Side-by-Side Kegerator/Fermentation Chamber

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Forbein11

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BUILD THREAD

After viewing Boerderij_Kaboute's side-by-side fermentation chamber thread, https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/side-side-fermentation-chamber-build-105054/, I decided to attempt one of the ideas later talked about in the thread. I wanted to create a unit I could lager in and/or serve kegged beer out of one side and ferment ales in the other side. I picked up a 2003 Frigidaire on craigslist for $100. The freezer side will be for kegged beer serving and/or lagering depending on my needs. The fridge side will be for fermenting ales.




First, I stripped everything out of both sides. I took out the drawers, shelves, icemaker. For this build, there is no need to remove any of the back panels in the freezer to expose the compressor and fan unless you want to be sure everything is running properly after the temp control is wired in. I found it helpful to be able to see this though.

To control the whole thing I purchased a Love TSS2-2100 control. One side controls the freezer temperature and the other controls the fridge side. At the moment, I only need cooling. Heat could later be added by using a single stage Love to control a heater on the fridge side. There are two thermostats on this fridge model. One controls each side. To get to these you need to remove the temperature control system panel on the front and side of the fridge (open fridge pic above shows this on the top of the fridge section and running down the side to the back). All the wires you will need are behind this panel. Mine removes with four screws, 3 in front and one in the back by the fan/damper.


When you take it out it will look like this (I've pulled the thermos out of their place-on the right). You can see the damper motor and damper box at the back. Damper motor is the silver round thing.


Now the Love controler needs to be hooked up to run this thing. I got a wiring schematic online on the frigidaire site. There may be one in your manual if you can get it. I used the freezer thermo and bypassed the fridge thermo since it is more than a on/off switch. I'll post some kind of wiring diagram in a follow up to this as I'm not sure how to get it in here. The Love needs power to run. You need to pull hot and neutral from the wiring harness that connects this assembly to the fridge. I tapped (cut wire, reconnected and add 3rd as a pigtail coming out) the black hot wire and light blue neutral wires prior to them entering the adaptive defrost board (pic below). The hot runs to #5 on the Love and the neutral light blue runs to #4 on the love. Please don't take these colors as gospel. Even a different Frigidaire may have different wiring. Now, if assembly connected, the Love will power up (will throw error code though as no temp probes hooked up)


Next hook up the freezer and fridge thermos. I cut the black wire going into the freezer thermo. Run a wire from this (non-thermo side of cut wire)to #7 and #10 on the Love. This will provide juice to both switches on the Love. Now, run a wire from #8 on the Love back to the other side of the cut you made a minute ago (into thermo side) into the freezer thermo. Disconnect the black jumper wire between the freezer and fridge thermo. Tape both of these ends off the prevent a short.

Now for the fridge thermo. Cut the pink and the purple/white wires that leave the fridge thermo. These wires control the damper motor and compressor. This opens the damper door when the fridge calls for cold and closes then it is not calling. Closing the damper prevents cold air from being blown into the fridge when only the freezer is calling for cooling. Run a wire from the Love to the pink wire going to the damper from #9. This will act to let the damper door close. Run a wire from #11 on the Love to the pur/wht wire going to the defrost board. This will allow the compressor and fan to come on and open the damper door. Tape off any wire not connected to prevent a short. Connections below.



Now hook up the temp probes to check if everything is working. The temp probe each have 2 wires, blue and brown. I don't think it matters which color goes where. I connected the brown from probe #1 to #1(Love), Brown from probe #2 to #2(Love) and hook both blues to #3(Love). Plug the whole unit in to see if everything works (reads temp, can be set to cycle both fridge and freezer on and off). You will have to set your Love to how you want it to control for this to work. Fully wired pic below before neatly taping everything into the assembly.


I installed the Love into the side of the fridge (easiest for wiring). Cut through the skin(outside) and plastic (inside) with a dremel or similar. Cut out the insulation. The thread linked at the beginning shows how to do this. I had no coils in the walls to concern myself with. Connect wires through hole, push Love through and silicone in place.

I'll grab some pics of the finished unit and update the post, hopefully tonight. I'll also try to wrap up with an small details to neaten/finish it up.

Right now I have a keg hooked up in the freezer side carbonating at 42 deg. At the moment I've got picnic taps for these kegs. I might add faucets and shanks to the freezer side when I can afford them and some new Perlicks. For now I can pre-chill and carb while waiting for a spot in my keezer (3 tap) to open up. Of course, I could brew more and just have 5 beers on tap.:rockin: Let me know if you have any questions.
 
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Forbein11

Forbein11

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Electric Completed - Works as advertised!

I got the electric finalized last night and the unit is working as planned. Took a while to figure out the Love settings as I’m not an electric guy. Below is a sketch of what I did with the electric. Any connection on the top of the Love portion (top right 1-10) of the sketch is from the unit INTO the LOVE. Any connection on the bottom is from the Love OUT to the unit. On the thermo sketch portion I do not show the taps to get the hot and the neutral that go to #4 and #5. That is explained in the post above (I tapped prior to the defrost board.

Below the sketch, I have listed the programming parameters needed for the Love and a few that you will likely want to play with. Setting the Love up correctly from the start will prevent a lot of frustration I went through. One wrong setting and the Love will not control the way you would like it to.



Important settings for Love:

SP1 - Temp for freezer
SP2 – Temp for Fridge
r0 – ind
r8 –ON2 This is the one I had trouble with. Uses both probes. Key setting.
c0 – 0 This is the length of time between allowing the switch to come on. For testing should be set to 0. You can increase this delay later to keep the unit from cycling too much. If longer delay while testing you might think it’s not working when you hit your temp and the switch doesn’t work. It would be working correctly and you’ll think it’s broken.
c1 – dir
c2 – dir
P5 – 2

Other Love settings to use:

r1 – Controls temp fluctuation in excess of setting for Freezer
r2 - Controls temp fluctuation in excess of setting for Fridge
-This can help prevent cycling. For example, I have the freezer set to 42. It will not switch on
until 44. Beer will still be 42 even though air is 44. (same for r1 at different temp).

There’s more functionality but I don’t need it. I’ve got to give some thanks to the electricians at work. Without their help I would have fried something. Luckily they like free beer. Hope that this is helpful. Let me know if anyone needs any help.
 
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Forbein11

Forbein11

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Electric finished. I will update with more pics tonight of project as it stands now. Both the fermentation and kegerator/lager side are functional. I will also add pics as I finish up the small stuff like shelving, CO2 reg setup and shanks and faucets if I ever decide to move from the picnic tap.

This is a 23 ft3 unit. I think I can get 2 buckets or carboys in the fridge side with a shelf, maybe more. ON the freezer side, I am going to have 2 kegs w/ picnic taps for now. With a shelf, I can lager in something (need to find a solution) while distributing beer. Beer might be a bit colder than I like it for a while but I can let it warm in the glass when lagering. If not fermenting an ale, I think I can get the fridge side down to 45 or so to lager there.
 

mmurray

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THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!

I have that exact same fridge and have been wanting to do the same thing!

Here's my story! It was my brothers fridge and after Katrina hit he didn't have power. I brought him a 60kw generator (ran 4 houses off it!) and he hooked it all up and started the generator... apparently his circuits were on and before he could set the output of the generator he hit his entire house with too much juice and blew alot of stuff up (the TV Exploded!) So he bought a new controler for the fridge and tha fixed some of the problems, thermostats damper door etc... He finally gave up on it and gave it to me. Everything was freezing both sides... and couldn't control the temps between the two. Then the compressor went out. I found a replacement and fixed it and finally worked on the temp controlers and dampner again and it has been working like new (I only put $200 in parts in it, so I'm still cheaper than a new fridge).
So I had a similar idea to serve beer out of the freezer side and ferment on the fridge side, but once I actually fixed it I couldn't get the temps high enough. I thought about the Johnson Controls temp controller, but never felt confident that it would do what I wanted it to do. After seeing what you have done... I HAVE A NEW PROJECT!!!! AND IT WILL GET ME WHERE I WANTED TO BE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

So a few questions:
1. if I read the above correctly, the original temp controlers are now disconnected and non-functional (can be rewired to original if you ever felt like it... Right?).
2. Can you show pics of where and how you routed the temps sensors for both sides?
3. How much of a temp differential can you get between the 2 sides?
3a. Would you be capable of having the freezer @ 38* for serving and the fridge side @ 68* for fermenting an Ale?
4. Could you post links to where you got your love controler and other various parts?
5. I have 0 experience with Love Controllers, are the setup procedures relatively simple?

Thanks again!!! This Thread is Awesome!!!
 
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Forbein11

Forbein11

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Answers to your questions. Forgive me if I'm not 100% I've been out w/ the SWMBO having a few drinks.

1. I could rewire if need be. All I'd have to do is reconnect.

2. I will add those pics. Fridge side just goes from controller into fridge and hangs. Freezer side goes through firdge and I drilled a small hole into freezer that I passed the probe through. I plan on putting hooks on the top of the fridge to keep this neat.

3. I can get a lot of temp dif. I've had the freezer at 42 and fridge at b/w 52 and 68 depending on setting.

4. I got the Love @ Dwyer instruments. http://www.dwyer-inst.com/Products/Product.cfm?Group_ID=622&sPageName=Ordering

5. Love set-up is not too hard. Just have to pay attention. Myself or others on the site can get you going. What I paosted should be pretty good.
 

mmurray

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Thanks! Pretty much all I need is the controler and temp probes.

I noticed they make both PVC and Metal probes. Any one better than the other for this application? The price is the same so not sure if it matters or not.
 
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Forbein11

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Not sure if one is better than the others. I bought the PVC. I was told (don't know if it is truth though) that neither is liquid safe. I plan on putting the one in the ferment side on the side of the fermenter and insulating it on the outside to keep that temp under check.
 
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Forbein11

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Last update for now. Just finished rigging a platform to get 2 kegs in and passing the CO2 hoses into the freezer. Also siliconed everything in (hoses/Love). I plan on adding clips to keep the tap hoses clipped to the freezer door. I will add shelving to the fridge side later as I need to. For now, I think I am done. Unit is working great!

A few pics below to show what I just finished.

Love in the side


Holes drilled and smoothed w/ dremel for gas lines to enter freezer.


Freezer side w/ hoses installed. I used the basket that came with the unit to shore up the lower shelf. I cut the basket to fit (cut off angled part w/ dremel) and put a small piece of plywood underneath. Lower shelf can now hold 2 kegs. I can also store a 12 pack in here underneath.


CO2 on the side


Finished inside w/ kegs hooked up and fermenter in fridge



Very happy with the unit. Great addition to my home brewery.
 

southpawbrew

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Looks great.

Can't wait to get started on this DIY. Side by side, check. Love controller and probes, check. Thread with great pics and step by step, check. Extra 5lb tank and regulators, check. Wiring done right without frying anything, last to be checked. Here's wishing to a smooth finish on that front.

Thank goodness for the HBT community.
 

mmurray

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Finished inside w/ kegs hooked up and fermenter in fridge



Very happy with the unit. Great addition to my home brewery.
That is awesome! When I was thinking of doing this I measured the freezer to have 2 kegs (1 above and 1 below) I didn't even think to see if they would fit front to back... so with the above picture... I'm now thinking 4 kegs!!!

This is the best thread! I'm getting in more and more trouble with SWMBO!!! LOL!!!:mug:
 

mmurray

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OH! Not to mention I see 4 places to hold 6 packs on the freezer door!!!

What do you think about removing the Ice and water dispensor and building something that will fill that spot (clean install of course) for the taps?

You could use white marine starboard.


http://www.interstateplastics.com/White-Marine-Board-Sheet-HDPWEM.php?sku=HDPWEM&vid=201002061610-1p&thickness=0.500&dim2=10&dim3=12&qty=1&2=Price+it+%3E%A0%A0

Here a 10"x12"x0.5" piece is only $13! It can be routed for a nice finished edge and can be epoxied in place and/or have screws run from behind to hold it inplace. It could have the same profile as the white plastic that the Dispensor area has.
 
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Forbein11

Forbein11

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Four kegs may be tough. The compressor sticks out a bit. 3 will fit most definitely. You could easily put the taps through the ice/water dispener. As for 6 packs, I think you will have to not get your hopes up. IF you only go 3 kegs, you'll get some 6 packs in. If you can gte 4 kegs, the kegs take the room all the way to the door. Of course, Frigidaire makes a 26 ft3 model. That may fit a little more.
 

rgrrbt

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Thank you for this post. Now that you've had it up and running for roughly 8 months, how is it working for you? Are there any downsides to this setup? If you were to do it again, would you change anything?
 
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Forbein11

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The unit is working out great. No problems so far. As far as general set-up, I would make no changes. However, there are some things I still plan on doing. I plan to build wooden shelving in both sides of the unit. Currently, I have to stack buckets in the large side when fermenting more than one batch.

I am also going to add a shelf in the freezer side so I can lager1 keg and serve 2 kegs at the same time. Last addition will be shanks on the front of the freezer side so I don't have to open the door all the time.

One more addition that might be good is to add heat to the fermentation side just in case. I think this is as simple as adding a lamp on a johnson temp control to go on when temps get to low. Let me know if you have any other questions.
 
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Forbein11

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Finally made a few additions. I put a shelf on the freezer side and 2 shelves on the fridge side. I used mostly 1x3's so the kegs would fit and a few 2x3's in places where width did not matter and strength did. I didn't use plywood so that the cold air can still circulate.

Now I can lager on the bottom of the freezer side while serving from 2 kegs via picnic taps. I can also put a few six packs on the bottom of the fridge, put 2 kegs and a fermentation bucket on the first shelf and also put another fermentation bucket on the top shelf.

Whole unit is working great for fermentation and serving. Still need to add the taps to the outside of the unit, through the ice maker location and add a lamp for fermenting warmer in the winter. Picture of shelving setup below.

 

drkwoods

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I want to do this exact build to a Whirlpool ED19Ak Side by Side. Here's my problem. NO schematic, no manual and after calling Whirlpool they have no access to that either. I still want to try this build. as a Keezer and Fermentation side by side. I just dont know where to start. Could I just pull out the thermos and basically over ride those with the Love Control?
 

rudu81

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I want to do this exact build to a Whirlpool ED19Ak Side by Side. Here's my problem. NO schematic, no manual and after calling Whirlpool they have no access to that either. I still want to try this build. as a Keezer and Fermentation side by side. I just dont know where to start. Could I just pull out the thermos and basically over ride those with the Love Control?
I found whirlpool to be generally useless as well. Have you checked behind the kick plate? If not, pull it out and the wiring diagram should be in there. Mine was tucked in the far front corner between the outer sheet metal and the insulation. It can also be in the same spot on the left side or somewhere in the middle.

My plan is to bypass the thermostat, but you still need to know which wires they are as well as for power.

Good luck!
 
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Forbein11

Forbein11

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If you cannot find the wiring diagram, you MAY be able to figure it out from the circuit board that the thermostats hook up to. I fould that mine had some information on it that I could use. For example, the power was labeled. Based on that I could tap the power wire in order to power the Love. You need to bypass the thermos. You also need to make sure that the dampers open and close when needed. The damper should open when the fridge side calls for cold and the compressor+ fan should also turn on in the freezer. When the fridge does not need cold, the damper door should close. When the freezer calls for cold, the compressor should turn on and cool the freezer side. That's alt least the way my basic Frigidaire worked.
 

drkwoods

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Yea I poked around behind the kick plate for 10 minutes and found nothing.. Im going to try examining the circuit board to go from there. Worst Case scenario, I disable the damper and fan and install my own (controlled) fan and pull cold air into the fridge side as needed. I'll be back to solicit help as needed:mug:
 

rtrevino

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I just Picked up the same fridge off craigslist for $80. it was a little dirty but now that I've cleaned it up and gutted it, I think it's all going to work out. I'll post some pics once my love controller gets here. The only mods I plan on doing are running the co2 lines though the water line holes in the upper left freezer and removing the water/ice dispenser and replacing this area with a stainless plate and taps. I'll post up some pics and let you know how it turns out.

You may have set the next trend in homebrewing, just like Lonnie and the Brutus.
 

mugwump3

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Hey all, I just bought a fridge off CL to attempt this build. It's an older model and it appears to only have one electronic temperature control. The freezer temp is controlled by a manual wheel that dilates how much air can pass between the freezer and the fridge.

I'm wondering if I'm Fubar? I'm trying to figure out if this will work at all...



Let me know if that image link works... if not, I'll try something else...
 

sdRick

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I luckily have the exact same fridge so this was a slam dunk. The wiring instructions, the settings, everything you posted made it so easy. I really appreciate it. I probably wouldn't have attempted this build without the write up.

So I am fermenting in the fridge side and have all my bottles in the freezer for now. I'll be ordering a keg kit from kegconnection within a few weeks. Can't wait.

Thanks again.
 
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Forbein11

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Glad you were able to use the information in the post. It's a great unit to have and has really helped my brewing. Best of luck with it.
 

twd000

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a great thread and inspirational build!

I have a GE side-by-side and just got the wiring diagram. It looks like all the circuits connect through a main wiring board. From looking at the connections, I will be disabling most of the built-in functions - I don't need the interior lights, icemaker valves, defrost heater, etc. Really the only things I need are the compressor, freezer-side fans, and damper (plus power taps for adding my own controllers). Does this sound correct?

I can't tell but the damper motor just sounds like a small plastic door dividing the compartments? Would there be an advantage to augmenting it with a computer fan, to circulate air around the fermenters? (for faster temperature response / tighter control). I may someday want to keep both sides at the same temperature -serving at 35 on the freezer side and lagering at 35 on the fridge side. Would this be possible with just the regular damper?

Did you re-use either of the built-in thermistors, or replace them both with Love sensors?
 

rtrevino

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I dont want mean to jump in and take over this thread but I did this build the exact way that Forbein11 did and then tried to improve it a little so that I could do what you are asking; lower both sides to say 35. The way it is build here is very good and works great but you can't lower both sides that much. Check out what I have done; I'm still in trial mode but so far it's not too bad. My buildhttps://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/sibe-side-kegerator-fermenting-chamber-conversion-243671/
 
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Forbein11

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Nice build rtrevino. Some nice modifications in there. Seeing your taps should get me off my ass. I have all the parts to do the mod but I also have a four month old. Love him but he's cramping my style a bit. I'll have to remedy that.

twd000, I do not know enough to know if you need the defrost heater or not. I left it all connected so that the unit would work as wired originally. If it needed to do something, it could. I will say that having lights can be a help if you keep it in a dim room.

I cannot get both sides of mine to the same temperature. I can get the right side into the mid 40's when I have the left side at 38. Mine is in a basement that never gets over 77 though. To get them close to the same you'd have to do what rtrevino did or maybe put in a larger opening between sides that you could easily remove and replace if you had a need to go to the same temp.

The damper is just a small plastic door that opens and closes. However, my fridge has a fan that blows in the freezer up to that damper door for circulation. Adding a computer fan would increase this circulation and your ability to go lower in the right side.

I did not use either thermistor. I just use the Love probes for temp control.
 

twd000

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good stuff. I think I'll leave the lights connected. And the defrost cycle should not kick on as long as you leave that thermistor in place.

I'm toying with the idea of adding a computer fan that kicks on the same time as the damper door, so you force circulation. It would help cold-crash for lagering, and also getting my wort down to target fermentation temp quickly. Lately I have been doing a partial-chill where I don't fight the ground water below 100 or so, just let it sit at room temp until the next day before pitching yeast.
 

jiggs_casey

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I want to do this exact build to a Whirlpool ED19Ak Side by Side. Here's my problem. NO schematic, no manual and after calling Whirlpool they have no access to that either. I still want to try this build. as a Keezer and Fermentation side by side. I just dont know where to start. Could I just pull out the thermos and basically over ride those with the Love Control?
I just picked up the same fridge today for a kegerator project. Interestingly enough, I went out looking for a manual (googled 'whirpool ed19ak') and it brought me to this thread... hehehe
 

drkwoods

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I just picked up the same fridge today for a kegerator project. Interestingly enough, I went out looking for a manual (googled 'whirpool ed19ak') and it brought me to this thread... hehehe
Well I have finished my side by side keezer/fermentor and I know the wiring pretty well now. If you need any help let me know. Otherwise I will post pics and the story of my whole build soon
 

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I'm looking at a Kenmore on CL. In my search for the wiring diagrams online I found out that many of these fridges are going to be fairly similar - Gibson, Electrolux, Kenmore, Frigidaire, and some others. It's worth doing a little bit of research if this is something that interests you. It may not be the exact same model, but it might be "close enough."

I also think this looks a little scary, but when you remember that you're basically bypassing the temperature control knobs, it's a little less daunting. I will have to start with just one temp controller, but ultimately plan on doing two temp controllers - one to turn on the cold to the freezer, and another to turn on the fridge (cool) or a small ceramic heater bulb if ambient is too low to keep ale temps.

**Question** I'm looking at the Kenmore wiring diagram and it appears the freezer control ("cold control") has two wires to the refrigerator control. One looks like hot, but what might the other be for (it's grn/yel in the diagram)?
 

twd000

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I'm looking at the wiring diagram for my GE side-by-side and it says there are three sensors - FF (fresh food), FZ (freezer) and Evaporator (fan). So do I just replace the FF and FZ with the two Love probes, and leave the Evap Fan sensor in place?
 

bbentley40

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I'm looking at the wiring diagram for my GE side-by-side and it says there are three sensors - FF (fresh food), FZ (freezer) and Evaporator (fan). So do I just replace the FF and FZ with the two Love probes, and leave the Evap Fan sensor in place?
See if this helps you out.. I have a GE Profile Arctica side-by-side that looks almost identical to the OP's except I have digital controls instead of knobs. I been trying to figure out how I am going to rewire mine soon as I finish my keezer project. Just came upon this and figured it might help you too.

GE Technical Service Manual
 

twd000

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Thanks for posting that. Your fridge looks much more complicated than mine. I don't have the fresh food tower, or any fan on the fresh food side. The way my FF gets cold air is totally passive - the damper is hinged and just lifts up when there is back-pressure. There is no actively controlled damper between the two sides.

I also don't have an adaptive defrost system on mine. Not sure if it makes the wiring any simpler.
 

mistercameron

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Forbein11,

As I was doing my research, I found that Frigidaire and Kenmore (among others) are more or less the same refrigerators. My 10y/o Kenmore looks a little bit different than yours in the wiring and control board - all the wires enter the board through one of those white plugs. Otherwise, they're pretty close, as far as I can tell.

What I can't see in your photos is what the temp control knobs look like w/ the wires. Mine has only three wires - Hot, Ground, and a third going back to the control board ("Freezer cold control" and "fresh food control"). Does yours have more, or am I looking at your diagram wrong? Your fridge control looks like it has a damper wire on it. Am I correct to guess that the third (colored) wires can be considered neutral for the sake of hooking up the controller?

Photo1.jpg
 
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