I made a Lab Fridge chiller

I did a thing. And it works. it’s viable for me. And the space I have. so take a look.

using an aquarium pump and a flat bottomed high rimmed pan , I turned my lab fridge into a viable chiller. I have $140, 3.3 cubic ft hisense fridge from Walmart. it has a small freezer compartment in the top. that is where the pump and the pan full of isopropyl alcohol are stored and makes direct contact with the coils that provide the cooling to the internals of the fridge.

on the top there are three holes drilled. 2x1/2-in holes to accommodate an in and out flow tubes. and a 1 and 3/4-in hole, to accommodate the power outlet plug.

The hole saw created a nice channel for the plug in the insulation. The insulation was wrapped with parafilm and put back in the original hole.

edit: the pan is actually two pans connected. The high wall from a bundt pan, and a shallow flat 8 in cake pan

total cost to make ~200+tax
the value of having cold sodie pops AND a chiller : Priceless


Cool setup!

I think I’ve seen a few people say they’ve done something similar with a chest freezer and they fill the entire freezer with coolant.


Have you clocked the temp on that bad boy? I’ve been considering the chest freezer idea or cannibalizing an a/c unit…


IR says -5c. I’m currently running a sox on it. And I’m sure it’s warming it up. I’m sure it would stay lower if I was just running just a roto off of it. which is what I’m going to do next. I’ll let you know

edit: idle it’s -18.5 c

I’m only working with ethanol as of current btw.

I would recommend going the AC unit route if you need to go colder. I need to keep a fridge in my lab for cultures and wanted to have a multitasker


Lol I wonder what your cooling capacity at 30 degrees is with this setup :rofl:

Nice set up! Swap to a PG/water blend instead of IPA imo, IPA works but why add something potentially flammable when you can get away with a nonflammable coolant.

Using flammable coolants in chillers is a big pet peeve of mine, just adds an unnecessary complication and another thing that might catch fire/kill you.
My 2c

Other than that cool build fursure!!


fair. it’s what I had on hand. will swap asap


I had an old 10000btu unit I did that with recently.

Edit: it’s a pg/water blend for the cooling fluid like @rocksteady has suggested.


Is does it function? Like in real world? You used it yet?

Yeah, it’s ok, it’ll get down to almost -30c if I let it run for 2 hours, then under load it will get up to 0c

It by no means replaces dry ice at all, but it’s like a controlled substance around me so I have to do without. So this helps a bunch with my little 6# recovery.

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Oh wow, that’s wild!

Around my parts shit flows like water lol and everywhere that sells it knows what your doing and will gladly sell you more haha

One guy sold me 150lbs, makes a joke about knowing what I’m doing, then starts talking to me about going to highschool with my dad lol small town DI dealers

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Lol, that’s what I’m used to, it was in every grocery store when I lived in Colorado.

I can only go to a florist now and get side eye and buy it at 2 bucks a pound, or drive to the ghetto and get it from a welding supply place. And I’m not too keen on that.

I go to the florist every once in awhile lol. But they started asking too many questions.

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This is my go to. Grocery outlet on weekends (but it’s more expensive and they don’t have pellets or rice)

Here is a nice list of excuses lol

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I gotta go to Waterville (like 20 minutes) to get it and the guys there always ask questions or joke around but I just tell them its for science experiments. I mean its totally legal around here anyhow so…

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buy yourself some carhartts a hickory shirt and that welding supply will never blink an eye. just tell them you got some tight tolerance bearings to install.

Make sure to burn some holes in the shirt and pants for added camouflage. :wink:


Get a John Deer cap, and you’ll be golden!

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Mold remediation!

No really, all they give me is moldy weed to extract…


Best excuse is to say putting mice away for a snake.