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Old 09-12-2016, 12:23 PM   #1
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Refrigerator Locking Screw

My 5th wheel has a residential refrigerator that requires a screw with a knob on the end to lock the doors so they don't open while traveling. Can anyone tell me where I can find a screw like that?
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:49 PM   #2
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I haven't a clue what your locking device looks like so without a photo or a better description... do you have a Fastenal store near you? They have about every kind of screw/knob imaginable. Also look online at McMaster-Carr.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:54 PM   #3
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:55 PM   #4
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:06 PM   #5
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Probably one of *THESE* for the stud. (looks like about a 1/4-20 x 4" by comparison in your photo... or... choose the correct one)

And one of *THESE* for the knob.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:09 PM   #6
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Looks like that would work. Thanks.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:14 PM   #7
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Careful, there could be a refrigerant line where you are drilling for the lock

I also have been looking for ways to latch the doors on my residential fridge. But, I am also concerned that there may be a refrigerant line where I am drilling.

When I look up documentation on refrigerators (I have a Whirlpool), I learn that the manufacturers sometimes run the coil from the compressor just behind the refrigerator gaskets to keep them warm and not sticking. A defrost feature.

Unless I have clear confirmation that the coil doesn't run in such a place, I'll only glue and not screw into that area.

–Gordon
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:46 PM   #8
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we also have a whirlpool residential refrigerator. French doors on top, large freeze drawer below. ours came with a couple of rubber bungee cords and with some hook loops in the cabinets right next to the refrigerator. just put the bungee cords into the hooks on the sides of the refrigerator and they keep all the doors closed. no alterations to the refrigerator.
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:54 AM   #9
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When I wrote my last post with a caution about how there could be refrigerant lines behind where you drill for a screw, I had my Berk in storage. Since then, I've had a chance to work on it and I notices that my Whirlpool actually has screw holes in the frame between the freezer and the refrigerator. These are to allow one to switch the hinges to the other side.

If you see this kind of a situation, then you can be confident that it is safe to drill a hole there for the security screw that was mentioned earlier.

However, I have just installed another solution to the problem on my fridge, and I will discuss it in my next post.
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Old 09-19-2016, 01:24 AM   #10
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Installing latches on an RV residential refrigerator to hold the doors closed or open

I’ve just built and installed a latch system for my residential refrigerator that doesn’t require me to drill holes into potentially dangerous places. It also allows me to latch the fridge open to aerate it in storage, or closed while driving.

I recall a similar system in our family trailer in the 1960s or 70s, but I’m not sure whether my Dad bought a kit to do this or designed and built the system himself. Perhaps some old-timers can tell me whether they have seen this before.

I have photos below of the system.

The first photo shows the parts that I built for the latches on my freezer and refrigerator.

The top two parts are 1” by 3” by 1/8” aluminum strips with double-sided tape on the back and an Ikea-style screw cap on the front. The screw cap is fastened to a bolt (not shown) that comes from the back side, and which is threaded to the aluminum and the screw cap. I used Loctite to make this secure. I ground down the bolt head so that it was only about 1/16” thick. I needed to use several strips of double-sided tape to make sure the assembly didn’t bottom out on the bolt head, and grinding the bolt head minimized the number of tape strips that I needed. Note the long backing strip for the double-sided tape. I used the long strip to gradually seat the aluminum on the side of the refrigerator while holding it in the correct place.

The middle two parts are two 1” by 5” by 1/8” aluminum strips with notches cut into them, and an indication of where I will drill the hole for a pivot. The notch closest to the pivot latches the door closed and the one farthest from the pivot latches it open.

The bottom two parts are spacers 1.25” by 1” by 1/8” that I glued to the refrigerator doors, and subsequently drilled to anchor the pivot.

The second photo shows the latches at rest, as if we are camping with food in the fridge. The photo shows the middle and bottom parts noted above, with another Ikea-style screw running between them and into the fridge doors to form the pivot. Since the doors have no wires going into them, I can safely drill into them without damaging anything.

The third photo shows the top part as listed above. It is glued/taped to the side of the refrigerator. Note the tight fit next to the cabinet wood. Some planning is needed her to make this fit without rubbing on the cabinet.

The fourth photo show the latches in use. The top latch is on the freezer, and is holding the freezer door shut. The bottom latch is on the refrigerator and is holding the door open.

Gordon Sick
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