After 6 years, my Vintage Keeper 220 cooling unit burned out on me. It wasn't very old but it did suffer through 5 moves - Toronto to Florida, 3 moves in Florida and then up to NYC - so I guess it's had some stress.
I checked around and found a replacement unit at http://www.wineracking.com. 888-274-8813. A nice woman from Mississauga took my order and dispatched a replacement unit from a warehouse in Phoenix. It arrived in NYC 3 days later. The unit fit perfectly and works great.
For those of you with a VK220, the model name was NUVO and serial #CN106360-136. I have one of the newer VK220s with the larger opening in the back. If you have an older unit, you may have to cut a larger opening. Template comes with the unit to guide you.
I think the unit cost about $270 plus shipping.
Just replaced the cooling unit on my VK 250 I bought in 2003. $340 with shipping from Nuvo.
I recently replaced mine with the same unit from the people in Mississauga. So far it is working fine. Intallation was relatively straight forward, with the template.
I'm considering replacing this one before it burns out (they all seem to go at some point) but not sure how long to wait. Mine lasted about 13 years but was only moved once.
Thanks for the tip. I think mine are getting close to the end. However, I heard that their latest model has the cooling unit installing from the top. I wonder how much longer they'll be making the old models?
Punch it , Chewie!
I can't count the number of people who have had problems with Vintage Keeper cooling units. Any refrigeration unit that doesn't last 10+ years without major repair is shoddy.
I can't disagree with you but if you look at the numbers, even 6 years isn't all that bad. I paid $1200 for the 220, if I am storing 200 bottles over 6 years for $270, that works out to about $0.23 per bottle per year (plus the initial cost).
I agree that $0.15 would be better, but I'm still way ahead of off-site storage.
I went through 2 of them in about 6 years. I will say that VK replaced the first one with no arguments at no cost to me.
The one in my VK500 died just before 4 years. No help from VK offered except their "special replacement" offer, which was market value for the new cooling unit.
I bought the same replacement unit from the same company recently for my VK500.
I just need to find the time to install it.
My unit has 350-400 bottles loaded in it and the back of the unit is against a wall. Seems like these cooling units load from the back.... Can someone confirm?
Welcome back.....stay a while
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
Ditto on Dok's welcome back!
I found that the concept of unloading the unit was more daunting than the actually re-installation of the cooling unit. I used it as a good opportunity to inventory the cellar.
My replacement unit did install from the back, and was a piece of cake done solo, although an extra set of hands would have made the job even easier.
As far as the offset from the wall, I'd suggest that before you reload your cellar that you make sure that you have enough room to allow access for your vacuum attachment so that you can regularly vacuum the accumulated dust from the cooling fins in the back of the unit. This will help prolong the life of the new compressor.
Agreed... So not looking forward to lining up hundreds of bottles all over my main floor.
Although there must be a bunch of surprise bottles to be found that I have completely forgotten about.
Welcome back Baird. We should set up a welcome back offline in the honour of you.....
PH, I understand the frustration of the " short life " of the cooling unit. But I also look at the unit as a low cost unit as a starter. If you just need a storage, they are great. Yes, you might need to replace the cooling unit every few years, but at under $350 for a new unit. I personally rather replace the unit every 3 years and the unit would still cost under $2k in a 10 year. But of course, if you need a nice piece of furniture in the living or dining room, that's a different story.
Disclaimer: I carry VintageKeeper as well as Eurocave.
Agreed, absolutely essential to vacuum regularly. I don't know if the manufacturer has a recommendation as to how often, but I do it once a week.
I believe the manufacturer's recommendation is once a month, but you certainly can't hurt things by cleaning the fins more often.
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