Fridge build questions. Need your opinions

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by rbranstner, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I am finally getting around to work on this fridge build that I received from Todd last winter. I wanted some opinions on what to do about removing the insulation and piping. I have an old Pepsi fridge like you would see in the gas station that has a glass door. The inside is all metal and has metal racks so my question is do you think I need to to anything to it as far as trying to remove what ever is on the back side of that metal? I was going to remove the motor and everything I can from the bottom but as far as trying remove any piping or coils that run inside the smoker in the back should I even worry about them since they are inclosed in the smoker and the inside where my meat is going to be is all metal? This is what I am work with.

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  2. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    If it's just cold smoking it might be OK.The refrigeration tubeing has oil and freon residue which when heated makes phosgene. Phosgene may also be produced during testing for leaks of older-style refrigerant gasses. Chloromethanes (R12, R22 and others) were formerly leak-tested in situ by employing a small gas torch (propane, butane or propylene gas) with a sniffer tube and a copper reaction plate in the flame nozzle of the torch. If any refrigerant gas was leaking from a pipe or joint, the gas would be sucked into the flame via the sniffer tube and would cause a colour change of the gas flame to a bright greenish blue. In the process, phosgene gas would be created due to the thermal reaction. No valid statistics are available, but anecdotal reports suggest that numerous refrigeration technicians suffered the effects of phosgene poisoning due to their ignorance of the toxicity of phosgene, produced during such leak testing. Electronic sensing of refrigerant gases phased out the use of flame testing for leaks in the 1980s. Similarly, phosgene poisoning is a consideration for people fighting fires that are occurring in the vicinity of freon refrigeration equipment, smoking in the vicinity of a freon leak, or fighting fires using halon or halotron.I would cut it out with a tubing cutter or sawzall.On the good side their is probably $30-$50 in scrap metal their in what needs to be removed.Just make sure you make your cuts to separate dissimilar metals.Copper,stainless or aluminum it's usely one of the 3 or a mix.If your hot smokeing you need to check to see if you have foam board insulation.[​IMG]  and i will be watching
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  3. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It's About Time!

    I don' know if I would go crazy about removing the coils, unless they're easy to get to.

    SOB had one similar to your's.  I wonder what he did??

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yea I talked to him last winter off and on about this but I have not been able to get a hold  of him lately via PM. Is he done with his yet? He would be in the same situation as I am in.
  5. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    More reasons to get rid of the tubes. If the tubes  get hot  this phosgene may come out  and you won't know till it's too late it's worse than gas mask training you get in the military.[​IMG]Removeing the tubes is not hard .
  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Once I dig into it I will actually see what I am up against. As for right now I have no idea what is back there or what it takes to get it out as I have never opened up a fridge before.
  7. doctord1955

    doctord1955 Smoking Fanatic

    will the smoker be outside?

     I used a 21 cubic foot upright freezer and only took compressor and components that were visible out.

    Made 2 yrs ago took plastic door liner out and covered with tin after i used fiberglass unbatted insulation in door.

    use up to temps of 245 an no problems
  8. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I was planning on putting an electric heating element inside the smoker on the bottom. I will probably use an Amazin smoker to produce my smoke.
  9. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    If you know someone that is in the refrigeration repair you could have them put their vacuum pump on the system and let it run for a couple of days.  You can also talk to them about purging the system with nitrogen a couple of time through the process.  I believe the pump will remove all the freon and oil if left run long enough.
  10. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well I was waiting for the wife to get home from work tonight so I started dinking with the fridge. I was surprised that it only took me 30-45 minutes to remove the compressor and all of the fans and piping. It was barely any work at all compared to what I though it was going to be. After removing the compressor and fan in the bottom of the fridge I opened  the door and there were two pieces of angle iron one on each side along the back of the fridge. One side had the copper pipe going to the fan  at the top of the  fridge and the other side had all of the wiring. I removed 6 screws and the angle iron and everything was exposed and I pulled them both out through the bottom of the fridge. No all I have is one big solid chamber. Shoot if I knew it was that easy I would have worked on this a long time ago.
  11. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    I told you it wasn't hard[​IMG].Is this a hot smoker or cold or both.
  12. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well I was hoping to make in into both a hot and cold smoker but I am getting mixed info on weather I can use this as a hot smoker because of the glass door and also because it appears it has spray foam style insulation inside the walls and I would need to rip the walls apart somehow and remove it because it will probably melt and give off toxic fumes as well as being a fire hazard. I have no clue how to remove the walls to get to insulation. There are just a handful of rivets that I see on the outside but they don't look like they will gain me access to the inner walls from what I can tell. Maybe I will just have to turn this into a cold smoker or just use it for sausage and fish where I am only getting up to around 150 degrees inside the chamber. Any thoughts?
  13. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    I have had good luck removing the foam board with a flat pry-bar and a hammer amd a air chisel.[​IMG]Have some beer around its time consuming just getting to it.
  14. doctord1955

    doctord1955 Smoking Fanatic

    is the glass tempered glass?

    look in on of the corners is should tell u!

    the freezer i made into a smoker has the blown in foan insulation an have no problems with it!
  15. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's what I did. And when all else fails, use a respirator, goggles, and a blow torch.
  16. I have a soda cooler with a glass door that I want to make into a smoker. I have ripped all the refrigeration workings out of it. I was wondering if someone could help me get it set up to start smoking? I have no previous smoking experience. Thanks in advance for your help.
  17. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    I have a larger glass door cooler I was working on. After weeks of reading un being undecided I thought it would be best to be cautious and rip out the insulation.

    Glad I did. It doesn't hold up well to heat at all, and there was actually Styrofoam blocks scattered throughout the walls in the polyurethane insulation. Also black goopy gross goo.

    I realized it will be cheaper to buy a smoker than re-purpose the cooler i have, like yours. If you can make a new liner for it for cheap then its not so bad. Not an option for me unfortunately.

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014

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