January 22, 2013 at 8:49 pm #19369
Ok this is the same issue I’ve seen on other posts…I can’t get the temp low enough. I’ve read the other posts on this subject and tried every tip on here. I started with the harier 2.7 cu. ft. refrigerator. The keg box is 17″ deep x 27″ tall x27″ long. I can’t add insulation to the top as that is just enough height to get a 1/6 barrel in and I can’t add insulation to the front if I want to fit a 1/4 barrel.
I have sealed and sealed and sealed with great stuff. I added fans on the inside, mounting a fan right on the ice box. I added a fan on the back side of unit. The fans helped, but nothing I did got the temp lower than the high 40’s.
So I bought a compact freezer and swapped it out with the refrigerator, sealed it up and installed the fans. Now the temp is worse. Now the temp stays around 53.
The current setup has the freezer with 3 PC fans on the back side, two of them blowing along the sides and one blowing on what I guess is the heat exchanger on the lower back of the unit. In the box I have one fan blowing into the freezer and one fan blowing out of the freezer. I used old barn wood for the siding on the bar, so I can feel air blowing through the gaps between the wood.
The last thing I can think of is the type of insulation I used. I used 1.5″ white styrofoam insulation. Part of me hopes this is the problem even though I don’t look forward to ripping it out and replacing it with the bar assembled.
Please help.January 22, 2013 at 9:00 pm #20613
First question: Do you have an exposed freezer plate and does it develop ice or frost on it.
Second concern: If you can feel air blowing between the barn wood siding, you’ve obviously got a MAJOR leak!
Third – styrofoam has a very low R factor, less than 1.5r per 1.5″ thickness. It’s not a great insulator. Pro Pink is closed cell and does not allow infiltration and is R-5 per inch of thickness. That’s why it’s recommended. You should use a double layer of 1.5″ panels if possible for a total of R-15. Lining the box with scrap aluminum sheeting also helps.
Did you insulate below the floor?
I always suggest that once you complete the box, test fit your kegs, then if there is still ample room inside the keg box, install an additional layer of pro pink panels INSIDE the box to take up the extra space, but be sure you have enough space for air flow.
CO2 tank placement – it’s placed OUTSIDE the keg box NOT inside!
Why? because every time you need to check or adjust it, you open the door and lose all the cold (reintroduce heat).January 22, 2013 at 9:21 pm #20607
I had an exposed freezer plate in the refrigerator that I initially used, but the compact freezer is all freezer and not just a plate. There is a small amount of frost in the freezer, but its not really accumulating.
As far as the air flow through the barn wood, that’s on the back portion that is not on the inside of the keg box. I have the front edge of the freezer sealed, opening into the box. If this part were inside the insulated keg box portion, I think it would be 80 degrees in there.
As far as the CO2 tank, I get what you are saying, but I have a remote digital thermometer in the box, so I don’t have to open the box to check the temp. And I haven’t adjusted the pressure lately. In fact yesterday I pulled the kegs out and added as much insulation inside as I could while still being able to have those two sizes of kegs. Overnight the box only had a 5# CO2 tank inside and the temp only got down to 53. That said, it’s looking to me like I’m going to have to rip out all of this insulation and use the pink stuff, in which case I can run the tank outside the box.
Does your gut/experience tell you that my issue is with the type of insulation or the freezer/refrigerator?
Thank you for any help you can give. It’s a beautiful bar with two taps that I desperately want to have work.January 23, 2013 at 1:50 am #20612
And, yes, I did insulate below the floor. However it was with the styrofoam insulation, not the pro pink.
I have now ripped out all of the insulation and I’m going to redo it with pro pink.
I hope this is it. Otherwise I may cry.January 23, 2013 at 3:16 am #20596
I agree with upgrading to pro pink. Be sure you foam the seams tight and double up layers where you can.
Consider this idea…
The freezer unit works a bit different from the fridges which have an exposed freezer plate over which you can circulate air.
The freezer conducts heat through the inner side wall.
When those compact freezers are in actual use as a compact freezer, they are usually loaded with bags of frozen veggies , frozen meat, ice cubes, whatever…they work better loaded.
I think the solution would be to load the empty freezer with as many bottles of water that you can. Cooling the water bottles will transfer more heat than just the flat walls of the freezer. The bottles increase overall surface area.
I always recommend adding water bottles to any keg box. You can also run filtered water (RO) to the bar and loop 50′ of tubing in the fridge area.January 26, 2013 at 4:37 am #20543
It looks like if I had just used the pro pink insulation in the first place, I could have saved myself a LOT of trouble. After replacing the insulation, I got home after work last night and the box was down to 35 degrees, and it was 33 this morning. I’ve just ordered a thermostat control to shut the freezer down if it’s getting too cold. I would much rather have that problem to contend with.
I also think adding the water bottles has helped.
Thank you for your help.
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