Fridge Wiring Rubber Stopper - PITA

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mbcobc

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I'm converting a smaller, but full-size fridge to a fermentation chamber and hit my first major obstacle that I haven't found on any formus. Beside the compressor, there is what looks like a black rubber stopper that all the wiring goes into on its way to the thermostat (pictures below). I want to remove it and the wiring, but I can't. I'm starting to think it doesn't come out, and that the entire conduit that the wiring runs through is filled. That's what it feels like. Believe me, I have REEFED on this thing. I've used some vice grips, tried to pry it off with a flathead screwdriver, and it does not move.

Does anyone have some advice so that I can start moving forward?

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day_trippr

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What are you trying to accomplish by tearing out the fridge wiring?
Why not simply plug the line cord into an add-on controller as most do and call it done?

Cheers!
 
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mbcobc

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The main thing that I'm after is to free up the conduit to run extra wires for the temperature sensors, and running them to a place that keeps the fridge free from wires, and with a clean look in general. These need to make it into the fridge regardless of how I control the compressor though, and the only other possibilities are through the drain hole or drilling a hole in the fridge. I'd rather not go through the drain, but would definitely opt for that over drilling a hole.

But even if I do eventually go through the drain, I still feel like I need some closure on this rubber thing. Otherwise I'll always wonder whether this project could have been done better if I'd only known how to remove it, or whether it's permanent and I was better off not wasting any more time on it than I already have.
 

flars

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Do you live in a friendly area where you can take the pictures to an appliance store/repair shop and ask there opinion?
 
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mbcobc

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That's a really good idea, why didn't I think of that?
 

day_trippr

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Ok then. The rubber thing is a bulkhead that snaps in from the picture side, and there are typically two big opposing compression lugs that capture the bulkhead in the hole. You'd have to probe around with a flat blade to find a lug, then push it in while prying the bulkhead out.

fwiw, I have two fridges and a keezer in my brewery and have found safe places to drill all of them to bring in sensors, power lines and gas lines. With the exception of mini-fridges and really low-end stuff one can usually find chassis diagrams that will guide the user to safe spots to install bulkheads or run wires into the cabinet...

Cheers!
 

jscott03

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It’s probably foamed in place. Most homeowner grade appliances are not built to be repaired. I have not converted a freezer before but have worked on commercial refrigeration for over 20 years. What I’ve read before on this subject is that you plug a aftermarket thermostat into the power plug of the freezer and run a sensor into the box. What are you trying to do?
 
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mbcobc

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Thanks, day_trippr. I'll see if I can feel around for something that might be holding it in place.

jscott03, I'm afraid of the possibility of it being foamed in place, and it very well could be. As for what I'm trying to do: run a sensor into the fridge. Without drilling, it's either here or through the drain.
 

jscott03

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Thanks, day_trippr. I'll see if I can feel around for something that might be holding it in place.

jscott03, I'm afraid of the possibility of it being foamed in place, and it very well could be. As for what I'm trying to do: run a sensor into the fridge. Without drilling, it's either here or through the drain.
 

jscott03

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Drilling holes thru the box is a crap shoot. You could hit either the condenser or the evaporator and that would kill it. Unless you are seeing the sensor from the units thermostat inside the box, trying to access thru the wiring harness will not work. Many of these units place the thermostat sensor on an evaporator line. You could run the sensor thru the door itself or lay it in place and close the door on it, or run it thru the drain as you have mentioned
 
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mbcobc

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Thanks for the advice, everyone. jscott03 is right, it is foamed in place. I will be running wires through the drain hole, and can still achieve everything I wanted to.
 
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