Converting a refrigerator ?

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Old 02-10-15, 08:58 PM
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Converting a refrigerator ?

I am looking to convert my refrigerator into a cellar. The cellar needs to maintain a temperature of around 60F and humidity around 70%. The warmest my fridge will get is about 45F. Is there any way to modify this to maintain a temp between 60-65F?

As for the humidity, I realize there is not much I can do. I understand some wine coolers have the ability to control humidity. Is there something I can install into my new cellar that will regulate humidity?
 
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Old 02-10-15, 09:28 PM
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Any wood down there, like the house above will be subject to mold growth. Since the ground temperature is well below your 60-65F target, it is merely an issue of insulating that space from the house and outside heat. The mold issue, radon, and other moisture related issues are still a concern.

Bud
 
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Old 02-10-15, 10:10 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Bud is concerned about the wood in your "cellar".

Post the make and model number of your "cellar" and I'll check out the thermostat for you.
 
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Old 02-10-15, 10:31 PM
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Thank you PJ. I am unable to get the make and model number right now but will post it as soon as I can.

Bud, im not sure I understand what you mean. My "cellar" is going to be the inside of my refrigerator.
 
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Old 02-10-15, 11:47 PM
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LOL, a "cellar" up here is a basement, I thought you wanted a huge wine storage place. Where I have worked with some half basement wine storage issues, that was the first thought that popped into my mind.

I probably better stay out of this one,
Best, still smiling,
Bud
 
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Old 02-12-15, 10:15 PM
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My fridge is a FRT21H7ASB2 FRIGIDAIRE.
 
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Old 02-13-15, 01:23 AM
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Thought the same thing Bud. Was about to post he needed an A/C not a refrigerator to cool his basement/cellar.
 
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Old 02-13-15, 02:56 AM
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Your fridge appears to be a two door frost free type.
You could replace the thermostat with one that can control in the range you want.

A problem you may have doing this is the cooling system on any refrigeration unit is designed for a certain flow rate to return trace oil flowing in the tubing back to the compressor.
When you reduce the amount of work the system has to do you also reduce oil return.
This will cause oil to sit in the tubing and evaporator which can leave the compressor short of oil or reduce heat transfer in the evaporator.

Be prepared to trash the fridge.
 
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Old 02-13-15, 06:48 PM
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You have a freezer over the fridge. You didn't mention if you wanted to convert the freezer and fridge or just the fridge. Just the fridge is easier as the coil is in the freezer and that area is going to always be colder unless you modify the airflow system to move more air between the two.

You have a thermostat that measure the temperature in the fridge. It is a mechanical type thermostat and has a calibration port on it. You may be able to recalibrate it for higher temperature control. You could try turning the screw in two turns and see how it affects the temperature.

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Otherwise you could use a digital controller like in the link below.
110V LED Digital Temperature Controller Temp w Sensor Thermostat Control Relay | eBay
 
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Old 02-14-15, 05:52 AM
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Check beer/wine brewing forums and retailers. That's a common hack for use as a fermentation chamber. There are controllers specifically for the task. You simply set your fridge to it's coldest setting so the compressor wants to run. Then plug the fridge into the controller and get it's temp probe into the fridge somehow. Then the controller turns the compressor on/off as needed to maintain the desired temp. You can also check your area for a home brew store. Just ask them for a "temperature controller" and they'll know exactly what you need. Simple ones will only control one output which is probably all you need. More complex ones control two outputs so you can control both heating and cooling which is required if your hacked fridge is in a garage or other area that may get colder than you want to maintain.





Fridge life has not been an issue. Standard controllers react slow enough that the compressor runs long enough to insure proper oiling and the controllers slow response also limits cycling. The big thing to watch is the location you drill to get your temp probe inside.

---
I make mine using programmable controllers. It's not difficult but is a different level of build complexity but if you want the absolute in control it's the way to go.
 
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