Kolpak Walk-in Cooler Installation
Walk-in coolers may look intimidating to install simply due to their size, but Kolpak's walk-in cooler installation process is so simple that two people can install most coolers in an afternoon. While you may still wish to hire professionals to install the refrigeration components and electrical wiring, in most cases installing the actual box is fairly simple. Below, we cover how to install a Kolpak walk-in, from unpacking to the final adjustments.
Unpacking & Preparation
As soon as your Kolpak walk-in cooler arrives, you should inspect the packaging for any signs of damage. If there is any visible damage, report it to the freight carrier. When unpacking the unit, inspect each piece for damage and document any problems. You will also need to compare all the parts you receive, including accessories and hardware, to the packing list to ensure all necessary pieces are included.
Before beginning the installation process, you will need to ensure the installation area is properly prepared. Use a bubble level to ensure the floor is level and sweep it clear of any debris; if screeds are being used, the floor should also be mopped clean to remove any dust. If the ground is not level or if debris ends up trapped under the floor, wall and ceiling panels will not align properly, which can cause cold air leaks and refrigeration system issues.
The last step before installation is to lay out each piece in an easy-to-access manner, using the assembly drawings as a guide to determine where each panel should go. Each panel will have a sticker label that will correspond to a number on the assembly drawing. Laying these panels out in the correct sequence will prevent confusion and accidental damage.
The first step is to set the floor panels in place or, if your unit has no floor, the screeds that secure the wall panels to the pad or your building's floor. Mark the perimeter of the screeds or floor on the existing floor using a chalk line, then follow the instructions below based on which base you have.
Floor panels may be the costlier option, but they are faster and easier to install than screeds. To install your floor panels, simply lay them out where the unit will be set up in the order the assembly drawing directs. Pay close attention to ensure each panel, as identified by its label sticker, is in the correct position in relation to the panels around it. This will ensure the cam locks that secure the wall panels are in the right places. Check to see that the flooring is level and make any changes necessary, then use cam locks to secure the floor panels together. Make sure the edges of adjoining panels are flush and the corners are square before proceeding.
Screeds may be standard (vinyl or metal), U-shaped, or simply a bracket attached to a flat-bottomed wall. For each of these, a tube of butyl sealant will be provided to secure the screeds to the floor. Lay the screeds along the chalk outline, then create two lines of sealant along the length of the underside of the screed or flat-bottom walls. Place the screed in its proper place on the floor and secure it with bolt anchors. Flat-bottom walls will be anchored into the floor with an angle bracket.
To install the floor and walls of a Kolpak walk-in cooler, you must be able to operate the cam action panel fasteners. These fasteners consist of a hook on one side and a pin on the other. Both of these are hidden in the interior of the wall, but access holes in the panel's interior skin allow you to reach the hex opening that turns the cam hook. To engage the fasteners, simply insert a 5⁄16-inch hex wrench into the access hole and hex opening and turn the wrench clockwise approximately 3⁄4 of a full turn until it stops. If you need to unlock a panel to reposition it, simply insert the wrench and turn it counterclockwise until it stops. Do not use a hammer to drive the hex wrench into the hex opening, as this can damage the interface. If the wrench cannot be inserted or turned with normal hand pressure, check the access hole for debris which may be hindering the wrench.
Wall & Ceiling Panel Installation
The next step in the installation process is the placement of the wall panels. Refer to the included assembly drawing to ensure each wall panel is placed in the right location according to its sticker label. Start with one of the back corners and work around the unit in both directions, ending with the front corner opposite the one you started in. The door panel should be installed in the same order, but while handling the door panel, be sure the door is locked to reduce the risk of injury. While installing the wall panels, lock them to each other, but not to the floor panels or screed.
After each wall panel is in place, ensure the edges of each panel meet smoothly and the top corners are flush. If everything appears to line up, secure the base of the panels by locking them into the screed or floor panels.
When you are ready to install the ceiling panels, begin with an end section while consulting the assembly drawing to ensure correct positioning. Place all of the ceiling panels on top of the wall panels and check the panel alignments before locking the panels to each other. After the entire ceiling is locked together, check for proper fit and alignment before locking the ceiling panels to the walls.
Double check that each cam lock is engaged and all protective coverings are removed from panels, then begin applying the included plug buttons. Vinyl plug buttons are provided for wall and ceiling panels, and stainless steel or high-strength plastic plugs are provided for floor panels.
If your walk-in has an interior ramp, place the ramp and drive the fasteners into the designated places, then seal all ramp edges. Exterior ramps can be attached with brackets and fasteners, and the threshold should be placed over the line where the ramp and flooring meet.
Once the unit is assembled, check that the door sweep meets the door threshold, ensuring no light or air can get through. If there is a gap, use a screwdriver to loosen the screws and tug the door sweep down, keeping it level with the door. Adjusting the sweep down will likely make gaps appear at either side of the door over the end of the door sweep. Plug those gaps with silicone, which will need a few minutes to set before the door can be used.