Archive for May 2010

Walk-in Fridge

Walk-in Fridge
(I got tired of running out of room in the refrigerator)

The Problem:
When we have a party, we like to have plenty of beverages on hand… we just don’t have the refrigerator room that we would like.

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Friend’s fridges:
After visiting a couple of friend’s houses, we got the idea to build our own walk-in refrigerator.

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The Idea:
We decided to put the walk-in fridge under the stairs leading down to the basement. We are framing it out with 2×4 walls and insulating it with sheet insulation purchased from Home Depot. We are using both 2″ and 1″ insulation thicknesses to reach a total of 3″ of insulation. It has an R-Value of 6.5 per inch, so total R-Value of 19.5 or more when counting the plywood on each side of the walls.

Drawings:
Here are some AutoCAD drawings of it… now in 3D!!!
(Click for a larger photo)

Based on these drawings, which were measured halfway through the build so should be fairly accurate, the fridge will be
170 cubic feet!!!!

Legend:

Green Box: Fridge that will act as a motor
Blue Boxes: Average size of a 24-pack of beer
Red cylinders: Kegs, large ones are 16g smaller ones are 5g corney kegs
Yellow lines: Where the 4 tap handles come though the wall

That wall that sticks out into the fridge isn’t really there; I just couldn’t get the slope right without showing it.

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The Space:
We are using the space under the stairs, the boxed out area next to the stairs was already like that when we got the house. We added the pocket door which leads into the utility room (our brewery) and ripped down the wall on the side of the stairs.

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Vent Move:
Took down the heater vent, and had my HVAC buddies move it to the side.
Framed out wall and added a stud to mark top of opening where the refrigerator unit that will be used to power the walk-in is going to go.

Before:

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After: (Also took out wall that door will go into)

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This is the fume hood that they made for us to go with our awesome burner.
In return for this work, we taught them how to brew their own beer.

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SCORED!
We are regular customers at a local restaurant supply store and found this reach-in refrigerator door. This is the kind used to hold sodas at your local convenience store. It is just the right size for our needs and even includes working lights!

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Rebuilt Door Frame:
The original wall that was here was solid 2x4s stacked on top of each other.
We decided that it would be better to rebuild it and start over.

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Floor:

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Electrical:
The power will come down from the garage where I am going to have a subpanel installed, go into the outlet for the fridge motor, then run though the walk-in walls to the switch just outside the glass door, then backup to the power pack for the door lights.

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Brewery wall:
There will be a hole cut out for the fridge to go up to. The fridge that is on the right side of the photo will be used: we will take the doors off and push it up to the opening, so you will be able to see inside the fridge from the inside of the walk-in.

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Reverse Side:

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Plywood and Seams Finished:
Finished layering the inside with plywood, and then caulked all the seams. Decided to use basic painters caulking, since I had a lot of it on hand.

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Prepped the Fridge, and moved it into place:
Took the doors off of the fridge I am using to power the walk-in, added a weather strip all around the fridge edge (not pictured) then moved the fridge up to the opening and strapped it in place. Some photos from the inside after I turned it on… and finally me enjoying a nice cold beer in the coolest room in the house.

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