Kegerator DIY Help

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Kegerator DIY Help

Postby Klickitat Jim » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:09 pm

Most of my two tap tower kit showed up today. Waiting on backorder kegs. I got my Magic Chef 4.3cf fridge unboxed. The door interior is going to come off and get replaced with thin dry erase board. I called magic chef who told me there are no lines or wires in the roof. And that the freezer evaporator is what cools the whole fridge. I also read somewhere that the thermostat probe has to be touching the evaporator to read the temp properly.

So, it appears to me that I am going to have to remove the four screws that hold the evaporator up, and then bend it down so it's in the back of the fridge. That will give room for the kegs and lines.

My request is for tips on bending that line without kinking or breaking. It comes out of the back of the fridge and is only an inch or two long before connecting to the freezer evaporator.

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Re: Kegerator DIY Help

Postby r2d2 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:29 pm

I usualy just set the probe anywhere in the box. And then use a jar of water with a thermostat to dial in the Johnson controller.
A lot less work and less danger of damage.
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Re: Kegerator DIY Help

Postby Klickitat Jim » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:25 pm

Ok, maybe I was confusing. This isn't a freezer but a 4.3 cf mini fridge with a small freezer section in the top. I have to bend it down 90 degrees to make room for kegs and beer lines. Just seeing if anyone has suggestions on bending the refrigerant line without breaking or kinking it. I only have a couple inches of tubing to bend so it will be a tight bend.

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Re: Kegerator DIY Help

Postby jeeper » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:49 pm

try to find something with the same radius you need for the bend, like a bottle, pen, socket, etc... use that for a tool. A c-clamp can help hold it into place if it will fit in the space. make the bend slowly. good luck :shock:
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Re: Kegerator DIY Help

Postby Klickitat Jim » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:54 pm

Thanks I'll try that

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Re: Kegerator DIY Help

Postby camp185 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:25 pm

r2d2 wrote:I usualy just set the probe anywhere in the box. And then use a jar of water with a thermostat to dial in the Johnson controller.
A lot less work and less danger of damage.


Should the therm be in the water? However long it takes the water to change temp, is how long it will take to get it back to where you want it. I would let it monitor air temp for a quicker/better temp control.
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Re: Kegerator DIY Help

Postby Klickitat Jim » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:03 am

My temp probe is part of the fridge, but I know you guys are talking about s control thermal probe for a freezer... it seems to me that the temp probe should be in air. Some use a thermal well in the fermentor which confuses me. Seems like you wouldn't want the cooler or heater to wait until the core temp was off before kicking in.

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Re: Kegerator DIY Help

Postby Bgrant » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:24 am

Klickitat Jim wrote:My temp probe is part of the fridge, but I know you guys are talking about s control thermal probe for a freezer...


Most folks run the kegerators on some type of external thermostat because the thermostats that are in the fridges are pretty inaccurate and allow for wide temperature swings and very poor temp control.
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Re: Kegerator DIY Help

Postby pclemon » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:54 am

camp185 wrote:
r2d2 wrote:I usualy just set the probe anywhere in the box. And then use a jar of water with a thermostat to dial in the Johnson controller.
A lot less work and less danger of damage.


Should the therm be in the water? However long it takes the water to change temp, is how long it will take to get it back to where you want it. I would let it monitor air temp for a quicker/better temp control.



The issue with that is that the refrigerator will cycle on/off much more often - which they're not intended to do - and likely burn out the compressor a lot faster. You don't want it running for hours on end either, the challenge is finding the happy medium. I suspect a quart size glass of water would change temp rapidly enough but not so rapidly that it's cycling on/off all the time.
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Re: Kegerator DIY Help

Postby r2d2 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:11 am

As others been pointed out I use a external controller.
The jar of water just has a old kettle thermometer sitting in the water.
It is more accurate than the dial on the external contoller.
That's all.
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Re: Kegerator DIY Help

Postby Monster Mash » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:48 am

Bgrant wrote:
Klickitat Jim wrote:My temp probe is part of the fridge, but I know you guys are talking about s control thermal probe for a freezer...


Most folks run the kegerators on some type of external thermostat because the thermostats that are in the fridges are pretty inaccurate and allow for wide temperature swings and very poor temp control.


For a serving fridge you just want it cold, refrigerators do that well without any other controls.

As far as your fridge you should have bought one without the freezer section but since you have that one just be very careful when bending the plate. I've seen it done so it is possible, just don't kink the lines.
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Re: Kegerator DIY Help

Postby Bgrant » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:45 pm

Monster Mash wrote:
Bgrant wrote:
Klickitat Jim wrote:My temp probe is part of the fridge, but I know you guys are talking about s control thermal probe for a freezer...


Most folks run the kegerators on some type of external thermostat because the thermostats that are in the fridges are pretty inaccurate and allow for wide temperature swings and very poor temp control.


For a serving fridge you just want it cold, refrigerators do that well without any other controls.


True, but the biggest complaint i see, with the small fridges is freezing the kegs, on the higher temp side, foaming during pour. Guess how thet fix it, yep crank down the thermostat. Next problem, frozen keg.

Not saying an external controller is required, but a nice thing to have.

Granted YMMV.
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Re: Kegerator DIY Help

Postby Klickitat Jim » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:49 pm

Turned out to be no big deal. The line was so soft I bent it with my fingers. No kinks and it works. With no door shelves the light switch doesn't get depressed so I just removed the bulb.
Image

Next was the top hole. Just went slow to avoid hitting a wire or line.
ImageImageImage
Lined the hole to avoid cuts.Image

Done. Image

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Re: Kegerator DIY Help

Postby pclemon » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:32 am

Klickitat Jim wrote:With no door shelves the light switch doesn't get depressed so I just removed the bulb.


Nice work on the build. I ran into the same issue above when I did my freezer for fermentation - I just used a piece of tape over the switch and it keeps it down. Your solution is just as simple - just thought I'd give an alternative.
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Re: Kegerator DIY Help

Postby Klickitat Jim » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:23 am

Thanks! It was fun. I worried more than I needed to but it made me go slow and do it right. Now the wait for kegs and something to put in them.

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