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-   -   Frigidaire Model FRC445GB Mini-Fridge Kegerator Conversion (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/frigidaire-model-frc445gb-mini-fridge-kegerator-conversion-89013/)

noremorse1 11-16-2008 06:39 PM

Frigidaire Model FRC445GB Mini-Fridge Kegerator Conversion
 
http://images.lowes.com/product/012505/012505673474.jpg

Frigidaire at Lowe's: 4.4 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator (Color: Black)

This is a 4.4 cubic foot mini fridge available at Lowes. There is also a stainless steel model for the same price. It is deceptive to homebrewers because it has a freezer compartment. However, the freezer is plastic and with a few screws slides right out. Also, it has a locking door and will hold 2 5 gallon cornies, 1 3 gallon cornie, and 1 5 pound co2 bottle. However, there is a plastic drainage plug on the middle of the hump where the compressor is. It looks like I can remove this and run a co2 line through it to externally mount my co2 tank.

I have seen no descriptions of a conversion for this fridge yet. So... this will hopefully be of value to others. At $169.99 for such an attractive fridge, its a great find.

noremorse1 11-16-2008 06:41 PM

It appears no one has converted this model fridge into a kegerator and posted a how to online so I took some pictures when I put the fridge in place and set my keg and co2 tank inside. I plan on documenting the build for others to use as a resource. It appears this fridge will not work with a top mounted tap tower. The freezer is not permanent and comes out but, the top part of the fridge where the freezer was is thicker and gets very cold/frosty. I am quite sure the coolant lines run through this part. I guess this leaves me having to install taps through the door with a drip tray.

The fridge. Note the lock in the middle to keep others out!
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_Z6KS4vdTnmw/SR...0/IMGP1055.JPG

Here is the inside of the fridge with all the shelving and feezer inside.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_Z6KS4vdTnmw/SR...0/IMGP1059.JPG

The freezer stands in my way!
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Z6KS4vdTnmw/SR...0/IMGP1060.JPG


Here is the bracket holding the freezer together.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_Z6KS4vdTnmw/SR...0/IMGP1062.JPG

noremorse1 11-16-2008 06:42 PM

Remove two screws and the bracket comes out freeing the freezer door.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Z6KS4vdTnmw/SR...0/IMGP1063.JPG

With the bracket and door out, 1 shelf remains on the bottom and will just slide out.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Z6KS4vdTnmw/SR...0/IMGP1064.JPG


The freezer shelf pulled out. It is obvious to see where the cooling lines run (thicker area in the top)
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Z6KS4vdTnmw/SR...0/IMGP1065.JPG

Stripped down you can see plenty of room for some keg action. In the middle of the compressor hump there is a plastic plug that fills a drainage hole. I will be using this to route the gas hose so I can externally mount the co2 canister. I will then be able to add a 3 gallon corny keg.
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Z6KS4vdTnmw/SR...0/IMGP1066.JPG

noremorse1 11-16-2008 06:45 PM

Here it is with a 5 gallon gallon keg and 5 pound co2 canister. There is room for another keg but, as you can see, the thermostat/light will have to be relocated.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_Z6KS4vdTnmw/SR...0/IMGP1067.JPG

After the Packers finish beating up on the Bears I am running to the homebrew store to look at, and possibly purchase, some of the supplies needed for a conversion. There is condensation on the top part of the fridge where the freezer was so a top mounted instillation is out of the question. I am going to run 3 taps through the front with 3" shanks and a stainless steel drip tray. I am then going to purchase some of those drawer handles to use as rails and put my glasses and a small wine rack on the top. Should turn out pretty classy.

LooyvilleLarry 11-16-2008 06:47 PM

Thank you so much for this build! I saw that one at Lowes, but couldn't find any details on conversion.

noremorse1 11-16-2008 07:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lrr81765 (Post 958080)
Thank you so much for this build! I saw that one at Lowes, but couldn't find any details on conversion.

No problem. I figured this is the case with a lot of people. While I haven't started any drilling yet, it seems to be working well thus far. The fridge is set at 2 and seems to be cool enough. There is some frost and condensation on the top. The compressor runs almost like clockwork every 30 minutes for 4-7 minutes. It has been plugged in less than 24 hours and, according to the manual, the fridge will run more the first 48 hours of operation than the rest of its life.

Also, it is estimated to cost about $37 a year to run according to the energy guide.

smoes 11-16-2008 07:44 PM

just a question, even though you removed the freezer tray it still going to freeze a bit correct? and if so would it freeze your beer lines

MoRoToRiUm 11-16-2008 07:45 PM

Just because I see the unwanted tapping of your handles while passing this with them mounted in the front, have you seen the corn starch slurry method of detecting coolant lines? It looks like you have a plastic top- It's nothing more then removing the plastic so you have bare metal, and making a corn starch slurry mixed with vodka (seems to be most popular mix). It's been awhile since I did mine, so I forget if you have it unplugged awhile, apply slurry and plug in or vice versa (Do a search on Sanyo 4912 conversions and it will show up). Thought this might help.

Thanks for sharing!

MoRoToRiUm 11-16-2008 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smoes (Post 958157)
just a question, even though you removed the freezer tray it still going to freeze a bit correct? and if so would it freeze your beer lines

If coolant lines are on the top, the cold air should sink down, so it might be even cheaper to run. If you find a problem with it being excessively cold on the top, add a ducted blower to suck the cold air down.

noremorse1 11-16-2008 08:50 PM

I have seen the corn starch/alcohol slurry technique and was planning on applying that method here. However, with this fridge it is a little more than removing the plastic top as there are no screws to remove freeing up the top portion. It appears to be solidly glued down. The top tier of the fridge has coolant lines running throughout and this is the portion that cools the rest of the fridge. I was hoping I could find a way to remove the plastic top without risking damage to the fridge but, it doesn't appear there is one.

If anyone can advise me on a safe way to remove the top, I am all ears. Otherwise I am forced to run the taps from the front. The plastic top insulates the heat enough so that I do not have a reliable way to detect where there are and are not lines.

Also, I am not opposed to running taps out of the door. The door on this model is not able to swing all the way to the side of the fridge. It will go about 10 degrees pass parallel with the wall of the fridge and then it stops. With 5 foot lines this will be fine. I plan on coiling the lines and wrapping them with velcro straps and securing them to the door. It will be a little more bother than a tower but, I do not have to throw down $50-$200 on a tower nor do I have to worry about cooling my tower. Also, it will allow me to place more stuff on top of the fridge.

As to the question of freezing my beer lines; they have not frozen yet. The setting on the fridge goes up to 7 but, at 2 it cools enough for the 1 keg. I may have to go up to 3 with the fridge full. Does not seem to be an issue here.


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