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Old 12-21-2007, 02:10 AM   #1
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Default help me with my new draft freezer

just got a SWEET deal on a BIG commercial upright freezer off of craigslist! very new, very clean, very cold, holds 6 cornys easy, for $150! it's a bit bigger than i wanted, especially because space is tight in the kitchen and there are smaller upright freezers that will hold 6 kegs, but it's quality, so it's gonna last a long time.

my question concerns how i'm going to plumb the gas in. i was thinking i'd simply drill a hole somewhere along the back or side, maybe try to do something fancy with using barbs and such, but there is already an almost perfect spot for it. there is a drain of some sort on the bottom of the freezer right in the middle along the back wall. the size is perfect for 5/16" gas line to fit very tight, but still fit. the only problem is that this drain leads to a small black hose that in turn dumps into a little black plastic dish in front of the compressor. also running into this dish is a small copper pipe that starts at the compressor, coils inside the dish just like a chiller or a HERMS coil, and then runs up into the freezer somewhere. my best guess for what this could be is a system that uses the water from the defrost cycle to not only help cool the compressor but also to help evaporate the defrost water faster so that you don't end up with a puddle on your floor. pretty ingenious if that's what it's for. what i want to know is can i take this "off line" by stuffing the drain hole with gas line? given that i don't need a defrost cycle because i'll have my thermostat controller keeping everything at about 38F, my only concern is that now i've taken away the cooling capacity of the compressor, but without a freeze cycle there is no thaw cycle and thus no water anyway! all of this of course hinges on my hypothesis regarding the mysterious black plastic dish. looking forward to hearing what you guys think this is, and also looking forward to hearing your made up stories about what it could be for!

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Old 12-21-2007, 04:02 AM   #2
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No Hole Drilling!!!!! You'll ruin that thing!! Freezers are cooled by refridgerant lines that run all through the walls. If you drill, you're sure to destroy one of em, and it's all over. Look in the DIY section for how to build a collar, or just keep any hole drilling reserved for the lid.

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Old 12-21-2007, 04:58 AM   #3
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this is an upright freezer, not a chest freezer. the side walls are nothing but foam.

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Old 12-21-2007, 05:10 AM   #4
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Really I don't see why not just drill it. Im sure your smart enough not to hit a coil. Turn it on with the door open and condensation should form where the coils are but there in the back. I don't think that water cools the compressor but I could be wrong. Ive farted around with vending machines that just let the water collect in a tray with sponge like cloths. Not quite chamois but along those lines. It might have some kind of anti fungicide though because water sitting there would develop mold which wouldn't be good. I think the compressor is mainly used to evaporate the water to stop mold.
My vote is drill a hole.

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Old 12-21-2007, 05:11 AM   #5
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Does the refridgerant run through the shelves?? or is there a fan system like a fridge? I've never looked at an upright freezer that close.

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Old 12-21-2007, 05:13 AM   #6
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There probably wire shelfs I'm guessing. Its likely like any fridge coils in the back with a fan. But Im not trying to speak for him. Ill shut up.
Im just bored.

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Old 12-21-2007, 06:18 AM   #7
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you guessed right. i've spent a month looking for the right freezer, and most of the time the ones that weren't sold within hours were the kind that had the coils in the shelves. this one is basic wire shelves. the cooling system is very thin sheet metal with the freon coils running through and a fan. it's all packed into the lower half of the back wall.

i went ahead with the drip hole. i decided that the coil is for evaporation and not for cooling. one would think that a compressor that needs cooling in that fashion isn't a very well engineered compressor. after more inspection i discovered the the hole tapered a bit, so after cutting off the barb on the bottom end i went at it a bit with a 9/16" drill bit. the gas hose fits perfectly; tight enough to prevent loss of cooling but just loose enough to be able to move fairly easily. i'm excited to order up all the shanks and faucets, and i'm a little annoyed that i'll have to wait until after the new year because i'll be out of town : (

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Old 12-21-2007, 03:06 PM   #8
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Ha! I just scored a large upright freezer this morning. 20.3 cf! I can put at least 5 cornies on the top shelf and 5 on the bottom. Good to know about the drain hole. I'll go inspect mine as soon as I get it off my trailer and into the garage. I think I'm going to put taps in the top and use the bottom for lagering/cold storage. I paid a little more, but it was still less than half what I could get new.

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Old 12-23-2007, 06:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoiv
Ha! I just scored a large upright freezer this morning. 20.3 cf! I can put at least 5 cornies on the top shelf and 5 on the bottom.
that's about the size of mine. i have 54" of height, so i could certainly build a sturdy shelf and fit 12 kegs!!! i can't imagine having 12 taps, but like you said, i could certainly make room for conditioning kegs and lagering! now the wheels are spinning!!!
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Old 12-24-2007, 07:25 PM   #10
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Well, I got a shelf built and mounted up my secondary regulators (6 of 'em). Now I just need to run the gas line out the back. I tired shoving it through the drain hole, but it wouldn't budge. Came back in to find this thread and see how you did it. Now that I know to cut off the barb and go at it with a drill, I'll finish that up day after tomorrow. Did you drill from the bottom up or down from the inside of the fridge? There isn't much space to get into the drain from the inside and I'm not sure how I'm going to accomplish this. Once I get the gas plumbed, I can test for leaks. Then I'll just be waiting for the faucets and shanks to show up in the new year.

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