How to look after your Bottle Cooler

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bottle coolerBottle coolers, also known as a bottle fridge or back bar cooler, are great until they breakdown. A lot of calls to refrigeration companies could be prevented by carrying out some simple preventative maintenance procedures.

The most common cause of breakdown is dust in the condenser blocking the air flow Just by cleaning the condenser on your bottle cooler will also make it last longer, consume less energy and chill faster. Here is a step by step guide to the procedure with an Osborne bottle cooler . It takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. Scroll down for Autonumis and Gamko Bottle coolers.

 

 

 Switch off cooler and unplug

  • 1. Switch off the cooler and remove the bottles.
  •  2. Unplug from the mains socket

  pull out cooler, condenser

  •  3. Pull the unit out so that you can access the back plate.
  • 4. Unscrew the rear cover plate and remove.
  • 5. This will expose the condenser, compressor, fan motor and so on.

Brush and Vacuum

 

  • 6.Brush clean in the direction of the fins, using the vacuum to collect the dust.
  • 7. Vacuum up any debris
  • 8. Clean as much of the area as you can get, taking care not to damage or bend the delicate components
  • 9. Never use water!
  • 10. Put the rear cover plate back and replace the screws.

insert plug and switch back

 

  •   11. Put the plug back in the socket.
  •  12. Switch back on.

It should look like this after you clean your bottle cooler!

before-after

before-after1

Enjoy the cool drinks and don’t forget to do this again in three months time.

Autonumis Bottle coolers

Proceed as before up to step 5.

Autonumis Bottle cooler grill

 Exposing the condenser – this time it’s horizontally mounted.

fan blade and housing

Important – Look at the fan blade colour. If the blade is black, as above, the fan blows air down through the condenser, if its white the fan sucks air up through the condenser. The direction of airflow affects where the dust collects on the condenser. In black fan’s case, the dust will be below the fan. Remove the two screws on the fan bracket, and slide the fan motor out.

fan blade dirty

 Clean the blade with a damp cloth.

fan blade clean

dirty condensor

Gently vacuum the condenser from the top – being careful not to damage the delicate aluminium fins.

Finally vacuum the rest of the space and reassemble. For white bladed fans, brush and vacuum the bottom of the condenser by gently leaning the cabinet 30 degrees forward.
Whichever Autonumis cooler you have, never move with a sack truck as this damages the condenser which is on the base of the cabinet.

Gamko bottle coolers

 These coolers do not have the traditional finned condenser, instead they have a very long coiled tube running the entire width of the cabinet. The one below is at step 5, with the back panel removed.

dirty condensor1

Pick out the dust bunnies moving towards the front of the cabinet. Where the condenser tube coil is, it’s best to ‘hook out’ the dust with a long screwdriver.

fluff left after clean

 Other Bottle Cooler faults

 

Other faults are less terminal. A badly set thermostat will hold the compressor on too long, causing the back of the cooler to ice up. Just switch off, defrost with the doors open, set the thermostat higher and switch back on. A faulty thermostat will hold the compressor off, so no cooling. If you are not hearing the plant running, this is probably why. Unplug, call the engineer.

 

Broken door seals make the cooler work that much harder. It’s a waste of energy and also causes icing up at the back of the cooler. All cooler manufacturers provide replacement seals, if you have lost your manual, just Google the make for the telephone number. Some seals are push in, but the majority require unscrewing the seal frame. All are relatively easy, if time consuming to do. The only painful one I know of is Cornelius, as they seem to keep swapping manufacturers overseas so you are never sure you have the right one until you fit it. Make sure you pass on the model and serial number when ordering, then there are no problems if they have to be returned.

 

Lights – again the manual will tell you how to replace these, but generally they are florescent tubes under a perspex cover. usually the cover is held on by four or six screws, and the tube is in a holder that allows it to be turned 90 degrees to slide it out. Don’t bother looking to your local DIY shop for a replacement, take your old tube direct to an electrical wholesaler like City Electrical Factors, where they hold more variety in stock. With the falling price of LED’s more manufacturers are installing these as the main lighting. As they last longer than the life of the bottle cooler, and don’t heat in the refrigerated space, they are really made for this job. They run on a small transformer, the only weak link in the system, but easily replaced. Osborne 4000 series have LED’s fitted as standard.

 

 Jes Shotter works out of Hailsham trading as JS Refrigeration servicing refrigeration equipment also installing cellar cooling for Carlsberg, Scottish & Newcastle and Heineken Breweries and are the main refrigeration contractors for Harvey’s Brewery.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. At last a simple to follow and accurate directions on keeping your bottle coolers clean and working at peak performan e. Thanks you.

    • Sounds like you have a noisy compressor or condenser fan motor if the noise is coming from the rear of the cabinet.
      If the noise is coming form inside the unit it will require an evaporator fan. Make sure your condenser and condenser fan blades are clean, if the problem persists you will have to call your local engineer.
      Regards
      Daniel Shotter
      JS Refrigeration Ltd

  2. Where would I get a new plastic cover to go over the light on top of bottle cooler? Got one years ago but can’t remember where. The current one is torn and broken in places! Preferably Ireland.

      • It’s true, but this would make for a very long article Most bottle coolers follow the upright condenser and fan layout Autonumis is the exception with a horizontal condenser and fan above. If you have a specific model question then email me the make and model number and I’ll do my best to answer it.

  3. If the cooler has a digital controller it will have a delay before the compressor comes on. If the control lights up for a bit and then the cooler trips you can be pretty certain that the compressor has failed. please check the condenser fan to see if it spins before the trip. if this is the case please buy a new cooler from our shop!

    Dan Shotter
    J S Refrigeration

  4. Hi I have a husky double door chiller set temp at 7 and it keep rising goes to 11 then motor cuts in to cool it off constantly a battle is this right it shouldn’t get warmer if it hasn’t been opened should it?
    All help appreciated cheers Ben

    • Did you ever get an answer to this? I’ve just bought an Empire208 bar cooler, it’s set at 2 degrees, the fan cuts and takes it down to 1.8 then cuts out and the temp rises in about 10 mins to 7 degrees before cutting back in again

    • Contact Husky and ask for the controller instructions. Set them as Below:
      Setpoint – 5.0
      Differential/Hysteresis 3.0 (this means it will switch on at +8c and off at +5c
      Compresser delay/Short cycle display – 5 min

      Or use the manufacturers defaults.

      A possible cause for short cylcing is having a poor seal. If a hinged unit check the door is sealed all the way around including the bottom. doors can move about during transit and heavy usage.
      If a Sliding model, check that the sliding doors have draught excluders all round.

      Kindest Regards

      Dan Shotter
      J S Refrigeration

  5. Hi I have a Norcool s66, it is for my home bar and I would like to leave it permanently on but the motor/fan is quite noisy and it uses a lot of electricity when running. Could i put these on a switch so that it will run quieter when not being used that often, but then when I have a party switch the fan on so it cools quicker when the doors are opened more regularly!?

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