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Help With modifying kegerator new larger CO2 Tank

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  • Help With modifying kegerator new larger CO2 Tank

    My groomsman all bought me a Frosty Keg Kegerator from Great Northern Popcorn Company a year ago. After only 9 months, the seals went bad on the included CO2 tank and I didn’t know what to do. My brother who’s going to be graduating from college offered me his 20 lb tank and I had to accept it for a couple 12 packs! I’d like to modify my kegerator to work with this beast of a CO2 tank. I have all the lines necessary and have the regulator that he had on it originally. Here’s the questions I have:

    - First, has anyone retrofitted a tank this large with a smaller kegerator? If so, any tutorials or pictures? I’m pretty handy an can follow directions.
    - Does anyone know what the best way to secure the CO2 tank, Regulator, and best way to run the lines into the kegerator?

    A couple ideas are as follows:

    - Figuring out some type of mount for the Co2 tank to attach to the kegerator
    - Mounting the regulator directly to the co2 tank and running lines into the fridge from that. 2 options for running lines below.
    o First, is there a safe spot to drill a hole in my specific kegerator wall? Anyone know where or is there a way to tell? I don’t want to cut any refrigerant lines.
    o I was thinking of either running the line through a hole in the side of the fridge to the tap and caulking around it to keep the insulation in.
    o Option 2 is to get some pneumatic quick disconnect fittings. Put a male/male port onto the fridge wall so that a male connection point sticks out of the fridge and another male port is on the inside. This would making changing lines a breeze if needed. Advice on the best place to get reasonably priced fittings please?
    o I have some electrical wire running out of the drain hole for computer air moving fans I installed, but doubt that location is large enough to run CO2 line.

    I’m open to suggestions and any help possible. I use this kegerator for random parties, but will be using it this summer to lager some homebrew. I’ve included a crappy picture trying to illustrate what I’m thinking. Thanks in advance.

    QD Plan.jpg

  • #2
    I found that someone posted pics of them doing the same thing through a wall. Does anyone know how I can do in the wall of my fridge what this person did in their actual wall? Where can I buy the parts? Anyone know how to determine where I can drill a hole for the fitting? Does micromatic sell these parts?

    photo 1.jpg
    photo 2.jpg

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    • #3
      bjlasota,
      Been waiting for someone else to answer but I wanted to offer my opinion before you ordered some new gear.
      I think you are over thinking the solution, members have suggested what you posted, others a pass through and others something even more elaborate.
      The simplest and best solution is to drill a hole "just" a little smaller then the gas line and push line through with a little regular grease and elbow grease and you are done, no caulk, you may have to use a round file to widen hole to get hose through but it is cheaper and safer then any other option.
      To secure the tank to kegerator, you can use the same type that came with system, use a some sheet metal screws/ hooks and use bungee cord/ chain or you can go all out and get a metal tank holder meant for CO2 tanks or fire extinguishers, again best and easiest is what you have, all you got to do is put some attachment points on side of kegerator and you are done.
      KB
      Last edited by KillianBoy; 03-12-2013, 02:07 PM.

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      • #4
        KillianBoy,

        I like the simplified way of doing things, and it's not completely out of my options yet. Another idea I had was to drill through the tower and run the CO2 line that way. The concerns i have with just drilling anywhere on the outside scares me due to not knowing where the refrigerant lines run. Same goes for using sheet metal screws to secure a mount for the tank. I got the kegerator cause it's small and portable. When I'm not using it, I'd like to keep it that way. That's where I was thinking of having quick disconnects on the outside. Mounting the tanks also going to be a challenge, because like I said, I don't just want to go drilling anywhere on the fridge without knowing where critical lines are. I posted this question in my homebrewing forum. You can follow it here for answers as well.

        http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/help-modifying-kegerator-397133/

        Comment


        • #5
          bjlasota,
          By pictures on 'net, the refrigerant lines look like mainly in back, if you truly want to make sure you could do the corn starch test (search term in forum), look at the cold plate in back, there should be 2 lines running, 1 in, 1 out, both should be going toward back, if so there shouldn't be any refrigerant line on the side. Cold plate system has only 1 source of cold, the cold plate, the rest is just insulation. Sides should be free of electrical lines, left side is better than right, if right follow the wire from thermostat and if wire travels under plastic liner, try drill at bottom half on side.
          If it were me I would look at converting a chest freezer. It depends on what plans on homebrew you have, if tapping 1 at a time with 1 or 2 waiting, then stick with kegerator till it dies, but if you plan on going 2 or 3 on tap with several more carbonating, go keezer. Build collar, run lines through collar, room to spare for homebrew (or even commercial kegs).
          KB
          I read the post from other site, the "fridge" one talked about I think is a chest freezer, NEVER willy-nilly drill in the side of a chest freezer, every manufacturer puts their lines in different places, stand-up refrigerators are normally forced air and lines are in back and rarely are in the side. Cold plate, as mentioned, is the only coolant source of your type of kegerator. Coolant runs through cold plate, if you can see the in and out, that's it, it runs from compressor to cold plate and back. Again if you are worried then try the corn starch test, member from other site ran his CO2 connector through the collar, again it is just another point where gas can leak, best and easiest way to do it is drill hole size of gas line.
          Last edited by KillianBoy; 03-12-2013, 05:33 PM.

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          • #6
            Here's a few pics showing the inside of my fridge. If anyone can tell from these pics the safe areas I could drill, please let me know.

            Picture of the left/back/right of the fridge
            IMG_2323.jpg

            Pic of the left wall
            IMG_2322.jpg

            Pic of the top right. Wire running towards top right of the pic is the power to the thermostat
            IMG_2324.jpg

            Bottom right. You can see where a coolant line goes down to the compressor, or into the walls of the fridge???
            IMG_2325.jpg

            This last picture shows some possible hole locations from what I can see without doing any starch tests.
            IMG_2321.jpg

            For hole location 4, if there's nothing under there, I'd make sure I'm very careful when drilling as to not run the drill bit into the compressor or any wires under. Let me know if anyone else has a kegerator like this that they've drilled holes through. Thanks.

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