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Old 11-23-2013, 08:13 PM   #1
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Default Drilling into side of refrigerator

My original idea was to add three taps to a refrigerator, but I do have some slight concerns that there might be wiring or other components in the side walls. Is there an easy way to figure it out or is it pretty common for refrigerators to only have insulation on the sides? I've attached two pictures of the fridge; it is a Frigidaire.

Thanks!

photo-1.jpg   photo-2.jpg  
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:29 PM   #2
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So, I've found the wiring diagram, but I have not idea how to interpret it. Can anyone take a look?

wiring_diagram_1_web.jpg   wiring_diagram_2_web.jpg  
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:41 PM   #3
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From the inside drill a small hole just through the skin and poke around with some kind of probe to see if there's anything back there. If you don't find anything use a hole saw and again just cut through the skin to get a better look. Go slow and you'll be alright. I've drilled the sides of 3 fridges over the years and never ruined one.

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Old 11-23-2013, 09:05 PM   #4
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I've drilled dozens. I've never had a problem, but........ My kegerator went out and I bought a fridge on cl, dragged it home, made shelf for int. drilled two holes and on the third, BAM!!! Here is a pic of how small line is. Look at rear of unit and you can see lines running from compressor. If lines are running to left , tap opposite side.

Hope this helps

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Old 11-24-2013, 01:30 AM   #5
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The electrical data sheet might be helpful at some point, but what would help more right now is a replacement parts diagram - which often will show details such as tubing orientation to the cabinet.

If the fridge's condenser coil is external (rear passive radiator, or underneath with a fan) avoid drilling near the rear corners and you should be fine (though the previously noted point about drilling from the inside out is always a good idea). Otoh, if there is no externally evident condenser, there's likely no reliably safe place to just bore a hole, so extreme caution is required...

Cheers!

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Old 11-24-2013, 04:42 AM   #6
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Also its pretty easy to tell if there's coils there just by letting it run and touching the side...both my chest freezer and upright freezer get warm to the touch on their sides.

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Old 11-25-2013, 07:08 PM   #7
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Going through the side can be tricky. Ruined my first fridge doing this. Thought we mapped everything out with wiring diagrams, but still managed to hit a line. Be extra careful and go slow if you're determined to tap the side wall.

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Old 11-25-2013, 07:17 PM   #8
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The front of my freezer get hot on the outside, and cold on the inside

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Old 11-26-2013, 02:36 AM   #9
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Not sure what ^that means, but...

One thing to be extra cautious about is if the fridge has heating where the doors meet the cabinet. I believe that type of unit has tubing run the hot side loop over from the back and around the whole front face of the cabinet before returning to the condenser, and there may be no telling where the runs to and from the front to the back travel...

Cheers!

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Old 11-26-2013, 02:26 PM   #10
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Thank you for the help thus far! I've drilled my first hole right in the center and found no coils or tubing. As suggested I first drilled a pilot hole from the inside and barely punched through the barrier to make sure I didn't hit anything internally. After poking around I safely cut the whole and barely touched the insulation. I was able to poke around more before cutting the external hole.

I am hoping to get the other two holes drilled by Thursday. I'll try to get a picture up when finished.

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Kegged:
Helliday Ale and Chocolate Nitro Stout

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