How to Convert a Refrigerator Into a Freezer: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you wondering how to convert a refrigerator into a freezer? do you have an old refrigerator but instead of deciding to just refurbish the old generic refrigerator you are instead going to convert it to a deep freeze an upright deep freezer,  when it comes to fridge things in your house you have your refrigerators your air conditioners, and your deep freezes no matter how cold each of them is.

at least on the first three, you can always do some modifications to change the temperatures depending on the refrigerant.

In this article we’ll show how to convert a refrigerator into a freezer, we’ll convert refrigerator temperature down to about negatives to negative five degrees to freezer temperature in the refrigerator portion and just as cold up top and to do this transition.

How to convert a refrigerator into a freezer

Tools you will need:

  • a supco defrost control system
  • a supco deep freeze thermostat
  • screwdriver
  • putty knife
  • plier

the main two items (a supco defrost control system, a supco deep freeze thermostat) is a deep freeze control system and a new defrost thermostat which are both made by supco.

you’ll need to check your fridge out to make sure that these two types can be used on your refrigerator, but they are almost universal to fridges that don’t rely on computer boards to run.

Before start:

  1. Make sure that your refrigerator is pretty beat up and in rough shape.
  2. Make sure that your refrigerator it’s run well because it will help to convert it if it runs well.
  3. Make sure the position of the condenser coils on the back of the unit is one of the most important things on this modification.
  4. make sure that the black coils are free of dirt and there is strong airflow to blow over the coils.

refrigerators exchange warm air in the internal compartment for hot air on these coils and if they aren’t cooled quickly then a refrigerator or deep freeze in this case won’t work properly.

some units have coils on the back of the refrigerator while others have them underneath either will work fine, but make sure there’s sufficient airflow and room for the cooler ambient air to move whenever the black coils are there.

How to convert a refrigerator into a freezer Step-By-Step

step1. remove the shelves in the refrigerator cabinet

remove the shelves in the refrigerator cabinet to begin work on modifying the thermostat and defroster system on this refrigerator.

First you have to remove some shelves in your refrigerator cabinet to get access to your thermostat and have free space to work.

most upright deep freezes have wire shelves but since there is no room to hold on the sides of the refrigerator

liner you’ll have to save these exact same shelves for later.

Step2. Remove the thermostat

refrigerator thermostat is essentially the controlling component of a refrigerator cooling system).

depending on which type of refrigerator you use your thermostat assembly is going to look different

but generally, most of them are very similar your defrost timer is going to be at the right of your thermostat and your cold control is going to be on the left side of your thermostat

to remove the thermostat:

their two screws that holding the thermostat assembly, there are multiple screws on the assembly underneath though and they are holding in other components in the compartment.

1. Unscrew the two screws with a screwdriver

Make sure that you take out the right screws that deal with the thermostat assembly and not components like the defrost timer or the cold thermostat.

Once you unscrew the two screws the thermostat will pop out but still line with the cold control system and wires.

2. got the piece on the back to twist the cold control system off and the whole assembly should come out.

3. Remove and take out the wires from the thermostat

  • take out the different component wires on the thermostat system
  • make sure you take a picture of the entire tray to know exactly where the wires go.
  • use a small pair of needle nose pliers and your hands  to remove wires.

inside the thermostat assembly there are only three components, and it is possible that your refrigerator may have a slightly different configuration.

  • the wires on the right side are a switch to a small heater in between the doors that toggles on and off
  • the black piece is the defrost timer which controls the refrigerator to shut off and clean the ice off of the freezer
  • evaporator
  • the left piece with the green tag is the thermostat that tells the refrigerator when it is cold enough to shut thesystem off and simply save energy.

Once you remove the wires from the assembly the thermostat will be free.

4. Take off the defrost timer and cold control out from inside the thermostat.

There are two screws at the cover of the thermostat and two under control cover.

  • unscrew those screws with a screw driver to remove those two items.

Step3. Install new universal adjustable electronic defrost timer

the reason that you’re using the supco uet120 instead of the one that is already on the thermostat is that the entire system is adjustable you can adjust how long it is before the defroster starts running typically most refrigerators are 8 or10 hours at the most.

but you want to set it to the maximum at 12 hours meaning that it’s going to run longer and hopefully freeze everything up better and then you’re going to keep the defrost time a little bit lower probably keeping it right at 20 minutes.

so it won’t run hot as long with the defroster as a normal refrigerator would.

  • use a smaller thinner flat bladed screwdriver to adjust it to the new defrost timer 12 hours and keep the defroster time right at 20 minutes

Notes: on the new defrost timer you may have to push and hold it for 60 seconds to alternate between run and

defrost cycles.

The defrost timer is set automatically to defrost so you may need to adjust it to make sure that it runs properly when

the new upright freezer starts off once it’s plugged in.

  • put back and install your new defrost timer at the place of the older one.
  • Use a screwdriver and Tighten the two screws that you removed.

Step4. Install new cold control.

  1. piggyback the new cold control onto the old refrigerator temperature housing.
  • inside the cold control is the temperature wire take it out of the housing to relocate it into the refrigerator much like in the standard temperature probe

the way the unit works is that there is a small bi-metal bulb at the end of the wire and it reacts to cold temperatures

to provide an electrical resistance value.

the cold control interprets that value to know when the refrigerator has hit a certain temperature once it hits that temperature the cooling control will cut the power off to the compressor.

this way unit the refrigerator is not running 24 hours a day seven days a week eating up more and more electricity and then killing off the compressor faster

step5.  reinstall the control housing back into the refrigerator.

the wires are very easy to put back on except for the ground wire.

the refrigerator had a 90-degree spade connector while the new supco cold control wire pack had a ring-shaped ground connector.

To fix this:

  1. used a clamping wire nut to join the two ground wires together

this style of clampable wire nuts work really well, but you want to make sure that once the clamp has been used to add some sort of silicone sealant to the end of the nut to make sure that moisture from the freezer cannot get into the new spliced wires.

with all the wires installed and mapped correctly which is pretty straightforward making sure that the ground matches the ground.

putting the modified wire pack back into the housing is somewhat of a challenge

you may add three giant thick new wires to the housing while keeping the same size and configuration of the housing itself. some wires are held in with multiple screws.

use two plastic retention pieces in the front that hinge and then a single rear screw, it’s not necessarily difficult but it is somewhat time-consuming

the cold control from supco has an extremely variable adjustment knob on it for temperature, also it has a range of negative 5 degrees up to about 25 so it needs to be kept on one of the much colder settings.

Step6. Plug in the refrigerator.

Plugin the refrigerator to see if it’s going to run for you well.

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