Engel thermostat

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 16:52
ThreadID: 132908 Views:7022 Replies:4 FollowUps:14
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Hi all, was wondering if it was possible to change the thermostat in the Engel so that it maintains a set temperature( like the waeco / bushman type fridges).? Ta,doc
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Reply By: Hoyks - Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 18:10

Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 18:10
Yes it is, how handy are you?

I had an old '98 build Engel that had the the dial thermostat fail, so I re-wired the fridge to run off a $15 eBay electronic thermostat. That was a fair bit of effort and time to get it sorted, but I got there and it now runs on 12 and 240 with an electronic set thermostat. I did have to wire it with manual switches to change from 12 to 240 as the magic smoke escaped from the controller if I left the 2 circuits closed.

Mine works a treat, it has been set to cool to 0.5 degrees and then switch on again at 3.5, but you can set whatever you like down to -18 (although the Engel would struggle to get there) and set how many degrees above the set point you want it to kick back in again


The easier way would be to set the Engel thermostat to freeze and plug it into a 12V plug that was wired up to be controlled by the $15 eBay electronic thermostat and drop the thermocouple into the fridge. Some blokes I know through work have done it and wired the controller into their fridge draw and permanently fitted the thermocouple to the fridge a simple phone plug to disconnect it if you want to take the fridge out of the vehicle.

The down side is that this configuration won't work on 240V, but you can get around that by running a 240V charger to the batteries you are running off, or just live with it.

I had a write-up here, but the pictures were hosted on 4wdaction and their site is down at the moment, so you can't see anything.
http://www.4wdadventurers.com/showthread.php?4274-Turning-the-analogue-old-Engel-digital
AnswerID: 602058

Follow Up By: oz doc - Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 18:30

Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 18:30
Ta for that but I'm not all that handy. Basic 12 volt stuff and I never touch 240. Got me buggered why Engel doesn't have a temp controlled thermostat. Was looking at swapping it over for a waeco /bushman/arb but then thought maybe I can get one fitted without too much pain. cheers doc
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Reply By: 2517. - Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 19:11

Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 19:11
Hi advantage is this?
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Follow Up By: oz doc - Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 19:14

Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 19:14
Not sure what your question is, doc
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Reply By: Iza B - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 06:23

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 06:23
I don't understand your question, Doc. All the Engels I have seen have a settable thermostat.

Iza
AnswerID: 602064

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 09:18

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 09:18
.
Nor do I understand the problem. The earlier Engels had mechanical dial-type thermostats and the later have electronic digital thermostats....... as do the Waeco and Bushman.
What type does yours have and what is the problem?
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: oz doc - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 09:42

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 09:42
Ah- got it. Ye the Engel has what I call a "duty cycle" type thermostat. What I find is I have to have it turned up during a hot day but turn it down at night or else everything freezes . Problem is I often forget to turn it down at night so end up losing a lot of food . Not a problem when I use it as a freezer , but not so good for use a a fridge. Was hoping to set a desired temperature and not have to keep adjusting things. Doc
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Follow Up By: tonysmc - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 09:54

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 09:54
In the first line of Oz Doc’s question, he states that he has the earlier (98 model) engel with the mechanical dial thermostat. What he wants to do is convert it to the same as the later models digital type thermostat.
For those that don’t know, the difference between the old dial type and digital is if you set the digital at 2 degrees the fridge will stay close to 2 degrees regardless of the outside temp, however with the old dial type if you are at a place like Alice springs where the outside temperature can range from 33 in the day to 0 degrees at night, if you set the fridge on 2 which is fine for the day, you will find everything freezes when the outside temp drops at night. Or if you don’t turn the dial up as the outside temperature climbs in the day, it’s not cold enough and the food goes off. You find you are therefore constantly checking the temp and changing the setting on the dial.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 11:20

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 11:20
My Engel from a few years back had the mechanical dial-type thermostat and maintained the set temperature closely enough. It had the normal 2 or 3 degrees differential (difference between cut-in and cut-out) but the average cabinet temperature was maintained reasonably closely despite ambient changes. This is what I would expect from such an arrangement. There was no need to reset it from day to night.

If the differential has drifted out to a larger value then it would be because the thermostat is ageing and wearing. It would need replacing. Electronic thermostats do not age in this manner although they can still malfunction of course. Some differential is required and built-in otherwise the fridge would be short-cycling...... cutting in & out frequently.

There is nothing inherently wrong with a mechanical thermostat and if Oz Doc is not capable of converting the fridge to an electronic thermostat then he may well consider replacing with an original mechanical type.

Mechanical thermostats have been used in domestic refrigerators for many years without a need to reset them with ambient changes. But yes, I would consider electronic thermostats to be better and longer lived. Besides, from the manufacturer's viewpoint they are cheaper.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: oz doc - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 11:36

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 11:36
Actually it is a new Engel- about 18 months old. But you've got the gist of my problem. I might trial a suggestion from a friend - apparently you can get a digital thermometer cheaply from jaycar which has a maximum/minimum limit that can be set so it beeps if fridge gets over/under temperature. Will help prevent freezing things overnight I guess. doc.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 11:46

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 11:46
If it is only 18 months old then I would presume that it has an electronic digital display thermostat. If it does not maintain the chamber temperature to within several degrees, regardless of ambient changes, then I would judge it to be faulty and worthy of referring it to Engel or the supplier. If you are unable to get Engel to accept it as a warranty issue, why would you not simply replace the thermostat with an Engel spare part?

Many people on this forum sing the praises of Engel refrigerators and I'm sure that they would not be doing so if their refrigerators were not maintaining the set temperature.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: oz doc - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 11:59

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 11:59
HI Allan, it doesn't have a digital display- just a dial. Its one of the plastic type engels. Maybe you are right and the thermostat is not what it should be. Ill fish out the digital max/min engel thermometer and pop that in and see what tem it is keeping to although not much of a test as the current temp down here is about 2 degrees! doc
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 12:29

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 12:29
Ah yes Doc, I forgot the MR series. Also the Legacy series have just a knob.
Mind you, they still may have an electronic thermostat, set by a knob. In fact knowing the cost of mechanical thermostats I would suspect them to do so.

Nevertheless, my earlier comments still apply. Unless you, or a good mate, is an electronics whizz then why would you want to modify the fridge when a replacement part would fix it? Warranty supplied or otherwise.

In the case of my old Waeco, the thermostat failed. It was electronic with a slider setting rather than a knob. These sliders are notoriously unreliable so I modified it to have a two-position switch with a pair of fixed resistors to select +4 or -10 as these are the recommended settings for "Refrigerate" or "Freeze". But then, I do have the electronics capability. Incidentally, it runs with about a 1.0 degree differential on either setting which is a good duty cycle.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Grizzle - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 13:14

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 13:14
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Digital-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat-12V-10A-Switch-40-f-120-f-w-Sensor-/400893167986?hash=item5d57184972:g:nvcAAOSwZ8ZXB6yK


Wire it in line with your power cord with anderson plugs, probe is easy to fit next to engel temp sensor. Then if it goes bung you an revert back to original. There's a few mobs on ebay sell them. I've had mine fitted for 3 or 4 years and done some long hard kilometres. Never missed a beat.

It switches power on and off to the whole fridge so you are not messing with the fridge internals.

I put it in a small enclosure and cable tied to lid of fridge although you can put it anywhere really as long as the probe will reach.

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Follow Up By: Iza B - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 14:44

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 14:44
Yep, got on on those thingies on the beer brewing fridge. Works perfectly.

Iza
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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 15:06

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 15:06
Which is what I suggested in the 1st reply.
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Follow Up By: Grizzle - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 15:16

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 15:16
Yes you did!

But I said it a bit better!!

:))))

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Follow Up By: oz doc - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 15:23

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 15:23
Thanks for that Grizzle. Looks the go. doc.
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