Insignia Kegerator Thermostat Issue - Freezing Kegs

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Oct 21, 2022
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Harrisburg PA
My Best Buy Insignia kegerator started freezing kegs a few weeks ago, after running well for a year. It has a manual 1-6 temperature dial on the back right side near the floor.

I have a smart plug that can monitor energy use and also a smart wireless thermostat inside, which gives me some options. But first, some tests (curious on anyone's thoughts).

Temp Dial Set to 3
Runs for 8 minutes, off for 20 minutes, repeating. Temp around 46 degrees.

Temp Dial Set to 4
Runs for 11 minutes, off for 30 minutes, repeating. Temp around 42 degrees.

Temp Dial Set to 4.5
Runs for 15 minutes, off for 35 minutes, repeating. Temp around 38 degrees.

Temp Dial Set to 5 - (Where the kegerator has been set for the last year)
Runs non-stop, never turns off temperature decreased to 30 degrees before I shut it off.

I did not bother trying to set the dial to 6 to see what happened after this.

Even with it running at the 3 overnight, I noticed a thin frost layer inside on the back. I'm not sure if maybe need to fully defrost the unit and turn it off for a day? If I do
that will the kegs be OK? Perhaps that is what's needed to make the "5" setting work properly and not just cool 24/7 without ever cycling off.

So, here's my current thoughts/options, would welcome anyone's opinion.

Use the smart plug and wireless thermostat inside to turn power on and off to the unit, basically setting the kegerator to run non stop when power is on and essentially plug and
unplug it (remove power) to control temperature. Not sure if this is bad for the unit vs using a thermostat.

et the unit to 5 or 6, and purchase an inkbird style thermostat, learn how to wire it in and insert the prove into the unit and control power via the inkbird. What I can't help but
wonder if the inkbird is the same as option 1 where it is just removing power from the unit, same I am doing in option 1 with my smart plug and zigbee temp sensor?

Leave it set to 4.5 and drink beer around 38 degrees (This is ok but I'm one of those people who enjoys REALLY cold beer so closer to 34 or 33 is my desired temp at the tap).

Replace the actual thermostat with an insignia part if available assuming the thermostat is bad since it runs non stop set to 5.

I know this is a lot, sharing detail in the hopes I might get some thoughtful suggestions or help others. Thanks for reading!

TL;DR - What's the best solution for an insignia kegerator that runs non stop and freezes beer when set to 5 or higher, but doesn't cool enough set to 4 or lower?
My short answer is I don't know.
I think you're on the right track, you might do a web search specific to the base unit performance.
I have read that some fridges don't like external controllers. I haven't had that experience with my vintage chest freezer ferm fridge.
A thin layer of frost in common in the back of my homebuilt kegerator, so I don't think that's the problem.
If it's modern and electronic, unplug it and reboot it, can't hurt.
I keep mine in the low forties and sometimes it freezes the lines which are right by the plate.
No answers, just thoughts. Good luck, hopefully someone will come along with a useful suggestion.
Thanks for the reply. I wanted to come back and say the inkbird is the way. I tried as many things as I could with the built in thermostat in this thing, no idea where the actual reading is taken but once this thing was set to 5 it was never stopping running. Put an inkbird in between, duct taped the probe to a keg inside, set to 34 degrees, and temps and cycling are back to where they should be! I get my ice cold beer and the kegs don't freeze. Hopefully this isn't bad for the kegerator to have power cycled on it theoretically 20 times a day but I assume inkbird knows what they are doing. Great device, well worth the cost. I should have gotten a wifi one!
I have an Insignia, and when I put a 5-gallon Torpedo on the shelf, it left a ring-shaped dent. Maybe this information will be helpful.

I have another freezer, and I built a pressure-treated wooden platform to sit on the shelf and protect it. People thought it might get moldy, but nothing has happened.

I use Inkbird 308's, and they do just fine. I also stuck fans on the undersides of my lids. Not hard to do. Velcro has been holding them up for months.

01 31 23 wood platform on keezer hump small.jpg

02 18 23 keezer fan on lid small.jpg

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