Instructions to assemble Prefabricated Walk-in Freezer and Walk-in Coolers with Camlocks
Before you start
The most important step to assure a successful installation is to prepare the walk-in cooler or walk-in freezer area before starting. The floor of the building where the walk-in cooler or walk-in freezer is to be installed must be swept clean and be free of any debris. Inspect the building floor for any unevenness as well as any irregularities in the building walls surrounding the freezer or cooler. Unevenness in the floor can cause complications in the installation and may result in the panels not aligning properly or doors not operating correctly.
The walk-in freezer or walk-in cooler must be placed a minimum of 2” from any adjacent building walls. This space is necessary to allow for proper airflow and to avoid any form of moisture condensation on the walls.
Inspect the entire area surrounding the walk-in to assure that there is proper clearance on all sides (including the ceiling) for any equipment, piping, electrical lines, etc. that will be attached to the outside of the walk-in freezer or walk-in cooler. Also check for any equipment, piping, electrical lines, lighting, or any other items that may be currently on the building walls and ceiling that may interfere with the necessary clearances for your walk-in.
Familiarize yourself with the panels that make up your walk-in cooler or walk-in freezer and doors by reviewing the panel lay-out drawing that is included with these instructions. Note that all panels come with cam locks to hold them securely in place when installed. The panels and lock positions are always described from an interior vantage point. The actual panels will be numbered to correspond with the drawing. Compare the actual panels with the list of panels on the drawing and organize them so as to make your actual installation as smooth as possible. This will also assure that you have received all of your panels correctly.
It is important to have some understanding of the cam locks and how they function before you begin. The cam locks come in two types: male and female. The male cam lock has a metal arm located in the tongue and an access hole on one side to allow for locking. The female cam lock has a pin located in the groove. On most panels, the male locks are located on the right (from interior vantage) and the female locks are on the left. An access hole is located in the panel near the male locks. In order to lock the panels together, the L-shaped hex wrench (included in your accessories package) is inserted firmly into the hole in order to engage the locking mechanism. By first turning it counter-clockwise you can be assured that the locking arm is completely open before putting the panels together. Once the panels are joined, the wrench is turned clockwise to fully lock the mechanism. You will feel the arm make contact with the pin and as you continue to turn the panels will be pulled securely together and locked into position. In the panels assembling the corner of the walk-in cooler or walk-in freezer, you will find some panels with male locks on both sides of the panel. In this case, it is important to remember that the locks on the left side of the panel are reversed and, therefore, will be locked by turning the wrench in a counterclockwise position. The panels referred to as “double male (M/M)” will be the only time this occurs.
Before you actually start to install the panels of the walk-in cooler or walk-in freezer the perimeter outline of the walk-in must be chalked onto the floor of the building. It is extremely important that the corners are drawn square. The squareness can be confirmed by measuring diagonally across the square that has been drawn on the floor. If both diagonal measurements are equal then your corners are square.
For a walk-in cooler or walk-in freezer without a prefabricated panel floor, aluminum angles are provided to attach the wall panels securely to the building floor. The angles are installed at the bottom of the panels on the inside and outside the perimeter. Normally these angles are installed after the walk-in freezer or walk-in cooler is completely assembled. However, if the walk-in is to be installed adjacent to one or more walls of the building you may not be able to access the outside perimeter after the walls of the walk-in have been erected. In these cases, the angles must be attached to the floor (only on the walls where access is limited) prior to installing the wall panels. The aluminum angles are fastened to the floor using concrete nails or pins (not included); be sure to check your 2” minimum clearance from the wall. If more than one side of the aluminum angle must be secured prior to starting, be very careful to assure that they are installed at a true right angle on the chalk lines already drawn. A bead of caulking (Acrylic Latex with Silicone -provided with your installation accessories) should be placed along the line where the aluminum angle and the building floor meet on the side where the panel will be installed.
For a walk-in freezer or walk-in cooler with a prefabricated panel floor, the floor panels must be installed first so be sure to read the section regarding floor panel installation before starting.
To assemble the wall panels start in a corner at the back of the walk-in ( in the most inaccessible corner). Select the two wall panels which form the corner. The sides of the panels with the access holes should always face the interior of the walk-in.
For a walk-in freezer or walk-in cooler with factory-applied panel gaskets, no caulking or silicone is required between panels.
For walk in freezer or walk in cooler requiring caulking (Acrylic Latex with Silicone) and silicone
Before putting the panels together caulking (Acrylic Latex with Silicone – provided with your installation accessories) must be applied to the edges of the panels which contain the male locks only, as follows:
Walk-in cooler – A single bead of caulking (Acrylic Latex with Silicone) is placed along the line made by the metal as it folds around the panel and stops leaving the insulation exposed. The bead of caulking should be placed in a line on the exposed insulation as close to the outside as possible without touching the metal.
Walk-in freezer – Two beads of caulking (Acrylic Latex with Silicone) are positioned as discussed above. However, one would be placed on the exposed insulation close to the inside and one close to the outside (without touching the metal).
Note: it is generally easiest if you apply the caulking to the top of the wall panel before positioning them so you will be ready to install the ceiling panels once the walls are in place.
Continue in this manner with the installation of the wall panels in both directions from the corner. This provides for more stability of the wall as the installation progresses. It is very important that the wall panels be assembled with a level topline. If the building floor is uneven, shims may have to be used to accomplish this as you proceed. The last vertical wall panel that you erect should be in a corner.
Position and install the ceiling panels as you proceed with the wall panels. When positioning a ceiling panel carefully align it with the edges of the adjacent ceiling panel and the walls. When you have it aligned properly lock it firmly in place to the ceiling panel already installed adjacent, but only loosely lock it to the wall panels until you are totally satisfied with the alignment.
Installation of Floor Panels for Walk-in Coolers or Walk-in Freezers with Prefabricated Floor
Note: Be sure to read the above section on installing the wall panels before starting to install the floor panels. There is information above that pertains to the installing of any panel which is not repeated in this section.
As recommended above in reference to installing the wall panels, you should start to install floor panels in a corner at the back of the walk-in ( in the most inaccessible corner). Select an end panel put it in place being careful to position it according to your chalk line which should have already been drawn. With each floor panel, you must be sure that it is level on both length and width. Continue with the adjoining floor panels, being certain with each one that it is both levels and that all edges are flush. When you are totally satisfied with the positioning of the panel, then you lock it into place. In most cases, it is recommended that you finish the assembly of all of the remaining floor panels before you start to install the wall panels. Be very sure at all times that the chalk line is being followed.
Installation of Aluminum angles for Walk-in Coolers or Walkin Freezers without Prefabricated Floor
After you have completed the assembly of the walk-in freezer or walk-in cooler with all panels locked securely in place and doors installed, the aluminum angles are positioned along with the interior and exterior perimeter of the walk-in to firmly attach the wall panels to the building floor. A single bead of caulking (Acrylic Latex with Silicone – included) is applied along the line where the bottom of the wall panel meets the floor. Then the aluminum angle is firmly placed against the wall panel compressing the caulking and sealing the floor. The aluminum angles are secured to the building floor using concrete nails or pins (not provided).
For walk-in cooler or walk-in freezer without factory-applied panel gaskets:
apply the silicone provided to all panel seams to complete the airtight seal.
Insert the nylon plugs into all access holes in the panels and using a hammer tap them securely in place.
The walk-in freezer or walk-in cooler should be left with doors open for 24 hours to allow all fumes from sealants to disperse.
The walk-in cooler or walk-in freezer may be washed with soap and water. It is best to avoid chlorine or acids of any kind.