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Norlake Walk-In Cooler Installation 

interior of a walk-in cooler with shelves - Norlake walk-in cooler installation

Whether you're an authorized technician or business owner trying to puzzle out how to do a Norlake walk-in cooler installation, Parts Town can help you get it set up and cooling within only a couple of hours. In this guide, we’ll take you through how to prepare and level the floor for construction, install the walls, ceiling, door, ramp, and membrane roof; seal the junctions and connect the electricals. 

Base Preparation/Leveling the Floor 

When installing your Norlake walk-in cooler, it’s important that you build on a solid, flat and level foundation. If there’s any slope to the floor, the door gasket seal, self-closing feature, latching and condensate removal may not work as they should, leading to performance issues and equipment malfunction. But not to worry. In this section, we’ll cover how to check and prepare the floor to build on a level surface. 

  • Step 1. Choose a location – Before beginning construction, ensure there's at least 2” between the cooler and the wall to allow for proper airflow.
  • Step 2. Install a vapor barrier – Next, place a vapor barrier, such as asphalt paper (50#) or 6-mil polyethylene film, on the floor where you’re constructing the walk-in cooler.
  • Step 3. Find the highest point – After selecting the spot where you want to build the cooler, use a surveyor’s level or a rotary laser level to find the highest point. Mark its location.
  • Note: If your floor is already perfectly level, you can skip to step. 
  • Step 4. Place the floor panel on the highest point – Align the floor panel over the highest point, taking care that it’s still spaced at least 2” from the nearest wall.
  • Step 5. Place shimming materials to level the floor panel – Next, you’ll have to ensure that the entire floor panel is completely supported and level using shimming materials. The manufacturer recommends using cedar building shingles, although any material resistant to rot and pressure will be a good substitute. 
  • Step 6. Test the levelness – Place the level at several spots and in multiple directions to ensure levelness. 
  • Step 7. Trim away excess shimming material – Once you’ve confirmed the floor panels are completely level, go ahead and trim any excess shimming material that may be protruding from underneath the panel. 
  • Step 8. Repeat the leveling procedure for all floor panels – Place the remaining floor panels in the order advised by the construction diagram in the manual, repeating steps 4-8 for each panel. You may lock the panels in place after trimming away excess shimming material.
  • Step 7. Check the latches – Once you’ve installed all the floor panels per the construction diagram's instructions, check that all connections are securely latched.
  • Step 8. Trim the excess vapor barrier – From there, trim the excess vapor barrier so no material is protruding from underneath the floor panels.

Wall and Ceiling Installation  

To make Norlake walk-in cooler installation easier, the manufacturer has labeled each floor, wall, corner and ceiling panel for your convenience. Follow these labels for correct placement. 

  • Step 1. Install the corner section – Starting with a corner panel, compare the part number labeled on its interior to the panel installation order section in the manual to determine its position. Make sure the end labeled “top” is facing up. Install the corner section onto the floor panels, locking them into place. 
  • Note: Wall panels will not lock to a vinyl sealer (screed). You’ll need to align another panel next to the corner section to lock the walls into place.
  • Step 2. Ensure perfect alignment – Before engaging the vertical latches, ensure the two sections are perfectly aligned at the top and sides with no gap in the middle. If you notice misalignment, lift the lower hanging panel while locking it into its correct position.
  • Step 3. Engage the vertical section latches – Then, turn the section latches until they lock into place. 
  • Step 4. Engage the floor section latches – Turn the floor latches ¼ turn clockwise with the hex locking wrench.
  • Step 5. Install panels 5-9 – Following the panel installation order diagram in the manual, go ahead and finish installing panels 5-9, locking the wall and floor panels together at their seams. 
  • Step 6. Install the ceiling panels 10-11 – Now, install ceiling panels 10-11, taking care to place, not slide, the ceiling panels on top of the wall panels. Lock the ceiling panels together. Do not lock them to the walls yet.
  • Note: Never slide the ceiling panels into place, as this could damage the gasket.
  • Step 7. Install wall panels 12-16 – Following the same procedure, install wall panels 12-16, locking them along their vertical and horizontal joints after checking for alignment.
  • Step 8. Install ceiling panels 17-18 – Follow the procedures in step 6, taking care to place, not to slide, the ceiling panels into place. Lock the ceiling panels together. Don’t lock them to the wall panels just yet.
  • Step 9. Install wall panels 19-21 – Following the same procedure, install wall panels 12-16, locking them along their vertical and horizontal joints after checking for alignment.
  • Step 10. Install ceiling panel 22 – Follow the procedures in step 6, taking care to place, not slide, the ceiling panels into place. Lock the ceiling panels together. Don’t lock them to the wall panels just yet.

Door Installation 

When installing the door, ensure it is perfectly square and plumb for the self-closing feature, door closure operation and gasket seal to work properly.

  • Step 1. Install the door – Install the door perfectly square and plumb before locking it securely into place.
  • Step 2. Lock the ceiling panels to the wall panel– Next, double-check that all the wall and ceiling panels are in perfect alignment before finally locking the ceiling panels to the wall panels.
  • Step 3. Insert the plug button into each latch access hole – Double-check the latches are properly secured before inserting a plug button into each access hole.
  • Step 4. Install the slam braces – If you’ve installed a floorless Norlake walk-in cooler, you’ll need to install the slam braces directly into the building floor to prevent movement. The recommended hole size for a parabolt anchor is ⅜” x 2-¼.”
  • Note: If the building floor is not made of concrete, you’ll have to buy alternative fasteners from the ones provided.
  • Step 5. Bolt the threshold to the building floor – After installing the slam braces, you’ll need to do the same for the threshold on either side of the lower portion of the door.

Sealing the Junctions

Sealing the junction points of the cooler is essential to preventing temperature fluctuations and maintaining equipment efficiency. Follow these Norlak walk-in cooler installation instructions to learn how to apply sealant:

  • Step 1. Apply sealant to the junctions – Apply NSF-certified sealant to the bottom edge of the wall, corner, door and partition panels, taking care around the shimming materials. Make sure you apply it to the inner and outer edges of all perimeter walls and both edges of the partition walls where they meet the floor.
  • Step 2. Trim away excess sealant – Read the packaging to determine how long to let the sealant set. Then, trim away the excess sealant so the surface is smooth and the seal seamless. 
  • Step 3. Touch up the sealant – Reexamine your handiwork. Are there any gaps or areas that do not create a perfect seal? Reapply sealant if needed.
  • Step 4. Apply cove molding – Follow the instructions on the packaging label to apply cove molding to the interior and exterior juncture of the walk-in walls and building floor to at least a ¼” radius. 
  • Note: For floor walk-in cooler models, the cove molding is only needed on the exterior walls.

Ramp Installation 

Next, it’s time to attatch the exterior or interior ramp to com complete your Norlake walk-in cooler installation so stocking and unloading are more accessible and convenient.

Exterior Ramp Installation Instructions 

  • Step 1. Install a vapor barrier – If your exterior ramp is located outdoors, you’ll need to place a vapor barrier, such as asphalt paper (50#) or 6-mil polyethylene film, on the floor where you’ll attach the ramp. 
  • Step 2.  Attach the ramp to the cooler – Attach the ramp to the walk-in using the angle and screws that came with the cooler.

Interior Ramp Installation Instructions 

  • Step 1. Apply sealant to the ramp – Spread ⅛” bead of sealant to the interior metal and the center of the exterior lip. Make sure the sealant is ⅜” away from the ramp cutout.
  • Step 2. Bolt the ramp to the floor – Line up the ramp with the predrilled holes and bolt it to the floor using the provided #8 x ½ screws.
  • Step 3. Attach the anti-slip floor strips – Attach the 6” x 24” strips to the ramp and back seam and the 3” x 24” strips to the side seams.
  • Step 4. Apply sealant to the door and threshold – Next, apply sealant at the junction where the door section connects the interior and exterior of the floor panel and ramp. Then, coat the sealant under the door threshold and let it set.

Membrane Roof Installation Instructions 

Before installing the membrane roof, ensure the interior coil is positioned according to the installation instructions and that silicon is applied to all ceiling and ceiling-to-wall horizontal seams.

  • Step 1. Install the E.D.P.M. on the ceiling – Lay the E.D.P.M. rubber membrane on the ceiling and trim the edges to allow for a 6” overhang.
  • Step 2. Fold all four corners – Fold all four corners of the membrane over the corners of the walk-in. Trim off any excess so that the membrane lies flush against the walls.
  • Step 3. Install the trim, refrigeration hood and door hood – Secure the trim and refrigeration and door hood with the provided screws.
  • Note: For certain models, you may have to size the trim.
  • Step 4. Trim off excess roof membrane – With a utility knife, trim off the excess roof membrane protruding from underneath the aluminum trim and hoods.

Norlake Walk-In Cooler Installation Electrical Connections 

The cooler comes with several pre-wired electrical components contained in the door panel. Follow these Norlake walk-in cooler installation instructions to finish setting up.

  • Step 1. Hook up the electrical components – Make the electrical connections for the anti-condensation door opening heater, the pilot light/switch and the LED interior light at the junction box, which you’ll find adjacent to the light fixture.
  • Step 2. Seal off the conduit fittings – Use the sealant to seal off the conduit fittings where they enter the junction box.
  • Step 3. Position the thermometer sensing bulb – Install the thermometer sensing bulb in a location that is clear of obstructions and is not near the lightbulb or other heat source. Secure it with the provided plastic clip.
  • Note: Do not energize the door until the cooler’s interior temperature is within normal operating ranges.
  • Step 4. Connect the pressure relief port – Connect the pressure relief port to a 115V/60HZ/1PH power supply.