Heating my Fridge.

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Aaron Rennie

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I've just picked up a second hand fridge on gumtree, costing the 10miles of fuel I'll need for the round trip to collect. Just need the heating and control unit. What are people's thoughts on belt vs pad? Initial feelings are for a pad
 
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Chippy_Tea

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Members usually use a small tube heater and an Inkbird controller (skip to 1:32 in the video below)

Inkbird - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Inkbird-ITC-308-100V-240V-AC-Digital-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat-fan-UK/123365957832?hash=item1cb92f20c8:g:n2oAAOSwVxdbmNyz

Tube Heater - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tube-Tubular-heater-60W-1ft-for-Garages-Sheds-Summerhouses-or-Greenhouses/173538239051?hash=item2867af624b:g:xvoAAOSwImRYEN6G

He has drilled the side but as you don't know what pipework/wiring might be in the side of yours probably best to do as members here have and feed the wires through the drain hole at the back or leave plenty of slack and close the door on the probe wire.








 
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jceg316

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I've got a tube heater and ink bird. The rubber seal between the door and the fridge is thick enough on my fridge so I can trail the heating cable and temp gauge without having to drill a hole in the side of the fridge.

My tube heater is quite long, maybe twice the size of Chippy's, I have it vertically next to the FV.
 

BarnBrian

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40 watt tube heater and Inkbird.
You can usually run the wires through the drain hole although it may need to be opened out a bit.
 

Chippy_Tea

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My tube heater is quite long, maybe twice the size of Chippy's, I have it vertically next to the FV.
Please check that your heater is designed to be used vertically as most are not and they can overheat if not used horizontally.
 

Oneflewover

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I certainly wouldn't use a heat belt. This was my heat source when I first had a brew fridge and after a while I noticed that it had started to melt the part of the fridge it was in contact with. Wasn't a cheap knock-off version either.

I use a tube heater. Not sure you are supposed to mount them vertically @jceg316?
 

Chippy_Tea

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We have had the tube heater vertical v horizontal discussion before and below is the answer from one source, there are many such warnings about this on various sale sites hence my earlier post, be careful out there. ;)

The one below says it will cut out I have read others that say it's a fire risk.

Hello, The WWTH20FT Tubular Heater cannot be mounted Vertically due to the thermostat control, it will over heat and cut out..
 
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Zephyr259

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I use reptile heat mats, mostly use the 14w version here, but also got a 20w one for when I'm using a yeast which likes to ferment at 39c.
 

divrack

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Or you can get a stc1000 for a tenner and wire it to an old lamp and stick an empty tin can on it.
Cheap cheap.
 

cushyno

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One of these works for me. 11w energy saving lightbulb inside an old pan. Tuna tin underneath to keep the hot pan raised off the fridge floor. Lid on the pan keeps bright light off the FV.
 

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jceg316

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I certainly wouldn't use a heat belt. This was my heat source when I first had a brew fridge and after a while I noticed that it had started to melt the part of the fridge it was in contact with. Wasn't a cheap knock-off version either.

I use a tube heater. Not sure you are supposed to mount them vertically @jceg316?
I'm not sure if you're supposed to, so far it's working with no issues.
 

jceg316

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Please check that your heater is designed to be used vertically as most are not and they can overheat if not used horizontally.
I have read it's best to use these horizontally, but I can't remember whether my specific tube heater came with that warning.
 

foxbat

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I tried the tube heater but found them way too powerful for a small fridge. I switched to a £2 25W ceramic reptile heating lamp (like this one) screwed into an E27 socket itself screwed onto a wood base. It works perfectly.
 

BarnBrian

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One of these works for me. 11w energy saving lightbulb inside an old pan. Tuna tin underneath to keep the hot pan raised off the fridge floor. Lid on the pan keeps bright light off the FV.
An upside down 6" terracotta flowerpot might work better. My grandad use that setup to keep a glue pot warm. Sit it over the lamp with some spacers to allow convection.
 

BridgeBrew

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This is my setup. The thermostat on the Fridge has been by passed, so the fridge is controlled via the STC1000
It has a 15w tube heater mounted in the bottom of the fridge, the STC stat runs through the old fridge stat cable hole, the F/V, or Keg sit's on a 10mm perspex shelf with 25mm hole's drilled in it to distribute the heat. It work's great keeping the temp within 0.5 of a degree.
 

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wix1210

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I have an infra red reptile heating lamp at the bottom of my fridge with an Inkbird ITC-308 controller. The beauty of it is the lamp doesn't give off any light...
20180830_190302.jpg

20180830_190341.jpg
 

HoppyTommy

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On the subject of drilling through the side of fridges I've done a couple now with no problems. I start off by making a tiny test hole from the inside just through the inner plastic shell then have a tentative dig round through the hole with a blunt object e.g. thin allen key. If no tubing is found then use a bigger drill bit away you go. Someone told me most the cooling lines tend to be in the back anyway but some fridges do have them in the sides.

The whole process did provide some excitement to an otherwise dull night!!! Just listen carefully for the hiss when you plug the fridge back in!!
 

Rodj

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Or you can get a stc1000 for a tenner and wire it to an old lamp and stick an empty tin can on it.
A biggish can of the beer-kit type with a batten lamp-holder fixed inside and a 12W incandescent-type pygmy bulb keeps my budgies warm at night during the winter. Their cage is covered, the heater is outside the cover with another cover to keep the warmth near the cage. They appreciate it. Add an STC and it would serve to use in an insulated brewing cabinet.
 

BarnBrian

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A biggish can of the beer-kit type with a batten lamp-holder fixed inside and a 12W incandescent-type pygmy bulb keeps my budgies warm at night during the winter. Their cage is covered, the heater is outside the cover with another cover to keep the warmth near the cage. They appreciate it. Add an STC and it would serve to use in an insulated brewing cabinet.
It must be a big cage if you can fit an FV in there with the budgies. Are you brewing "Speckled Hen"? ;)
 
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