Introduction: How to Convert a Mini Fridge to a Chest Refrigerator
It's just awful that when I open my refrigerator, all the cold air falls out. This makes me sad. So, I turned my refrigerators word upside down, or at least 90 degrees. Now, when I open the door, more cold air stays inside and this makes me happy - it increases my quality of life in fact.
For the rest of you with a large refrigerator.... I, and my partner in crime have something cooking for you. But, it's going to take a month or so as I want data showing this big refrigerator modification works. As you read meters are whizzing and collecting :)
Step 1: Aquire Fridge
This particular model was discovered in the annals of the UCF dumpsters during dorm move-out. The funny thing is, it was found, in the dumpster, with ice inside.
Step 2: Unscrew Compresser Assembly
To speed up production time, the compressor is assembled on a compressor mount separately from the rest of the unit. So, unscrew the compressor assembly from the fridge.
Step 3: Rotate Compressor
Firmly grasp the compressor and rotate it 90 degrees so that the top of the compressor faces what will become the bottom of the refrigerator. Try not to move it too much to prevent damage to the lines coming in and out the compressor.
Please note, it will take a fair amount of force to rotate the compressor assembly. This is normal.
Step 4: Support
If your refrigerator is designed like mine, the compressor assembly will not fit back into the space provided by the fridge manufacturer. I scrounged up 4 1/2 inch PVC couplings to act as spacers. I'm also using a spare bit of 1/2" PVC pipe and two 90 degree elbows to make feet.
I used 5 minute epoxy ($1 from harbor freight) to secure the feet and coupling risers.
Step 5: Turn Fridge Upright - Ignition
And by upright I mean on it's back - the new bottom :)
Before turning on, you'll probably want to let the compressor sit upright for a few hours, to make sure any oil settles back at the base. I'm not quite sure this is completely necessary as I believe the lubrication is in the refrigerant itself, but perhaps its best to play on the side of caution.
Now, plug your chest refrigerator in and turn it on :)
Step 6: Freezer Modification and Stock Up
For those wanting to turn a refrigerator into a freezer, it shouldn't be too hard. The only thing you'll need is a new thermostat that is connected to your compressor. As mine will be used, for now, as the beer fridge with spirits locker - I will not be converting to a freezer.