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Beverage Center/Cooler Feedback Needed

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any models they like or dislike and any reasons why?

I'm finishing off a basement theater/game room and it will have a granite counter top about 8 feet long against one wall. Under the counter will be, from left to right, an ice maker, about 4.5 feet of cabinets and finally the beverage center.

I'm looking for stainless steel and something that can "display" wine nicely as well as hold soda cans and bottles of beer with a glass front.

The GE Profile, PCR06BATSS would be great but it's very pricey.

Does anyone have any experience with this it?
Is it worth the price?
Are there any others that perform well out there that are less expensive?
Adequate cooling is important without being too loud.

Thanks.
post #2 of 7
IMO, when I built my house, my bar plans were similar to yours, with the expectation of a stainless counter-height fridge and a glass-front beverage center. Looking at all of them I could find, from the ~$300 Magic Chef at Home Depot to the GE Profile ~$1500 models, all the beverage centers had the same issue. They only cooled to 40 degrees, and at that level "the compressor may run continuously". Yikes!

So I changed my plan, and simply put space for a regular, full-sized refrigerator, with obviously a freezer and built-in icemaker. I'm glad I did. Everything is actually cold, I have ice, space in the freeze for ice cream, a few liquor bottles and bar glasses.

It doesn't have the cool look of the glass-front beverage center, but since it's behind the bar anyway, it wasn't worth the expense (both in purchase price and in operating cost). Also, when I've got a lot of folks over for poker, who bring their own beer, there's a lot more room for it...



One thing I would do differently - I didn't leave space for a large waste can somewhere in the bar. So when there's a party, I end up bringing two out of the nearby closet to handle the garbage and recycling...

Jeff
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Looking at all of them I could find, from the ~$300 Magic Chef at Home Depot to the GE Profile ~$1500 models, all the beverage centers had the same issue. They only cooled to 40 degrees, and at that level "the compressor may run continuously". Yikes!

Same problem I ran into when I was looking for a kegerator. It seems that just about all of the small beverage centers, kegerators, wine fridges, etc that are available do not get colder than 40-45 degrees, which is just waaaaaay too warm for beer. Not sure why that is, but it seems to be very common.

One solution is to buy a small freezer instead of a fridge, and then use an external temperature regulator to turn it on and off.
post #4 of 7
I ended up moving the temp. probe from the bottom of the fridge to the very top. Simple black wire found on the spools at HD and heat shrink tape. Now I'm 42 at the very top and near 32 at the bottom. I have had a can or two explode from freezing so keep an eye on them for a few days!
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmeister View Post

I ended up moving the temp. probe from the bottom of the fridge to the very top. Simple black wire found on the spools at HD and heat shrink tape. Now I'm 42 at the very top and near 32 at the bottom. I have had a can or two explode from freezing so keep an eye on them for a few days!

What model/brand are you using?

I'm pretty much locked in to the under counter size at this point. So if I can find one of decent quality for a good price I'll pull the trigger. If I can do a little re-work on it like you did to keep the temps. down that would be a bonus.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcusj50 View Post

What model/brand are you using?

I'm pretty much locked in to the under counter size at this point. So if I can find one of decent quality for a good price I'll pull the trigger. If I can do a little re-work on it like you did to keep the temps. down that would be a bonus.

The cold/heat distribution is always uneven on the smaller units simply because there is no air movement. One common hack is to add a small PC fan to the inside of the fridge. It does wonders.

I'd suggest taking a look at the Micromatic forums. Most of the discussions revolve around kegerators, but the hacks and mods apply to most mini and under-counter fridges. If you have a fridge model in mind, search the forums - you are likely to find some discussion on it.
post #7 of 7
I think mine is a GE. It was from one of those scratch n dent stores. Any with a probe in the bottom will work though.
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