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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    question about idea for failover protection for side by side walkins


    I am a restaurant owner. One of the things that is most difficult to deal with (always happens at the wrong time & my repair techs are not available fast enough to avoid things going over temp/unsafe) is one of my walkins going down. One of the best decisions I ever made was having two of them, they are actually a combo fridge freezer with both running a fridge with similar temps but separated by an insulated wall. When one has an issue we move stuff into the working fridge and minimize loss. That said, it still huge pia and you have to know about it and be able to get there to do it.

    I came across a cool device that I am using for another project called Firebox. Basically it is a smart thermometer that can monitor and alert (email, text, both) when temps go out of range. Awesome little gadget for not too much money. BUT, and this is where my question comes in, it has an ouput feature you can use to turn things on and off.

    My question is - can I buy some time and put a 'duct' between the two halves of the walkin and when the temp goes out of range on one of the coolers turn on a fan in the duct to suck/blow cold air from the working side into the non working side. I realize this puts additional load on the working side (and sizing the duct fan is important), but as a stop gap till the tech shows up, does it sound like a workable idea? Or am I just making this complicated and really just need to spend time calling all of the techs I have in my contacts till one is immediately available?

    Thanks for any input. David

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Billington Heights, NY
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    If it has a dry contact ob the output feature (no voltage on it) a tech can easily rig up a control system to make it happen how you want. I would also place a damper in the duct that only the fan can move or have it motorized.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Columbus, Ohio
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    Sounds hack-ish, but the non-hack solution is expensive - 2 separate refrigeration systems on each box. I guess you have to weigh your cost vs. benefit vs. headache and determine the best option for you.
    For the duct option, I would think that you would need 2 ducts - one near the top of the boxes, and one near the bottom, so that the air can actually circulate. I assume that if the doors are closed, you should only need a fan in one of the ducts. Be aware that the fan also adds heat to the box in addition to the effective volume increase, so even as a stopgap I'm not sure how well it would work.

  4. Likes HVAC_Marc liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Atlanta, GA
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    You might as well just prop the door open to get what cooling you can in your scenario.

    Or as RJK suggested, actually install redundant systems.

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