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Thread: Drilling through the top of a Mini-Fridge - Kegerator conv.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    303

    Drilling through the top of a Mini-Fridge - Kegerator conv.

    I am currently doing a mini-fridge to kegerator conversion. I was lucky and found a good one for $50. 4.3 Cubic Ft. With some slight modifications it will fit to corny's.

    Two questions:

    1: Has anyone ever tried to modify this model of Mini-Fridge into a kegerator? Whirlpool EL05PPXMQ
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3nQ...it?usp=sharing
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3nQ...it?usp=sharing
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3nQ...it?usp=sharing


    2: Drilling through the top.
    - First off, I am 100% positive that the actual Cold line that supplies the cold goes straight up the the back from the compressor into the fridge compartment. So I know that is not running over the top.
    - I have done the corn starch test on the top of the fridge.
    - I let the fridge run for about an hour on high. Then I began painting on the corn starch and alcohol mixture. Nothing happened. It eventually all dried out, but there were no obvious quick drying spots.

    Point of notice: For the past week, the fridge has been outside in the garage where the temperature was about 40 F. So the fridge was pretty cool to the touch.
    After letting the compressor run for about an hour, I found that both sides (left and right) of the fridge got warm. However, the top remained cold (from the ambient air). No heat at all.


    Does this mean that the return (hot) lines (coils) are in the sides of the fridge instead of the top? Or might there be a single line going across the top that connects the two sides?

    Is there another test I can do?
    Last edited by branlovesbeer; 03-27-2013 at 02:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    494
    I would imagine the sides feel warm because that's where the insulation is, the hot components should be on the back in the bottom where that bump in the interior is. The top is cold because there is little insulation in the top. The fridge should work just fine. I would recommend bringing the fridge inside and repeating your cold test to make sure the cooling plate hasn't been damaged by bending; testing it in already cold conditions kind of defeats the purpose. Best of luck!
    Two ciders please, I'm thirsty!

    On deck: Soon Cider
    Fermenting: None
    bottled: Old and dusty something rathers
    Secondary: None
    Kegged: Carbonated Water (enjoying home made soda syrups)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    303
    The sides actually got warm, dare I say hot to the touch.
    The warmth ceased about 3/4 of the way down the side walls, and became as cold as the top.

    I will be running the test indoors today. I'll let you know the results.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    494
    How interesting, for me the hot lines go down the back of my fridge. Must be that the designer thought that the insulation was thick enough that running the lines there wouldn't be a problem.
    Two ciders please, I'm thirsty!

    On deck: Soon Cider
    Fermenting: None
    bottled: Old and dusty something rathers
    Secondary: None
    Kegged: Carbonated Water (enjoying home made soda syrups)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    303
    Okay. Performed the corn starch test again, except this time, I allowed the fridge to sit indoors over night before attempting.

    I did the test two ways. And in two parts.
    Part 1
    1: I spread the corn starch mixture over the top of the fridge and waited.
    Result: Nothing. The entire area eventually dried but not in any one particular spot.

    2: I performed a test with JUST alcohol.
    Result: Nothing. I let it sit for about 10 minutes and I finally had to just wipe it off.

    Part 2
    1: After turning it off, I turned the fridge on it's side and spread the corn starch mixture on the right side.
    Result: It began drying in a pattern.

    2: I performed the test with just alcohol,
    Result: and the same result happened.


    The top of the fridge remained cool to the touch (room temperature). But the sides got warm, just like before. From the top to about 3/4 down each side.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    3,695
    blb. it sounds like the condenser coils are in the side walls of the 'fridge, just like they are in most chest freezers. I'd figure out where you want to put the tower and use a file or a Dremel abrasive wheel to wear a hole large enough to get a screwdriver or the tip of a pair of aviation shears just under the sheet steel and peek inside to see if you've got any lines refrigerant nearby. Once you've got a 1-2" hole cut with the shears, you can cut the insulation out with a knife so you can feel if you hit a refrigerant line.
    On deck: a clone of Carolina Beer Co's Rye Stout, clone of Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter,
    Primary: Schwarzbier
    Secondary: Dortmunder, Hopweizen
    Keg Conditioning: Dunkelweizen, Roggenbier, Okto, Ord. Bitter
    On tap: Alt, Hefeweizen, Cigar City Maduro clone, Mild
    Bottled: Mead, Quad Rajet, Granola Bar Braggot

    Too much of everything is just enough.
    - J. Garcia

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    303
    After multiple corn starch and alcohol tests I finally drilled the hole. I started with a small pilot hole and fished around with a paper clip for a vital line. I didn't feel anything so I cut the plastic out of the inside and cleared out all of the foam where I'd be drilling. Then I used a circular drill to cut the he. Success. Now I just have to put the tower on.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    494
    Congratulations! Maybe someday I'll have the guts to modify my fridge. Or maybe I'll just craigslist a beater one, I kind of like mine in its present state. Are you going to paint yours? I think it would look awesome with that chalk board paint on it!
    Two ciders please, I'm thirsty!

    On deck: Soon Cider
    Fermenting: None
    bottled: Old and dusty something rathers
    Secondary: None
    Kegged: Carbonated Water (enjoying home made soda syrups)

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