Thursday, February 23, 2017

Replace broken Beverage Chiller with Chest Freezer

The refurbished chiller that I have been using to cool the water and seltzer (carbonated water) for the soda tower finally gave out on me.I got it from I think the compressor failed. It was rather noisy and inefficient anyway so I don't feel bad.
This is the guts of the chiller, There is a compressor, evaporator, and coils where the refrigerant runs to cool the water below.

The problem is that replacement would be rather expensive, > $1000. My carbonator still works and there are no other problems with the system.
I decided to DIY a chiller from a chest freezer.
I found a GE chest freezer on craigslist. 5.0 cubic feet. $75.

 I picked it up and went to work.
I drilled two holes at the top of the left side to pass the lines.
I then placed the coils from the chiller inside the freezer.

Next I filled the freezer with 4 cases of bottled water to maintain the temperature.
I bought a temperature controller to turn the freezer into a refrigerator. The controller is set to keep the temp between 3 and 5 degrees Celsius. It converts the freezer to a refrigerator. If it were to freeze, the pipes would burst and I would have a flood on my hands.

Hooked it all up. Put the temp probe toward the bottom of the freezer to get the coldest reading. Put some putty to fill the holes.

Plugged it in and turned it on.
For under $100 I replaced my chiller with a much nicer looking, quieter, and more energy efficient solution.


  1. Alan, I'm in the very same boat as you! I didn't buy my chiller on sodadispenser but replacing something I got on craigslist. I'd rather not spend 1500 for their chiller which is basically the same thing. Is this hack still working for you, as well as the dedicated chiller? Any other points I should be aware of? Seems like a better solution to me! Thank thanks thanks!

  2. It is still working. Had one problem where the garage temperature was very high and the freezer couldn't keep up. Only happened once so far. If you are using it indoors I wouldn't worry.
    It is also much quieter and uses less energy than the dedicated chiller.
    Other tips: Make sure not to let the temp go below 32 degrees F, the pipes will burst. Fill the freezer with bottled water so that the temperature stays constant.