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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    I'm trying to resolve a problem with a walk in freezer and 2 walk in coolers. All three units are experiencing condensation on the panels (up to 24" high) and in some cases on the floor with in the first 12". These unit are located in air conditioned space but when it is warm out the condensation goes on the floor and creates a fall hazard.

    All three units have the concrete floor with 4" of insulation underneath it surrounded by wood sleepers (nailers). The units are all Kolpak and are about 7 years old. We took a small section of a cooler apart a few week ago and the there was moisture coming out from between the panels and there was a fair amount laying in the screed. We were thinking that maybe the water was there because of condesation on the locking cams during the warm up process. In addition the wood sleeper was not centered under the screed and was on the very outside edge.

    Since these units were installed Kolpak now utilizes an insulated screed under the panels. Does anyone know of any other upgrades that Kolpak has made in the last 5 -7 years that may be insulation / condesation related? Similar problems? Bad panel construction?

    Several people think the subfloors were constructed incorrectly. The problem is if I tear the floor apart I will distroy the concrete and insulation and never really know what the real issue is, unless it works. If it doesn't work I'm out a whole lot of money chasing this thing.

    Any history on the evolution of the Kolpak walk in freezer & coolers would be great. Any ideas on how to be sure what the problem is before we make a sizable financial commitment?

    I've been reading the threads and someone out there has got to have some input on this topic. Any feed back is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    IceMeister, Dave, Dice, D4 ??? You guys got yer ears on?

    This outa be right up your alley. So to speak.

    Call the factory. Better yet, contact one of their competitors. They WILL know everything about your cold boxes and what is needed to fix the problem.

    THEN contact kolpak and ask for their advice. but do not do so until you are armed with the answers first!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Is the condensation forming on the outside of the box and into the walk ways?

    I would like to simplify the situation just a little before you tear out the flooring and think “outside the box” (no pun intended)

    Kolpak makes a pretty good box. Unless someone runs/crashes into the box or walks on the roof the factory seals will be in good shape even after only 7 years. There is no insulation to drop as the panels are foam insulation. I know of no problems that Kolpak is having with their boxes and I am around them everyday.

    So here are my simpleton questions and “outside the box” thinking

    Moisture/condensate… where does it come from?

    Hot meeting cold in an environment with humidity.

    Are the boxes on the ground floor?
    Are you in a humid part of the country?
    Have you had your RH checked in your building?
    Could you’re A/C units be causing this situation?
    Is this a kitchen with independent outside make up?
    Are your hoods balanced?

    Not that I am giving you answers here but just something else to notice before you break up concrete.

    Now I will step aside for the big guns...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Guayaquil EC
    I'd say lusker has a good handle on this. I agree that it's unlikely there is a problem with the box insulation or it's design. While it is possible there could be some unseen installation-related issues, it's probably better to rule out some of the more common stuff first.

    Lusker brought up temperature and humidity. From the description of the problem, I gather there is condensation forming on the lower wall panels and on the floor adjacent to these panels. This is caused when the wall panel or floor surface temperature falls below the dewpoint of the surrounding air. If the problem area of the building is a small enclosed space with poor air circulation and a source of fairly high humidity it's nearly impossible to avoid condensation even with the best of insulations. The insulation does not stop heat transfer, it only retards it.

    I once investigated a water-on-the-floor problem at a supermarket. There were two walk-in freezers installed next to each other. The floor plan called for a common wall between, but in fact there were two wall and a 6" dead air space in between these two 0 Deg F boxes, so guess what I found?.........A virtual glacier that was twenty feet long and about seven feet high. Why? No air movement to keep the space properly ventilated and warm enough to stay above the freezing point of water (let alone the dewpoint ).

    If my hunch is right on the problem at hand, I'd suggest trying a few well-placed fans to circulate the air in the trouble areas, run them for a few days and see if the condensation stops. It worked for my glacier.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    maybe defrost

    how long are your defrost times?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    I just wanted to say thanks for the ideas. I'll get back to you as soon as we get some data.

  7. #7

    Question Kolpak

    Originally posted by johnny torque
    I just wanted to say thanks for the ideas. I'll get back to you as soon as we get some data.

    And the answer(s) is (are)....? ? ???

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Is there a thermal break in the floor?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    East Stroudsburg, PA
    I completely don't recall ever seeing this thread.

    I've seen the same thing that icemeister mentioned, several times.

    Also, I've seen units "cammed" together, that didn't actually get cammed, even though the installer thought they had them, but you generally see that with cheapass boxes, like storflex and tafco.

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