Author Topic: Drill through Freezer / Fridge  (Read 4658 times)

Offline genesisb86

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Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« on: November 03, 2014, 12:34:08 AM »
Hi all,

I've tried finding an answer to this question on the forums, but haven't been successful.  If there's a thread about this, I'd appreciate the link.

My husband and I would like to build a kegerator, but for space reasons we want to use an upright unit.  I've noticed that a lot of people have to place their faucets lower when using a fridge / freezer combo because of the freezer door possibly hitting the taps especially when using custom ones.

My question - has anyone tried running the lines through the top of the fridge and into the freezer so that the taps set higher in the unit (freezer door)?

Is this just a terrible idea in general?  If so, why?

Thanks in advance!

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2014, 02:41:55 AM »
Bad idea. There may be coolant lines running through the shelf of the freezer. You do not want to cut those. Wouldn't the beer lines freeze in the freezer anyway? Yout would need a ton of beer line to have slack in the freezer so you could open the door. Your safest bet is to run your shanks through the fridge  door as high as you can without bumping into the freezer part. Keep the freezer in tact for hops storage
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 02:44:29 AM by klickitat jim »

Offline TMX

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Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2014, 04:38:07 AM »
You can go through the side of some fridge combos as well
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2014, 04:56:16 AM »
If you are not absolutely sure there aren't any lines where you are drilling I suggest using a hole saw with no center drill. Only cut through the outer skin. Then use a knife and pick through the insulation carefully to explore for lines and wires. If you find some do more excavation and push them out of the way.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2014, 12:52:38 PM »
I've drilled through a couple fridges before (on the side) to run a CO2 line through, but the only safe way to do it is to find a wiring schematic for your particular fridge/freezer/kegerator. You can often find it online. They're all wired differently and plumbed differently with coolant lines, and without the schematic you are drilling blindly. I know guys who drilled through wires and/or coolant lines. Not worth ruining an appliance.
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Offline rjharper

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Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2014, 01:39:55 PM »
Do you already have the appliance? Why not get one with the freezer on the bottom?

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2014, 02:16:53 PM »
Most modern refrigerators now use a separate condenser unit with a fan mounted at the back of the box. That unit can also be mounted within the freezer for top-freezer style units. There is typically a shuttered vent that regulates the amount of cold air from the freezer into the refrigerator box. Unless you have an old unit with an aluminum internal shell, there is little chance that there are refrigerant lines in the sides or top of the freezer or refrigerator boxes.  However, if you are dealing with a chest freezer, there probably ARE refrigerator lines or plates in the sides that can easily be ruined if the box is drilled.  Below is a picture of my top-freezer refrigerator with a pair of ducts cut through the freezer top for connection to my fermentation chamber. That is aluminum duct tape placed over the foam to help seal the whole and keep it clean. The holes are topped off with a pair of PVC toilet flanges and PVC pipe that the insulated ducting fits over.


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Offline genesisb86

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Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2014, 06:44:15 PM »
Thanks for all of the responses, guys.

I don't have a unit yet to use, but it seems like the top freezer units are much more common.  I'd prefer to use a bottom freezer, but it depends on how long I can keep my patience. :)

Offline TMX

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Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2014, 01:43:11 AM »
With a cheap DIY temperature controller you. An get an upright freezer and not worry about a door in the way
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2014, 02:28:06 AM »
I joined the freezer door and the fridge door together with a small plate at the side of each door on the side that opens.  That way no inadvertent trips of the tap handles.  When I open the door, I open the top and bottom as one unit.  It doesn't cause me any headaches. And it was easy/peasy.
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Offline mainebrewer

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Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2014, 11:54:39 AM »
I converted a fairly new refrigerator to a keggarator a few years ago.
As noted earlier, get a diagram showing the location of wires and coolant lines.
If the 'fridge has a wire grill with coolant lines on the back, then there probably aren't coolant lines attached to the outside skin of the 'fridge.
I chose to put the faucets on the side of the fridge since I didn't want to deal with beer lines attached to the door everytime I opened the fridge.
Once you have the diagram, use a hole saw to drill from the inside of the fridge through the plastic inside skin. Then take a small screw driver to push the insulation aside and determine if there are any wires/coolant lines in that spot.
If not, drill the rest of the way through the outside skin.
Repeat this process for however many holes you need to make.
Best to be cautious since cutting a coolant line turns the fridge into a storage cabinent.
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Offline genesisb86

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Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2014, 02:18:06 AM »
We actually found a pretty great deal on a 6 tap kegerator ready to go.  We're picking it up this weekend, but thank you all for your insight; I really appreciate it!

Offline WillOwe

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Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2017, 03:11:03 AM »
Most modern refrigerators now use a separate condenser unit with a fan mounted at the back of the box. That unit can also be mounted within the freezer for top-freezer style units. There is typically a shuttered vent that regulates the amount of cold air from the freezer into the refrigerator box. Unless you have an old unit with an aluminum internal shell, there is little chance that there are refrigerant lines in the sides or top of the freezer or refrigerator boxes.  However, if you are dealing with a chest freezer, there probably ARE refrigerator lines or plates in the sides that can easily be ruined if the box is drilled.  Below is a picture of my top-freezer refrigerator with a pair of ducts cut through the freezer top for connection to my fermentation chamber. That is aluminum duct tape placed over the foam to help seal the whole and keep it clean. The holes are topped off with a pair of PVC toilet flanges and PVC pipe that the insulated ducting fits over.




I'd love to see some pics of you fermenter mods Mabrungard

Offline gman23

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Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2017, 03:36:17 AM »
I have a top freezer unit as well and drilled through the side at the very top of the fridge chamber. I second what Jim said. Use a hole saw to get through the shell and clear out the insulation to make sure you are clear. I did hit a coolant line and ruined a fridge once. I think I was drilling toward the back but don't remember...
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Offline smkranz

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Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2017, 12:31:40 PM »
To solve the problem of the top freezer door knocking open a tap handle, I screwed a short, 1/2" wide flat metal strap onto the front of the 'fridge door close to the handle, such that part of the strap sticks up above the 'fridge door high enough to also engage the freezer door by about 1/2".  This way when the freezer door is opened, it catches the strap and the 'fridge door also opens.  It is unobtrusive and lets you mount your faucets wherever you want on the 'fridge door.
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