Every time when a man reaches the crossroad, he must choose which way he wants to move on.
And every possible time, he has 25% chance to choose the right direction, not more- remaining 75% is a free ticket to land of mistakes and missed chances.
If you think it is a fair ratio and that this man has a good chance to make a good choice, you are right. He has!
The real life usually does not give us so many chances. Reality is much more brutal and ruthless.
In the consumer’s world, where ads bombard us with shiny, polished products and perfect services, it seems that ordinary man does not have any chance to make a right choice- how to pick something when everything if perfect? In this case, choosing itself is a wrong move.
The producers persuading us to buy all possible types and models, explaining that every of these devices are perfect. They force us to behave like drunken billionaires and to throw money with both hands.
However, we are not drunk and we surely are not billionaires. When it comes to buying, we rather behave like rational human beings. We are trying to avoid mistakes as much as possible and to get the best value for our money. Are you?
Simple Rules For Choosing Your Beverage Center
If you do not know how to choose beverage center or any other kitchen device, it is wise to stick to universal, but proven method- get as much information as you can.
With useful data in your pocket, the chances to make right move at the mentioned crossroad will be much higher.
Therefore, the first thing you should do is to start with is a little research.
This is a great place to start your research. Although all producers are tendentious about their products and present them better than they really are, manuals and technical brochures are still an excellent source of information- they are full of useful product data, such as capacity, dimension, weight, technical options…
We suggest you to collect all these data, same as information from other producers, and to compare them. Do not be lazy and wrote down this results. Make a short list with some common features or, even better, make a comparing table. This will give you a wider picture about different types and models.
People are used to choose things according brands and labels- sometimes it is just enough for making decision.
Brands are usually considered like some kind of quality guarantee. Sometimes this is true.
Sometimes, not all the time!
Remember that only a small number of producers have a premium product in all categories, and that just one or two models are really on the top. Brands do not necessarily mean the quality.
Therefore, do not rely only on brands and labels. You must hear the other side of the story too, not just what producers or commercials are saying.
User’s Reviews and Forums
The other side of this story is, of course, “voice of the people”- the unbiased and honest opinions of real users and independent experts. Search for forums, websites and review pages to find these precious information.
However, even here you must be very careful. Although the majority of these reviews and posts come from real users and buyers, some of them are tendentious and do not present real information.
Behind those comments are producers or marketers who just want to sell you these things, not to inform you about them.
You must look for authority and proven websites or forums- for those who are specialized for specific products or services. Not believe in those who deal with everything at the same time. As in the real word, people who pretend to know everything usually do not know much.
Always keep these three simple rules in your mind and you will increase your chances to pick the right appliance.
However, in the very beginning of your quest, you should know what kind of beverage center you really need- undercounter beverage center, freestanding or outdoor beverage center?
There is no doubt that the cleaning is one of the most hated home jobs ever- it takes time, sometimes it is pretty hard and complicated, but above all, it is extremely boring!
Evan an idea of wiping and sponging over the house creeps people out.
In the most cases, the only solution is hiring someone from the growing cleaning companies.
Is this a final solution of the problem? Surely not. And it is not the cheapest one too.
Listen to this:
Cleaning your home appliances does not have to be boring, complicated and, which is best of all, can be done in 20 minutes.
You do not believe? Just follow this cool tips and tricks and your beverage center will shine like the sun over the Yuma, Arizona.
Good news in the beginning:
Compared to the other similar devices, such as fridges, coolers and freezers, beverage center is very easy for the maintaining. It is designed for keeping drinks cold, not the food or any kind of the highly perishable foods.
This is the reason why this appliance is not so critical regarding of dangerous bacteria caused by stale groceries. And it does not „suffered“ from the unpleasant odors like other devices.
Despite all these advantages, bev centers still have to be cleaned for the optimal work and durability.
Cleaning Fridge Device Step by Step
The very first thing you should do before you start cleaning your unit is to unplug it from the power supplier. Evan it sounds corny and redundant, you cannot be too careful when you work with water near electricity.
The second thing is to empty your appliance. Remove all your bottles and cans out and check is it some of it broke or out of date. Since it is not a wise idea to return wet bottles in the beverage centers, you should keep it cold while you are cleaning.
You should start cleaning your appliance from the inside out, not contrary.
Dismantle all removable parts (wire racks, shelves, plastic holders…) and take it out. In this way, you will reach far easier areas that usually stay untouched. Placed them on newspapers or some old cloth and leave them at room temperature. This is a great way to prevent plastic and glass parts from damaging due sudden temperature changing.
As we said, the best way to start cleaning beverage center is from inside. Although there is a ton of branding cleaning products on the market, we advise you not to buy them right away. At least not before you tried ours tips and tricks:
Note: Whether you are cleaning inside or outside, you should avoid aggressive chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine bleach or any kind of strong detergent.
Don’t waste your money on expensive products. Using natural mixtures is not only cheaper, but also healthier
Start cleaning with ordinary, neutral soap and mild water. And that is that. With a little help of soft sponge or magic rag, the all dirt will be removed.
Instead of using expensive and often aggressive chemicals, for the hard-line spots we recommend an old but proven solution- ordinary baking soda and water (2 tablespoons of baking soda mixed in a glass of warm water). This magic formula is not just cheap and effective; it is a completely harmless for your health too.
The second great solution is a mixture of a half-cup of vinegar, three cups of water and one spoon of lemon juice. Shake it all together and pour in plastic bottle with spray.
If you are missing some of these ingredients, which is hardly possible, you can use one of the most famous abrasive products in the world- ordinary toothpaste. In that way you will get rid of all filth from your beverage center, polish the glass and plastic parts and refresh the whole interior.
After you are done with the interior, now it is time for the parts you removed in the beginning. Wipe and polish them same as the interior- with baking or vinegar mixture. We recommend you to clean it one by one, and install them in the proper way.
Another important thing that people often overlooked is doors and especially door gaskets. These things are crucial for the maintaining optimal temperature. For door cleaning you can use everything you have used before, but for the sealing vinyl and door gaskets there is one little trick:
After this cleaning phase, you can close the door and focus on the exterior (use soap, baking soda or vinegar solution). Before you do that, you should brush or vacuum condenser at least once a year. In that way you will prevent overheating.
The cleaning is done! Turn on the beverage center according the producers manual and return your drinks in it. After a couple of hours, you can enjoy in your perfect cold drink.
If you are one of those who are waking up at night with the bags under the eyes, nervousness in the gut and the cold sweat on the back because of the strange sounds of your brand new beverage center, this is a perfect article for you.
Here is great news:
You are not going mad and there is a great possibility you will not have to replace the device you just bought.
Some of these disturbing sounds are just normal. Yes, they are.
All that humming, pulsing and boiling-type-of- sounds are, in the most cases, just the normal process of the working regime. Nothing less and nothing more.
„But I have heard the bev centers are pretty much silent devices and some of them can be installed even in the sleeping room”, warn us some of the dissatisfied users
They are probably filing deceived and thinking how to send back the appliance with first occasion.
However, there is one little thing that should be considered. Is your regular fridge inaudible?
Or the freezer, icemaker, dishwasher, PC, vacuum, hair dryer…Just name it.
All these things have some sounds and they are surely not silent as the grave (thank God for that).
The same situation is with undercounter beverage centers in general, with the exception of the outdoor models. Since these kinds of appliances must to operate in open space, where the temperatures change all the time, they are all equipped with the powerful compressors.
This formula is very simple:
Strong machine means more noise! And more power consumption of course. If someone installed “the monster” beside the bad, he really should not be surprised why he cannot sleep like a baby without sleeping pills.
In general, drink fridges are loud as other similar home appliances. It is true that some models are “super-ultra” silent, but you just can’t expect a pure silence from these machines.
The most of them do not exceed a magic line of the 50 decibels (dB), which is considered as confine between pleasant and the harsh kind of the sound.
For example, normal human voice, the refrigerator or the quiet music on the radio belong to the group below 50 dB
The bottom line:
The question whether some device is loud or not is up to the individual preferences- someone cannot sleep even if it’s raining, while the others could snore next to the rocket launcher.
Let’s back to the problem and the “weird” sounds.
The Sounds Of The Beverage Centers
What is considered as a strange sound? The producers are very clear about this question. These are the answers we received from most of them.
Humming and pulsing sound of the machine that is turned on is probably coming from the compressor- the heart of all beverage centers. If this sound comes and disappears as compressor turns on and off, this could be pretty certain sign it is a compressor issue.
Boiling liquid type of sound in most cases comes from the evaporator- an unmistakable part of all fridges and air-conditioners. It is designed to turn chemicals from liquid into a gas form. So, if you are afraid that your device is boiling up, you can relax now. It is just a regular “music” of the evaporator.
Clicking is usually connected with a compressor’s working cycle.
Some noise could be caused by condenser fan, because air goes thru it.
If you thought your device is leaking and you hear some dripping, it could be a consequence of the defrosting process. When the unit is in the defrosting process, all water running into a drain pan, which may sound like it is raining.
Of course, the level of the noise depends on the power of the machine. Although you can’t change much about it, you can still prevent some things.
Try With These Tricks
Make sure you have installed your device properly in the first place. Although all listed sounds are normal, some of them are consequence of the wrong setting and handling.
Check out is your device placed on the firm and leveled surface. Wrong angle affect the normal compressor’s working process. This can reflect as a gouging and scratching, same as overheating.
Second, make sure that you have not overloaded your appliance with the cans and bottles. If you placed too much content on the shelves, the air will not circulate properly and your device will have a hard time to get the optimal temperature. This means constantly working of the compressor and more noise.
Third, it is crucial to properly set beverage center in the kitchen boxes or under the counter and to leave necessary space for the optimal working. Otherwise, it may cause overheating and total defect of the unit.
You do not have to be a professional craftsman to install beverage center. It is pretty much easy job and does not require any special tools or skills.
However, there is some difference in installing undercounter beverage center, freestanding or outdoor device.
Before You Install Beverage Center
The first thing you should do, and this is what we advise all new users of this appliance, is to read carefully producer’s manual to prevent any kind of braking warranty terms.
The second thing is the selection of the location.
Regardless of whether you want to place your device in the living room, kitchen, basement or outside, the most important is to have an adequate and correct power connector.
Make sure that your location is moisture free, and that your appliance is not placed near any kind of open heat source: direct sunlight, stove, heater or radiator.
Also, make sure that your unit is not installed near water: wet rooms, near a swimming pool, or near a sink.
It is recommended that beverage cooler should be connected to its own circuit at the standard electrical supply (115V, 60Hz). You must adequately ground your appliance.
Very important: Before you plug it into a power supply, leave your appliance at least 5 hours (some producers recommend 24 hours) to allow compressor’s oil to settle down.
It is important to install it on a firm and level surface. Use your leveling tool or just rotate a leveling foot to set the device in ideal position.
Make sure that you leave enough space clearance for the vent system.
How To Install Install Under Counter Device?
As we already said, built in refrigerator can be installed both as freestanding or built-in appliance. Since the first case is considered in the next header, we will talk about the second- how to built-in zero clearance device?
Basically, it is very easy job and you you can do within an hour.
The very first thing is to, whether you install a beverage fridge under the counter or in the kitchen cabinet, allow adequate ventilation space around the appliance- at least 2/5” at the back, 1/5” ad sides, and 1/5″ at the top.
Make sure that a location of your device has temperatures range 50°-95°F. Otherwise, your drinks will not be cold enough, and could effect on its duration.
If you are still confused, you can see more more useful information and trick in this detailed Installation Guide from Subzero-Wolf.
Install Freestanding Unit
The first thing you should do is to place the freestanding beverage center on a floor, strong enough to support even fully loaded appliance.
The crucial thing is to allow 2-3 inches of space between the back and sides to prevent overheating of the device.
Do not forget to install your unit in the right location with optimal atmospheric temperature.
High temperature may increase electrical consumption, while direct sunlight may damage protective acrylic coating on doors.
Extreme cold ambient temperature is surely not good for this appliance center too.
There is no point repeating all above, because installing outdoor beverage center is a combination of previous methods. It is all depends do you want to install your outdoor beverage center as freestanding or built-in appliance.
You can do it by yourself and have the perfect BBQ. All details about these devices are explained in this Use And Care Guide
In the end, whether you are consider installing undercounter, freestanding or outdoor type, you should consider in taking some warranty and protection plan. All producers will give you 1-year warranty period.
In case you did not know, these guys have been on the market since 1947, making them one of the oldest appliance companies in this part of the world.
They started as a small family company in Canada, and their goal from the very beginning was creating handy compact appliance for our homes.
This remained unchanged!
In fact, “making big products for small spaces” has always been their primary goal. This is why they were nicknamed “Compact Kings”.
Today, they are one of the leaders in the section of compact devices, especially in the home fridge industry.
“Our vision is simple: to create brilliant & inspired appliances designed to fit your space and your every move. We love when a classic and intuitive design surprises with features to keep life organized and easy. We believe that thoughtful design is always in season”.
Name: Danby Products Ltd.
Headquarter: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Owner: Wood family
President: James Lightfoot
CEO: Jim Estill
Annual Sales: $400 mil
Manufacturing facilities: China, Mexico and U.S
Silhouette (specialized undercounter or built in appliances)
Micro Fridge(specialty devices, mostly dorm fridge plus microwave)
Breaking Bland ( retro and classic collection) combined refrigerators, freezers and microwave ovens, with a single plug
Cooperation: distributor of BergHOFF in Canada and white labeling for Whirlpool, Kenmore and Sunbeam
“Good to know: they started with slow cookers and hot plates. They are the first company who started a serial production of portable air conditioner”
Today, they operate all across the world, but their main manufacturing facilities are placed in China and Mexico. Problem? We do not think so.
Having facilities outside Canada and the USA does not mean lower quality or anything like that.
Every single product that comes from the line is tested in order to satisfy even the most rigorous North American safety standards.
This is the reason why they opened a new office in China. Improving the quality and following general environmental safety policies is their top priority.
You can be sure the unit that failed to satisfy all safety checkups is still on the Asian or Mexican border, with no chances to get an entry visa to the U.S.
Of course, this is just a figure of speech, but you know what we want to say.
Saving Energy with Energy Star
Environment friendly products and energy saving in general have become extremely important these days.
Of course, saving energy because of lower electricity bills is great, but taking care about the Mother Nature is even better. When it comes to these things, Danby beverage center models are at the very top.
For those who still live under the rock, we have an announcement to make:
It is the 21st century and things have changes regarding energy policy!
Super saving units from the past are outdated and they spend more energy and cost us more than modern appliances we can buy online.
“Did you know that people who decided to use Energy Star certificated products saved almost $20 million?”
You can join them by choosing some of the energy friendly units. Save up to a couple of thousand dollars by opting for these specially designed
There is no excuse not to start behaving like responsible individual. It is your call.
Say Hello to dbc 120bls
We have said it before, and we will say it again:
dbc 120 bls is the most popular and the best- selling cooler in the category.
However, we will not talk about its features and technical issues: we already wrote about this great stand alone chiller.
We are more interested in highlighting all those things that might be a problem if you decide to buy it.
We will also provide the solution for certain problems we found on this model and suggest you the best and easiest solution.
Lets’ start from the most obvious things first:
It does not cooling well
Among the biggest complaints about this model is it does not keep drinks as cold as it should be.
Some people are very disappointed with it because it allegedly cannot cool beverages below 43F-44F.
And there is nothing strange with that!
According to the manufacturer’s manual, the temperature range of this model is 43F-57F!
In other words, if you expect icy cold drinks, you should forget this small fridge.
But, we have to say a few things before we say this unit is a POS.
First of all, you have to understand it is not a fridge, and that it is not designed for freezing, but for keeping drinks cold.
Do you know what is the optimal temperature for beer and sodas?
It is not below 43F that is for sure!
So, keep in mind this before you return this product. In addition, you must read all specifications made by a producer.
But, do not be too disappointed.
If you follow the installation procedure, you can have drinks cooler than you expect. If you follow installation procedure and if you use this appliance properly, the temperature in this drink fridge can go even lower than 43F!
We know people whose cans were literally frozen, especially those on the top shelves.
So, this is what you should do if you want to get the most of this model:
Make sure that you have installed your device away from all heat sources or direct sunlight. It is just a matter of common sense. If the outside temperature is too high, the compressor will have to work more to keep the optimal temperature. Most of the time, inappropriate room temperature is the reason why your bev center looks weak. For example, if you keep your device in the basement or near heating radiator, you will have to settle for warm beer.
Make sure that your device is installed on the flat surface and that is leveled properly
Make sure that the doors are properly closed
Make sure that you have turned the knob (located on the back) on the maximum
Make sure that you have left enough space for normal operating
Check the coil and clean it if it is dirty
Make sure that you have not overloaded this appliance. Remember, it can store up to 113 cans. You should go below this number if you want the get the really cold drinks
Doors and leaking issue
The second thing we wanted to talk about dbc 120 bls is the so-called door problem.
We have noticed that the doors do not open/close in the way they should. As we said in the previous paragraph, this can be the reason why your appliance cannot reach the minimum temperature.
Besides this, improperly closed door can cause leaking, which is something you should avoid at all costs.
Here is what you have to do:
You must gently close the door, because if you slam it, they will stay open.
Make sure that your device is 100% leveled.
Doors are installed very low, which means that you will have a problem if you want to install it on a thick carpet. In this situation, you should prop it up. Our friend Pam has a great solution. She just used end table like this and solved the problem with the doors. Or, you can use the moving cart like this, and keep your unit removable.
Low capacity and unstable shelves
People think this dbc 120 bls is not the ideal solution for them because it is designed primarily for cans. In addition, they say it has a small capacity and has unstable wire shelves. It is not completely true:
For rearranging the space and getting the maximal capacity, read this manual
The maximal capacity is 113 cans, which is quite OK for this medium- sized chiller
You can make your shelves more stable if you install your unit properly. Or, you can use chopping mats and solve the problem with unstable cans.
The Danby Silhouette Beverage center is a separate line of this Canadian producer, focused on creating under the counter or built in devices.
Unlike the previous Dunby model, all units from this line have front vent system, meaning they can be installed under the counter without any problem.
Of course, you can also install these great appliances as freestanding models, which is really great feature, especially for those who want to experiment with design.
Silhouette is a name for three subcategories:
Professional line is made for people who like beautiful design and premium quality (this is at least what producer says about it). These are flagship under counter models of this Canadian producer. Of course, top quality has its price, so be prepared for it. You can check prices here.
Select line is inspired by Prague- one of the most beautiful European cities and unofficial capital of all beer lovers. These models will be the ideal solution for people who want perfectly chilled beer. You can now have it with style.