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Avanti 12 Bottle Thermoelectric Counter Top Wine Cooler - Model EWC1201
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- 12 bottles total
- Thermoelectric Cooling System
- Curved Glass Door
- Compact and Lightweight. No Vibration - Bottle Sediment is not Disturbed
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Avanti EWC1201 Twelve Bottle Counter Top Wine Cooler
From the Manufacturer
AVANTI 12 BOTTLE WINE COOLER
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I didn't realize the fan had failed; the lack of heat dissipation caused to the Peltier element to also fail. So the cooler stopped working. I don't think that working for two years is sufficient for an item at this price point. Fortunately, thermoelectric wine coolers are easy to fix and relatively inexpensive to do so. When I took the back off and pulled the entire cooling assembly off, I discovered several things of concern.
1) The thermal paste used to attach the Peltier to the inside and outside heatsinks was of very poor quality.
2) The sealant used to seal the outside heatsink from the cabinet was of poor quality and had gaps in several locations, meaning that ambient air from the room could easily enter the cabinet - increasing the cooling demand to maintain sub-ambient temperatures.
When fixing it, I used the following components:
a) Fan - I replaced the original 90 mm fan with a 140 mm fan that pushes 60 CFM and draws 0.14A, which is about the same amp draw as the original fan. I used this CoolerMaster fan. It has a blue LED when it runs, which matches the blue LED on the display. I would have prefered a fan without an LED - but it isn't too noticeable unless the room is dark. One point of note - this is a 3-pin fan, while the wine-cooler only uses two pins. The third pin on the fan is for speed control, which isn't needed in this application. The fan runs at top speed (1000 rpm) during cooling and cannot be heard - much quieter than the original fan.
b) Peltier element - TEC1-12706. This is a 40x40 mm Peltier element that matches the original element in this cooler.
c) Thermal paste. I used Artic Silver. Unlike applying a very thin layer when attaching a heatsink to a CPU or GPU, I applied a layer that about 1-2 mm thick on both sides and then squeezed out the excess when assembling the cooling assembly.
d) Silicone sealant. I ran a bead of Permatex high-temperature silicone sealant around the edge before attaching the cooling assembly back to the case.
I've listed these details in the event they are useful to anyone else whose cooler stops working. All put together, it cost about $30 to get the wine cooler operational again. It has been two years since I fixed it; the wine cooler now achieves and hold about 20 degrees Fahrenheit below ambient temperature. I keep the house at 70F, and it reaches temperatures as low as 47F, but not lower. At this temperature differential (23F), the Peltier and fan run continuously. If I set the cooler to 50F, then the Peltier and fan cycle on & off.
I've attached three photos to this review showing what the modified back of the fixed cooler looks like, the difference between ambient and interior temperature, and the difference between the heat-sink temperature and the interior temperature.
I also found out that the buttons are always locked out until you press both of the 'temp up' and 'temp down' buttons together - overlooked that in the manual.
It's June 2015 and the cabinet has performed flawlessly. VERY pleased with it especially the 4-bottle stand-up area. Finally figured that out; as you open bottles and reseal with your vacu-vin or what have you, it doesn't make sense to lay them back down, they're not going to "breathe" through those seals so, stand 'em up and they'll be ready when you are for your next glass! Neat idea?
July 12, 2016 Update - As I passed the cooler today, I noticed that the temperature displayed was 58 degrees (set on 55,) no fans running and no action from the buttons. Unplugged, left unpowered for a minute then restored power; now all is right again. Hope this was a power grid fluke, either a dip or spike. Still loving this little cooler!
Here are a couple of things to consider though:
1) If there's a power outage, the unit will reset to the default temperature, not the temperature you have it set to, if different from the default.
2) Be sure to allow enough clearance around the wine refrigerator. If you get it too close on any of the sides (left, right, back or top), it will struggle to cool down
3) It doesn't take long for it to get warmer if the door is open, and it warms up much faster than it cools down
All in all, though, it's a really nice appliance and does exactly what it is intended to do.