Hey, does size matter?

Ok, not that, but it got your attention yes? I’m “shopping” for a walk-in and before I pull that trigger want some input on sizes ya’ll are using. I’ve found a local deal I can pick up around $2500 for a 8X10 with remote compressor. All the gear is clean looking, appears to be well serviced and is close enough to pick up and save the delivery expenses.

I’m in a small community, will be able to get as many delivery days as I need though b/c of our location so huge amounts of inventory are not going to be a problem. Places I’ve worked in the past centuries have ran a gamut with walk in sizing though from one well smaller than this, to a room sized cooler.

What should I be looking for?

Remember you’ll probably have another $2,000 in installation costs as well. You may be able to buy a brand-new smaller self contained unit for the same price. I’m always very leary of used refrigeration.

I’ve bought two used reefer units since I’ve had my shop and both of the compressors failed within 6 months.

Hi Deacon:

Piper makes a point about used refrigeration.

We tried to market used refrigeration units. We had skilled refrigeration service men on staff. Almost every unit we processed failed within one year. They failed full of food and the buyer lost more $$ than they saved buying used.

We and most equipment dealers do not market used refrigerated equipment.

George Mills

I tend to agree with the above posters, years ago I worked for a restaurant that bought a used walk in, they had nothing but problems with it. When it comes to used commercial kitchen equipment, you are buying someone else’s problems.

Hows about buying a used box but a new compressor.

Pizza tony asks: How’s about buying a used box but a new compressor?

If you find an excellent box that would be the best move.

When a walk in box has been installed for several years and then disassembled it is sometimes difficult to reassemble in a new location as the box has settled into the configuration of the floor in the original location.
If there is a noticeable variation in the floor configurations it can be a real bear to install in the new location.

George Mills

Great replies all guys! Thank you for you inputs. I’m feeling fairly “confident” about this pre-owned if only that it’s 4 years old. I know one can’t tell by “looking at it” but it really appears to be in decent shape and is holding temps at this point anyway.

I had heard the previous comment before where if the box was good, and the price right, maybe taking a chance on one knowing that one MAY have to replace a compressor still could be a viable option, IF one purchased at such a low price, the additional expense of that compressor would still not push the total investment anywhere near new.

I’ll have to toss that coin soon as I don’t think it’s going to be around too long!

My question was more in the line of what size do you guys/ladies, find usable for your shop. Maybe that’s too subjective of a question and it will simply be one of those, “buy as large as you can afford and fit into your shop”? I was hoping to get some suggestions along that line though. I’d hate to purchase a 8X10 only to find out 3 months into business that “boy, 8X12 should be the minimum”!

Continued thanks for all your time and ideas!!


Hi Deacon :

Sorry I failed to answer the actual question.

Most of the pizza shops we equip use an 8’ X 10’ box.

George Mills

I have an 8X8 and wish I had an 8X12.

I have an 8 X 10 and really wish I had a 10 X 16. My walk in, 2 door reach in, and chest freezer don’t come close to fitting everything comfortably. On a busy day, there’s barely enough room for the dough that I need that day.

I have a 8x8 that was a 8x12 that I cut down to fit my store the box was in excellent shape but the condenser needed to be replaced but I got it for $800 so i made out and it only cost me 500 to have it set up ( refigeration part) I cut the cooler down to size and ran all lines and elec. myself

I’m not nearly the “equipment guy” that many of you are, so please consider this, but in my own personal opinion, when it comes to a cooler/retarder/coldroom, whatever you want to call it, it seems that you can never get one that is big enough to meet your future needs (think of like a closet or garage at home). My advice would be to buy new, buy big (within reason), and be sure to have a temperature sensor with an alarm feature installed right up front, this way you or someone will be notified if/when the unit ever fails. There have been some recent posting on this very topic.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor