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Old 04-15-2012, 03:40 PM   #1
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Default Help! Buying an antique Kelvinator fridge to convert into a kegerator!

The lady wants 150US buck for it its about 5'x3ish'x3ish'. I have found only one other fridge of that model being sold on the internet and its going for 180CAN but it has the cover for the ice box with it. Thoughts?

Also she claims the fridge works.

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Old 04-15-2012, 03:48 PM   #2
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The one that is 180CAN looks like this.

Should I try to talk her down?

Has anyone who has restored something this old got any advice?

What about making it more efficient? I've heard that these old fridges eat electricity like its nothing. replacing the insulation perhaps? If I do what kind?

And lastly, what 50s era tap handles to throw on the front of this thing? Schlitz and Pabst for sure but what to do with the other 2 taps I plan to throw on it... Falstaff maybe? and I dunno what else.

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Old 04-15-2012, 03:55 PM   #3
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One last thing! I found a discount restaurant supply store that has 2 of these for 50 bucks a pop with taps they are a little rough but doable for the price.

Anybody used these? They don't seem like they will leave much room for tap handles

Here is a site thats got them.
http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-beer/taps-faucets-pid-BE-DF8-3.html

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Old 04-15-2012, 04:04 PM   #4
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Have a friend who converted a Kelvinator into a kegerator. Assuming it runs, 180CAN seems kinda spendy to to me unless this is about recreating a specific era look you're going for. Antique fridges are antique on the outside and ancient on the inside. They're solidly built, but who knows how long they'll last. Just be forewarned that when you install tap handles, if you nick a freezing coil it's a done deal. You'd basically be looking a whole new setup for $5-800. Freezer box is no problem and is a great place to store hops and frozen yeast.

If it's something you really want, I try to talk her down to $100. If not, and any old fridge will do, you shouldn't have to spend more than $40.

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Old 04-15-2012, 04:05 PM   #5
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Seems to me that my first kegerator was a fridge like that and that the cooling coils went through the metal parts of the freezer. I worked but I had a hard time keeping the temp constant through out the entire fridge. Meaning up high where the beer lines were they would freeze because they were closer to the freezer.

It worked still though I just had to keep a blanket over the lines

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Old 04-15-2012, 04:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLOVE View Post
Have a friend who converted a Kelvinator into a kegerator. Assuming it runs, 180CAN seems kinda spendy to to me unless this is about recreating a specific era look you're going for. Antique fridges are antique on the outside and ancient on the inside. They're solidly built, but who knows how long they'll last. Just be forewarned that when you install tap handles, if you nick a freezing coil it's a done deal. You'd basically be looking a whole new setup for $5-800. Freezer box is no problem and is a great place to store hops and frozen yeast.

If it's something you really want, I try to talk her down to $100. If not, and any old fridge will do, you shouldn't have to spend more than $40.
There shouldn't be any lines running through the door where I plan to drill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varmintman View Post
Seems to me that my first kegerator was a fridge like that and that the cooling coils went through the metal parts of the freezer. I worked but I had a hard time keeping the temp constant through out the entire fridge. Meaning up high where the beer lines were they would freeze because they were closer to the freezer.

It worked still though I just had to keep a blanket over the lines

Good thought with the blankets. A little fan and a Johnson Controls a419 thermostat should keep it more steady I would imagine. Are the thermostats in those old fridges just really clumsy?
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:37 PM   #7
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The second one looks to be in better shape and appears to be a higher end model. The freezer section looks to be bigger at least.
Efficiency is arguable...older fridges may use more power to run but run less. newer fridges may use less power but run more often. Having a good door seal is important for efficiency.
When the freezer box is an exposed cooling coil there will be more even temps the less you open it and the thermo will kick on less which makes them good for kegerator use.

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Old 04-15-2012, 09:30 PM   #8
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These old fridges don't have any cooling lines in the sides or front. It's like a big mini fridge but the lines are on the back most likely. They actually don't use Too much electricity. The insulation is most likely wool or cardboard. You can put foam in it to be a bit more efficient. Here is my kelvinator kegerator http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/vintage-kegerator-282345/
I used vintage rheingold tap handles and used chalkboard paint on one side to keep with the theme.

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Old 04-16-2012, 12:08 AM   #9
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Too bad you don't live in Pittsburgh. I was looking at CL the other day and remembered seeing something like you wanted so I went back on and found these. There were a couple more but they started getting up there in price.

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Old 04-16-2012, 01:42 AM   #10
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Old fridges are wildly inefficient. If you plan to keep this for more than a couple of years, you'll be money ahead buying an energy star modern fridge.

Here's a website with a good table showing how bad things can be...

http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/refrigerators.html

John

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