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Old 06-15-2013, 04:20 PM   #1
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Default Winterizing Refrigerator in an unheated garage

Forgive me if this has been discussed before but my 1/2 hour of searching the forum provided no information.

This spring I inherited a fridge from my grandparents (5 year old Estate model) and promptly turned it into a kegerator for my garage. Love the thing... no more bottling for me

However I began to think about this winter and how cold it can get here in SouthEastern Minnesota (Rochester MN) and wondering if anyone had any solutions or DIY projects they might have did to keep their refrigerator going during the cold months of winter and hold a temp properly for beer serving.

I don't want to have the refrigerator break/stop working due to the cold climate nor do I want to fix frozen tap lines either this winter. As a last resort I could move the kegerator down to the basement for the winter but I am looking to avoiding a lot of heavy lifting and hours of convincing the SWMBO that the kegerator needs to be relocated inside.

Any insight would be appreciative on this subject. I know i have a few months ahead of me before I really need to start worrying but I have time and resources available to me this summer.

Thanks
Redbeard 5289

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Old 06-15-2013, 08:33 PM   #2
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I'm in Wisconsin and my fridge is in the garage all year. No problems at all. Maintains good serving temp.

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Old 06-15-2013, 08:36 PM   #3
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Winter temps won't hurt it any. Don't even give it a second thought.

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Old 06-15-2013, 09:09 PM   #4
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im in central illinois and have frozen the kegs before. now im gonna wire a temp controller and a heat source inside the fridge before winter!! also help to keep my beer at a steadier temp in the summer months or a second lager chamber.

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Old 06-16-2013, 03:10 AM   #5
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im in central illinois and have frozen the kegs before. now im gonna wire a temp controller and a heat source inside the fridge before winter!! also help to keep my beer at a steadier temp in the summer months or a second lager chamber.
Check your seals. It should be holding the temp.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:48 PM   #6
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oh its good the seals are fine its only five years old. the garage is not insulated and detached from the house. it gets too cold in the winter and the compressor shuts down, however mother nature dosent and i end up with frozen beer!! cant wait to install my wood burner!

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Old 06-17-2013, 12:10 PM   #7
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oh its good the seals are fine its only five years old. the garage is not insulated and detached from the house. it gets too cold in the winter and the compressor shuts down, however mother nature dosent and i end up with frozen beer!! cant wait to install my wood burner!
My garage is not insulated and its detached and my fridge is a good 20 to 25 years old.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
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My garage is not insulated and its detached and my fridge is a good 20 to 25 years old.
does your fridge have a freezer, and what happens in that?

The main reason I've read for not using a refrigerator in an unheated garage in the winter is that at temps 32-45 F, the compressor would not run enough to keep the freezer section cold. If you are only using the fridge section, you should be OK.
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:48 PM   #9
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Without wanting to be Captain Obvious, a fridge that stays weeks on end , outside (or in an unheated garage) at temperatures below freezing will eventually freeze the beer, no matter how good the seal is on the door.

As a rule of thumb, all temperatures eventually equalize.

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Old 06-17-2013, 10:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1purpleranger View Post
im in central illinois and have frozen the kegs before. now im gonna wire a temp controller and a heat source inside the fridge before winter!! also help to keep my beer at a steadier temp in the summer months or a second lager chamber.
This is exactly what I did: simply wired up a lamp base on a junction box and ran the power out the same hole in the side of the fridge my temp probe and gas line go. As soon as the temp in the fridge starts falling below where I want it, I unplug the fridge power and plug in the light. A 60w bulb turning on occasionally kept my serving fridge at a comfortable 6c all through a brutal winter in an unheated outbuilding, and my ferm chamber at a toasty 21c whenever I needed it to be.
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