freezer conversion

ws9876ws9876 Solar Expert Posts: 440 ✭✭✭
I was reading that I could convert my Fridgidaire small chest freezer into a fridge if I had to just by adding a temp controller unit like one made by Johnson Controls.
I thought how handy if your older fridge fails and you dont want to buy another one right away. I have hardly ever used my freezer so it should be like new.
Anyone ever do this??


  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Yes, several times. There are positives and negatives, but for me, the positives definitely outweigh the negs.
    Positives: VERY low power consumption; very easily runs at temps near the freezing point an that's where I run mine because at those temps the food is almost frozen, so lasts far, far longer than in a "normal" fridge; humidity is very high, so vegies do not wilt, shrink and dry out like in a normal fridge, they just last and last and last. All the extra insulation compared to a normal fridge means it can be run at the freezing point and still use extremely little power.
    The negatives: Moisture buildup, especially during high humidity Summer months. This collected moisture will form small puddles in the bottom of the food holding compartment and often a small hole drilled down through the bottom will allow moisture to drip out and into a tray you place under the freezer, from where it can evaporate. An upright freezer, although using slightly more power, and a lot if you have a housemate who stands there with the door open, staring at it's contents, permits much easier access to it's contents, rather than having to div down under the contents of a chest type. Train yourself and any housemates/children etc to keep the damned door shut when not actually putting something in, or taking it out, and the difference in power consumption will be very little. Unfortunately many people cannot be, will not be, refuse to be, trained to curb their energy wasting habits.
    Finally, I would NOT want to have to go back to using a regular, normal fridge.
  • ws9876ws9876 Solar Expert Posts: 440 ✭✭✭
    what controller did you use???? not opening the door often would be difficult..but for a temp solution would be good. My fridge is getting old.might go out any time.
    I wouldnt rebuild it because its too small anyway.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    ws9876 wrote: »
    what controller did you use????
    I used a normal home thermostat, modified to operate at a lower them than shown temp on it's display, that is, when the thermostat shows it's set for 60F, it's really, due to being electronically fooled, operating at 30F, and that in turn operated a relay capable of handling the compressor. First one I used was a conventional bimetal coil thermostat, however in about a year, or less, one of the metals in the coil rusted and it failed to work. Later ones used electronic thermostats with the sensor removed and wired remotely through a small hole in the top of the upright, or fed under the lid on the chest type, allowing the electronics to stay outside the "fridge" in dry air. The sensor was totally enclosed by a moisture proof glue, and it's sensitivity had to be reduced by attaching it to a lump of metal to reduce start/stop frequency. Generally they now run once an hour, for about 5 minutes each hour. Thus the small energy consumption. Unless you know your way around electronics, I would strongly suggest a commercial thermostat. Some folks in the past on this forum have said they got good results by modifying the original thermostat that came built into the freezer. I've never tried that. It may work, but based on my experience, I would far more quickly trust a commercial thermostat you can adjust for the temp you need.
  • e12doe12do Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭
    Johnson control A19AAT-2C $59.95 300 watthrs. per 24 hr. period in upright freezer 200 in chest
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,741 ✭✭✭✭
    e12do wrote: »
    Johnson control A19AAT-2C $59.95 300 watthrs. per 24 hr. period in upright freezer 200 in chest

    Welcome to the forum e12do,

    If you are using an inverter with a search mode, that Johnson Control model is the one to get. If the inverter is always on, I recommend spending a few dollars more to get the Johnson Control digital model. It has several additional features. I especially like its ability to enforce a minimum "off" time. This prevents the compressor from trying to start while it is still pressurized from the last cycle.

    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    e12do wrote: »
    300 watthrs. per 24 hr. period in upright freezer 200 in chest

    And that consumption is right in line with my experience. Just no way a standard fridge can compare.
  • ws9876ws9876 Solar Expert Posts: 440 ✭✭✭
    the digital model JC is not much more.
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