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Old 05-03-2009, 06:55 PM   #1
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Default Drill hole in side of standard refrigerator?

I want to run the Ranco probe through a hole in a very old fridge, rather than run it through the gasket on the door. Is there any problem with this - like something I might run into that will wreck the fridge and cause my beer world to collapse?

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Old 05-03-2009, 07:47 PM   #2
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Yes, the coolant line containing the compressed refrigerant run all through the walls of the fridge, and since it's an old fridge, it probably still has some type of toxic or environmentally damaging coolant in there. It is usually safe to drill through the door of the fridge though.

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Old 05-03-2009, 08:11 PM   #3
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Default Depends How old the Fridge is

I've got an old Frigidaire... looks like something from the set of "I Love Lucy"... rounded top and a tiny tin freezer inside the main door. I have holes in both sides.... three gas lines and a probe line on one side & a couple of taps on the other.

AFAIK, the coolant coils are in the bottom and around the freezer compartment.

You could carefully cut into the outside shell and see if there are coolant lines in the sides. Mine has about an 1.5" space between the inner and outer shell filled with fiberglass insulation. YMMV

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Old 05-03-2009, 09:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albannach View Post
Yes, the coolant line containing the compressed refrigerant run all through the walls of the fridge, and since it's an old fridge, it probably still has some type of toxic or environmentally damaging coolant in there. It is usually safe to drill through the door of the fridge though.

Not always. It depends on the design of the fridge. I have an older one which has the evaporator coils in the top, back and bottom of the freezer compartment only. The condenser coils are on the back and mounted externally. I just drilled through the side for a temp probe yesterday with no problem. I would suggest locating the evaporator and condenser coils. Don't drill until you are certain of their locations. If you do not see visible external condenser coils, you can feel the sides, top and back while the unit is running. The concealed lines will be very warm to the touch and so will the outside wall of the fridge if it contains condenser lines. Much the same inside the fridge, but the evaporator lines will be cold. There are also lines running from the compressor to the evaporator and from the evaporator to the condenser then back to the compressor. These need to be located also and that can be a bit tricky sometimes. If you are not sure where everything is, drill a very small hole and probe around in there. Enlarge the hole and when you are fairly sure nothing is in the way, go for it.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:52 PM   #5
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Thanks men. I went in cautiously and looked. No blockages. The probe is now installed through the exterior wall.

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Old 05-03-2009, 09:55 PM   #6
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Find the model # and google it. There are several repair parts sites that have diagrams and schematics for those old units. If not Catt's post above is right on.


edit - never mind - too damn late!

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Old 05-04-2009, 04:19 AM   #7
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Watch out for the "Yoder loop" tube that is ran around door opening where it seals to prevent condensation on metal surface in the units built since the 80's. I found out the hard way with a unibit and spent a couple hours repairing and recharging refigerator cooling system.

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