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Old 26-02-2008, 22:54   #1
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Verticle Vs. Horizontal Evaporator

After a long run around trying to buy a Refer off E-bay, I am finally breaking down an buying a Alder-Barber Cold Machine. They are very common throughout the boating industry in general. I am using it for a top loading Ice box convertion of 4 cu. ft. My question is, what is more practicle for a top loader...a verticle or a horizontal evaporator. It seems to me a Verticle would be the way to go but I would like other peoples feedback.
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Old 27-02-2008, 06:05   #2
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Our current fridge just died but it did work great for about 17 years. For a top loading you will find vertical is easier to load because it is easier to get at and you see inside it. Ours was set up with box cut in half with an adjustable divider made of 3/8 inch lexan panels. You placed frozen food inside the evaporator leaving the outside of the area on the evaporator side clear. If you try to just fill it solid the cooling won't be as efficient and you might have some problems. You then use the other side for refrigeration.

The basic air cooled Cold Machine is a popular unit and on our last boat we used a cold plate with the Cold Machine and I think I liked it better but I can't say it actually worked much better but used less space. That fridge died at 18 years of age and we replaced it with the same design.

About the only bad thing I can say is it seems I am attracted to boats with fridges that are about 15 years old and they die on me and I have to replace them.

If you are refitting an old fridge see if there are ways to add insulation. Even a little bit more won't be a bad idea.
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Old 27-02-2008, 09:36   #3
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Thanks Paul...I am planning on 3" urethane foam sheeting.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:41   #4
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I mounted my Cold Machine evaporater verticle. I figured the newly filled ice trays would not spill as easy, and with a top loading box it is more convenient.
On my Bristol 35 the refer box is quite large. I added an inch of insulation on the inside and reglassed it, for more insulation. I also made 2 opening lids. 1 is over the evaporater. The other on the other side. This way I don't have to open the whole top to get stuff out. I also mounted the evaporater high enough so a stach of beer fits below it for proper cooling.

A word of caution. When I reglassed the box on the inside, I used poleyester resin. It was about 15 years ago, so bear with me.
After finishing, I couldn't get the resin smell out of the box! It was a major problem as I was living aboard and was using the box.
After asking numerous sources, one person had the answer. It was the resin I used. I can't remember which it was, but I either used resin with wax, or without. One of them lets the stuff that smells rise to the surface and dissapear. The other doesn't.
The cure was to rub it down numerous times with MEK.
Try eating corn on the cob that tastes like fiberglass resin!!
Hope this info helps someone.
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:57   #5
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A top loading fridge should have a top loading evapourator - hence I’d also recommend a vertical unit.
Unfortunately, the vertical ice-cube trays are expensive.

Waeco Alder/Barbour
Aluminum “Verticube” Ice Tray $34.95
"PolyGrid Insert" for VertiCube Tray $8.50
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:20   #6
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I'm no expert, but I don't really agree that vertical is necessarily the best way to go. How easy it is to load the ice trays into the evaporator is only one of many factors to consider. My top loading box has a horizontal evaporator installed at the top of the box, but just off to the side of the lid. It's still easy to slide trays in, and because the cold air drops, I get the benefit of freezing the food that is below the evaporator. But that is with my box setup, which extends about 18" to one side of the opening lid.
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:32   #7
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I'll say it again....factory support from AB (Waeco) is virtually non existant. I have the air/water cold machine and I speak from personal experience. There are other choices.
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