Author Topic: Extending the life of chest freezers question  (Read 4548 times)

Offline passlaku

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Extending the life of chest freezers question
« on: April 20, 2013, 11:01:24 AM »
My second chest freezer died a couple of months ago.  Since it was cold in my (uninsulated, no ac) garage it wasn't a big deal, but now that it is warming up the beer that it houses is now sitting at unfriendly temperatures.   I have bought used numbers twice, both times $100 for a ~12 footer, one lasted around 2 years the other 3.  Both developed a frozen spot on the interior (probably where a freon line busted) then stopped cooling altogether.  I am now debating whether to buy another craigslist freezer or buy new. I am also wondering how to extend the lives of these things.  Is there a trick?

Offline jjflash

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2013, 02:37:10 PM »
How do you control the freezer temperature?
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Offline guido

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2013, 04:11:49 PM »
It's insane to buy a used freezer.  It's only going to last a few years and eat electricity.  Buy a new one.  What you save in one year for electricity will pay for the freezer.
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Offline duboman

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Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2013, 05:03:47 PM »
How do you control the freezer temperature?

You need an external temperature controller that over rides the the built in thermostat
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Offline passlaku

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2013, 05:24:20 PM »
I use an analog temp controller like this one:

Offline perogi

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2013, 06:49:50 PM »
You can also tweak the internal thermostat to bring the temperatures up to refrigeration temps and then use the temperature dial to adjust it from there.  Do an internet search for good posts.  (I'm not sure if this board minds if you link other forums)

Offline aschecte

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2013, 07:37:13 PM »
This is actually a very tricky topic to get into..... I'm in the HVAC business as well as I work on small appliance such as chest freezers. the biggest problem is that the compressor and system in general is meant to be run at below 32 degree f. It contains a what is called a low temp compressor which means that above that 32 degree ( or actually lower ) you are in essence making the unit work harder which you would think the exact opposite as you would think higher temps would equate to less work. the short answer to your question without getting into thermodynamics and the actual amount of cooling capacity of a compressor based on cubic footage is to #1 insulate to a ridiculous amount around the collar if you have a keezer #2 try to keep the ambient outside air as close to the temperature of the internal temperature without going below the compressor oil tolerance and #3 get the unit serviced like call someone in to check the refrigerant charge and to clean the evaporator coil etc... as the old saying goes proper prevention prevents poor performance.  best of luck !!!
don't worry I'll drink it !!

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2013, 08:50:08 PM »
I wish someone made a 14 cf chest fridge.

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Online Slowbrew

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2013, 05:32:19 AM »
I wish someone made a 14 cf chest fridge.

"Friends don't let friends drink bad beer"

I believe companies build professional equipment in that range but not for general use.  Price is the issue that stops most folks from buying a True commercial fridge for their keg storage.  Small used commercial units still cost hundreds, if not not 1000+, $$ for a smaller units.

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2013, 05:56:24 AM »
Read your post and googled it. Ya, you're right. Wish I was rich lol. I found a 23 cf chest refrigerator for $1800. But she would hold several cornys huh?

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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2013, 12:46:07 PM »
$350 will buy you a brand new 12.5-13 cu ft freezer at Sears or Lowes.  Use as is and it will easily hold 6 cornies.  They are very efficient, even in my 110F garage mine rarely comes on.  Put a 4 or 6 inch collar on it and you can stack lots of sixers on top of the kegs.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 09:37:16 PM by corkybstewart »
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Offline passlaku

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2013, 01:11:48 PM »
This is actually a very tricky topic to get into..... I'm in the HVAC business as well as I work on small appliance such as chest freezers. the biggest problem is that the compressor and system in general is meant to be run at below 32 degree f. It contains a what is called a low temp compressor which means that above that 32 degree ( or actually lower ) you are in essence making the unit work harder which you would think the exact opposite as you would think higher temps would equate to less work. the short answer to your question without getting into thermodynamics and the actual amount of cooling capacity of a compressor based on cubic footage is to #1 insulate to a ridiculous amount around the collar if you have a keezer #2 try to keep the ambient outside air as close to the temperature of the internal temperature without going below the compressor oil tolerance and #3 get the unit serviced like call someone in to check the refrigerant charge and to clean the evaporator coil etc... as the old saying goes proper prevention prevents poor performance.  best of luck !!!

Thanks.  You cleared up many of my questions. I wonder if a new freezer would have died just like the older used ones, considering that I didn't follow any of the three tips you offered to extend the life of the compressor. 

I'll look into, either a regular fridge, or into the $35 chest freezer from Sears :)

Offline aschecte

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2013, 01:37:56 PM »
This is actually a very tricky topic to get into..... I'm in the HVAC business as well as I work on small appliance such as chest freezers. the biggest problem is that the compressor and system in general is meant to be run at below 32 degree f. It contains a what is called a low temp compressor which means that above that 32 degree ( or actually lower ) you are in essence making the unit work harder which you would think the exact opposite as you would think higher temps would equate to less work. the short answer to your question without getting into thermodynamics and the actual amount of cooling capacity of a compressor based on cubic footage is to #1 insulate to a ridiculous amount around the collar if you have a keezer #2 try to keep the ambient outside air as close to the temperature of the internal temperature without going below the compressor oil tolerance and #3 get the unit serviced like call someone in to check the refrigerant charge and to clean the evaporator coil etc... as the old saying goes proper prevention prevents poor performance.  best of luck !!!

Thanks.  You cleared up many of my questions. I wonder if a new freezer would have died just like the older used ones, considering that I didn't follow any of the three tips you offered to extend the life of the compressor. 

I'll look into, either a regular fridge, or into the $35 chest freezer from Sears :)

The other big point I did not mention is external temperature override. Look into getting something like a A-419 by Johnson controls or a ETC-1000 by Ranco are really popular choices. with these controls you can preset a ASD option anti short cycle option as well as other Differentials that will help keep the compressor from turning on and off too often. This combined with the other advice I gave will extend the life of your chest freezer.
don't worry I'll drink it !!

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2013, 03:15:31 PM »
$35 will buy you a brand new 12.5-13 cu ft freezer at Sears or Lowes.
$350. ;)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline jjflash

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Re: Extending the life of chest freezers question
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2013, 09:10:24 PM »
Repeat short compressor cycles are suppose to hasten the demise of refrigerators/freezers.  For digital temperature controllers I program in two degrees which gives a four degree variance.  For my analog temperature controllers I always put my temperature probe in a PET soda bottle full of water to help prevent rapid cycles.
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