Chest freezer dying?

Posted by Nate in Consumers, Homebrewing.
Wednesday, April 18th, 2007 at 10:20 am

Dear beer lovers everywhere,

743359_grave_stone.jpgI write to you today with almost unbearably bad news: the much beloved Kegenator (V1.0) is in distress.  It is unable to keep its precious cargo of beer at a deliciously cool temperature, and isn’t showing any signs of improving.  In fact, only about one quarter of the previous cooling area seems to be working at all.  I’ve made inquiry online as to its prognosis, but honestly I have a bad feeling about this…

The question I put before you today is this: should I scour Craigslist for a cheap replacement and face this same disappointment in a few years time?  Or should I buy a new, modern, and highly efficient replacement?  It already seems unlikely I’ll be able to match the dimensions exactly, which means constructing a new collar…


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9 Responses to “Chest freezer dying?”

  1. nator Says:

    The bad news starts coming in: Yep, you got a leak, probably in the high side(condenser coils). Any leak inside the cabinet is just about impossible to repair unless you know exactly where it is(need x-ray vision for that). The reason only part of it is cold is because you don’t have enough refrigerant in the system to sustain a full frost pattern. It will warm up further as more refrigerant leaks out. If it’s a small leak it can be recharged and possibly last six months to a year or so until it’s back to where it is now, but it’s not cheap unless you are friends with a refrigeration repairman. If it’s a larger leak you just throw it away. I would suggest you go shopping for a new one.

  2. Brent Says:

    Pony up for the newer, more energy efficiant one. It will last longer and save you money in the long run. Everything else you have is top of the line, why not your cooler?

    Plus, Kegenator 2.0 means more social networking built in.

  3. peter Says:

    a. pony up, man. you know it’s worth it.
    b. i, ah, know people that can help if the beer needs to be, ah, relocated.
    c. sorry we missed your party — we’re all sick over in these parts.

  4. Q Says:

    How sad! Poor keggy 1.0

    It almost seems like getting a chest freezer that matches the collar might be a significant factor in your decision, yes? If that is the case, then more research might be in order.

    Either way, can you make me an extra one for my room when I get back?

  5. MJ Says:

    Just passed the bad news on to a beer drinker/lover and he says go for new–you should get a lot of years out of it–the one you have is almost as old as Karen–think she was only around 2 when we got it. With Craigslist you don’t know what you’re getting other than cheap. Getting a new one will give you a lot more security and life—and hey, just think, as long as you have to build a new collar for it anyway–why not go all the way and get a larger one that will hold more kegs?

  6. nator Says:

    why not go all the way and get a larger one that will hold more kegs? — I like the way you think! :)

  7. MJ Says:

    I thought you would. It would make things a lot simpler–you wouldn’t have to figure out how to add additional room for more if you just started out with more, plus it would probably be cheaper in the long run anyway. You might also check places other than Sears and price compare.

  8. Paul Says:

    I can empathize dude. My 24 cubic ft homebrew freezerator died last weekend…the compressor hums quietly but no cooling action. I don’t have any area getting cool, so not sure what the cause is.

    So, I’m caught in the same dilemma now. The idea of doing another replacement a year or two out isn’t fun.

    You have a decision yet?

    Any plans to visit the Town-Hall in the near future?


  9. Nate Says:

    Man, 24 cubic feet! That’s huge! It sounds from what I know like you’ve got a leak in your coils like me, but probably a bigger leak… And all your coolant is gone. That sucks.

    I ended up with a 14.8 cubic foot freezer from Sears, a Kenmore. It’s one of the most efficient models in that size range, which should help in general… I’m currently wrestling with the collar / lid – I had them take my old freezer but forgot to give them the lid, which just so happens to fit my existing collar perfectly. The new freezer is about 5″ wider than the old one, but I think I can add a little block of foam to that gap and just re-use the entire collar / lid contraption, plus use the extra width to bring the CO2 tank and manifold inside the kegerator. Now that I’ve got it positioned up against the wall it’s a huge hassle to change tanks and adjust pressure, much nicer if all that was inside the freezer. … it’s still in pieces in the basement, however, I have yet to fire it up. Hopefully tonight or tomorrow after I solve a few more pieces.

    I made it to TH over the weekend, they have this cherry beer that’s AMAZING. Go get it if you haven’t had it yet. We should make plans soon…