Walk-in refrigerator outside, problems in winter?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by createasaurus, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. createasaurus

    createasaurus

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    Do walk-in refrigerators work properly if installed outside (outside the kitchen door, up against the building wall, kind of in the parking lot). I live in a four-seasons city with similar temperatures to New York City (hot and muggy in the summer, cold and snowy (20-30F) in the winter.
     
  2. panini

    panini

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    @createasaurus

     I have one outside. You really need to have one made for outside use. Mine came in panels. Everything pre-installed. My plongeurs actually put it together without much problem. Mine is a freezer. Getting the top panel was a bit tricky. From there they are just plug and play.

    They make some with seamless fiberglass or like mine with the metal skin. . The compressor is enclosed in a dog house for exposure. If your temp outside is going to fall below 30 deg. you will need to have a heater kit for the compressor. It really needs some type of roof for rain and sun protection. We started with just a roof and eventually enclosed it. Our health dept required a floor but I've seen them on slabs. Everything has to be pretty level or the door and the panels will shift.

      If you are asking if an inside cooler can be installed outside, I don't know. I personally wouldn't do it.
     
  3. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I worked at a place for 5 years with an elevation of 7,800 ft. and we had an outside walk-in freezer that worked fine. It was pretty much setup as @panini described.
     
  4. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    I worked at a place with one too. But our climate featured searing heat rather than freezing cold. Our biggest problem was product theft when employees would forget to lock it.
     
  5. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I took care of that problem by assuring employees that forgot to lock the freezer that they would find themselves locked out of the workplace.
     
  6. capecodchef

    capecodchef

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    Our walk-in fridge is exactly as described, attached to the kitchen outside in a northeast climate of 0-90 degrees. The compressor is outside and four season, requiring only a pressure adjustment to prevent the inside coils from freezing over when the seasons change from cold to hot, and vice versa. It's covered by a wood overhead deck. Couldn't live without it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  7. mised

    mised

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    Assuming you get a good quality unit, it should function fine. The one thing you should keep in mind is the location of the compressor. You will have far fewer challenges long term if you can locate it in an area of shelter so it doesn't get covered with snow or sit in direct sun. It will still work fine if it is exposed since most are designed for outside use, but your the lifespan of the equipment will be shortened and your utility bills will be a bit higher because it will need to work harder to fight the elements if you can't place it under some type of roof.