As any restaurant owner knows, the cost of replacing a walk-in cooler far exceeds the purchase of a new refrigerator. From having to remove the old unit, installing the new cooler, and replacing wires and walls, the expense can sometimes skyrocket to thousands of dollars more than the value of the initial purchase. Sometimes, the only option is to repair the cooler and that can also be costly.
If the damage is superficial like door latches that do not close or busted light fixtures, then the best course of action would be to fix those repairs DIY style. There are a lot of sites online that sell commercial refrigeration parts at discount prices and can have the replacement parts delivered within a few days. Before ordering the parts though, it is best to understand the exact make and model of the walk-in cooler and have that information on hand when searching. With just a few simple tools, it becomes real easy to replace safety door latches, walk-in door hinges, and cooler light fixtures in just a few minutes.
More Complicated Repairs
While most restaurant equipment sites do sell parts for pressure relief ports and freezer door heater wire, it is not a good idea to replace these parts without a working knowledge of electrical repair. At best, you can end up causing more harm to the walk-in cooler, and, at worst, you can end up harming yourself in the process of trying to save money. For these types of repairs, it is best to hire a professional to fix the refrigerator. While this might seem expensive, the cost of a repair will still be dramatically less than replacing the entire walk-in cooler.
Replacing the Walk-in Cooler
If after getting an estimate and fixing things yourself, you find out that you have no choice but to replace the cooler then the best course of action would be to buy a used unit over a brand new one. The sad fact is a lot of restaurants go out of business on a regular basis and these businesses ended up having to auction off their old equipment to pay debts. Going to one of these auctions and bidding on a used unit will save a lot of money compared to a new walk-in cooler. Even with the cost of installation and hauling the unit to your restaurant, the final expense, while cheaper than a new one, will still be a lot more than simply repairing the old cooler.
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