Sanyo 4912 Kegerator Conversion
First of all, I wanted to say that I am not very handy, so I really mean that anyone could do this project. The only thing I didn't have to buy or borrow to complete this project was a drill. This being said, this project was incredibly fun and easy to do. Surprisingly easy. So, if you're like me and you're worrying about freon lines and ruining your fridge, take the golden advice: Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Homebrew. This is going to be a great experience that will serve you (no pun intended) for years to come.
Now if you're like me, even though you've researched it online and heard countless times that the Sanyo 4912 has the freon line running straight across the top of the fridge 7" in from the back, you're still a bit nervous to drill. Put your mind at ease. Make a paste using 50/50 rubbing alcohol and cornstarch (cheap and easy.) Remove the top of the fridge (there are three screw holding the plastic top on in the back and four holding it on in the front of the fridge. Take this plastic top off to reveal the metal top beneath. Here's the plastic fridge top removed:
Using a BBQ brush or some other form, 'paint' the top of your fridge with the solution. Your fridge should be off when you do this. Plug it in and after about 5 mins. or so you'll notice this:
Notice the white blob in the middle of the fridge. This is the freon line. As everyone has stated, it's about 7" from the back of the fridge. No worries! The exact center of the fridge (as located on the bottom of the plastic fridge top) is almost 9 3/4" from the back of the fridge. This is almost enough clearance for you to drill a 5 inch hole (although I wouldn't recommend doing this.)
Now that you've located the freon line and have removed the top, it's time to prep the top for the wooden support. Now, you can either drill four screw holes through the fridge in addition to the big hole for the lines, or you can forego drilling more than one hole in your fridge and instead anchor your tower entirely to the wooden support. I decided, after research, to go with the latter. Other brewers have found anchoring into the wood alone is very sturdy and has caused no problems.
The next choice you'll need to make is whether to go with the 5 inch or 8 inch square. You'll notice a diamond-within-a-diamond pattern on the underside of the plastic fridge top. I would definitely recommend going with the full 8 inch piece of 1/2 inch plywood. Lowes even cut it 8x8 for me, so I didn't need to cut it myself.
Now, you need to remove the plastic 'fins' from the center square in the middle of the plastic top of the fridge. I used an exacto blade at first to score the fins and then wiggles the plastic fins back and forth until they broke off. Then I had an idea. I got a hammer and a putty knife (for drywall) and 'chiselled' the fins off. This was incredibly quick and easy to do. I much prefer it to the exacto knife:
Now drop that 8x8 inch piece of wood into that square and, voila, a perfect fit:
Part II to follow...
When last we left off...
Now it's time to do some damage to the fridge. First of all, drill a pilot hole through the center of the plastic fridge top. Next, with the wood piece placed in the top of the fridge, reattach the top to the fridge (I put in two screws in the back and two in the front to hold it steady.) I was still very careful at this point. I used a 2 3/4 inch hole saw (you can do 3 inch) to bore through the top plastic of the fridge, with this result:
Then I bored through the wood to the metal fridge top:
To be continued...
Once you get through the metal top, you hit styrofoam. It's a couple inches thick, so just keep drilling until you hit the inside plastic fridge lining and stop. At this point, I opted to drill the pilot hole through the liner, and then remove the drill from the top of the fridge. To avoid damaging the plastic interior, I drilled the plastic liner from the inside out using the pilot hole. This worked very well!:mug: In the end, I had a perfect hole 2 3/4 inches wide dead center of the fridge:
Now I removed the top of the fridge and piece of wood and marked out the pilot holes for the tap tower. Here I made use of the template and a level to make sure I had this perfectly lined up:
While at Lowes, I picked up some new machine screws and T-nuts to secure the tower to the wood and plastic top. I got screws that were slightly smaller than the original screws and four T-nuts to match. Then I hammered the T-nuts into the pilot holes I drilled for the tap tower screws:
To be continued...
In the meantime, I went back to the fridge and used some foil tape to tape the hole to keep the foam from crumbling and constantly falling into the fridge and to protect the beer lines from damage:
and from the inside of the fridge:
Now it's time to pull it all together. First of all, I removed the 8x8 wood diamond from the plastic top of the fridge. I generously applied a silicone sealant to the inside of the 8x8 diamond in the plastic top and replaced the wood. I then placed some silicone sealant inside the base ring of the tap tower, and tightly screwed the tower to the wood base and plastic top. Once it was firmly secured to the top, It was time to cut the screws so the new top would be flush with the top of the fridge:
I then placed a generous amount of sealant to the exposed side of the 8x8 wood square and reattached the whole thing to the fridge, feeding the tubes down through the 2 3/4 inch hole. That's it! I then cleaned everything up and stared in awe at the wonder I had wrought:
That's awesome. It's great that you posted all the details with pics!
I don't know anything about that model fridge. How many cornies will it hold?
I'm confused, freon will run in "lines", not "blobs". I'm merly pointing out a physical property. Maybe the lines to and fro run underneath the blob. Just seems odd that all you see is a blob and nothing else. I too have the exact same model, but for now, I'm going with the inside cobra tap.
I just did the same thing this last weekend. You are safe to drill dead center on the 4912M. I used a 3" hole saw and it was completely fine.
Congrats on your new kegerator! I hooked up a keg of caramel cream ale last night to carb :mug:
there ya go man... looks great...
you need to post these on a website and submit it to google.. you would get crazy hits...
Nice trick with the corn starch. The mysterious freon line has kept me from drilling a hole in top of my 4912.
Thanks to you pictures, and corn starch slurry, i now have a new project to get to straight away.
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