Saturday, August 8, 2015

Creating a milk and egg refrigerator from a discarded freezer

As winter faded into spring and spring slipped into summer we found that we have a problem. An egg problem... we have about 45 layers and that tends to be 30-36 eggs a day. those eggs need stored in a refrigerator. three dozen times 7 days is 21 dozen eggs or way to many for the dormitory size refrigerator we were using to hold those eggs for sale or eating. We needed a solution, A big solution! Not only are we blessed with eggs but the cow is due to calve in late summer and we will need to store the 3-4 gallons of milk she gives us twice a day, and the butter and then there is a garden full of produce and maybe a cold refreshing beverage or two.

What we do not need is another refrigerator/freezer. what we do need is an upright fridge! They do make upright refrigerators, but they are WAY out of our financial grasp. This is when a friend called and offered us an upright freezer! FREE! Great! Sort of... we need it to be a refrigerator. First we tried turning it up to refrigerate but not freeze. That sort of worked. It was not consistent enough for what we needed. Sometimes everything was just right and other times the contents would be frozen solid or warm to the touch, No good! I did some research online and found a solution, we would need to change our analog freezer into a digital refrigerator! so I ordered the part on Amazon and in a few days I had the part I needed!

The installation was really straight forward and I made a video of it that you can watch HERE.  The analog thermostat is really just a temperature sensitive on/off switch that was unfortunately not sensitive enough.

I unhooked the old thermostat, two wires  and then took a good look at what I was in for. There were two wires from the compressor. two wires from the thermostat and then the three wires coming from the wall. It all breaks down about like this... three wires from the wall, hot, neutral and ground. Ground goes to the metal case of the freezer. Neutral was already connected to one of the compressor wires, the other compressor wire is connected to the Hot wire from the wall thru the thermostat switch.
So this is what I bought a digital thermostat from Amazon

As you can see it has a temperature probe that comes with it and if you look on the back, that is the six wires that need hooked up. two are for that thermostat, two are for AC power in and the last two hook up to the original thermostat wires. I had to splice AC power in, to power the new controller and then just hook the two old thermostat wires to the new digital thermostat and the two wires for the new temperature sensor.
The video really shows it all much better so go ahead and watch it by clicking HERE. don't forget while you are over on youtube to give it a thumbs up and subscribe!
a few more pictures...

As you can see we are using it so it must work! it only has one real drawback...Condensation! I imagine it will be better when we get out of the heat of the summer but right now if you put anything cardboard in this refrigerator it comes out sopping wet. I have ten gallons of water in it to represent the milk that should be there, and some kale salad, and coffee creamer....
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post and remember if you are not comfortable and knowledgeable of working with AC power THEN DON,T!  Call an electrician or a friend that has the knowledge and the tools. A mistake could cost you!