Wine Cellar Advice - Repair, deal with it, or get a new one?


So back in 2007 my closet was overflowing and the little fridge I bought quickly filled up. Like it took a week. DOH!

I went on Craigslist and found a killer deal. A 440 Bottle Vinotheque, worked great, just needed to get it from the person that day. It was like $800 and the person and bought the house, with the cellar in it and they didn’t drink wine. So the wife wanted it gone, I scored big time.
Vinotheque 440 Bottle Cellar

Fast-forward…Three moves later, I still have it. In the last move, things didn’t go well, mostly because I let someone else move it instead of doing it myself. sigh In one area, the door doesn’t seal and warm air gets in. On top of that, the compressor will make a sizzling noise while it’s cycling like once every hour or so.

So summer I unplugged it because it was too noisy for my guests who were staying in the same room as the cellar and we noticed water on the floor…Upon further investigation, we discovered that nearly the entire back wall was frozen, solid. (Sorry, the picture isn’t auto-rotating after upload.)
Notice the ice in the back, all central bottles removed.  Sorry the image didn't auto-rotate...
Closeup, the indentation of the wine bottle was cool!

First of all, ugh…I hope none of the wine was damaged by being so cold for an unknown amount of time…Though I don’t think it was THAT long. So far, everything I’ve drank since was fine!

Would you expect that much ice to build up just because of the seals being compressed? I’m concerned it’s a bad sensor or something, but maybe it’s the seal alone. Maybe it needs coolant?

I called Vinotheque a while ago to find out what the seals would cost, it was like hundreds of dollars…I want to say $200-$300. The new sensor would be at least that as well, if not more.

I’m concerned that performing any repair, except for maybe trying to do my own seal repair, is probably not a good investment. I’m concerned that this will become a cellar pit, sucking in lots of money. Living out here in VA, I had called around to find out who might work on something like this, everyone said they would not…

In the mean time, I got a temp/humidity sensor that ties into my weather station that I already have…so I’ve started to monitor it. I am hoping that at a minimum the temperature fluctuations will be limited since the cellar is mostly sealed. I know that temperature fluctuations are the worst thing for stored wine. Right now, it’s hovering around 62 and 47% humidity…I haven’t had it long enough to see how much it fluctuates week to week, though intraday seems to be pretty stable.

Anywho…wondering if anyone else has struggled with something like this. Really don’t want to spend much on any solution, frankly, I’d rather use the money to buy wine and am not intentionally building up a collection for epic aging…This is all just a side-effect of @winedavid49 providing good deals on great wine. Meh.