Old Chest Freezer - Adjusting Freezer Thermostat (Using Screws)

FishInTheDesert

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Thermostat Post

Hi everyone, I bought an old chest freezer that I want to adjust to use as a fridge. I am aware that freezer thermostats generally have a screw that can be adjusted to change the temperature range, and that many also have a "differential screw" (there may be other terms for it but I don't know them), which increases or decreases the difference between the cut-in and cut-out temperatures. I have a Frigidaire 5304513033 thermostat, and I can see two screws on it, but I don't know which is one and I'm having a hard time figuring it out through trial and error. Does anyone know where I can learn more about this part? Any advice or suggestions would be a BIG help to me.

Thanks!

Thermostat:
Temperature Control Thermostat 5304513033
 

rickgburton

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The "cut in" and "cut out" screws are used at the factory for fine adjustments to the cold control. You can't convert a freezer cold control to refrigerator cold control. By design, the chest freezer evaporator is in the sides. Short cycling the compressor to maintain higher temps will damage the compressor. There are chest type coolers for cold drinks that looks like a chest freezer but it uses a different type compressor. You can make a beer fridge out of a refrigerator but not a freezer.
 

FishInTheDesert

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Thanks for your response! I can see how decreasing the differential between cut-in and cut-out temps could overburden the compressor. All the same I would think that adjusting the temperature range without changing the differential shouldn't have a big effect on how often the compressor is turning on and off. Is there a reason why adjusting only the temperature range might be an issue?

Also, since I already fiddled with the differential screw, do you have any tips on getting it back to the appropriate setting?
 

rickgburton

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Is there a reason why adjusting only the temperature range might be an issue?
Probably, but I don't know why. I probably knew why at one time. LOL I'm mostly going by my experience. Back in the late 80's and 90's I was rebuilding 5-10 refrigerators a day. That style cold control was common. When a machine had a temperature issue, the first thing I would do, is try to adjust the cold control. On the controls with a a single adjust screw I was successful about 50% of the time. On the cold controls with two screws, cut in and cut out, I was successful 0% every time. Even a small adjustment on either screw is enough to cause the temperature swing to go skiwampus on my temperature charts. Wide swings and short cycling was common. This is on a refrigerator/freezer designed to use that exact control. You want to change the cold control to operate a freezer like a refrigerator and I can say unequivocally, it can't be done.
 
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