Ducote's Restaurant &Bar Equipment
Ducote's Restaurant &Bar Equipment
4433 Florida Blvd
Baton Rouge LA 70806
225-344-4240
Fax: 225-344-1075

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Buying Guide
FAQ
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Installation Guide
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U.S. Cooler Walk-ins
Cooler Connection Blog

Questions Frequently Asked by Customers

Index:

Quotes
Drawings & Specifications
Insulation
Refrigeration
Ordering and Shipment
Installation
Costs
Warranties
Floors
Other
U.S. Cooler

Quotes

1. How long does it take to get a quote?

We have computer programs that allow the quotation of a custom walk-in while the customer is on the phone. Many of our quotes are quoted this way. However, some items are not manufactured by our company and need to be specially priced from our suppliers. These quotes are not able to be quoted automatically but should be quoted within 24 hours.

2. Can you email me a quote?

Yes. U.S. Cooler is probably the most computerized walk-in company in the world. You can go to our custom online quotes page and fill out a quote request right on the screen and send it to our company. It will immediately be routed to the appropriate sales person for their action. The quote will soon follow.

3. Can you fax me a quote?

Yes. You can go to our custom walk-in quotes page and print a quote form or use your own forms to fax us a quote request at 217-228-2424. It will immediately be routed to the appropriate sales person for their action. The quote will soon follow.

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Drawings & Specifications

4. Can you send me a drawing?

Being one of the most computerized walk-in companies you can go to our cooler drawing page and enter the information and receive immediately a drawing of the walk-in you desire. If you desire help, call our sales department and a salesperson can take the information and immediately send you the drawing. On the extremely complicated drawings call the sales department and they will take the information and quickly give you a drawing. U.S. Cooler is dedicated to providing you with the information you need to make your walk-in purchase decision.

5. Can I get other sizes than are listed?

Yes. U.S. Cooler makes all sizes of walk-in coolers and freezers. Call your local U.S. Cooler dealer for a competitive price on your walk-in.

6. Do you do custom sizes?

Yes. U.S. Cooler has an automated custom manufacturing plant and resources to provide our customers custom products with the high level of quality that you find in our standard products. Call your dealer or go to U.S. Cooler home to find a dealer near you.

7. Where can I get specifications of your walk-ins?

Go to our engineering specifications page and choose which format you want for our complete specifications.

8. How much does the walk-in weigh?

We weigh each walk-in before shipment to get the exact weight. But you can figure an estimated weight by taking the surface square footage of the walls and ceiling times 2.4, then add the surface square footage if included times 3.15 add these two numbers to 220 pounds for the door and you will get an estimate of the walk-in weight. Add 130 pounds to this weight for an 8'6" pallet and you will get an estimate shipping weight.

9. Do you keep drawings of my walk-in on file for later expansion?

All U.S. Cooler walk-in drawing are kept on file for future expansion or repair. All that is needed is the U.S. Cooler job number for the walk-in. U.S. Cooler customer service personnel can help you find this number.

10. What kind of skins can I have installed on my walk-in?

U.S. Cooler offers many types of the surface skins on the walk-ins we sell. The types carried at this time are the following:

  1. G90 26 gauge, stucco embossed galvanized. This skin is used for interior and exterior walls, ceilings and exterior floors.
  2. G90 26 gauge, stucco embossed galvalume. This skin is used for interior and exterior walls, ceilings and exterior floors.
  3. G90 26 gauge, stucco embossed white galvanized. Used for interior and exterior walls, ceilings and exterior floors.
  4. 24 Gauge stainless steel polished 3B. Used for interior and exterior walls, ceilings and exterior floors.
  5. 22 Gauge stainless steel 2B brushed. Used for standard interior floors.
  6. G90 20 gauge flat galvanized. Used on non-NSF floors.
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Insulation

11. What is the R-value of your walk-in?

R-value is the resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value the better the insulation is in a walk-in cooler or freezer. K-factor is the ability of heat to flow the lower the better for walk-in coolers or freezers.

R-value of any insulation varies according to age of the insulation, wetness of the insulation, type of insulation, mean temperature of the insulation and condition of the insulation.

Most companies publish the R-values of their walk-in coolers and freezers. These R-values are usually at time of manufacturer of the insulation and not what the R-value is after the unit has been in the field for one year. In the roofing industry after much discussion manufactures publish a 120-day aged R-value at a 75 degree mean temperature. Even these R-values do not take into consideration the moisture content of the insulation, which can lower R-value by as much as 75%.

When buying a walk-in cooler or freezer ask what the aged R-value of the insulation will be 5 years after manufacturer and how resistant to moisture the insulation is. You will be surprised how these numbers vary from their published R-values.

R-values of different types of insulations are as follows:

  Published Projected 5 Year Actual
Polyurethane 32 6
Extruded Polystyrene 32 15

12. What kind of insulation do you use?

U.S. Cooler uses two types of insulations in walk-in coolers and freezers today; extruded polystyrene and foamed in place polyurethane. U.S. Cooler or its dealers will be happy to supply you with the correct insulation for your specific needs.

13. Why don't you use all urethane insulation?

U.S. Cooler manufactures walk-ins using two types of insulation; foamed-in-place polyurethane, and extruded polystyrene. There are few manufacturers manufacturing walk-ins with both types of insulation. Using two types allows our company to manufacturer each walk-in with the correct insulation that best suites the customer's needs. Since we believe that foamed-in-place polyurethane is a good insulation when it is used not only to insulate but used in an item that has many parts that need to be molded together, we use it to manufacturer our cooler and freezer doors. For cooler and freezer walls, ceilings and floors we use extruded polystyrene.

14. Do you use wood in your boxes?

It is always better not to include wood in walk-in coolers and freezers. Wood is a poor insulator and does not do well in the consistently damp or wet environments commonly found in walk-in coolers and freezers. Some walk-in manufactures actually use 2X4-inch tongue and grove edging around each panel edge throughout their walk-ins. Some walk-in companies use wood throughout their walk-in doors. U.S. Cooler uses no wood products in our standard walk-in walls, ceilings, doors and floors. We do use 3/4 inch plywood in our optional extra strength floors and some custom built doors.

15. Is wood bad in walk-ins?

First of all wood is not a good insulator. Second wood absorbs moisture. In a freezer it can then freeze and swell causing the joints to misshape and leak precious cold. Third, damp wood is a food source for mold and can cause mold to grow inside the panel and possibly cause negative health affects. Finally, wood can absorb water vapor lowering its already low R-value. This water vapor, through freeze and thaw cycles, cause water to run down and either freeze inside the walk-in or run outside the walk-in causing an unsafe slippery floor increasing injuries and liability issues. Therefore wood is not desirable in walk-ins.

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Refrigeration

16. What type of refrigeration do you use and/or recommend?

U.S. Cooler has the capability of using several different manufacturers and designs when supplying refrigeration system. Our engineers have chosen several manufacturers as our key suppliers. When you discuss the purchase of a walk-in with our sales personnel they will help you decide which design better fits your needs, if you have no preference, supply you with the most competitive price for the system you need from our suppliers. If you have a manufacturer preference we can also quote you their system with the design you need.

17. How do I find out how big of refrigeration system I need?

You can call your local U.S. Cooler dealer and he will help you size your unit. If all you want is an estimated Btu requirement you can go to the engineering sizing page fill out the page and it will give you an estimated Btu requirement.

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Ordering & Shipment

18. How safe is it to order a walk-in on-line?

U.S. Cooler's dealer site is independently certified and encrypted by a third party to provide secure communications between you and our dealers. It is the most secure way to place orders on the Internet.

19. How do I contact someone to talk to?

Dealers can call 800-521-2665 for a U.S. Cooler customer service representative they are highly trained and capable of answering your questions. If you would like to talk to a U.S. Cooler dealer go U.S. Cooler home and select dealer locator. Enter your Zip Code to find the closest 10 dealers to you. You can check the location of any dealer by selecting map function and follow instructions. Once on the dealer site you can get the dealers telephone number and call the dealer direct.

20. How quick can you ship?

U.S. Cooler believes quick deliver is a high priority for our customers and therefore it is a priority in our company. We provide many standard units in stock ready for immediate delivery. We provide many other stock units on a 24-hour basis. One of our greatest strengths is our ability to deliver custom units within 2 to 3 weeks from receipt of sign acknowledgement and credit approval. Whatever delivery you choose U.S. Cooler keeps its word. If we tell you your walk-in will ship a certain day we will ship it that day.

21. How do I know where my order is in production?

Dealers can call U.S. Cooler at 800-521-2665 and ask for you sales person or go to our web page that allows you to check on your order and find out where it is in our plant. Once your unit is finished, you may go to our completed walk-in status page, fill out the information. Then you will be able to look at your walk-in completed and tests assembled in our plant.

22. How do you package your walk-in?

Most walk-in manufacturers would say that their major customer service issue is shipping damage. Walk-ins by nature are somewhat fragile when pitted against a raging forklift or crazy two-wheel cart. U.S. Cooler has engineered a shipping system that all but eliminates the normal damage seen by our competitors. A pallet is provided as a shipping base for each walk-in. Packaging foam is installed between each panel and on long hauls plywood in installed around the outer sides of the pallet. Then everything is wrapped in plastic and marked fragile for shipping. Also we try to eliminate transfer from trucking company to trucking company to reduce transfer problems. Overall U.S. Cooler does all it can to see that the product arrives at your location in the quality shape that it left our plant.

23. How long will it take to get here after it ships?

Delivery is always dependent on the location that is receiving the shipment and where the shipper is located. U.S. Cooler is located in the center of the county so the entire United States is in accessible in a very reasonable ship time. Most of our orders are next day shipments meaning that if your walk-in ships today you will receive it tomorrow. Other areas take a little longer but are always within ten days of shipment. U.S. Cooler consistently negotiates with carriers to receive the best rates, quality control and quickest delivery.

24. How do I trace my order?

Dealers can call your U.S. Cooler representative to get your tracking number or you may go to our order status page, fill out the info and get your tracking number and a link to check its location.

25. Where can I get my shipping pro number?

Go to the order status page and type in dealer telephone number and job number. You will go to your order page. There you will be able to select pro number and shipper for your order. Once you have the pro number and shipper you can call the shipper to track your order.

26. How do I unload my box when it gets here?

To reduce damage most U.S. Cooler walk-ins are shipped skidded on a skid. Once it is at your site it will need to be unloaded with a forklift or the unit will have to be unloaded off the skid piece by piece from inside the truck. This is a three to four man job not counting the trucker. Time is a consideration as some trucking companies' charge extra for extra long unloading times.

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Installation

27. Where can I get an installation manual?

Check out our cooler installation guide and choose the format you wish and download the installation manual.

28. How hard is it to install your walk-in?

All U.S. Cooler walk-ins are test assembled in our plant before shipment to assure that all the panels and parts fit nicely together and meet our stringent quality standards. We provide a layout drawing with each panel labeled and an installation manual with pictures to assist in easy assembly. The walk-in will go together better than any other walk-in on the market. Most installation problems if any have to do with site preparation. Taking your time and following instructions any person should be able to install a U.S. Cooler walk-in.

29. How do you connect the panels together?

Almost all non-warehouse walk-ins are delivered knocked down and come with the panels equipped with cam-action locking devices. These cam-lock locking devices allow the panels to be locked together to assemble the walk-in.

The cam-locks are designed as a male and female versions. The male cam-lock has a hook and the female cam-lock has a pin. When the right angle hex shaped cam wrench is inserted in the male cam-lock hole and turned in a clockwise fashion the hook reaches out inserting itself into the female cam-lock and catches the pin. Once the pin stops the hook from turning, the cam action of the male lock kicks in and draws the hook toward the male cam-lock. This causes the panel edged to compress squeezing the gasket and providing an air tight seal.

These locking devices come mostly in two forms. In foamed in place walk-in the cam locks have fins that, when the panel is foamed in place, are held by the foam, which forms around the cam lock. Only the foam in the panel holds these types of cam-locks. The other type of cam-lock is a block panel fastener. These types of cam-locks are held in a strong plastic holder that is held in place by the foam and the metal skins of the walk-in. U.S. Cooler not only uses these types of cam-locks but also has them foamed-in-place to add further insulation.

30. Can I build my own walk-in?

Many people think it would be cheaper to build their own walk-in but find that once they add up the cost it can be like building your own car from scratch. Also, the local heath departments may have issues with the walk-in not meeting health regulations for cleanable radiuses and surfaces. It is a bad day when the health department tells you, you can't use the walk-in you built for your business because it does not meet minimum health standards.

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Costs

31. What will it cost to run my walk-in?

Before purchasing your walk-in, you may be wondering how much it will cost to operate your walk-in. To give you a rough estimate of how much it cost to operate a walk-in cooler or freezer, using the national average of 11.89 cents per kilowatt, look at the chart below.
walk-in cost chart
*These numbers were figured using the $.0999 kilowatt hour cost. According to the Energy Information Administration this is the average cost in the United States for commercial electricity.

The cost of running a walk-in varies due to many factors.

  1. The type of insulation in the walk-in.
  2. Where the walk-in is located.
  3. The temperature and the weight of the product being cooled.
  4. How often the door is opened.
  5. Efficiency of the refrigeration system.
  6. Cost of electricity.
  7. The age of the walk-in.

This is just to name a few. Actually over a hundred factors are considered when sizing refrigeration systems for a walk-in. Most walk-ins are designed to run 80% of the time or between 16 and 18 hours per day. For more information on this topic and a more accurate estimate, view our operating cost article.

32. Who services your walk-ins and refrigeration systems?

U.S. Cooler has a nation-wide service network to service their walk-ins and refrigeration systems. Call your in-house sales representative for the service dealer near you.

33. How do I keep my walk-in operating cost lower?

Most users do not understand that they can lower the cost of operating their units if they do some very simple things. First if up front cost are not an issue purchase your walk-in cooler or freezer with extruded polystyrene insulation. It is the overall best insulation in the market for walk-in coolers or freezers. Next do some simple things such as order your walk-in with strip curtains to lower heat gain to the walk-in when loading or walking into the unit. Work with your refrigeration service technician to set the minimum required defrost cycles for your specific needs. Step inside the walk-in once a month and check for any light coming from around the door, refrigeration systems, electrical connections and other penetrations in the panels. If light is found contact your local service technicians to correct the issue. Periodically check door gaskets and door sweeps for wear. If wear is evident have your dealers replace the worn part. Have regular maintenance of the refrigeration system by a license refrigeration technician.

34. How are you priced compared to others?

U.S. Cooler believes that walk-in coolers and freezers are a must in the many markets we service. Most walk-ins are purchased because they are necessary to the success of the business they serve. That is why most walk-ins are not purchased emotionally but logically. Most customers purchase a walk-in wanting a certain level of quality then they look for the lowest price they can get. U.S. Cooler has always provided the best quality walk-ins at the most reasonable pricing in the market. You will not find a better value in any other walk-in produced today. We may not always be the cheapest but at the level of quality you need in your application you will not find a better buy.

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Warranties

35. What kinds of warranties are available?

U.S. Cooler's standard limited warranty is 10 years on panels and one year on parts. No labor is included. This limited warranty is provided as standard because to be competitive in the industry, most walk-in companies' offer this type of warranty. However, we believe that many of our customers want to have a more inclusive warranty and therefore we offer the following optional limited warranties on refrigeration systems.

  1. Extended 2 through 5-year compressor warranty with no labor included.
  2. 1st day through 1st year parts and labor warranty.
  3. 1st day through 5th year parts and labor warranty.

36. Do you offer extended compressor warranty?

Yes. U.S. Cooler offer the following refrigeration system warranties.

  1. Standard at no extra charge is one-year parts only warranty on all parts.
  2. One year from day one through day 365 extended labor warranty.
  3. 2nd year through 5th year extended parts warranty with 1st day through 5th year labor warranty. No compressor.
  4. 2nd year through 5th year extended parts warranty with 1st day through 5th year labor warranty, including the compressor.
  5. 2nd year through 5th year compressor only warranty with 1st day through 1st year labor warranty.

Note: Item 2 through 5 are offered at an additional charge.

At the present time no labor warranty is provided on the walk-in panels other than our standard return-fix or replace standard 10 year limited panel warranty.

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Floors

38. Do I need a floor in the cooler?

Coolers can be installed on ground contact concrete floors and pads but it is recommended that an insulation barrier be installed under the walls of the unit to reduce condensation on high humidity days. On coolers located on wood frame floors a cooler floor is a necessity. Condensation will develop under the floor and eventually rot the floor out. On freezers a floor or an insulated concrete floor with insulation barrier is required. Check local codes or contact an architect for concrete insulated floor plans for your area.

39. Why do floors need to be reinforced when equipped with a ramp?

Doors and floors are the most used and abused parts of a walk-in cooler or freezer. Standard floors are designed with a 600-LB load per square foot. That sounds like a lot of load carrying ability until it is considered that a 200-LB load on a two-wheel cart can develop a load of 50-lbs per square inch or 7,200-lbs per square foot. Usually when a ramp is requested, it is assumed that two-wheel carts carrying heavy loads will be used in the walk-in. Due to this factor, U.S. Cooler will only provide ramps with reinforced floors.

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Other

37. Is NSF and UL Certification Important?

Very, NSF stands for National Sanitation Foundation and is looked upon as the ultimate foodservice design and equipment approval agencies by the local building and heath departments. In many states and counties if it does not have the NSF seal it is not allowed for public use.

UL stands for Underwriter Laboratories and is well known in both the foodservice and building industries as a testing laboratory of products and materials. You will find a UL sticker on all UL tested products. This sticker will show their test results on varying items or show that it meets UL standards. Many building code professionals look for this sticker when approving electrical compliance.

40. What type of glass doors do you use and/or recommend?

Our company is set up with all the major glass door manufacturers. If you have no preference, the design that best fits your needs will be provided to you by choosing the most competitive supplier at the most competitive price we can find. If you have a preference in door manufacturer, we will provide you the best competitive quote we can obtain for that system.

41. Where can I see pictures of your walk-ins?

Go to U.S. Cooler's website and look at product pictures or view customer completed test assembled walk-ins in our plant.

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U.S. Cooler

42. Where can I get a list of customer testimonials?

Go to our customer testimonials page to hear what our customers say about our company.

43. Do you sell direct to end-users?

No. U.S. Cooler believes that it is important to have a relationship with a U.S. Cooler distributor in your area.

44. What makes you better than other walk-in companies?

U.S. Cooler believes that quality and service at a reasonable price is what most walk-in users are looking for. We believe all walk-in manufacturers should make sure that the walk-ins they produce meet stringent quality performances. However not all manufactures do this.

The following steps that U.S. Cooler does will show you how we are better.

  1. U.S. Cooler test assembles all their walk-ins. A picture of your walk-in is taken and placed on the Internet so you can view your walk-in test assembled in our plant.
  2. All raw materials purchased by U.S. Cooler must meet quality assurance test before being inventoried for materials for production. There are test procedures in place for making sure the materials going into your walk-in meet the standards you think they do.
  3. U.S. Cooler makes walk-ins using expanded polystyrene extruded polystyrene and foamed in place polyurethane. We have the ability to engineer the walk-in with the correct insulation to meet the customer's needs rather than try to make their walk-in fit limited production capabilities of their plant. Ask the walk-in company if they can make walk-ins with all three types of insulation. If they say yes then they are more apt to sell you the walk-in with the correct choice of insulation to fit your needs.
  4. U.S. Cooler offers and stocks different types of metal so they can choose the best metal to meet your needs. hit counter

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