Tips For Replacing a Walk-in
By Lee Davis, CFSP
Let’s face it. Replacing a walk-in is a little more expensive and complicated that replacing a toaster. So when your food isn’t staying frozen anymore, and the ice buildup jams your walk-in door open, then it’s time to make some serious decisions.
I asked Lynn Burge, Advertising Manager at Master-Bilt, to give me a few tips on how to go about selecting the right cooler or freezer when replacing an old worn out walk-in. Here is his list of considerations:
What will be stored in the walk-in?
The density and temperature of food determines how long it takes to chill it properly. A walk-in that will be loaded with slabs of meat, likely requires a larger refrigeration system than a walk-in used to store salad greens.
What about the door?
Doors endure a lot of wear and tear. Depending on the daily traffic in and out of your walk-in, you may want to consider a heavy-duty door. At a minimum, you’ll want kick plates on the door, and inside the walk-in, to help prevent damage. Self-closing hinges and strip curtains are also helpful to keep cold in and hot air out.
What about the floor?
Consider the traffic in your walk-in. Are you using carts heavy-loaded with product? Will you be installing heavy-duty shelves? Make sure you select a floor that can handle the daily loads. A reinforced or structural floor may be necessary. Consider too whether you’ll need an exterior ramp for ease of access.
Do you foresee any major changes?
Is your operation expected to expand, move, or make major changes to its menu? Consider your future plans and how they might affect your storage and refrigeration needs. Consider a walk-in with cam-locking panels that are easier to dismantle and move, or expand, if necessary.
Look for a manufacturer who can do it all.
Purchasing the walk-in box and refrigeration system from the same manufacturer can save time and trouble. Sure, you might buy a Chevy and drop a Volvo engine into it, but do you really want to? It’s usually simpler, and more efficient in the long run, to purchase a walk-in box and cooling system that are specifically designed and built to work with each other. And if necessary, look for a manufacturer that can offer design help on larger projects too.
Check your warranty.
Make sure to check the warranty of your new walk-in. Find out who the local service contractor is and keep their number handy.
Finally, when seeking to replace a walk-in, consider Master-Bilt. Master-Bilt’s solid construction, groundbreaking designs, and broad equipment offerings provide the flexibility to meet practically any refrigeration need.
For more on available features, benefits and options, go to Master-Bilt.