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Old 06-28-2020, 10:30 PM
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Default Chest freezers converted to fridge - condensation?



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It seems that a lot of lts food needs to be kept on the cool side - 70 - to make it past 10 years. To that end, I am looking for a chest freezer to use with a new thermostat to keep things at 60 or 70 degrees. With the lid closed almost all the time - maybe opened once a week - am I likely to get condensation? If so, that might create rust on #10 cans.
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Old 06-29-2020, 12:46 AM
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It seems that a lot of lts food needs to be kept on the cool side - 70 - to make it past 10 years. To that end, I am looking for a chest freezer to use with a new thermostat to keep things at 60 or 70 degrees. With the lid closed almost all the time - maybe opened once a week - am I likely to get condensation? If so, that might create rust on #10 cans.
I don't think you will have any problem with condensation at that high of a temperature unless you live in a very hot and very humid place.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:08 PM
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I'd recommend putting a jar of silica gel in it to soak up any humidity.

You can also renew it periodically by tossing it into the oven to dry it out.

I found this on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BTTRSM8

It's perforated metal jar that holds the gel beads. The same brand also sells a larger bulk jug in case you wish to pour the saturated beads into a pan to dry out in the oven while you refill the active jar. Or just buy two of the canisters and swap them out, using one while renewing the other. Once you renew it just store in a big ziploc awaiting the next time you have to get into the unit.

Because you close it up, the renewable desiccant only needs to absorb what is in the enclosure until you open it again. That metal jar is plenty big enough for even the biggest chest freezer.

I like that perforated jar setup for its all-over ability to soak up water, but it could be a DIY job too. Poking a lot of tiny holes into the metal lid of a mason jar should work. Then you only need to buy bulk silica gel.

https://www.amazon.com/Premium-Indic...dp/B013L31PQ0/

That's a quart of the beads. Perfect size for making 2 pint sized mason jar desiccant containers that you can swap out. Just keep the renewed jar ready in a quart ziploc.
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:22 PM
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Amazon has to factor shipping costs into their price. If there's a hobby shop nearby, they will have silica gel for about half what Amazon charges. It's used for drying flowers and such, so it's commonly available. I bought one of those cans for my first gun safe. But I made my own for the other smaller safes using silica gel bought at Hobby Lobby. It really does last forever. My first can of it is over 30 years old and still working.
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:27 PM
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Amazon has to factor shipping costs into their price. If there's a hobby shop nearby, they will have silica gel for about half what Amazon charges. It's used for drying flowers and such, so it's commonly available. I bought one of those cans for my first gun safe. But I made my own for the other smaller safes using silica gel bought at Hobby Lobby. It really does last forever. My first can of it is over 30 years old and still working.
How right you are: https://www.hobbylobby.com/Floral-We...ica-Gel/p/1804

1.5lb is $10 and 5lb is $20 at Hobby Lobby. Amazon's price for the quart ends up at $8.50/lb.

A 5lb bag from Hobby Lobby would be enough to do both the chest fridge idea and protect your gun safe contents, plus have some left.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:05 AM
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I believe HF also sells the silica beads for there compressed air drying system.

How big is your chest freezer that it's worth doing this and running it for 10yrs?
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:33 AM
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I believe HF also sells the silica beads for there compressed air drying system.

How big is your chest freezer that it's worth doing this and running it for 10yrs?
Not purchased yet..it is not likely that I will be able to return to the US until 2 years later - possibly 5. I would like to start doing more food preps, but am concerned about the place to store it. I have some of my valuables stored in a "climate controlled" storage space but the top end can still reach 85 degrees. I would like to make some small purchases every month to build up to what I want to have. It makes it easier on me financially, but also, given the present situation, is a more realistic way to buy. I cannot find any storage units that have an outlet
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Old 06-30-2020, 11:29 AM
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Not purchased yet..it is not likely that I will be able to return to the US until 2 years later - possibly 5. I would like to start doing more food preps, but am concerned about the place to store it. I have some of my valuables stored in a "climate controlled" storage space but the top end can still reach 85 degrees. I would like to make some small purchases every month to build up to what I want to have. It makes it easier on me financially, but also, given the present situation, is a more realistic way to buy. I cannot find any storage units that have an outlet
It would seem more realistic to build a small room ( even 4x4x4í)with conventional stud walls and cover the outside with XPS board, as both a vapor barrier and additional insulation. Far more room than a chest freezer, and likely better insulation.

But if you canít get power in a storage unit, how were you going to power the Chest freezer?
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:37 PM
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It would seem more realistic to build a small room ( even 4x4x4’)with conventional stud walls and cover the outside with XPS board, as both a vapor barrier and additional insulation. Far more room than a chest freezer, and likely better insulation.

But if you can’t get power in a storage unit, how were you going to power the Chest freezer?
I am smoozing some friends who have excess space to see if they would keep the freezer for me. I have also considered getting a box trailer that will support enough solar panels to power the freezer and adding 3" of insulation all around. Or even putting a small a/c unit in the trailer but that would up the number of solar panels needed. Option 2 is good because I need to buy a box trailer some day. Option one is better because I can buy stuff along the way and someone will be able to receive the stuff, unbox it and then put it in the freezer for me. Life is really difficult when it doesn't happen your way.
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:29 PM
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I turned a chest freezer into a frig and did get condensation in it. You will actually see water in the bottom of the freezer over just a few months. I used a bottle cooler thermostat to keep it around 34 to 38 degrees. I got the thermostat on ebay for about $10.

Here is the one I got: https://www.ebay.com/itm/THERMOSTAT-...ayqOPKOHNOC4Hg

The freezer is a 7cf chest freezer.

PS: Here is a video I watched:
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:22 PM
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I turned a chest freezer into a frig and did get condensation in it. You will actually see water in the bottom of the freezer over just a few months. I used a bottle cooler thermostat to keep it around 34 to 38 degrees. I got the thermostat on ebay for about $10.

Here is the one I got: https://www.ebay.com/itm/THERMOSTAT-...ayqOPKOHNOC4Hg

The freezer is a 7cf chest freezer.

PS: Here is a video I watched:
YouTube
Do you know how much electricity your chest uses? I know that most chest freezers come set at about 0F, so 38 is a big change.
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:32 PM
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it is not likely that I will be able to return to the US until 2 years later - possibly 5.(
Do you have trustworthy relatives in the US?

I ask because you have been investigating a lot of things of late, and good gear tends to be transitory.

Low demand can cause even good products to be discontinued, and high demand can cause the manufacturer to trim quality to increase profit margins. Sometimes the best thing you can get will only exist in the sweet spot of quality/price/value for a short window. Few companies are willing to stick with a good value product for long, much less indefinitely.

2 years is hard enough, but 5 years will drastically change market offerings, and there is no guarantee products will be better later.

You need a very reliable way to store product long term so you can buy in a timely manner and let it await your return.

Storage unit spaces have been spiraling in lease cost for at least a decade now. I don't see that changing soon.

I would even suggest starting a thread in the main prepping board to get feedback on good ideas for long term storage for all your planned gear. Maybe an apartment over a garage in one of the nicer neighborhoods, or leasing a climate controlled shipping container. I don't have the monopoly on clever ideas and creating a good discussion here may trigger a good idea where you have a reliable family member to administer this for you.
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Old 06-30-2020, 11:22 PM
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[QUOTE=IamZeke;20420612
You need a very reliable way to store product long term so you can buy in a timely manner and let it await your return.

Storage unit spaces have been spiraling in lease cost for at least a decade now. I don't see that changing soon.

I would even suggest starting a thread in the main prepping board to get feedback on good ideas for long term storage for all your planned gear. Maybe an apartment over a garage in one of the nicer neighborhoods, or leasing a climate controlled shipping container. I don't have the monopoly on clever ideas and creating a good discussion here may trigger a good idea where you have a reliable family member to administer this for you.[/QUOTE]

All good points -it is a tricky thing. I am making my "plan B" now as I go along because I cannot return to the US, so all of your info is very helpful. Storage spaces seldom have an electrical outlet inside them. Also, if I am making routine purchases - probably monthly - I would want to make the least amount of trouble for someone, which would mean finding someone to store a chest freezer. Receive the goods, verify the contents, take it out of the box and put it in the freezer - don't have to leaves home sweet home. My 2 year plan was - and still is - to turn a box trailer into a bo camper, with heavily insulated walls and ceiling. Add solar panels to it and it should be no problem to power a 60 degree chest freezer. I have a very good friend-like a brother who is like minded shopping for land now. He is willing to let me park the trailer on his property once he has found the land....life is just so up-in-the-air now..but I want to keep taking steps forward - at least the steps that I can take. I already have tools and such in storage, but they will not spoil. most of the things on my list are not so technology related. I am not one to need the latest and greatest of things. My notebook is a dual core, 12 year old Thinkpad. My desktop is 8 years old, my tablet about the same. The more I think about the future, the more my needs become clear to me. My task now is to make filling those needs as simple, inexpensive and safe as possible - tasty is important also. Life is good!
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Old 07-01-2020, 01:45 AM
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All good points -it is a tricky thing. I am making my "plan B" now as I go along because I cannot return to the US, so all of your info is very helpful. Storage spaces seldom have an electrical outlet inside them. Also, if I am making routine purchases - probably monthly - I would want to make the least amount of trouble for someone, which would mean finding someone to store a chest freezer. Receive the goods, verify the contents, take it out of the box and put it in the freezer - don't have to leaves home sweet home. My 2 year plan was - and still is - to turn a box trailer into a bo camper, with heavily insulated walls and ceiling. Add solar panels to it and it should be no problem to power a 60 degree chest freezer. I have a very good friend-like a brother who is like minded shopping for land now. He is willing to let me park the trailer on his property once he has found the land....life is just so up-in-the-air now..but I want to keep taking steps forward - at least the steps that I can take. I already have tools and such in storage, but they will not spoil. most of the things on my list are not so technology related. I am not one to need the latest and greatest of things. My notebook is a dual core, 12 year old Thinkpad. My desktop is 8 years old, my tablet about the same. The more I think about the future, the more my needs become clear to me. My task now is to make filling those needs as simple, inexpensive and safe as possible - tasty is important also. Life is good!
Let me make an aside about a new computer. I'm in build mode now. I find top rate products only a few months old already sold out and replaced permanently. You cannot plan a new computer long term. Buying or building has to be in an instant of time. The comments I made earlier about good products of all sorts becoming unavailable is pushed to absurd levels when it comes to computers. Just put computers out of your mind until you return. If what you have now fails then buy dirt cheap so you can limp along. I'm sure that really cheap computers can be done there. Actually better there than anywhere else. They specialize in economy computing there. So that should be all you do there.

While you are there you can look at affordable handheld gear that turns out to be surprisingly rugged. Buy every flavor for cheap in the open markets and find the occasional gem mixed in with the crowd of trash. At some point when you get home you will want to build an electronic survival kit of useful handheld portable gear so you can power up info while on the move. What better place than you are now to buy one of everything you can find, to test it all?

Every time I've been to Asia I bring some excess cash and learn what they specialize in that area. I've got some Hong Kong suits that I could never begin to afford from Seville Row in London, but they are better made than the the fanciest suit places in the world. I came back from Korea with some wicked leather goods and a suitcase full of red Korean ginseng. I have some knives and optics from Japan that have no peer. Cottage industry is enshrined in east Asia. You just have to go with what the local region does best.

Make that thread about storage ideas in the main prep board. Let everyone try to peddle their favorite whacked out theory. Someone will stumble upon what works where your US friends are.


Here is a thought. Are any of your friends preppers? Maybe they want extended climate controlled storage space too. What prepper doesn't these days? So maybe subsidize their build. With storage rental running a few hundred a month now that creates a lot of seed money. A prepper buddy wanting an insulated storage trailer with aircon in his back yard then a thousand or so of your money helps get it done, and ultimately cheaper than a year's lease on a large storage unit. When rent/lease money is a factor then buying outright should be also, even if you don't get to own it in the end. You are just looking at the total cost at the end.
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:19 AM
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Let me make an aside about a new computer. I'm in build mode now. I find top rate products only a few months old already sold out and replaced permanently. You cannot plan a new computer long term. Buying or building has to be in an instant of time. The comments I made earlier about good products of all sorts becoming unavailable is pushed to absurd levels when it comes to computers. Just put computers out of your mind until you return. If what you have now fails then buy dirt cheap so you can limp along. I'm sure that really cheap computers can be done there. Actually better there than anywhere else. They specialize in economy computing there. So that should be all you do there.

I have owned a computer since 1982, so I am quite familiar with building/repairing/using them. Right now I put my time on learning some new apps - learning how to use Arduino or Raspberry Pi, learning to install and tweak Linux, and maybe a little bit about robotics - or at least remote controlled stuf. Yes, I will wait until I return home before I accumulate hardware

While you are there you can look at affordable handheld gear that turns out to be surprisingly rugged. Buy every flavor for cheap in the open markets and find the occasional gem mixed in with the crowd of trash. At some point when you get home you will want to build an electronic survival kit of useful handheld portable gear so you can power up info while on the move. What better place than you are now to buy one of everything you can find, to test it all?

Good idea! My first endeavor is going to be hand operated mills.

Every time I've been to Asia I bring some excess cash and learn what they specialize in that area. I've got some Hong Kong suits that I could never begin to afford from Seville Row in London, but they are better made than the the fanciest suit places in the world. I came back from Korea with some wicked leather goods and a suitcase full of red Korean ginseng. I have some knives and optics from Japan that have no peer. Cottage industry is enshrined in east Asia. You just have to go with what the local region does best.

Make that thread about storage ideas in the main prep board. Let everyone try to peddle their favorite whacked out theory. Someone will stumble upon what works where your US friends are.

Thank you!

Here is a thought. Are any of your friends preppers? Maybe they want extended climate controlled storage space too. What prepper doesn't these days? So maybe subsidize their build. With storage rental running a few hundred a month now that creates a lot of seed money. A prepper buddy wanting an insulated storage trailer with aircon in his back yard then a thousand or so of your money helps get it done, and ultimately cheaper than a year's lease on a large storage unit. When rent/lease money is a factor then buying outright should be also, even if you don't get to own it in the end. You are just looking at the total cost at the end.
Yes, the friend mentioned in my last post - the "like minded" friend is also a prepper. Once he gets his land - hopefully within the next 12-18 months - we are talking about building an earthbag storage shed, to be used for storing food. Ultimately he wants something underground (root cellar type) but buying the land is going to drain him, and earth bag dwellings are...well, cheap as dirt, in many respects.
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Old 07-01-2020, 06:28 AM
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Do you know how much electricity your chest uses? I know that most chest freezers come set at about 0F, so 38 is a big change.
If I remember right I think it was around 500 watts a day (24 hours) during the summer in the garage. I checked it with a Kill-A-Watt meter.
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:11 AM
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If I remember right I think it was around 500 watts a day (24 hours) during the summer in the garage. I checked it with a Kill-A-Watt meter.
Thanks! Did you happen to notice what peak amounts were? Freezers cycle on and off.
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:28 AM
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Not purchased yet..it is not likely that I will be able to return to the US until 2 years later - possibly 5. I would like to start doing more food preps, but am concerned about the place to store it. I have some of my valuables stored in a "climate controlled" storage space but the top end can still reach 85 degrees. I would like to make some small purchases every month to build up to what I want to have. It makes it easier on me financially, but also, given the present situation, is a more realistic way to buy. I cannot find any storage units that have an outlet
Your next issue is going to be actually finding a chest freezer. They have been hard to find for months.

Distant food storage in a country your not in, in a storage locker in a make shift temp controlled chest freezer...spend your money more wisely than this. Cash stores alot easier and in a pandemic like this I can tell you you cant pay your Bills with 50lbs of 2yr old rice.
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:27 AM
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Thanks! Did you happen to notice what peak amounts were? Freezers cycle on and off.
Can't remember.
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