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Product Highlights : How to Retrofit the ICUBE™ Adaptive Defrost Module

Commercial, HVAC/R

How to Retrofit the ICUBE™ Adaptive Defrost Module

Give high energy bills the cold shoulder with this smart upgrade

How to Retrofit the ICUBE Adaptive Defrost Module 

Have increased energy costs put a damper on your food service business? If so, our latest adaptive defrost products may be the perfect solution to help boost efficiency and lift your bottom line.

The ICUBE™ DDFM Adaptive Defrost Module seamlessly retrofits on existing Grässlin DTAV40 defrost timers to create an innovative new system that can reduce defrost cycles by up to 40% or more per day. Quick and simple to install in the field, it’s a welcome cost-saving addition to any commercial walk-in freezer or cooler.

Upgrading is a snap if you follow these steps.

What’s in the Box?

Before you get started, be sure you select the correct ICUBE model. The ICUBE DDFM is designed specifically for retrofit applications, whereas the ICUBE DDT40 is for complete field replacement of outdated mechanical timers and new installations. Inside the box you’ll find all the materials you need to get the job done:

  • Thermistor wire (10 feet)
  • Input to lead wire (6 feet)
  • Protective insulator panel
  • Screws
  • Wire nuts
  • Probe clip

Getting Started with Your Retrofit

Before getting to work on your retrofit project, be sure to reference the safety section of the DDFM instruction manual. Taking a few small safety precautions can greatly reduce the risk of fire or electrical shock.

Once you’ve reviewed the recommended safety instructions, you’ll want to initiate a manual defrost by advancing the FM timer dial to the next scheduled defrost, so coils are frost-free.

After completing a manual defrost cycle, make sure power is disconnected from the device. Then, remove the protective insulator panel from the DTAV40, unscrew the timer and pull the DTAV40 off of the control board. You’ll be left with a flat surface to attach your new ICUBE DDFM module.

Next, snap the ICUBE DDFM onto the control board and screw it into place, aligning the ICUBE terminals with the terminal fasteners in the box.

With the new module secured, connect the provided input wire to any of the four inputs at the top of the ICUBE module, then route the input lead above and around tab on the right side of the device. This provides a clear path for you to feed the wire through the bottom of the box while ensuring easy access to FM timer wheel.

After the lead wire is in place, shift gears and fish the thermistor probe leads through the existing conduit using fish tape (if needed). Position the thermistor probe and connect it to the evaporator coil. You can do this either by inserting the probe between the unit’s cooling fins (using needle nose pliers to bend the fins together) or by clipping the probe onto a lower evaporator coil on the unit. Make sure the temperature sensor is making good contact with one of the evaporators circuit tubes.

As the last step, using the provided wire nuts, wrap the thermistor probe wires to the input leads and secure the connection with a wire nut. Again, be sure you’re routing the lead wire over the tab on the right side of the box and down through the base.

Signs of Success

In just a matter of minutes, your old Grässlin DTAV40 defrost timer has been converted into a high-functioning adaptive defrost unit.

To be sure the retrofit installation was a success, look for the unit’s LED lights to flash as the ICUBE module powers up. The number of flashes at startup corresponds to the number of input probes installed. The LED will then flash continuously to indicate the unit is in calibration mode.

Once the calibration process completes, the device is officially online. Scheduled defrost events will be bypassed as long as the ICUBE is in efficiency mode, making an immediate impact on your day-to-day energy costs. Finally, tuck all of the wires inside the enclosure, snap the insulator cover into place, adjust the FM dial to the appropriate time and call it a day.

Benefits Over the Long Haul

On top of added efficiency, retrofitting your existing defrost timer with the ICUBE module helps extend the life of refrigeration equipment by reducing system control switching. Moreover, because it reduces defrost cycles during periods of high use and overall defrosting, the ICUBE can stomp out box-icing issues before they start while minimizing thaw-to-refreeze cycles, one of the biggest culprits in food product degradation.

Ready to get started? Browse our selection defrost timer controls and watch the video below for even more technical tips.

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