Kelvinator Kegerator issue

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Harleybob63

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Jun 14, 2024
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Location
Oak island, North Carolina
Hello,

I recently acquired a Kelvinator kegerator and it seems to have a control issue. The temp varies between about 50 and 65 degrees, the compressor kicks off when the temp reaches around 50 never allowing it to get down to a reasonable temp. The compressor only runs for about 5 minutes or less. The control is set to the coldest setting.
My question is, is there a way to wire it so the compressor always runs and I can control the unit with a Ranco temperature controller, which I have, basically bypassing the unit’s temperature control system??
 
is there a way to wire it so the compressor always runs and I can control the unit with a Ranco temperature controller, which I have, basically bypassing the unit’s temperature control system??
It certainly should be possible. But "Kelvinator" isn't a lot to go on. Post the model number and maybe a picture of the internal controller. There are a bunch of members who know a lot about this stuff and can probably tell you exactly what to do once they know what you've got.
 
If this is an elderly unit it might be wise to simply bypass its thermostat control and see what happens. It may be the compressor is tripping its internal thermal shutdown in which case spending money on a controller would be money ill spent.

Typically if one removes the cover from the thermostat control there will be a green/yellow safety ground wire and then a hot wire in (usually black) and a switched wire out (usually red). Pull the line cord from the wall socket so you don't fry yourself, pop the two non-ground wires off the thermostat and connect them together, then plug the line cord back in and see what happens...

Cheers!
 
A quick internet search unveiled 2 questions; Most "Kelvinator Kegerators" are vintage fridges that have been converted.. I only found one commercial Kelvinator unit. Which do you have?
Searching "Ranco temperature controller" yeilds the same thermostat type controller the unit already has and I can't envision it working any differently unless that is the failed part.
In any event; "5 minutes or less" seems an awfully short run time given the temp range described. It really does sound most like a thermal shutdown. If you don't have or don't want to buy a temp controller with a seperate wired temp probe (at least until you can diagnose the issue) you could always just bypass the thermostat with a jumper and see how long it runs and what low temp it can achieve. Mind you: Stay and monitor it.
Just my 2 cents.
:mug:
 
Hey Broken Crow,

I have the commercial unit!! I do have a temp controller with a wired thermal probe!! It is bypassing the thermostat that I’m not sure about!! Any advice??

Thanks,

Bob
 
Hey Broken Crow,

I have the commercial unit!! I do have a temp controller with a wired thermal probe!! It is bypassing the thermostat that I’m not sure about!! Any advice??

Thanks,

Bob
Maybe a dumb question but are the coils (both) clean?
If not that could trigger a thermal shutdown.
 
It is bypassing the thermostat that I’m not sure about!! Any advice??
Try what @day_trippr suggested in post #3. It should run continuously. If it does, plug it into your extenal controller and you should be good to go. If it still cuts off after a short cycle then you may have a more serious issue.
 
Hey Mac,

The problem is that I’m not sure how to bypass the thermostat!! It is a Kelvinator model # KCBB48SB if that helps!!??

Thanks,

Bob
Hi.. I just came back for an update and it occurred to me you might not have any electrical experience and need more details, so;
Here's the circuit diagram from the manual @mac_1103 provided; With the unit unplugged; connect the 2 wires with the red arrow. ..like @day_trippr said; there'll also be a ground wire (probably green or yellow) which you can just ignore:
Screen Shot 2024-06-19 at 11.05.34 AM.jpg

NOTE: If the thermostat is in an akward place, you can always connect the wires at any point such as down nearer the compressor..just be sure you have the right wires.
 
1718816051359.png


The controller is part #11. It's mounted on the back left side of the inside of the unit on the evaporator coil cover (part #9). Removing the controller mounting panel (part #10) should expose the wires.
 
Thanks for the replies, I tried bypassing the thermostat yesterday and no change, I went back and recleaned the coils and still no change!! The guy that owned it before me had it serviced and the Freon checked a couple of weeks before I got it, he did have it in a climate controlled business and I have it in a garage that gets to about 85 during the day. Even so the compressor shouldn’t kick off like that!! Any suggestions??

Thanks Bob
 
So it runs for five minutes and then shuts off? Do all three fans run? Does it restart (without unplugging it and then plugging it back in)? If so, how long before it restarts?

Is there any way you can put it in an air conditioned space (at least temporarily)? I'm not sure this unit is designed for outdoor use.
 
If the compressor is consistently shutting off in 5 minutes even with the thermostat bypassed, the compressor all along has been trying not to burst into flames courtesy of the thermal cutoff buried in the motor winding. The root cause for that is usually lack of refrigerant...
 
Yes all 3 fans are running, it runs for less than 5 minutes and then kicks back on in just a few minutes!! Keeps cycling like that till I unplug it!! No way to move it to an air conditioned space!! If it’s the coolant then it must have a leak somewhere!! Wonder if it’s worth having it repaired or scavenge the taps and build another keezer!!

Thanks,

Bob
 
it runs for less than 5 minutes and then kicks back on in just a few minutes!! Keeps cycling like that till I unplug it!!

Yup, classic thermal cutout behavior. I have a big squirrel cage blower above my brew rig that has a dedicated cold air intake to the motor housing to keep the thermal cutout from tripping on brew days, so I'm familiar with the paradigm.

Only an owner would be able to quantify the intrinsic value of such a machine vs what it'll cost to have a tech just look at it, never mind fix it. Figure a couple hundred $ up front for diagnostics, and likely double that on the back end to replace the compressor [or a condenser or an evaporator - whichever is the leaker] and the filter/drier, vacuum-purge and leak-test the plumbing, then fill it and bring it back to life...

Cheers!
 
Hey Day_trippr,

I only paid $250 for the thing, it has a brand new never used 2 tap tower plus 2 new keg taps and a really nice drip tray. It is also pretty old, built in the 90’s I think. I can get a nice freezer a lot cheaper than a repair on this I think!! I was hoping for an easy fix!! Looks like another keezer build!!

Thanks,

Bob
 
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