Installing a commercial refrigerator in your business premises is a critical task that can directly impact the efficiency and profitability of your operations. Whether you operate a restaurant, café or supermarket maintaining the freshness and quality of your products is paramount. This necessitates the appropriate and efficient installation of your commercial refrigeration unit.

Commerical Refrigeration

However such an installation isn’t as straightforward as plugging in a domestic fridge.

It involves careful planning, preparation and often requires professional assistance.

In this article we’ll walk you through a step by step guide for commercial refrigerator installation.

Need Commercial refrigeration? See our Commercial refrigeration Service page.

Everest HVAC & R is a leading provider of comprehensive air conditioning and refrigeration solutions. With a steadfast commitment to quality, innovation and unparalleled customer service we cater to a diverse range of commercial and residential needs.


Our team of highly trained and certified professionals is dedicated to ensuring optimum comfort and efficiency in every project we undertake.

In a rapidly evolving industry Everest HVAC & R stands out through its relentless pursuit of excellence and continuous investment in cutting edge technology. Whether it’s a simple repair job or the installation of a complex commercial refrigeration system we approach every task with the same level of meticulousness and professionalism. Our aim is to provide solutions that not only meet but exceed our clients’ expectations all while ensuring energy efficiency and sustainability.

Step 1: Preparation

Before the actual installation process  take the time to assess the space where the refrigerator will be situated. It’s vital that the area is spacious enough to house the unit and allows room for opening doors and drawers. Additionally the refrigerator should have sufficient space around it to prevent overheating. Also consider the location of electrical outlets and water supply lines for refrigerators with water dispensers or ice makers.

The power requirements of commercial refrigerators must be thoroughly checked as these appliances typically require a dedicated circuit due to their high power consumption. Ensure that your premises can meet these demands to prevent electrical issues down the line.

Furthermore commercial refrigerators are considerably heavy so the floor must be sturdy and level to support the weight. Lastly  unpack the refrigerator and remove all packaging materials and transport locks or braces.

Step 2: Placement

 The placement of a commercial refrigerator is more than a matter of convenience it can affect the overall performance and longevity of the unit. Therefore moving the refrigerator into its designated spot is a crucial step that requires a meticulous approach.

First measure the dimensions of your refrigerator and the space you plan to place it in. This ensures that the unit will fit comfortably and is accessible for maintenance and cleaning. Factor in the space required for opening doors or drawers without obstruction.

Commercial Refrigeration - Internal Components

To transport the refrigerator to the designated spot, use a professional grade appliance dolly. These are specifically designed to handle the weight and size of large appliances. Secure the refrigerator onto the dolly using straps to prevent any accidental slipping or tipping.

Involve additional personnel in moving the refrigerator especially in the case of larger units. This not only speeds up the process but also prevents any accidental damage to the unit or the floor.

Once the refrigerator is in place it’s crucial to ensure that it is level. An uneven refrigerator can lead to improper functioning such as ineffective door seals or inefficient cooling. Most commercial refrigerators come equipped with adjustable feet or casters for this purpose. Use a spirit level to check and adjust these feet until the unit is perfectly level.

Step 3: Electrical and Plumbing Connections

Once the refrigerator is in place, it’s time to make the necessary connections. The electrical connection of a commercial refrigerator requires careful handling due to the appliance’s high power consumption. Ideally, it should be connected to a dedicated circuit to prevent overloading.

Before plugging in ensure that the refrigerator’s power requirements align with the electrical outlet’s capacity. This information is usually found in the user manual or the back of the refrigerator. If the plug doesn’t match the outlet, refrain from using an adapter or trying to force it in. This could lead to a dangerous electrical situation such as a fire or a short circuit. Instead contact a professional electrician to make the necessary changes or recommendations.

If the refrigerator is equipped with a water dispenser or ice maker it needs to be connected to a water supply. While it might seem simple connecting a water line can be complex and involves potential risks if not done correctly.

Firstly locate the water line and shut off valve in your premises. If you don’t have a pre existing water line you’ll need to have one installed by a professional plumber. Once the water line is in place attach the refrigerator’s water supply tube to the shut off valve. Tighten it manually first and then use a wrench to secure it further.

After connecting turn on the water supply and check for any leaks. If you spot any water leakage turn off the water supply immediately and tighten the connections.

Remember the risk of water damage or incorrect installation is high with plumbing connections. Therefore it’s always recommended to hire a professional to ensure a correct and safe installation.

By giving due attention to the placement and connections you can ensure the seamless operation of your commercial refrigerator.

Step 4: Set Up and Test the Commercial Refrigerator

After successfully positioning and connecting the refrigerator the next crucial step is to set up and test the appliance. This helps ensure that the refrigerator is working as it should before it’s put to use.

Begin by turning on the refrigerator and let it run empty for a few hours. During this initial run monitor the refrigerator for any anomalies. Listen for unusual noises such as banging, clicking or humming which could indicate an internal issue. Also check for any visible problems like leaks or frost build up.

Commercial Refrigerator - Exterior Cooling

While the refrigerator is running check its internal temperature using a reliable thermometer.

Place the thermometer in the center of the refrigerator and leave it for at least 5-10 minutes before taking a reading.

It’s important to note that the refrigerator should achieve an optimal temperature for safe food storage  around 37°F or 3°C for refrigerators and 0°F or -18°C for freezers.

Once the refrigerator has reached the appropriate temperature you can begin to fill it.

However ensure not to overload it.

Overloading can prevent proper air circulation which could lead to uneven cooling and increased energy consumption. Arrange items so that there’s space around them allowing the cold air to circulate freely.

Step 5: Regular Maintenance

Maintenance is a key factor that contributes to the longevity and efficiency of your commercial refrigerator. Regular maintenance not only helps maintain optimal performance but can also help identify potential issues before they become major problems.

Firstly the interior and exterior of the refrigerator should be cleaned regularly. For the interior remove all items and wipe down shelves drawers and walls with a mild detergent and warm water. Avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the interior surface or leave a residual smell. The exterior particularly stainless steel surfaces can be cleaned with a commercial stainless steel cleaner to maintain its appearance.

Seals around the refrigerator doors are crucial for maintaining the correct internal temperature. Over time these seals can wear out or become dirty, leading to energy loss. Regularly inspect the seals for any signs of wear or damage and clean them with warm soapy water. If a seal is damaged it should be replaced promptly.

The condenser coil located at the back or bottom of most commercial refrigerators is responsible for releasing heat from the refrigerator. Over time these coils can become clogged with dust, dirt and grime reducing their effectiveness. Regularly cleaning these coils can improve the refrigerator’s efficiency and reduce energy consumption. This can typically be done with a coil brush or a vacuum but always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging the coils.

In addition schedule regular professional check ups for the refrigerator. A professional technician can perform a more thorough inspection and maintenance including checking the refrigerant level inspecting the electrical connections and making sure all components are functioning correctly.

Regular maintenance can seem like a time consuming task but it’s an investment in the longevity and performance of your commercial refrigerator.

A well maintained commercial refrigerator not only runs more efficiently but can also save you money on energy bills and costly repairs in the long run.


Installing a commercial refrigerator is a significant task requiring detailed preparation and careful execution.

But with the right approach and guidance you can ensure that your refrigerator runs optimally safeguarding the quality of your products and the success of your business. 

Remember there’s no harm in enlisting professional help when you’re in doubt or want to ensure that the job is done right. Your commercial refrigerator is an investment and as with any investment it’s crucial to set it up correctly from the start.


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