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ferm chamber build questions

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dawn_kiebawls

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Hey guys, i was just given an old fridge (freezer on top, fridge on bottom. Brand: GE model number: tbxy16dmdrwh) and I'm a bit at a loss of where to go from here. It does not have a wiring diagram anywhere on it and I can not find one online. I've read a lot of threads, blogs and articles about how to build this out and everything points to having to bypass the units thermostat which makes sense because if my inkbird 308 tells the fridge it needs to kick on, but the fridge reads that its cold enough it won't do what I want it to. So, without a diagram, how does one go about bypassing the thermostat?

Would I start by first locating the thermostat, finding the 'hot' wire going in and corresponding 'hot' lead coming out, splice the two together and repeat the process for the system neutral going both, in and out of said thermostat? Doing that would essentially be the same as just removing the refrigerators thermostat and temp probe. Are there any foreseeable issues with doing this, or am I just not even close?

Thanks for any and all help!
 

SoCal-Doug

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Sometimes there is no need to modify the fridge at all. Simply turn the fridge's setting to its coldest, then let the external controller do the on/off thing. My current chamber is an over/under freezer/fridge and I have no problems getting a fermenter down to 32F for crashing or lagering, or any temp above that.

Try it overnight with water in the fermenter and see how well it controls the temp, before you start modifying the fridge. It may work just fine for you.
 
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dawn_kiebawls

dawn_kiebawls

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Sometimes there is no need to modify the fridge at all.
As usual I just assumed I had to go about things the hardest possible way. I got it cleaned out, plugged the inkbird in and am letting it ride. It looks like it is going to work, thanks! After dinner is cleaned up I will fill a keg and overnight see if it will hold ~60F for fermenting, then see how low I'll be able to crash with it throughout this week until I can FINALLY brew again this weekend! Thanks again. Cheers!
 

SoCal-Doug

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Awesome. There are a few that may have issues but it depends on the manufacturer. When my wifey wanted [actually more like demanded] a new fridge, I wanted the old one (win win!). It was a side by side (freezer on the left). It fit my conical perfectly. Everything was great until I tried to crash a brew down to 32. The coldest I could get it to go was 37F (even with the dial thingy on the coldest setting).

I resolved it by putting a box fan in the little hole that vented freezer air into the fridge area. Once I got the "really" cold air blowing into the fridge space, it worked great.
 
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dawn_kiebawls

dawn_kiebawls

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I'll keep that in mind as probably within the next year or 18 months we will be replacing our current side by side fridge. I spent some time looking at my over/under and there are no such vents to allow cold air to come from the freezer into the fridge (I think it was new in 1998). So, now if I'm going to do any sort of wiring modifications it will be to figure out how to let the fridge be operated by the inkbird but allow the freezer to run on its own so I can store hops or something. Thanks again for talking some sense into me!
 

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