Reach-in coolers and freezers... what style to get?

Hey all,
I’m getting a new 3 door Reach-in Cooler and a 2 Door Reach-in Freezer and have a couple of questions.

For the doors, what is more efficient? Regular pull-open doors or slide doors? (both close automatically)

About every 4 years I have to replace the seal on the doors of my Pull-Open style doors… do we need to replace the slide-open door seals to? And if so, is it just as much of a pain and cost for the replacement seals?

Hi Integraoligist

Our experience has been that the pull doors do a better job of containing temperature.

The gasket on slide doors will have to be replaced Probably as soon as the others or sooner.

George Mills

Regular pull doors it is… what about 110v 1-phase vs 220v 3-phase? Is there that much of a difference in saving?

what about 110v 1-phase vs 220v 3-phase? Is there that much of a difference in saving?

I do not think that in those size units there is enough savings to out weigh the cost but I do not know for sure.

George Mills

I was looking at 3 door freezers specs, and it says .8A lower for the 220V
Now, if it saves .8A while the motor is running… what would the actual saving be for a day? The motor only runs when it needs to cool, and say your closed that day so no one opens the doors… it would kick on, what, maybe 2 times an hour for 2-3 minutes?

I was looking at 3 door freezers specs, and it says .8A lower for the 220V

The formula is volts times amps equals watts. Lower amps at higher voltage does not always equal savings.

You do not state total amps only 8 amps lower.

George Mills

It was 110V 9A while 220V 8.2A

So if V*A=W, the 110V is massively lower in W and therefore costs. Correct?

FIrst… are you wired foir 220 3ph to start with? I think for what you are looking for the 110v might be the choice. I will say this is guessing only as electrical is not my thing at all. I will attempt all other but power items. You are talking 5 full size doors units… what about a walkin cooler and a couple of undercounter freezer units with countertop space to use? Do you need that much freezer space? Just some thoughts… One last thing… swing doors over sliders all day long. I have used both in high capacity use and slider seals fall apart fast!!! Friction back and forth instead of just a pressure seal.

I just need a 3-door Fridge and a 2-Door Freezer thats all. I will have a 50" Deli case (which only comes in 110V) up front and a 48" Sandwich Prep Table which also has a little storage.

I can special order the fridge and freezer in 220 3ph, the wall that they are going on is being built in a week and the new electric will be ran then.

Thought I would toss in cooler ratings for the conversation. I have found that the glass slide-door boxes are rated as merchandisers: selling prepackaged foods ina retail setting with relatively less door opening than a kitchen. They have a different funtional rating code than the solid door coolers. That said I bought a less expensive glass door unit and have had little to no trouble. The solid units will have less insulation problem, will hold temp better, recover better, and likely use less electricity since lights only come on when door opens plus efficiency. My health department didn’t question my cooler, just throwing it out for what you may find it is worth. Possibly less than the paper I used typing it.

In terms of efficiency and usability for the freezer you should go with a swinging door model. Reason being is, swinging door models generally contain temperature better than sliding door models. Having said that, for the refrigerator a sliding door model will work and will save you money. Im going to attach a couple of links bellow so you can get an idea of the models.

Also: when purchasing any commercial refrigeration be sure that there is a full warranty (1 year parts and labor, 5 years compressor)


Nick pretty much summed up the point I was going to add to the conversation. The glass sliding door units are classified as a merchandiser and are officially only rated for pre-packaged products, most typically Coke\Pepsi\Beverage products, etc. I bought one and included it as part of my plan to my county health department for storing non pre-packaged foods in and they rejected it. So I had to spend considerably more to buy a standard solid pull door unit to appease them and get through plan review for a new build out.

The inspector doing plan review told me that it was important for him to enforce this during plan review because future health department inspectors were unlikely to know the difference during in store visits…When I asked what was to prevent me from a renting a unit for a day to get through the inspection, he had no response. He has since retired.

Anyway, you will want to be sure to take the health department approval into consideration when making this decision. They will probably set a higher bar for a new build out such as mine versus an existing location, but hate to see anyone have to spend the money twice like I did.

BTW, I ended up keeping the merchandiser and intend to use it for it’s designated purpose by using as packaged beverage cooler for delivery drivers out the back door. This prevents them from interferring with the one in the lobby for customers. I should have my official inspection in next couple weeks so we will see if my health department gives me a hard time about it, but don’t expect them to. Their biggest objection now might be that it wasn’t on the original plan.

For approvals with the health department chose either sliding or swinging unit that is NSF certified. This will ensure you have no issues wit the health department.


I’ll see if I can run the electrical side of this down for you.

Given your numbers, the 110 unit will use 990 watts, whereas the 220v unit will 1804 watts. That means the 220v unit will use twice as much electricity and therefore twice as much electrical cost to run. More than likely given the very slight decrease in amps, the fans are 110v and the compressor is 220v.

The 3ph motor likely wont have compressor starting components to fail such as capacitors as the phasing determines the rotation and generates the torque needed to start

On the other hand, with the 3ph, if you lose a phase to your building, your cooler goes down. If you lose a phase with the 110, you can just plug it into an outlet that is on the other phase and has power.

The 3ph will have more setup involved in starting it up as the rotation of the fans and compressor will have to be verified. Generally with 3ph motors, swapping 2 of the 3 hot wires will change the rotation direction of the motor. fans or compressors running backwards is bad juju, especially if the compressor is a scroll compressor.

the 110v unit will be a lot easier to move in the future if you decide it would work better somewhere else. to move a 3ph unit, you’d have to bring an electrician in and wire an outlet for it or direct wire it, and then you’d have to verify the rotation again.

Your refrigeration service tech is less likely to carry 3ph compressors and other components that small

Finally, if you do decide to go 3ph, make sure it has a phase monitor on it to protect it from phase loss and phase reversal.

That is exactly correct. Stay away from 220v unless you cannot. 110v self contained units are easy to install. Generally you just plug them in and wait for the temperature to stabilize.

Hope this helps,

Whatever you do, I suggest staying away from the Arctic Air brand of freezers. We have had nothing but problems since the very first day with our brand new AF23. Been dealing with the manufacturer, their national service company and local technicians for 7 months now, and the manufacturer refuses to acknowledge the unit is a lemon and just send us a brand new one :frowning:

In hindsight, I should have bought a True or Bev Air (even a used one) over Arctic Air.

Yes. True refrigeration is considered the best in the business. Bellow is an article all about True refrigeration. Having said that, You are also paying top dollar for True products. Main thing you should look at when purchasing refrigeration is the warranty. (1 year parts and labor, 5 yeas compressor) is generally offered by good brands.