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Old 06-14-2012, 10:30 PM   #1
Joeneugs
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Default My Ranco controller will only go to 43F! Help please.

I have a couple Bohemian Pilsners in my fermentation fridge right now, and I'm having a tough time bringing them down to lager temps (35-40F). I set my dual stage Ranco down to 35 with a one degree differential between the heating and cooling (34 and 35), but the fridge seems to click off as soon as it gets down to 43.

I'm using one of those old Hotpoint refrigerators. Anyone else have this problem? It has been very warm in my garage the past few days, but I would think it would just keep running until it gets down to where I set it. Why is it turning off? Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 06-14-2012, 11:11 PM   #2
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Remove the Ranco and use the refrigerator's control. 35-40F is nominal for any fridge. This will also let you know if the problem is the fridge itself.

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Old 06-14-2012, 11:16 PM   #3
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Yeah does the fridge have its own thermostat control? Maybe that is kind of overriding things.

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:29 AM   #4
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Hmmm... these seems like good possibilities. I have the internal control of the fridge dialed up to the coldest setting. I guess I thought the Ranco would override that and keep it running until the temperature probe read 35 F or so. Am I wrong to assume this? I just unplugged the fridge from the Ranco and plugged it back into the regular outlet, and left the probe taped up to the side of the carboy. I'll post back later and see if it changes things.

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeneugs
Hmmm... these seems like good possibilities. I have the internal control of the fridge dialed up to the coldest setting. I guess I thought the Ranco would override that and keep it running until the temperature probe read 35 F or so. Am I wrong to assume this? I just unplugged the fridge from the Ranco and plugged it back into the regular outlet, and left the probe taped up to the side of the carboy. I'll post back later and see if it changes things.
All the ranco does is turn the fridge on and off. It does not directly control the refrigerator.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:40 AM   #6
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So what you mean is that even though the fridge is on (I can tell because the light inside turns on when I open the door) the compressor that runs the cooling is turning off because of some internal control? Is there any way I can over ride this so that the compressor will run until I get down to the proper temp?

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Old 06-15-2012, 01:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeneugs View Post
So what you mean is that even though the fridge is on (I can tell because the light inside turns on when I open the door) the compressor that runs the cooling is turning off because of some internal control? Is there any way I can over ride this so that the compressor will run until I get down to the proper temp?
Unless you actually bypass the internal thermostat on any chilling unit (fridge, freezer, doesn't matter) an external controller will never get that unit any colder than the internal thermostat allows. In your case it sounds like the internal thermostat is limited to 43°F.

A couple of options: you could find the wires to the internal thermostat, disconnect them from the thermostat and wire them together, at which point the unit will entirely depend on the external controller. Or, you may be able to adjust the internal thermostat to extend the range downward. Check this thread out for the latter...

Cheers!
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:25 PM   #8
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+1 what day_trippr said. My kitchen fridge's temp setting ranges 33F-46F. My kegerator in the garage is an old fridge someone gave me and it's set around 38F. So if you can't get it below 43F with it set on its coldest setting, it makes me think you have a bad thermostat (in the fridge, not on the Ranco). There might be a coarse adjustment screw on the fridge thermostat that you could try adjusting to get the temp lower, otherwise I'd do as day_trippr said and bypass it altogether.

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Old 06-15-2012, 02:25 PM   #9
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Wow. Thanks for that link! I already read through the first 13 pages, and it seems to be exactly what I need. I guess since I already have the controller, the best thing to do would be to disconnect the internal thermostat altogether. Would the compressor automatically turn on as soon as the fridge turns on? (if being controlled externally?)

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Old 06-18-2012, 01:40 PM   #10
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Well I got to the thermostat, but I'm unsure how to properly disconnect it. It's not connected by wires, but these single prong plug type things (sorry... I'm a really lousy electrician). Can I just yank them from the thermostat and let them dangle? Day trippr said something about wiring them together in his post above, but how would I do this?

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