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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Help! Buying an antique Kelvinator fridge to convert into a kegerator!

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Old 04-16-2012, 01:51 AM   #11
beardedirishman
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I disagree about the "wildly inefficient" comment.

Mine only added another couple dollars per month to our utility bill, and it sits outside.

I currently have 5 fridges/freezers in our house. 1 outside on the deck (covered), and 3 in the garage that isn't temp controlled. Our entire utility bill is about $100 per month.

It is probably less efficient than our fridge inside, but I think it's important to put it in perspective.

Forgot to mention, our kegerator outside is a 1949 GE fridge.

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Old 04-16-2012, 02:45 AM   #12
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I disagree as well. The fridges they are talking about being not efficient do not include ones this old. Just look at the amp rating on the motor they are very small and only turn on every few hours, less than my regular fridge. Especially with such a large thermal mass inside( 3 kegs). It will use no more electric than a mini fridge. My electric bill was very steady and I didn't notice any increase in the bill with my vintage fridge.

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Old 04-17-2012, 11:54 PM   #13
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I got the fridge! talked them down to 110 bucks too! I can fit two kegs in it if I get a 5lb tank or just on in there with the 20lb tank that I currently have.

I'm taking all the paint off and redoing that, and I've thrown away all of the crappy mucked up fibreglass insulation from the door, and will be replacing that with something a bit better at keeping the cold in. so that should help keep the power suckage a bit lower.

I might even make a thread about it since I've been taking lots of pictures. What color to paint it...

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Old 08-24-2012, 07:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bestbrewtap View Post
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/electricit...igerators.html

John
I know this is an old thread but this is one of my pet peeves. I have a 1948 Kelvinator and a 47 Kelvinator that I use in my garage. These fridges perform great and can reach 27 degrees if I want them to. I have a Kil-A-Watt meter and have run both of them in the summer for a full month each and they were each cheaper to operate than my 90s kitchen fridge during a similar month. One Kelvinator cost $2.85 to run for the entire month the indoor fridge cost $3.25. The indoor fridge was opened more often but the garage fridge was operating in a much hotter environment. If you have a bad door seal on an old fridge then yes it will cost more but this applies to any fridge, this is what I can think of that may have started this myth. My fridges draw 2 amps when running and don't run often. The guy in the link you posted is obviously just trying to make a buck on advertising.
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:04 PM   #15
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These older fridges don't have auto-defrost, which is the real energy hog in 60s and 70s fridges. You can make these 40s and 50s fridges incredibly efficient by just replacing the insulation.

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Old 08-24-2012, 07:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by TopherM View Post
These older fridges don't have auto-defrost, which is the real energy hog in 60s and 70s fridges. You can make these 40s and 50s fridges incredibly efficient by just replacing the insulation.
Agreed! I've been monitoring my newly rebuilt kegerator and get great efficiency on it! It's received all new R-19 pink insulation and rubber foam weatherstripping gasket for the door.

Quoting one of my posts from my vintage kegerator thread...

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...I'm happy to say that this 1950's fridge is incredibly efficient! Here's a 2 hour period of the temperature holding ~45 F


Here's the power consumption breakdown, for those interested in old fridges.
  • 4 watts idling (webserver consumption)
  • 170 watts cooling
  • 2 min running time each cool cycle
  • ~7 min running time per hour
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:57 PM   #17
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Old fridges are SO SEXY. This looks pretty cool... I may have to try this one day.

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Old 08-25-2012, 04:16 AM   #18
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Where do you get weatherstripping for the doors? And with the freezer being where the cooling comes from would a small AC fan hooked in where the light bulb was help with a constant temp all around the fridge?

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Old 08-25-2012, 04:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AluminumGerbil
Where do you get weatherstripping for the doors?
The weather stripping was just 5/8" black rubber foam weatherstripping from Home Depot.

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Originally Posted by AluminumGerbil
And with the freezer being where the cooling comes from would a small AC fan hooked in where the light bulb was help with a constant temp all around the fridge?
That would work as long as you bypass the door switch.
I used a 120mm pc fan mounted in the back of the freezer compartment. It's not overly high CFM, but it does a great job of keeping the temperature constant.
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AluminumGerbil View Post
Where do you get weatherstripping for the doors? And with the freezer being where the cooling comes from would a small AC fan hooked in where the light bulb was help with a constant temp all around the fridge?
I've bought it from these guys before for another fridge but it is expensive. I recommend the softer material.

http://store.antiqueappliances.com/D...skets_c_8.html

The fridges I have had from this era have a relatively small volume inside so the temp is pretty even top to bottom so no need for a fan and the cold air sinks anyway. I have verified this with a cheap thermometer. Not to say that they don't have a useable volume as a beer fridge, I got 216 cans into one of them. To be clear there is no separate freezer on my old 40's fridges it is all one compartment.
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