How to prevent freezing in your garage refrigerator?

I swear that every year I say I'm going to build a heater for my garage refrigerator. Well this year I'm *seriously* saying that I'm going to think about maybe building a heater for my garage refrigerator (GR).
Up here in Central New York the temp has been about 15 below at night, warming up to close to Zero during the day. As such, the beer collection in my GR is at risk of freezing and <GASP!> exploding out of the bottles. Well I simply can't have this, hence this post.
What I'm thinking of doing is trying to rig a type of heating unit to a cheap thermostat that'll kick power on when it gets down to below say 35 degrees or so. Maybe one of those old metal coffee heater coils that you used to stick in a Cup-O-Soup or a mug of joe would do the trick. As for the thermostat, I'm sort of open to suggestions.
I've googled, but haven't had any luck with a store bought product (although they do make fridges with this feature already incorporated). Anyone ever hear of one of these? What about a cheap thermostat? I'm open to suggestions.
Thank you.
JP *************************************** "The Beer Saver" - Don't let Jack Frost steal the beer in your garage refrigerator!!!! by Ronco......
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

A 60 or 100W light bulb (left on, of course) inside the compartment (as low as possible) should do the trick. If it gets Too warm, the fridge will do what it's designed to do.
--
Mark

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wrote:

That's not nearly complex enough. : )
(thanks) JP
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OK, try an old-style nightlight. 15W in that space should be enough.
I've got a 40W in a 3x3x3 well hole, and it keeps that !%$*#! 3/16 pressure line from freezing down to about -30.
says...

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You might try a water heater thermostat, I think the one I removed would go down to about 35 degrees. But it might be more prudent to just use a low wattage bulb on a timer. Have a 25 watt bulb kick on for 5-10 minutes every 5 hours. You would have to experiment of course, but refrigerators are pretty well insulated so it shouldn't take much. Oh, and buy an indoor outdoor electronic thermometer to set on top of the refrigerator with the outdoor lead sealed by the door gasket.
Jay Pique wrote:

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I'm going to ask the obvious, have you turned the thermostat up a bit to compensate for the colder weather? Granted, where I live it doesn't get as cold as where you are, however my son has a 2nd refrigerator in his garage and has to turn it up some every winter to compensate. Just a thought...
Jay Pique wrote:

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On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 19:58:52 -0700, Grandpa <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote:

Turning the thermostat up will do nothing if the outside temperature drops too far below freezing. What your son has done is raise the temperature of the inside high enough so that it will coast through your "extreme cold" periods. Like maybe it gets down to plus 20 degrees where you live. If the ambient goes to minus 30 or 40 your method will pop all of his beer bottles and that would be a tragedy.
Instead of a light bulb I would get a wire wound resistance. you can find them at various wattages and they fit into a standard light socket or go to your favorite electronics store and get some power resistors and a transformer.
If you want to use a light bulb just wire around the "frig light" switch so the light is always on. I am referring to that light that turns on when you open the door. You know... The one that may or may not turn off when you close the door.

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I walked past a fridge at Sears the other day that had a built-in heater. Sticker said something like $1,100+. Perhaps the basement would be a good place to put a second fridge?
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I keep a small thermo cooler in my garage. It is set at 40 degrees high and 33 degrees low. If the temperature inside the unit gets above 40 degrees, the cooler kicks in and makes it colder inside, however, if the temperature gets below 33 degrees, the heater kicks in.
BTW There is an adapted circuit to a Radio Shack controller.
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ok, go to the borg and get a "thermo cube" plugs into a regular outlet and switches on at about 35 degrees. they are used in crawl spaces for freeze proofing water pipes. I have on with a short cord to a 60W bulb to prevent the on bronze fitting on my expansion tank from freezing.
BRuce
Jay Pique wrote:

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BRuce

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On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 12:12:52 -0500, BRuce <BRuce> wrote:

a-HA!!! I just *knew* that someone had to have already come up with something like that. Thanks much BRuce.
JP
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no problem. glad I could help.
BRuce
Jay Pique wrote:

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BRuce

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