Refrigeration Installation Basics

Having the right tools and materials makes refrigeration installation a simple process. Before starting, be sure to clear the area of obstructions and check for proper ventilation.

Connect the refrigerator’s water supply line to your home’s water valve using a compression fitting. Align the tubing above storage and behind drawers to avoid damaging it. Click here at to learn more or read on.

refrigeration installationInstallation Procedure

Depending on the model of the refrigeration unit, there are several different ways it may be installed. The first step is to consult the owner’s manual for specific installation instructions and tools. A general guideline is that the unit will require a grounded electrical outlet that provides 120 volts of alternating current at 60 hertz. It is recommended that the refrigerator be on a dedicated circuit to avoid tripping a breaker or blowing off fuses when it is operating.

After a clean work area is prepared and all potential hazards are removed from the installation location, the refrigerator is rolled into place. If the refrigerator has a base grille or brake feet, these should be raised to allow rolling. Once the fridge is in place, it should be leveled. If the refrigerator has adjustment legs, a wrench is used to rotate them clockwise to shorten and counterclockwise to lengthen the legs.

Once the refrigerator is in its final location, the interior walls should be cleaned and the floors swept. A locking cap should be placed on the outdoor portion of the refrigeration system, and it should only be opened with the correct key. This prevents tampering with the equipment and helps to monitor the levels of refrigerant. It is also important to vacuum the refrigeration system as described in the manufacturer’s installation manual. The vacuum process helps to remove air, moisture, and other foreign materials from the equipment.

Refrigeration Units

Refrigeration units are essential in commercial settings and provide a variety of benefits. They keep foods and beverages at optimal temperatures, reduce food waste, and allow businesses to comply with health and safety regulations. In addition, refrigeration units can help restaurants prepare dishes quickly and offer customers a more convenient experience in self-service stores.

Compressors are the heart of any refrigeration unit as they move refrigerant around the system. They work by increasing the pressure and temperature of the coolant. This causes it to turn from a liquid into a gas, which allows the coolant to be pumped through a condenser, where it is cooled and turns back into a liquid.

The cooling process is done through a series of tubing called “lines” which connect the basic major components – the evaporator, compressor, and condenser. The suction line is the connecting tubing from the evaporator to the compressor, the hot gas or discharge line is the connecting tubing from the compressor to the condenser, and the liquid line is the connecting tubing from the condenser to the metering device (thermal expansion valve).

Refrigeration units with energy-efficient compressors and smart temperature controls can help businesses save money on energy costs, reduce emissions and environmental impact, and preserve foods for longer periods. Additionally, these types of refrigeration units can help businesses reduce their dependence on single-use plastics.


The compressor is the heart of refrigeration technology, converting refrigerant from its liquid state into a gaseous one that circulates throughout the system. This process is crucial to refrigeration, as it provides a steady stream of cold air to the refrigerators and freezers within your business. When choosing a compressor, consider its cooling capacity, price, energy efficiency, and reliability. A compressor with a high Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) will consume less energy for the same cooling capability and help to lower your electricity costs.

There are several different types of compressors available, including hermetic, open, and semi-hermetic. Hermetic types seal the compressor and motor together in a single housing, ensuring no leaks occur even when they aren’t being used. This allows them to sit for years without being serviced, but they are more expensive than open or semi-hermetic models.

Piston compressors work similarly to car engines, using reciprocating motion to create compression force within a cylinder. This type is the most common, and it is also relatively affordable and easy to maintain. Screw compressors are another popular choice for larger refrigeration systems. These use two interlocking screws that rotate to compress the refrigerant. Their design allows them to operate at a higher capacity than piston compressors while consuming less energy. A rotary screw compressor can also be adjusted for polytropic operation, a process that calculates both the increase in temperature and shaft input work to determine cycle efficiency.


The condenser, or coil, is the part of the system that pumps air into your home. Many people mistakenly believe that the condenser is also responsible for heating and cooling their homes, as it is the component that pumps refrigerant through their ductwork. This is not true, however, and the air that is blown out of your refrigerator is generated by the fan inside your unit.

After leaving the compressor, the gas travels through a series of copper coils in the condenser, which are surrounded by fans and metal fins. This is where heat transfer takes place, with the hot vapor giving up its latent heat to the cool ambient air. As a result, the vapor turns back into a liquid.

There are three types of condensers: air-cooled, water-cooled, and evaporative. Air-cooled condensers are most common for refrigeration units because they can be put outside, which makes them easy to maintain.

They should be kept clean of dirt, lint, and other debris that can block the coils and reduce heat transfer. It is important to avoid running the condenser during a rainstorm because moisture can enter the coil and cause corrosion. For this reason, it is best to have your refrigeration system serviced regularly. A professional can examine the condenser, as well as all of the major components that make up your refrigeration system.


Thermostats control the temperature of the air in the room and can be used to save money on energy bills. They can be broken down into several types based on working principles and programmability. There are mechanical thermostats that use principles of thermal expansion to activate discs that move and digital ones that run on a microprocessor. Some can be programmed daily while others require you to change them manually. Finally, there are smart thermostats that monitor your home’s temperatures, communicate with other units like the air conditioner and blower motor, and adjust them to optimize efficiency.

There are a few common forms of thermostats that system builders use in refrigeration systems. They include adjustable standard thermostats for wall mounting and refrigerator thermostats. These are usually constructed with a room sensor. Other options are defrost thermostats and auxiliary heat thermostats. These can be built with different sensor constructions, optimized for the specific application.

Another type of thermostat is a line-voltage thermostat. It operates on the same circuit as the heating unit, usually 120 or 240 volts. This kind of thermostat is generally used for regulating electric space heaters, but can also be used to control a gas-fired heater via an electrically operated gas valve. This kind of thermostat requires a two-wire connection and needs a power source of up to 40 amperes. Thermostat installation can be complex and should always be done by a qualified professional. Attempting to do it yourself could result in damage that costs thousands of dollars.


Controls are the mechanical devices that are used to operate and set the operating temperature of a refrigeration system. They respond to temperature, pressure, other controls, and manual intervention to turn on and off different components of the unit. There are a variety of types of controls depending on the needs of the system.

The most common type of controls are electromechanical thermostats. These have constant cut-in and cut-out points, usually a few degrees above or below the refrigeration design temperature. They use the evaporator coil temperature to extrapolate the cabinet’s internal temperature and are designed to start cooling on a rise in box temperature. They must have a wide enough differential to avoid short cycling, which is hard on equipment by turning it on and off too frequently.

Refrigeration systems with smart electronic controls improve energy efficiency by using a more precise control strategy that minimizes the number of cycles per hour to conserve electricity and extend equipment life. These controls can also communicate with other system sensors to optimize the time of day and schedule when cooling or defrost operations occur, which results in even greater energy savings.

Many manufacturers offer factory-mounted adaptive refrigeration controls that can be retrofitted into existing walk-in refrigerators and freezers to provide immediate energy savings. These include smart defrost controller kits and evaporator fan motor controllers that use electronically commutated (ECM) technology to save energy.

Gayle Allen