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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Used Chest Freezer
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:59 PM   #1
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Default Used Chest Freezer

I picked up a 16 cubic foot chest freezer off craigslist for $100. I was uber-excited once I got the thing into my kitchen.

Then I became very sad. It ran for 12 hours and never got cool. I have it hooked up to a Johnson Temp. Controller already, and it shuts off when I turn the knob to about 68F. Boo.

I've just started reading up on the DIY guides about troubleshooting freezers that don't work, but wanted to post the problem here, too.

I'm sure I'm not the first person to buy a used chest freezer here. Anyone else have a problem similar to this? Anything I should look for right off the start? Looks like cleaning the condenser coils and checking the evaporator fan might be places to start this evening.

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Old 02-15-2007, 02:37 PM   #2
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The first thing I'd do in remove the controller from the mix and see if the freezer gets cold without it. If you've already done that and the freezer still does not get cold see if you can get your money back.
Most old freezers are not worth the price of fixing them because: They use a lot more electricty than the newer models. The money you save on electricty (with a new one) vs the money you'll probably spend buying & repairing the old one plus the cost of electricty for running it a few years will end up being more than you would have spent for a newer model plus it's operational cost in approx. 4- 5 years on average.

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Old 02-15-2007, 02:44 PM   #3
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I picked up an upright freezer on craigs for $20. Even at that steal of a price, I wanted proof that it was a workhorse. I asked the guy if it was currently plugged in and he said no. I said, plug it in and put a cup of water in there and I'll see you in a couple hours. When I got there, it was ice, so I took it. The think with chest freezers is you can pick up a brand new one from Lowes for under $200. if you don't mind only having room for 3-4 cornies at a time.

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Old 02-15-2007, 03:18 PM   #4
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Well, it's 9 years old... which I thought was kinda old, but then I looked and my fridge is 8 years old, and still works well.

I've got a 4-tap tower that I fully intend to fill... so it's nice having the larger freezer. I also plan on brewing and kegging 10 gallons at a time of my 2 house beers, so having room for a minimum of 6 cornies is a plus. A freezer this size retails for at least $400... so I figure spending another $50-100 to get it repaired would probably be worth it. I think I'm OK with some energy inefficiencies over time...

Also, I'm not sure how removing the controller from the equation would solve much. The thing is definately running (making noise), just not cooling down any.

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Old 02-15-2007, 03:19 PM   #5
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...and yeah, I'm kicking myself now for not checking to make sure it got cold before I loaded it up and hauled it 35 miles.

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Old 02-15-2007, 03:26 PM   #6
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Are the coils clean?

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Old 02-15-2007, 03:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
The think with chest freezers is you can pick up a brand new one from Lowes for under $200.
I got out chest freezer that we use for food for $180 at Lowes. But that was 2 years ago. Recently I have not been able to find a new decent sized chest freezer for less than $300-$400

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Old 02-15-2007, 03:32 PM   #8
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If it isn't getting cold at all, the compressor probably went.

When trying to find a cheap beer fridge, I came across a guy trying to give away a relatively new fridge. He swore that it worked. So of course, I took it, only to find that it had a shot compressor. I am almost certain that it could not have just died on the trip home to my house, but of course, I couldn't prove it. I ended up taking it to the dump, and they charged me $15 to dispose of it (environmental fee). So my 'free' fridge actually cost me a fair bit, especially when you add in gas, time, aggravation, etc. Anyways, I learned my lesson the hard way -- one must get proof that it works BEFORE you take it home.

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Old 02-15-2007, 03:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
Are the coils clean?
That was the first thing I came across when looking at the freezer troubleshooting stuff online. I'll be checking that before I call anybody to come look at it.

I bought it from an older lady. I thought you could trust old ladies.

It had been stored in a garage for a while, so dirty coils could be a possibility.
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:07 PM   #10
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I had an ice machine at work blow 50° air until I cleaned the coils. I was amazed at how that could be such a factor.

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