onto the slab.

Its really pretty simple. I doubt youll need a specialty contractor. If you think you do ask the guy at your local gas station who does their beer cave. Its that guy you will want..
 

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Punching above his weight
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Discussion Starter #3
We've got a basement with a lot of support columns. The building was built back in the wild days of 1890's Jersey City. It's pretty wacky and would be a tremendous expense to move any of them. We were thinking L'ing around one of the columns might be the easiest way to maximize space. That, or putting the column in the unit and sealing around it. Is that even possible?

Good call on the beer cave. I guess that really is the way we need to be thinking.

Thanks.
 

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I've built walk in coolers/freezers in the past and they're pretty easy, as long as you start out correctly. The panels come in all sizes according to the space you're building it in. The panels lock together with a cam lock. Big difference building a freezer than a cooler as far as the floor goes. You can even buy them with the floor panels. Haussmann and Tyler are two of the manufacturers that we've built.
 

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Lots of places will custom build a unit. Figure out who you want for a service guy, and have him do the install.

You can also build these yourself on site. You have to do it freestanding in your case, so you don't trigger irrelevant codes. Build the shell, including the pass throughs for electric, drain, and cooling lines, plus blocks for mounting the fans(s), evaporator, any electric boxes you may need. Spray foam, then finish with the surface of your choice. Or do the interior finish with light support, and spray foam from the outside - that's what you see in the commercial units.

Either way, LED lighting saves quite a bit on electricity use, but from a refrigeration company, it's hugely expensive. Either way, set the lighting up on motion sensors, and you don't have to worry about someone not turning out the lights.

Automatic on/off and LED lighting are offered as options on a lot of the custom refrigeration builds. There may be energy credits available where you are for this and an efficient compressor / fan(s) setup. Walk ins won't get as much benefit as display coolers, since the lights might not be on very much.
 

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That, or putting the column in the unit and sealing around it. Is that even possible?
Absolutely. Ideally, the cooler should have a square footprint to keep wall surface area (cooling cost) down for the floor area it encloses. In practice, you start with a square design on paper, then start putting in whatever shelving and racks may be needed, and adjust the footprint so everything fits. Or start with the racks that will be needed, and arrange them to be as close to square as you can get. Walking paths are going to eat up a lot of that space...
 

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Punching above his weight
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Discussion Starter #7
Just so we're doing apples to apples, this is a kitchen/keg storage cooler for a restaurant that is going to hold the kegs for the taps as well as whatever cold food the kitchen has.

I'm liking what I'm hearing though. I've been a bit afraid of this, but it seems like we've got some wiggle room.
 

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David Festa
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I installed a 10x10 ISO walk In my GF’s bakery, we have about 12” from top of walk-in to ceiling. You will need to install a fire suppression system inside the unit. You can but units with or without floors, I wouldn’t recommend a floor unit if your storing kegs
 

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Punching above his weight
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Discussion Starter #9
Situation is crazy low ceiling. Like, 7' from slab to drywall.

Storage is kegs and food. Decent sized area. We're trying to get a 10x15 cooler in there but it's going to be dictated by lots of pipes and wires and sump pipes and flues and fire inspectors and staircases and other bull****.
Should be interesting.

Fester, what kind of fire suppression does the cooler need? We're doing sprinklers and interconnected smokes throughout, and the kitchen has its own kitchen stuff.
 

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David Festa
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not sure what type of suppression its been a few years, i'll take so pics next time im there, we got lucky and was able to utilize an existing head TY BTW i try not to go there to much my GF puts me to work! i work for cupcakes!
 

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David Festa
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thank god for drop box, found sprinkler work order.
1. shut down drain system
2. install new dry pendant sprinkler head
3. refill system
 

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I've installed a lot of square footage of walkin but never seen one with fire suppression inside the box. And I don't know why it would be necessary since once the door is closed they're pretty much air tight, or at least they should be.
 

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Not getting what you mean as far as penetrated. All the boxes I ever built had electric because they had fan coil units and lights in them.
 

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In new construction, we always pour a 4" slab, then 4" of blue board, then 4" more inches of concrete. Generally, treated or redwood sleepers to attach the walls to. Don't forget the condensate line. It must drain into a floor drain with an air gap. I've never understood the need for fire sprinklers, but sure enough. gotta guard against spontaneous frozen peas combustion. Back to the condensate line, if it's a freezer/cooler situation, The freezer goes on the uphill side. Otherwise you need to have heat tape on the entire line, not just the part that's in the freezer.
 

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The detail for the insulation in the floor is for freezers, areas that just need to be cool a typical slab is fine to build a walkin on. Another important thing to be aware of is that there needs to be at minimum 2" air space between a wall and backside of the insulated panel.
 

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Thom
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You don't need a panelized system, you can build it in place. Insulate really well, custom install the refrigeration system.

If you are on an outside wall with access to the outside you can chill the room with a window A/C unit along with a CoolBot.

I did one like this for a private club, 16 full size kegs for taps plus back-ups and wire shelving for bottle beer. The tap lines run through a well insulated duct to the tap-box at the bar. I installed a hose, like a vacuum cleaner hose to a blower in the cooler that blows cooled air to the tap box and it then circulates back to the cooler through the duct with the beer lines in it. This keeps the tap box and the beer lines cold all the time.

The temp of the walk-in is kept at 35F. Frosting the A/C coil can be a problem, put in a timer to provide a couple defrost cycles daily.

It works great, when the window unit fails (every few years) stick in a new one. It's an inexpensive system, easy to maintain.
 
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if unit has electric or unit is penetrated in away then it needs fire suppression (line set)
I've put in about sixty walk-ins. Fire protection has nothing to do with penetrations, but is based on the type of building, occupancy and use. The cooler is treated as a small room, nothing more complicated than that.

Heat tape should not be needed for most sprinkler systems because the pipe enters the cooler from above, and the only part that is in danger of freezing is the head, which should be a freeze proofed head.

http://www.vikinggroupinc.com/en/products/485/495/807
 
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