Beer Fridge Heater??

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  #1  
Old 11-16-08, 01:31 PM
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Beer Fridge Heater??

I have an antique Co-Op fridge in the garage, only about 5 feet tall. Still works great in the summer but it gets a bit cold up here in the winter and freezes my Pabst.

So....anyone have an idea for some sort of heater to put in there for the winter months?

I first thought of the outdoor pop machines, they must have some sort of heater but would probably cost a ton.

Next I thought of those freeze alarms from years ago. If it got so cold in your house then a red light bulb would light and your neighbor would notice and call someone. I thought maybe if I put a big enough bulb in that would be enough heat. However, all the ones I found today just want to call someone.

Any ideas? Beer 4U2

Thanks,

Baldwin
 
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  #2  
Old 11-16-08, 07:27 PM
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Switch to rye whiskey. It doesn't freeze.
 
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Old 11-16-08, 07:51 PM
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Spend a couple thousand for a gas fired space heater---that will keep garage nice & warm------may keep you warm if you get thrown out of the house----
 
  #4  
Old 11-16-08, 08:32 PM
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I lived in MN as a kid. I remember 40~45 below, before they thought up “wind chill factor”. We never used an ice box in the winter. We stat things on the back porch under a wooden box. When it was freezing cold we wrapped a blanket around it. A lot less expensive and trouble than a heater for the fridge.
 
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Old 11-16-08, 10:21 PM
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PS: bulbs do work. I had a German Short Haired Pointer , they don't have much hair. I built an insulated dog house with a piece of carpet hanging on the door and a 100 watt bulb inside and straw on the floor. I crawled inside one day and laid there for an hour when it was 40 below out. I was warm as toast.

If you rigged a light to stay on with a 40-100w bulb, that fridge would never freeze up. Or just lay a trouble light inside. even old fridges must have some insulation. Put a halogen light in there and melt the beer cans.
 
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Old 11-17-08, 03:49 AM
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A bulb could work if you connected it to a thermostat.
If you didn't you could find overheated beer!

You would need a commercial type thermostat whose contacts open on a temperature rise and had a range of near freezing temps.........that would be a heating thermostat.
 
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Old 11-17-08, 11:15 AM
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Would this one work?

http://www.honeywell-thermostat.com/...98abmanual.pdf

It says: T498A: Makes heating circuit on temperature fall. With
setting knob on extreme counterclockwise position,
provides single line break—spst (see Fig. 2).



All that I've found only go down to 40 F but I can live with that. Maybe I could callibrate to go a little lower, 30F would be nice?

Thanks

Baldwin
 
  #8  
Old 11-17-08, 04:22 PM
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That would work in a pinch but the normal range for it is a bit above optimum beverage enjoyment!
If you try to operate it much below 40 degF it might shut off.

This would be better
It's a Penn A19 control and a staple in the HVAC/R industry.
I wouldn't have less that two of these on hand for service work.
They have a double throw switch which means you can use them for heating or cooling and they are not outrageously expensive.

Click image:

Image courtesy of grainger.com
 
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Old 11-18-08, 05:47 AM
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So let me see if I get this straight; you want to heat up your refrigerator so it will cool down your beer properly?

Difficult concept to grasp from down here. Beer 4U2
 
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Old 11-18-08, 10:38 AM
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Imagine a fridge full of refreshments in an unheated garage in this climate.

 
  #11  
Old 11-18-08, 10:48 AM
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Heck, I'm trying to figure out why you need a refrigerator! Beer 4U2

Is that an old pic or do you have that much snow already? No wonder I'm starting to see so many Canadian license tages.
 
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Old 11-18-08, 10:49 AM
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ACK!!! Get it away....Get it Away!! Why do you think I moved here!?

79F and 15% humidity in the middle of Nov. Ahhhhhhhhh
 
  #13  
Old 11-18-08, 11:25 AM
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Thanks guys! My Penn A19 is on the way.

I just had a great idea. If I can find the wires that go to the light that is in there now I could wire that to the thermostat, throw a 60W bulb in and I'd be set. All I'd have to do is drill a small hole for the probe.


Tow Guy:

Unless you want to chew your beer you have to improvise.


Thanks

Baldwin
 
  #14  
Old 11-18-08, 11:38 AM
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Baldwin...careful about the 60W bulb though...it could melt the plastic around it. Found out the hard way, trying to defrost my garage fridge back in VA, the plastic is designed for cold temps, not heat.
 
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Old 11-18-08, 11:51 AM
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Nothing like beer to get people's attention....

If you go the light bulb route and the bulb is going to be on for fairly long periods of time make sure the socket is porcelain and the shield is metal.
 
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Old 11-18-08, 11:52 AM
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I agree you should not use the fridge bulb holder considering the value of the contents.
You could mount a round box and a plain lamp holder, just be careful if you drill the cabinet because the condenser may be in the outside walls.

The picture is old but we almost have that much snow now.
Snow is late though and the pic would be our normal amount for this time of year.
 
  #17  
Old 11-18-08, 05:08 PM
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First off, I don't recommend trying to defrost a fridge in a 20° garage. Took me almost 3 hours using a 1500 watt heater and a heat gun.

Never thought of the socket but I was worried about the wire going to it. It seems it is rubber on the outside, haven't seen the wires yet.




Greg,

Condenser? I've no idea. All I can say is the back is just steel, no fins or anything and I don't see anything in the bottom kick plate.

This picture didn't turn out too good but the tubes from the freezer go into the top of the fridge. Any ideas about that and where the condenser might be?




Thanks once again,

Baldwin
 
  #18  
Old 11-18-08, 05:14 PM
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Ok, I was thinking you had a modern fridge but yours appears to be 60's vintage.

Drill away!

You might be ok if you use a 15 - 25 watt bulb..........It would likely not be on a great deal of time.
 
  #19  
Old 11-18-08, 05:25 PM
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Thanks Greg, I'll let you know how it turns out.


Baldwin
 
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