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The U-Line 1224R compact beverage refrigerator is a luxury unit with plenty of features that make it useable by practically everyone. Are you included in that “practically everyone” group? Let’s take a detailed look at the 1224R refrigerator to help you decide.
The U-Line company has been making coolers like these, as well as other appliances, since 1962 in Brown Deer (near Milwaukee), Wisconsin. The 1224R is part of their 1000 Series energy efficient fridges.
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The Look of the U-Line 1224R Compact Fridge
Most of the outer cabinet of a 1224R is black. If you plan to install this cooler as a freestanding unit, you’ll want to keep that in mind. It’s only the door where the finish can change.
There are 4 finish variations for the door: black, white, stainless steel, and something called integrated. You can tell from the model “number” which style you are getting. The letter or letters immediately following the “R” describes the style. “B” is for black; “W” is for white; “S” is for stainless steel; and “INT” is for integrated. For example, 1224RS-00B is a stainless steel model. (I’m not sure what the “-00B” at the end means.)
If you want to let this be a freestanding refrigerator, you can optionally get a kit from U-Line that makes the lower left and right sides look flush with the rest of the unit. If you think the cost is worth this difference in looks, then it’s worth looking into.
An integrated model needs a little more explanation. The purpose of this style of finish is so you can potentially make the front match the rest of your existing cabinetry. To this end, the unit comes with a rather plain-looking front onto which you can screw a board of your own choosing.
It is important to know that U-Line does not provide this front panel for you. You either have to cut one yourself or have someone else make one for you. Detailed directions for install it onto the plain door are provided in the user manual.
The panel you add should measure 30 ¼ inches (768mm) high by 23 ¾ inches (603mm) wide and be ¾ inch (20mm) thick. It should weigh no more than 20 pounds, so be careful which kind of wood you use.
How Do You Install the 1224R?
The 1224R measures 34 ⅛ inches (867mm) high by 24 inches (610mm) wide by 23 ¼ (591mm) inches deep. The space you need for undercounter installation then is between 34 ¼ and 35 ⅛ inches of height, 24 ¼ inches of width, and 24 inches of depth.
The door will open more than 90 degrees, if you let it. If you want it to stop at 90, there are pins that you can install to prevent it from going further.
You can install the door as either a left or right opener. There is nothing on the door that will make it look unusual in either direction.
There are 4 independently adjustable leveling legs under the four corners of the 1224R unit. Proper leveling from front to back will ensure that the door does not stay open unnecessarily. You will want to adjust all the legs according to the actual height of the surrounding cabinetry for the best look possible.
If you find that the door is not sealing properly thus preventing the proper cooling of the fridge’s contents, you can loosen the screws that hold it in place and adjust the door so that the gasket gives a secure seal between the door and the main body of the cabinet. Once you get a good seal, just tighten the screws again.
If you’re concerned about the movement or jarring of the cabinet, you can attach a bracket (provided) on top of the unit to adjacent cabinetry. This will prevent tipping and possible damage to any goods inside.
If you really like the 1224R and want 2 of them, perhaps at your place of business, you can install them side by side and connect them with the bracket provided.
Once in place, you should run the fridge empty overnight (with the door sealed as usual) before your first real use. This allows the cooling system to come to a proper temperature easily and correctly.
How Does the U-Line 1224R Work Inside?
The 1224R has an interior volume of 5.2 cubic feet which will hold 185 (12 ounce) cans or 123 (12 ounce) bottles.
Since this is really a compact refrigerator, as opposed to strictly a beverage cooler, you can also store any solid foods that need a temperature range between 34 degrees and 45 degrees Fahrenheit, using R600a refrigerant.
The unit runs at 1.2 amps (115 volts). With normal use, you can expect an average energy consumption of 240 kilowatt hours per year. As a Tier 3 Energy Star unit, this is classified as a highly efficient appliance. (There are 4 possible tiers, with 4 being the best.)
The white interior houses 3 removable tempered glass shelves. You probably won’t want to adjust them often, but it’s nice to know you can. Being able to remove them for cleaning after a spill or just after long periods of use is really handy.
The inside is lit by LED bulbs, which are common these days, since they do not add heat that would affect the cooling system.
There is a digital touch pad on the upper face of the unit that you use to control the lighting, temperature, and Sabbath mode.
The Sabbath mode is Star K certified. To enable Sabbath mode, you press and hold the light button on the control panel for 10 seconds. This disables all functions, except the ability to disable Sabbath mode and keeping the content cool.
Normally, you should not need to defrost the unit manually. If you ever do, just remove the contents, turn the cooler off, and stop the door open at least 2 inches until the frost melts. Remove water from the bottom of the interior and treat it as a new installation before using again.
If the door remains open for more than 5 minutes, an alarm will sound for several seconds every minute until you close the door again. Usually this means the unit is not leveled correctly.
What Accessories Can I Get for My 1224R Cooler?
I mentioned the freestanding kit earlier. In addition, you can swap out the basic door handle for either a “commercial” handle that is ⅞ inch in diameter or a “professional” handle the is 1 ¼ inches in diameter.
You get an excellent user manual that includes shelf installation and removal, cleaning suggestions, troubleshooting, and more.
What’s the Verdict on the U-Line 1224R Refrigerator?
You can’t customize the door of every compact refrigerator the way you can the 1224R. Neither is every luxury model Star K certified with a Sabbath mode. If either or both of these features are important to you, then the U-Line 1224R deserves serious consideration.
Online reviews are sparse, but this is a top selling model (on sites other than Amazon). Here is what a couple of owners have to say about this fridge.
“This refrigerator holds temperature well. It is very quiet and energy efficient.”
“U-Line paid attention to details as this was replacing a 10+ year old U-Line.”
If you think the 1224R isn’t quite what you’re looking for, check out other luxury models in this overview.