Author Topic: Another one joins the big keggerator in the sky...  (Read 835 times)

Offline rabid_dingo

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Another one joins the big keggerator in the sky...
« on: June 28, 2011, 12:06:18 AM »
My serving fridge is showing about 59-61*F.... :(

Been running almost constantly. I think is has kicked the bucket...

Does anyone have a way of checking if it is really shot?

No big loss other than time and work since it was a Craigslist find
I just cant stand to think I have to re-drill a door...Unless I happen
to find the exact sized fridge. I am keeping the door until I find a
replacement just in case... :-\
Ruben * Colorado :)

Offline euge

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Re: Another one joins the big keggerator in the sky...
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2011, 01:09:20 AM »
Bummer.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline EHall

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Re: Another one joins the big keggerator in the sky...
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2011, 09:02:30 AM »
call a repair svc to come out and check it... maybe it just needs a shot of freon?
Phoenix, AZ

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Another one joins the big keggerator in the sky...
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2011, 09:56:38 AM »
I have a beer fridge that has died three times on me and has risen from the dead each time.  Once I replaced the compressor fan and blew all the dust out of the coils and other working parts underneath.  Another time the problem was with the defrost heater between the freezer and the fridge. With the heater not working the cold air passage from the freezer to the fridge was filling with ice so the freezer was working fine but no cold air was getting into the fridge compartment. These 2 repairs cost a total of about $125.
   
Then last fall it slowly started getting warmer so I moved all my hops and stuff from the freezer into other freezers and unplugged it(the garage stayed cool enough that I could leave the beer inside it).  This spring I called my appliance guy Delbert to come check it out so I could decide to buy a new fridge or see if it could be fixed cheaply.  Before he got there I plugged it back in and by the time he was there the fridge was working fine and has been for 4 months now.  I still have no idea what the problem was.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline euge

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Re: Another one joins the big keggerator in the sky...
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2011, 12:02:51 PM »
I had the same problem with the fridge in the apartment before my house purchase. It got to where I'd monitor it and have to thaw the coils out before it got ridiculously tedious and an evening long thaw-fest. I even left a heater in there. Came back to a huge puddle and the plastic all warped on the inside of the freezer compartment. Plugged it in and everything smoothed out when it got to temps. 8)

I haven't seen a fridge lately with separate coiling for each compartment.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline rabid_dingo

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Re: Another one joins the big keggerator in the sky...
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2011, 01:04:11 AM »
Well, I unplugged it and posted a want ad on CL. Hopefully one comes through. I am off Friday. I'll pull it out and give it a "cat's paw" as my mom says. Cleaning it up.

Cross your fingers for me.
Ruben * Colorado :)

Offline lupulin5446

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Re: Another one joins the big keggerator in the sky...
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2011, 04:01:28 PM »
Can you give more info?  Is the cooling insufficient?  Is it located indoors or outdoors?.  A low refrigerant charge can can cause a system to lose efficiency and over heat.  If the system is located in a particularly warm place, the condenser may not be exchanging enough heat.  An iced evaporator coil can also be at fault, and depending on the sophistication of the system, could be due to a fault in the bypass system (assuming it has one).  If you are using an external thermostat for temperature control (i.e. a Johnson Control), you can short-cycle your compressor until it burns out if you use the dial type.  The digital type allows you to set a temperature range.  Try filling any empty space with jugs of water-they will help keep a constant temperature, particularly if there is an empty freezer attached.  Air does not stay cool as long as water, so an empty freezer can cause it to run constantly.  Also ensure there is proper air flow around the condenser coil (back of most refrigerators).  I can't diagnose the problem without physically inspecting it, but if you have any more questions, I have 6 years of experience troubleshooting Army HVAC systems.

Offline rabid_dingo

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Re: Another one joins the big keggerator in the sky...
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2011, 12:12:30 AM »
Lots of big words and questions...

So it is an old fridge paid $20 for it from craigs list. (one more piece of info down below)
cooling was not sufficient. I unplugged it for 24 hrs and just plugged it back in to see if it was a matter
of re collecting the refrigerant in the system where it should be. It is located outdoors facing east in an east
facing garage. I have had it about 5 years without any issues and holding temps through 100*+ outdoor temps.
Garage never really peaked above 80s, Not ideal, I am sure, but it worked. Not sure of the bypass. It is an older
fridge I guess 1990's age maybe. The fridge would not hold much more than 4 kegs and a door full of beer,
which it has. One keg just blew before the fridge did but overall I am sure there is a decent thermal mass in there...
Freezer was an auxilliary to the house freezer right next too it. maybe half full of mixed use, and hops. :-\

I am not expecting a fix over the net just a clue whether it is a paper weight or needs a boost or what. Even so my
expectations are low. Just plugged it back in after a 24 hr sit to see if by chance something changes.

I did find in the freezer that there is a small fan that pushes cool air from the freezer to the cooler with a return vent
in the front of he freezer compart ment. One of my vacu-bagged hops had slipped into the grate causing the fan to
buzz but it was still running, it hindered the fan and I wonder if it was enough for the fridge to run in excess killing it.
Damn! >:(
Ruben * Colorado :)

Offline lupulin5446

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Re: Another one joins the big keggerator in the sky...
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2011, 03:49:39 PM »
Lots of big words and questions...

So it is an old fridge paid $20 for it from craigs list. (one more piece of info down below)
cooling was not sufficient. I unplugged it for 24 hrs and just plugged it back in to see if it was a matter
of re collecting the refrigerant in the system where it should be. It is located outdoors facing east in an east
facing garage. I have had it about 5 years without any issues and holding temps through 100*+ outdoor temps.
Garage never really peaked above 80s, Not ideal, I am sure, but it worked. Not sure of the bypass. It is an older
fridge I guess 1990's age maybe. The fridge would not hold much more than 4 kegs and a door full of beer,
which it has. One keg just blew before the fridge did but overall I am sure there is a decent thermal mass in there...
Freezer was an auxilliary to the house freezer right next too it. maybe half full of mixed use, and hops. :-\

I am not expecting a fix over the net just a clue whether it is a paper weight or needs a boost or what. Even so my
expectations are low. Just plugged it back in after a 24 hr sit to see if by chance something changes.

I did find in the freezer that there is a small fan that pushes cool air from the freezer to the cooler with a return vent
in the front of he freezer compart ment. One of my vacu-bagged hops had slipped into the grate causing the fan to
buzz but it was still running, it hindered the fan and I wonder if it was enough for the fridge to run in excess killing it.
Damn! >:(

A bag of hops blocking airflow to the freezer could have caused the system to run constantly if the temperature in the freezer never got high enough to cut the compressor off.  If the system is from the 90s, it may need some simple maintenance, but it is not uncommon for a quality fridge to last 25 years.  If you only paid $20 for it, then at least it's not a big loss.  I prefer chest freezers with a digital Johnson Control and draft towers.  They are well insulated, have great cooling capacity, and can make great lagering chests when you need to drop the temp down to 28-29 degrees.