Search for freezer in Topics


fabric & freezer paper?

Does this also work with Terrycloth? And is vinegar the best way to make it color safe? Thanks

Question by Success24    |  last reply


Can the inner bottom of a freezer be replaced?

A hole has occured in the inner bottom of my stand alone freezer, As water gets through the hole the felt or what`s inside is making a terrible smell. Can the inner bottom be replaced ? Thanks

Question by lonzu    |  last reply


How do you replace the seal on an upright freezer?

I have an upright freezer (big one) and it is leaking cold air. How do I replace the seal?

Question    |  last reply



Rapid Cooling Freezer

Hi there,  I have a bit of an ambitious project at hand and would like some advice/ideas.  I have a commercial grade freezer that we are converting into an environment chamber that would be used to perform a rapid thermal test.  This rapid thermal test involves going from +65C to -10C in 2 minutes.  As it stands right now the freezer is not capable of achieving this rapid temperature change.  Thus I am looking for ideas/suggestions of how to retrofit this freezer to be able to achieve this feat.  The dimensions of the freezer are 27"x58"x46".  And this freezer would be used to stress test electronic devices that are enclosed in a plastic housing.  I have attached the spec sheet for the freezer that we are using.

Topic by Tim_Chirs    |  last reply


can i turn a fridge freezer in to just a freezer?

I have and old vertical fridge freezer.( freezer compartment on top).  the seals have pretty much gone on the fridge part, so i am wondering if its possible to completely disable the cooling of the fridge part, while the freezer carries on working. i am assuming also that this will reduce the running cost of the unit if only the freezer5 cheers will

Question by agatornz    |  last reply


How to replace a freezer seal?

I think I need to replace the seal on my freezer, it's a 97 we just defrosted it 2 months ago and it's got ice everywhere already.  I have found the part but was wondering if it might be something else, someone suggested checking to see if the door is aligned first.  It is not torn or anything.

Question    |  last reply


Can I use a fridge as a freezer? Answered

I have a two door fridge with a top freezer that I would like to use in the basement, but crank the fridge part down to use as a freezer, and turn up the freezer to use as a fridge. Do you see any problems with this?

Question by rjlynn    |  last reply


Is there an easy and cheap way to make a portable freezer? Answered

I'm in need of a portable freezer to freeze ice in an ice vest to allow usage when I don't have access to a conventional freezer.  I know that there are retail portable freezer that run up to the hundreds. I had the thought of using dry ice in some manner. However, I'm not familiar enough with freezers or dry ice to even know where to start on this kind of thing. Any help would be greatly appreciated! 

Question by DoctorWoo    |  last reply



Has anyone ever invented a practical microwave-freezer? Answered

You can get water from room temperature to boiling in under a minute, but how could you get it from room temperature to freezing in about 2? Obviously I'm referring to more than just speed freezing water, could be useful for other stuff too. I was just wondering if it was even theoretically possible to make something that did this.

Question by McDouche    |  last reply


Does anyone know how to get the odor out of a freezer that had meat spoil in it during a power outage?

Our freezer was without power and we didn't realize it. When it was discovered all of the meat in it had spoiled. The freezer now has a foul odor that we can't get out. We have tried all purpose cleaners, baking soda and left it open for a long period of time. It still smells. Any suggestions?

Question    |  last reply


how does a conduction freezer change electric current into cold air ?

The freezer in question has no fan only a system of "pipes that form frost on their surface. I was wondering if the "pipes" or metal tubing contained a liquid. if so what liquid?

Question    |  last reply


how many watts for two freezers will i need to make solar panel?

Im trying to power two 4 amp 115 v 60 hz freezers for an icecream truck by using a solar panel but am having trouble figuring out how many solar cells i am going to need or watts i will need so i can figure out how many cells. i dont know if the voltage is right on the cells when they produce the right watts. any one know how i can figure this out?

Question by vampseve    |  last reply


There is a strange problem with my freezer... Things come out smelling strange. Answered

I have a freezer full of various foods.  Most recently I have found a bit of trouble with my meat.  I pulled out some ground beef that I put in at the beginning of October and after a thaw it smelled bad.  I recognise the smell as it happened once before but went away with no apparent cause.  It is technically safe to eat the meat (I did last time.  It tasted revolting and I had to throw the whole meal away.) but with the taste and a chemo-weakened person in the house I won't be risking it anyway.  I can tell it takes time to acquire the smell because it didn't have anywhere as strong an effect on the piece that was only up there for one week.  No one could tell the smell was there after the cooking process. Does anyone know of any likely causes or solutions? To get the obvious out of the way: nothing else rotted and left behind the smell during a power outage. it wasn't rotten when I put it in Thanks, Karl

Question by finfan7    |  last reply


How do I get an itty bitty laboratory grade freezer? Can I build one?

It would be awesome if it could fit on my shelf and freeze up to -50°C (-58°F) maybe even lower, if possible. I want do deepfreeze some vacuum packed spices. I know it's overkill and I do not really care. (Oh actually, I do...) Would some big Peltier Elements suffice? I guess they would not be very efficient, and this would be a definite plus? Maybe if heat is transported away from the element with a standard CPU water cooling system? I'm afraigt they're not up to the task. Even getting a portable fridge cool takes ages... What about modifying a 'normal' small freezer? One could maybe just control the pump with another kind of controller, ie an arduino with a PT1000 and a relais... I read though that one might need another cooling agent capable of even lower temperatures then those used in commercial grade freezers? Any links to tutorials, builds or products would be deeply appreciated.

Question by Maniacy    |  last reply


new blog requesting ideas on what to do with stuff

Hey - I've just put up a blog to help me deal with some of the useless stuff at my place. http://whatdoidowiththisstuff.blogspot.com/ If any of you have the time, and could offer suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated. The first item up is an old freezer that I have no idea what to do with. Are there any uses, other than tossing it in the trash, that I'm missing? Thanks, Dave

Topic by Guelpher    |  last reply


Locker Size Mini Freezer

I have an empty locker in my office (2.5 cu. ft) and it gave me an idea to use that space as a freezer. I know how a freezer works, but my question is it is feasible to gut out a used mini fridge and reassemble it in a small space? Since there's a shelf in the locker,  I was plannign to run the evaporation coils underneath it,  line the edges of the locker with Dow foam, fit the condenser in the corner, and the condenser coil on the inside of the door.

Topic by wbgeek    |  last reply


build a propane powered freezer

I am interested in constructing a  propane powered freezer to store food.   The units currently for sale and way to expensive.  I recall  quite a while ago that some  supplier of  off grid equipment  sold the components to such a unit but I can no longer find them.  If  someone has built such a freezer I would be interested in knowing how they did it.

Topic by holtconco    |  last reply


Compound Freezer too cold?

I have been looking into making liquid nitrogen and I have found one DIY method.  It uses a small cryocooler.  I wondered if it would be possible to use multiple stages of coolers like those used in a freezer.  So basically you take all the stuff off of a two or three freezers, or more, and you use them in a series to get progressively colder.  The first compresses the coolant which is then decompressed cooling the hot side of the next step down to freezing temperatures.  Is this possible with your everyday freon which is already in these systems, or do you need to get a better coolant, and will this even get cold enough to liquify nitrogen? 

Question by jj.inc    |  last reply


Freezer panel home build

Some time ago I was approached by an old friend who got very lucky money wise.He wanted to build a really energy efficient house for himself - in terms of being well insulated.Should be easy to build as well he said...So with a few beer we got together one day and tried to figure out what options are available that the usual building companies won't or can't offer.Quite soo we realised that freezer panels seem to be the ideal solution.Sturdy, ralatively high load rating and additional supports, mounts and all are readily available.Funny enough there are even the right thicknesses available to be a perfect match for EU style tripple glazed windows and well insulated outside doors.And as always the initial euphoria meant we totally went over board here.Getting dimensions for selected doors and windows, calculating how many freezer panels are required to make the outside walls and roof...Even starting on 3D models to design the whole thing.Needless to say the dreams ended with an equiry at the council for a building permit for the dream home.Turns out that despite proper ratings on overthing a house can not be built with freezer panels for walls.Only bricks, wooden/steel frames and approved building materials...Either way we kept going as a theoretical game for the hope in a few years regulations around here might change.And you might be lucky to have your property somewhere with no such stupid regulations.One of the biggest problems we realised such a well insulated home would have is moisture and fresh air.Possible solution here is to use a heat exchange system for basically everything inside and outside the house.Options for this already exist for purchase and installation so nothing would need to be designed or developed from scratch.These system combine airconditioner, heating, hot water and air exchange in a quite compact unit size.The required ducting is a different problem though that should be included in the early design stages already.Solar panels double up as additional heat shields so to say and with enough roof space left it could be turned into a green and living roof to help with the carbon footprint and inside temperatures during the summer.So far for the easy part...All this would be impossible without home automation and integration.Sensors monitor conditions, a computer system decides on the right operating parameters and allows for user adjustments.Home automation isn't a new thing either, so called smart-homes are already in the portfolio of most good builder out there - at a price though.Using this technology to our advantage means the smart part now doubles up for the required input and sensor data.For a smaller home you would ideall opt for a rotating home that follows the sun...For a really big home you would aim for enough solar and wind power to make it self sustaining...Battery technology is on our side here and using Li-Ion tech is almost affordable as old style lead-acid batteries for this purpose.So why are there only so few people going this route?Would be very easy to create freezer panel styles that look like wood or bricks to be conform with local appearence...The real problem seems to be that it violates what we are used to.For starters it would be hard to explain why you should live in a big fridge with windows.The next problem is that such homes would be very easy and quick to build.You select your style and design features, pay for it and production starts.In time for the finnished foundations, plumbing and such the parts arrive and come together in a day or two.Connections are finalised and can move in within a week of commencing to build the actual house.Thausands of tradies would be jobless if this would be the general way to build new homes.Same for all those companies that currently supply the standard building materials, frames, roof tiles and such...Just imagine a tornado just turned your home into dust.Wouldn't it be great to be able to move into a new one within a few weeks instead of months?Even better if the new one would still be mostly unharmed after the next tornado....Living in a possible flood zone?Nothing easier than to add some barriers for doors if the house is fully sealed otherwise...Stay dry while the water is right under your window, just don't open the door...In other parts of the world so called kit-homes are already widely available but mostly only in mild climates.The benefit of using freezer style panel for homes in desert or cold climates seems to obvious though.Same for possible disaster zones like tornado alley.Is it time to re-think how we define a home?

Topic by Downunder35m  


Fridge freezer to kegarator fermenter combo?

Gooday all, One for your Homebrew/refrigeration techs out there. I've got an old fridge freezer that I have decided to try put to some use by converting the freezer compartment to a fermentation chamber and the fridge area into a kegarator. I'm pretty confident I can do the necessary work for either of these jobs (with instructables guidelines!) but not sure about a fridge freezer as it's running off one compressor so (and I'm guessing here) if I have the freezer only kicking in occasionally to cool my fermenting chamber will that mean the fridge only kicks in occasionally too?? Will I not be able to have cool kegs and warm fermenters??? Help please, I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it!

Question by AshoBo    |  last reply


Transforming a upright freezer into a super airconditioner? Answered

 I'm getting a slightly broken, upright freezer from craigslist (only the seal is broke, so air's leaking out the door frame) and I was wondering if there is any way to make it into a slightly over sized air conditioner.  Living in Texas, it's kinda hot so I dont mind if its chilly (im the kind of guy that wears flipflops to North Carolina in the Winter on the Mountains). Im going to be putting it in a mobile home that will be internally demolished and transformed into a recording studio. It shall have its own little 'space' over in the corner. It would be great to cool down the heavy old-ish recording equipment and the computer I will house in the 'tech room'! Could I just cut a hole in the freezer and run a duct from it to the trailer? Would it put too much condensation? Thanks!  *Big, upright freezer around the size of a normal refridgerator*

Question by darkclaw42    |  last reply


Convert freezer ice maker into cold water dispenser

I'm wondering if anyone has ever converted an ice maker to dispense filtered tap water into the refrigerator.  I'm thinking a water line is already run into the ice maker so it could be split off and a hose could be run down into the refrigerator where you could push button dispense water or have it automatically fill a filtered water jug.  Let me know what you think.

Topic by joshthejest    |  last reply


what is a simple way to make an cooling mechanism?

I want to make a simple cooling mechanism(not talking about a fan here) which is simple to build, as little mechanical(moving) parts as possible, i don't have a huge budget...

Question by lieuwe    |  last reply


Fridge conversion anyone?

When I see my local scrap dealer I can't overlook the amount of well looked after chest freezers and fridges.I already found out that most either have a failed thermostat or failed heating element for the evaporation of the water during auto defrost cycles.So I started to think about converting a nice and small chest freezer for 12V use.A first check for available 12V compressors showed that they cost an arm and a leg.DIY with a 12 air compressor is out of the question for safety reasons and the fact that these toys are not ment to handle these conditions.My next stop was Youtube and I found some teardown and scrapping of fridge compressors.These things are actually so dead simple in design that without the enclosure we would need ear protection all day long.But durablitly is often really simple, sadly this mean anything to use a frequency generator or similar is not only inefficient but will fail on a condesator motor.However, these motors are quite bulky...In therory it should be possible remove all stator and mains voltage bits to make room around the rotor.And from that we really only need the axle and bearing mounts.Am I thinking too simple?What would stop someone from using a suitable sized brushless DC motor with couplings to the cut orginal axle?Modern, small compressors often use less than 200W, so how hard can it be?Disclaimer:I am aware of the legal side of things and such mods are nothing a tradesman would sign off for.But I do wonder and like to tinker to prove a point or theory ;)

Question by Downunder35m    |  last reply


equation to work out temperature rise please?

Hello, I would like to create a transparent chilled micro studio space: this is to photograph insects (which won't move if the temperature is cold so I can take a photo without harming them). My *basic* idea is 2 cube tanks from plexiglass, one approx 30*30*30cm (the smaller, in which the insect sits) and the larger 50*50*50, 2 tubes between them in a one way system to let air cycle between them, the larger with lots of freezerblocks and an aquarium pump to circulate the cold air through the system. I'm after a sustainable temperature (for approx 1 hr) of 1-3 degrees C. The sides have to be clear to let light from the flashes through, and there's a special slot in area into which a lens will poke through into the smaller cube. It's all perfectly doable and would in all honesty be a godsend if I could get it working. The thing is... I don't have the foggiest idea if it'll be cold enough, ie stay at the 1-3 deg C for an hr with a bunch of freezer blocks and a pump. And before making it it'd be good to know that theoretically it should work. Before I embark, would anyone knowledgable about such things be able to do a 'back of an envelope' rough guesstimate of whether it's likely to work or to be a miserable failure? Many thanks!!!

Topic by ingleslenobel    |  last reply


Can I add a DIY freezer compartment to my fridge?

I've got a large fridge, without a freezer compartment. I only use a small fraction of the space available in the fridge, so I was wondering if I could add a small freezer compartment to the top of it. The filament (or whatever it's called - the cooling bit) takes up the entire back wall of the fridge. It's built into the back, not visible. This is always getting covered with ice, even on low settings (probably because I only really use it to chill water - something to do with condensation, perhaps?), which I take to mean that it's capable of freezing stuff. And sometimes I leave bottles of water too close to the back of the fridge, and they get frozen solid. I was thinking I could maybe attach some kind of drawer to the back of the thing, just to keep ice cream, etc... But what could I make the drawer out of? Would it need to conduct the cool-ness from the filament at the back? Would I be okay to attach it by screwing into the sides of the fridge? (away from the cooling filament) I've spent all day googling for an answer. You're my only hope.

Question    |  last reply


MISSION: JELLO? Answered

 If you get two bowls of jello and stick them together in one bowl and put them in the freezer will they form together? Is there another method that works?

Question by awesume    |  last reply


Is it safe to put a metal dish in a freezer? Answered

I recently bought a stainless steel mess kit. Would it be safe to use it as a freezer dish; for instance, if I were to make a lasagne in it and then freeze it? I know you're not supposed to put metal cans containing food in the fridge, so I thought I'd check. Thanks! :-)

Question by MissPennyFarthing    |  last reply


Why dosent Vodka freeze in the freezer? Answered

Would it ever freeze? What about drinks with lower alcohol content? What about straight alcohol?

Question by yggdrazil    |  last reply


Recover heat from freezer condenser?

Anybody ever tried to use a freezer or fridge condenser to preheat water (before sending it to water heater)? I'm thinking about an easy setup; a coil of copper tubing fastened to the condenser. I know It seems insignificant, but given the low cost of the setup, i think it could be worth it.

Question by jemor143    |  last reply


i have an ice maker motor how much power does it need? Answered

I have an old ice maker and the lining that keeps the ice from sticking to it cane off so i took the motor out and put it up to a 9v battery and it did not work. i want to know how much power it needs. 

Question by tim127    |  last reply


what are the first steps to troubleshooting a freezer/refridgerator?

My fridge/freezer stops working every few days

Question by r.nasty    |  last reply


been thinking of building an emergency freezer , any pointers ?

By emergency i mean something to be used in time of crisis. 

Question by pacbe11    |  last reply


Aircon or fridge compressor to solar?

Sometimes I get weird ideas that I can't shake off :)When I was looking into options for a 12 compressor fridge freezer combo I was stunned.You a get a fullsized frrezer for far less!A further check revealed that it is mainly the linear compressor that makes the price plus the usual mark ups.Efficiency and especially start up is far better with thes compressors than out standard rotary and piston drive models.But why would it be so impossible to replace the motor from a standard compressor with a brushless DC one?I focussed on three things for the start:Lubrication, cooling and sealing.There is no such thing like a simple compressor with a piston system that does have some leaking.So apart from the noise the enclosure really needs to be welded and sealed again.Everything moving inside is lubricated by the drive shaft - it acts like a little pump.Same for the cooling of these vital parts.The oil flow exchanges heat through the big metal housing.A replacement motor would need to be suited to run in such a messy enviroment.Of course something to provide a proper oil flow needs to be created too if the drive shaft is replaced.With some basic enineering this might be possible, same for the motor mount and wiring to the outside.But what to do about the full load starting conditions that can happen?Even with no load from the cooling system the motor needs massive torque to get the piston moving.A bypass valve that closes once the motor is at proper speeds might work but hard to implement in a tight space.Any ideas?Did you ever try something that stupid?Could you make it work?What about a rotary compressor with external drive?We use ice blenders that have a magnetic base and the actual connection is made through the magnetic forces alone.A scroll compressor has lots of space without the original motor inside.Plus, a round pipe is easier to work with when it comes to adding or removing things.Small scroll compressors from an airconditioner or small industrial freezer wouldn't have to do much work in a small setup.Best thing is that with a variable speed the cooling power can be adjusted.How feasable would it be to use some polycarbonate end plate and a magnetically coupled drive ?Modern BLDC motors offer great performance and suitable gear systems are readily available.N52 neodymium magnets of the block type provide several kg of force if close enough to each other - should be enough to make a compressor spin...In return it could mean to have a nice freezer or even airconditioner that runs directly on solar power.No massive losses from inverters, no need for huge battery banks either.As long as the sun is out you have free power, once down you can still switch to a power supply for the motor or use battery power.Just imagine you come home after long day of work and the house is already cool.And you did not have to pay a cent to get it cool or wait for hours for it to reach this temperature!We love to add solar panels to our houses in the hope to get a few cents back from our energy providers.The sad reality often is that you might be able to power all your needs during the day but the excess that goes back to the grid often pays next to nothing.But if you could power a lot more things like a compressor directly with the electricity from your panels....Then these kWh would not appear on your usage bill either.Means you neither use what the power provider compensates you for nor is it "wasted" thorugh this bogus compensation.The normal solar setup can then provide you with this little extra money while an additional set powers the motors for your big freezer or little airconditioner - little being relative to what you make of the idea ;)If you really dare than you could even use your bike and legs to power your fridge directly ;)Use your imagination :)

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


I want an alarm to go off if the freezer door is open for 5 minutes or more.?

Our freezer door keeps getting left open, so I want to install an alarm that will go off if it stays open for 5 minutes or more.  I don't just want an open door alarm, than would be annoying when loading/unloading the freezer. One that would shock the offending child would be an added bonus but not needed.

Question by mark84gti1    |  last reply


After puncture in the freezer, the cylinder on the back underneath water tray is hot

I was deicing freezer in the refrigerator and accidentally puncture. Gas went out for a few seconds. The refrigerator has topped working. When I cleaned the back and trowed away accumulating water, the cylinder beneath is still hot. Any possibilities or repair?

Question by Sharing Fun with WiSH & EmmaS    |  last reply


I accidentally poked small hole in freezer cooling line, can I patch it with flex seal or something like it?

Was de-icing my haier mini fridge, when I accidentally punctured a tiny hole in  freezer wall cooling line, it hissed for like 2 seconds. Is it safe to plug back in? and can I patch the hole?

Question by brandon.salinas.319    |  last reply


I put a water bottle in the freezer but it didn't freeze, but then...? Answered

I took it out and unscrewed the cap, and then bam the whole thing inside froze and it started from the top straight down like a loading bar. Anybody know what just happened?

Question by GorillazMiko    |  last reply


Where do you buy small amounts of freezer paper without buying a great big roll?

I need freezer paper for a quilting project, but I don't know where to buy a small amount, I only have found the great big rolls for $40 dollars on line and I don't want to go to that expense for one project. Do you know of a Craft store where you can buy smaller amounts?

Question    |  last reply


Is there a way to chemically freeze ice?

I need to know how to freeze water outside a freezer.

Question by lkjhgfdsaasdfghjkl    |  last reply


I poked a hole in my mini fridge freezer and I tried to fix it with superglue, was that a bad idea?

I was trying to pry ice off of the freezer because the ice was stopping the door from closing. I was using a Flathead screwdriver and a hammer. I hit the ice and started hearing a hissing noise, so i got scared and immediately unplugged it. I tried super gluing the hole shut, and i'm wondering if that was a terrible Idea or if that will fix it, and another important question is will the gas that came out poison my food/ drinks. Also I don't know the model but it is from black and Decker.

Question by les8    |  last reply


I recently poked a hole into my freezer while chipping away at the iceberg inside.?

No chemical smell was detected butI did hear a hissing sound and now it will not get cool or freeze. I do not believe I hit the freon source but rather some type of compressed air source. Can my unit be saved?

Question by daviddelie    |  last reply


Invent an ice cube big enough to fit in a big gulp type cup or make smaller freezer container so ice won't melt in drink Answered

You know those square blue reusable freezer things you put in your kids lunch bags? Something like that for a Big Gulp Cup only round.

Question by aprilsflower1958    |  last reply


Frigidare / Electrolux FRT04L5DB0 Refrigerator

Anyone know how to get the freezer door apart to switch the hinge on this unit?

Topic by Red Gym    |  last reply


Can saltwater be desalted by freezing it?

When putting the saltwater in the freezer for 12 hrs, will it make the concentration become lower than before?

Question by The Acid    |  last reply


External aquarium heater with digital control

I lost about 300 fish just a few days ago when my tank heater decided to stay on when it failed.(examination showed the theromstat contacts were fused together)So far I never worried about failing heaters as so far they just wouldn't heat anymore once the failed.This time I lost about $400 in living creatures and 2 years of breeding.Guess that is the punishment for being away for a few days - a bit over 50°C in your tank...Normal tank heater come in the submersible form or with the clear instruction NOT to submerge them abvoe a certain line - usually under the rubber capEither way they all love to fail within a few years if you are lucky, otherwise sooner.The one thing I always hated is that you need to find ways to hide them in your tank, in some cases you even need to a heat shield to protect sensitve critters in your tank.I though that there should be a cheap and easy way to eliminate most of the annoying factors....Simple, digital temperature controller....You find digital thermostats for your fridge and freezer for around $30-100 bucks, depending on the brand and features.Downside is they all activate the output once the temperature gets too hot.For under $10 you can get universal thermostat controllers- just a tiny white box with the display, two buttons and a few wires...Won't place a link but with the above you should find them on Ebay and Amazon for as said under $10.These can be set with the min temp being above the max temp - this effectively reverts the output state ;)Looks a bit weird when setting the temps this way but after that the power on the output is alive once the temp is BELOW of the set temp.And you can set the differential as low as 0.1°C if you like, but 2-3°C are fine for most tanks.Abandoning the internal heater thermostat....As the number one cause of failure apart from water getting inside we should not use the internal thermostat anymore now.To do this without messing around the temp is simply dialed way above what you will need for your tank.E.G.: If you want 24°C in your tank over the digital controller than the heater thermostat is cranked to 27° or higher.The on-off will be handled through the power our new digital controller provides.Sealing a heater....You should not have to do this but an awful lot of heaters simply fail because water makes it inside somehow.I use a bead of UV curing resin or UV curing epoxy glue for the first stage.The glass won't really expand, so the rubber from the cap won't expand much either.All we do is to add another layer of sealing protection.That stuff however is not always fully qualified for being suberged or just in contact with water a lot.So we add another bead of aquarium grade silicone on top.This also protects our tank from any harful chemicals the UV glue might otherwise release over time.Going external...With an external filter pump it just does not seem to make much sense to have a heater insde the tank.For some reason those filter manufactureres though about almost anything, including build in UV sterilisation - but not a heater...Using a bit of 5mm PVC drain pipe, two end caps and some hose fittings for your aquarium hoses we are set again.A bit of stainless steel wire from the gardeing section of hardware store helps too - the soft, flexible kind, not the really stiff and hard wire please!Design of the external heater:In one end cap you want to drill a hole of the same diameter as your heater tube, a mm bigger won't hurt too much but don't make so small that you need brute force to get the heater through the hole.Seal the inside and outside of the cap with silicone.If you want the heater to be replaced easily in case it does fail again (which it should not!), then you a pipe with a screw fitting and a screw on cap.Keep the assembly steady and secured while the (aquarium grade!) silicone cures - if in doubt let it cure for few more days.The lenght of the pipe should be so that there is enough space left in the bottom so the heater will have about 6cm until it would touch the other end cap.The pipe connections can be for one on the other end cap if you mount the pipe somehwere, otherwise both connectors should on the side of the pump and as close to the caps as feasable.Again, seal the inside and outside of these connections with silicone and let it cure.It helps if the fittings are of the screw in type with a backing nut.Downsides of having an external heater...You need to clean it out when you clean your filter, an added few minutes.If the heater thermostat is set too high and your pump is not running the water in the pipe and hoses will rise to the set temperature of the heater.For a medium sized tank that is no problem, for really small tanks it should be considered though - set the thermostat of the the heater not to the max if you think you might forget the water circulation one day ;)Upsides of having an external heater...The biggest benefit of having and external heater with a digital temperature controller is the lifespan.I used a dirst cheap 400W tube heater like this for over 6 years until finally the actually heating element failed.With the nicely illuminated temp display the times of checking the sticker on the tank or trying to read this tiny floating thermomoter are over as well.Possible upgrade options if you know how to solder or at least know how to correctly wire a relay...With an external tube comes the option to include a UV sterlisation lamp on the other end.The tube will be accordingly longer but a submersible lamp only costs a fraction of these ready made solutions that you still need to attach your your hoses somehow - and they are often quite big...Apart from that there is the option to modify a digital fridge thermostat (about $20-100 bucks) like the STL-1000.As most of them can't be re-programmed for other than cooling use and only have a single output for the compressor the internal relay needs to be replaced.Just select one that somehow fits inside once the original is removed and wire the NC and common output for your heater.Not in mood to fiddle with a controller and solder? No problem either!Just wire another relay to the output.Means the power that the controller switches on it will then switch your additional relay on.This gives you the option to use the proper contacts again to turn your heater on.Using a normal fridge controller this way however requires thinking the wrong way around for the temps.Remember!! : The frige controller "turns on" when the temp goes ABOVE a set temperature!!If you use it like this and connect your heater directly it means it will only turn off once the temp is BELOW the set temp and it will never again go below, only up and up and up....The added or exchanged relay however gives us the option to reverse this to some extent.You set the controller to the MAX temp that you want in your tank.Let's say 24°C , by default this gives a 3°C hystersis, meaning depening on the programming of the controller it will turn on at 27° or close to it - keep that in mind add realise that it means your 24° might need to be set to 21° so the temp won't go over 24° in your tank.Ok, got it, but what exactly happens now and why does it work?When the controller reads below the set temp, like when setting up a new tank with cold water from the tap, it won't provide mains power on the compressor output.It knows the "fridge" is fine right now.Our added relay will be off for the same reason, however we connected our mians power to the common contact of the new relay, the heater on the NC (normally closed contact) and from there back to neutral.Means our heater will get power when the temp controller in the OFF-state.Now the temp start to go up in your tank and sooner or later it will reach the set temp you adjusted the controller to.Suddelny the controller sees a risk for your food in the fridge to go bad and decides to turn the compressor back on to cool it down.As we added our relay it means it will turn on as well.Our NC, normally closed contact, opens and the heater turns off.From ther is just continues within the range of about 3°C....You added digital temp display to your nice fish tank, don't have to worry anymore about your heater prematurely failing and if you like:Some controller offer an alarm output.This can be used with an added relay the same way as before and would then warm you if you heater burnt out and the temp in your tank goes too low.Why so "complicated" if there is microcontrollers?Anyone can use some Arduino and do the same with ease - if anyone can program what it is required.However, even our average Joe with no electronic skills can to the above mods within a few hours excluding the curing time for the silicone.Back to the basics, and after all we already have a microcontroller inside out firdge controller ;)And as said, if in doubt then even a $10 one will do the trick without any mods to it.What about that stainless steel wire?? Don't tell me I wasted 5 bucks for nothing!You did not...Long heaters or UV lamps certainly benefit from it.But even a smaller one is much more stable inside the pipe if you create a simple wire cage for it.The stuff usually comes in a rolled up form of a 10 or 20 meters.With that it is easy to make some loop with the heater ube in the center.Just make a wrap around the pipe with enough left either end to form a ring or spiral that fits inside the pipe.There is not much spring action happening with this wire, so the loops can be quite big and you just push them inside inside while decreasing the diameter until they slide in.If you have a 3D priter you also just print a ring with a hole for the heater and some spokes to cneter it in the pipe.What about heat transfer and even temps in my tank?With the usual in tank setup you have to ensure anyway that the heater is in the waterflow.Otherwise one side of the tank warms up more than the other.With the heater being in the flow of the external pump directly we pump in warmer water and suck out the colder water the other end.Results in a more stable and even overall temperature especially on long tanks.Enjoy!

Topic by Downunder35m  



How to use an old freezer/fridge as a garden box or fish pond? How would you establish drainage?

Not that I have space for such here at home, but thinking along green lines and how to recycle old appliances. I know my grandpa had an old freezer he used that was converted to a mini green house wiht some grow lights, but I was thinking more along the lines of container gardening or fish pond.

Question by tbeatty    |  last reply