Monday, 24 September 2012

New Life for Old Chest Freezers

Article by John Killmister

Many of us use old chest freezers for our kegs, or for fermenting. We just change the thermostat to make it run at fridge temperatures

If an old freezer stops working, but the motor still runs, the usual cause is that the refrigerant lines have corroded and the refrigerant has leaked out. The lines are usually embedded in the insulation around the sides and are impossible to get at.

Originally the lines were made of copper but then manufacturers started to use copper coated steel which was cheaper but more likely to corrode. I think it is now compulsory for them to use all copper again because of greenhouse gas-ses.

I used to think that freezers were cactus after a leak like this, but back in the late 90’s we had a refrigeration engineer in the club, Len Mostert. He showed me a freezer that he’d got from the tip and fixed by running a new copper line around the inside of the walls, connecting up to the compressor & then re gas-sing the unit. I was very impressed.

Soon after this my own freezer packed it in, so I fixed some 6mm diameter copper tubing around the inside and took it to Len who connected up and re gassed it. It has been working fine now for about 15 years.

Recently the aluminium lining in the bottom corroded through, so I fibre glassed the bottom & up the sides for about 100mm.

Now I reckon it ought to see me out.


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