Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JAN 2014

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86 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • JANUARY 2014 spec check insulating materials, high effciency evaporators and condensing units or glycol packs, are important." Common Specifying Mistakes Combination units are not recommended for operations that require cooler and freezer walk-ins of different heights, as the amount of wall space will be equal in both. Because the load put into a walk-in can dramatically affect the function of the cooling system, take into account the size of the condensing unit and evaporator when choos- ing a unit. "Operators will add a few extra feet onto a walk-in cooler section to accommodate hot foods that need cooling, but they won't purchase an oversized refrigeration system to compensate for the temperature change," Hester says. "As a result, the hot air changes the walk-in temperature and refrigerated food temperatures are compromised." "Unlike refrigerated walk-ins located on the frst story, those used in multi-story applications need an insulated foor to provide a moisture barrier," Hester says. "Walk-in freezers also require insulated foors. We often get calls that there's ice on the freezer, and this means the thermal barrier on the foor was improperly installed. It's important that sizes and dimensions are accurate to prevent an expensive service call." The following are several other factors to weigh when specifying a combination unit: ● ● Not only do operators need to determine how much product the unit will store, but also how often staff will stock the walk-in, which depends, in part, on the number of food deliveries. ● ● Factor in the extra clearance needed for these units. A walk-in will require at least 2 inches of space between the unit and building as well as a minimum of 1 inch on all sides for proper ventilation. ● ● Determine if space requirements or cooling needs will change or if the walk-in will require a new home in the future. The latter would necessitate cam-locking panels, which provide easy dismantling of the unit. ● ● Don't forget to take into account the kitchen temperature. If operating in a hot environment, a larger refrigeration system may be necessary. ● ● Operators should determine what products the walk-in will store. Depending on an item's density and temperature, it may take longer to pull down to the correct temperature and a larger refrig- eration system may be necessary to compensate. In addition, hot product creates excessive steam in cold environments, producing moisture and changing the dynamics inside the walk-in. ● ● Walk-ins use either single or three-phase electrical power, but larger units may require a dedicated circuit and more amps. ● ● To fgure out the necessary capacity, operators should keep in mind that 1 cubic foot of open storage area accommodates ap- proximately 28 pounds of solid food. ● ● Operators can choose from panel thicknesses that ranges from 2 to 8 inches. ● ● Since they receive most of the day-to-day abuse, doors represent an important feature. If staf frequently open and close doors, a heavy-duty option may be necessary. Automatic closing devices, like cam-lift hinges and a positive door closer, ensure the door isn't accidently left open. If it's necessary to see what's inside the walk-in, a view window should be specifed. Electric air curtains can be a wise choice, depending on the operation and physical location of the walk-in. There are calculator tools that demonstrate break-even and pay-back analysis. ● ● Assess the weight and frequency of trafc to determine what type of fooring the walk-in requires. If staf will use heavy-loaded carts or there will be heavy shelving inside, a reinforced or structural foor may be needed. ● ● If the walk-in will have foor panels, interior or exterior foor ramps can provide easier access. ● ● Polyurethane panels, because of their greater efficiency, can be much thinner and still meet R-factor requirements. The market that qualifies for foodservice is between 3½ and 5½ inches of insulation, with 4 inches being optimal in most conditions. ● ● Stucco embossed, whether stainless, galvanized galvalume or 'acrylume', are all suitable for hiding minor scratches, dents and blemishes. Operators should look for a minimum 10-year limited warranty against structural defects. ● ● White interior fnishes can create a brighter environment and make the walk-in's contents more visible. In high-acid environ- ments, such as bulk vegetable storage, consider other metals. Operators should check with a product specialist for more details on how to select metals for these environments. ● ● The use of low-velocity coils inside a box may be appropriate in certain situations, such as with the use of fresh pizza dough that is not completely covered and delicate produce. ● ● When specifying boxes where transport carts are often used, such as in schools, catering and corrections, care should be given to specify appropriate bumper systems so as not to pre- maturely damage or even puncture walls with handles, hinges, bumpers, etc. ● ● Coated coils may be necessary in high-acid environments. Specifying Considerations

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