Wine Fridge Installation Guide – Freestanding & Under Counter

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Are you a wine enthusiast who’s recently bought a new wine fridge but struggling with its installation? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! In fact, even the most knowledgeable wine lovers can have a difficult time setting up their wine fridges, especially when they can’t find the right instructions.

Installing a freestanding wine cooler is much simpler and easier than installing an under-counter wine cooler.

But don’t stress about it, as we’ve got you covered with some helpful tips and tricks to ensure your wine fridge installation goes smoothly. So sit back, uncork a bottle of your favorite wine, and let’s get started!

How to Install a Built-in Wine Cooler in an Existing Cabinet?

Installing a wine cooler or a beverage fridge in a cabinet is a popular option, as it saves space and keeps your wine bottles easily accessible.

Step 1: Gathering All The Materials And Tools Needed For The Installation

Before we start, let’s see which tools you need for the installation process:

  • Screwdriver (Phillips or flathead, depending on the screws used in your wine cooler)

  • Wood Saw (if the floor of the cabinet needs to be cut)

  • Level (to ensure the wine cooler is installed straight and level)

  • Drill (if you need to create holes for mounting screws)

  • Measuring tape or ruler (to measure the space where you will install the wine cooler)

  • Gloves (to protect your hands during installation)

  • The manual of the wine cooler (the manual must be read before installation)

Step 2: Power supply

Before proceeding to install your new cooler in a cabinet, you need to make sure that you have a power supply close to the area.

Please note that you may use an extension cord but at your own risk, as some producers specifically point in the warranty card that extension cords should be avoided.

Step 3: Prepare the cabinet space

Once you know that you have ensured the power supply for your new wine cooler, it is time to check the details of the cabinet.

If the door of your cabinet is still attached, use a screwdriver and remove it.

The floor of your cabinet should be able to be removed by unscrewing, but some cabinets don’t have that option. In this case, use the wood saw and carefully cut it out.

Smooth out any jagged surfaces of the cabinet by sanding.

Step 4: Measure the cabinet and the wine cooler

Now, measure the area to see if it is big enough for the wine cooler to fit inside. Measure it more than once to avoid mistakes and excess work.

Even if built-in wine coolers have front vents, they still require some space, usually around 2 inches, around the sides and behind the unit for proper ventilation.

Step 5: Place the new wine cooler inside the cabinet

Clean the area first, and then use some help to position the wine cooler inside, as some wine coolers might be too heavy to be handled by yourself.

Use a level to adjust the wine cooler properly. If it’s not ideally level, use the cooler’s feet and adjust them until you reach the right level.

Step 6: An hour of patience

Do not turn on the wine cooler right away. It is better to wait for a minimum of 1 hour after installation. Most wine coolers use refrigerants that were shaken during transportation and installation. Therefore, it is advised to wait for at least 24 hours after delivery before starting the installation of your new wine cooler.

Step 7: Another hour of patience

Turn on the wine cooler, add your favorite bottles, and adjust the temperature according to our guide for proper storage of white and red wines.

Allow the wine cooler at least an hour to reach the ideal temperature for the bottle you are planning to open to celebrate your new wine cooler.


How to Install a Freestanding Wine Cooler

Let’s explain how to install a freestanding wine cooler in a few simple steps:

Step 1: Choose the location

If you haven’t decided yet, we have an article about where to place a wine cooler that might help you.

Choose a location that is cool, dry, and away from direct sunlight. Even though most modern wine coolers have UV protection glass doors, it is still highly recommended to install a wine cooler away from direct sunlight.

Also avoid placing it near heat sources like ovens, stoves, or microwaves.

See if there is a power supply nearby.

Step 2: Measure the space

Whether you plan to place your wine cooler in the kitchen island, or in the living room, measure the space and make sure that the wine cooler will fit.

Unpack the wine cooler and remove any packing materials. Check for any damage that may have occurred during shipping.

Step 3: Level the wine cooler

Use a level to make sure the wine cooler is level. Adjust the leveling legs as needed.

Just as with built in wine coolers, wait for 1 hour before plugging the wine cooler.

Load the wine cooler with the favorite bottles of your wine collection, making sure to leave enough space between the bottles for air to circulate.

Now, all that’s left to do is to enjoy your wine!

Difference in the Installation Process Between Built in and Freestanding Wine Coolers

The installation process for built-in and freestanding wine coolers can be different due to the way they are designed and the location where they will be placed.

Built-in wine coolers are typically designed to be installed into an existing cabinet or under-counter space, and require a certain amount of clearance around the unit to ensure proper ventilation.

Freestanding wine coolers, on the other hand, are standalone units that can be placed anywhere in your home. They do not require any special ventilation, but they do need to be placed on a flat, stable surface to prevent vibration and ensure proper operation. Freestanding wine coolers also require access to an electrical outlet to power the unit.


How much does the wine fridge installation cost?

Installing an integrated wine cooler is not a complicated task. However, if you prefer to have it done by a professional due to time constraints, the average cost of labor and materials would be anywhere between $200 and $300.

Is the installation process of dual zone wine coolers and single zone wine coolers different?

The installation process for dual zone wine coolers and single zone wine coolers can be different only in terms of the space needed for ventilation.
Dual zone wine coolers have two separate compartments with independent temperature controls, which means that each zone needs to be properly ventilated and cooled.
However, regardless of the type of wine cooler, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure optimal performance and safety during installation.

Are Wine Refrigerators Dependent on Exclusive Circuits?

Depends on the size of the wine cooler and the amount of Ampers and Watts. But for wine coolers with a capacity that is smaller than 100 bottles, a shared circuit should be fine.
Explore wine fridge energy efficiency and learn more about it here

Stan Kushkin

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