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  • Can I convert a Retherm Holding Cabinet to a oven

  • guest

    April 3, 2018 at 12:00 am

    Hello all. Just we have a Retherm Holding Cabinet MD1144 made by Carter Hoffman in our Pasta market.


    Just I want to know if I can convert it to an oven.


    I have the wiring diagram and also the electrical diagram of the unit.  I can see that are two thermostat for protection of both coil box air elements that  cut off at 300 farenheit degrees.


    I don´t know if the 300 Degrees snap disk thermostats control are activated to protect the inside temperature to mantein safe the food holding temperature?  or is to protect the coil box air elements?


    My main question is: Can I replace the thermostat for another that permit me go to an upper temperature? or Can I eliminate the thermostat and control the coil box air elements power just from the control box with the K thermocouple inside temperature and relay it to power of the coils? 


    I made the control box digital once I works with electronics to control the differents types of food temperature manteinence and works ok. I will add this feature if is possible safely.


    Another question is how much degrees can I reach making this modification? (if is possible) There is a maximun to works safely with the coils to don´t come burned?


    Thanks in advance for your help and all the best.


    PD. Any response can be sended to   thanks again, I appreciate a lot your help.



  • fixbear

    April 3, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    The short answer is no it can not be made into a oven. The materials to insulate it and the venting is not designed to be used above 300 F protection.  And then only for a short time.  As a re-therm it is make to work below 250.  Usually they are in the 140 to 180 range..  The other thing is the expansion of the materials will form cracks and buckling.  The snap disc is the safety, not a thermostat. And though marked 300 degrees, they ussually trip slightly below that.

  • ectofix

    April 3, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    For what it’s worth to you…

    Equipment leaves a manufacturer’s assembly line meeting standards delineated by NSF, ANSI, UL, CE, CSA, ETL and even Energy Star.  That equipment is therefore LISTED as equipment meeting those standards.


    No technician worth his meddle or wanting to remain in an occupation requiring them to make repairs which meet those standards…will make such alterations, be a party in making such alterations…or advise someone (such as yourself) on how to make such alterations.


    You do what you want.  You can park that thing in your backyard and make a smoker out of it for all I care.  But I think you’re in the wrong place for asking what it takes to convert something into something else that it’s not designed to be.


    If you really want the lowdown, I suggest that you call Carter-Hoffmann.  800.323.9793.

  • partgio

    April 3, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks a lot Fixbear, really appreciate your help and illustration about this issue. 


    Just for curiosity without risk anything. I understand now that the 300F Degree are the limit to protect the cabinet for deformation and other things. But the coil box air elements of 2000Watt each can be used in another oven without risk if I increase the temperature to reach 450F degrees removing the 300F degrees thermostat?

    I would like to use those elements to make a old italian oven made with refractory bricks and reuse the control and other electrical stuff. It is possible?


    Thanks again.


    All the best,



  • partgio

    April 3, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks Ectofix. Really apreciate your response and your point of view is really valid, but, I need to tell you that I am in Venezuela, just now the resources and foreing currecy like dollars are very limited and we need to reinvent in many ways to take alive our business. This sound strange to you in a civilizated country. You cannot imagine and also cannot dream what is happening in our country,  but for now, we are in very hard troubles to have spare parts and new, used or remanufactured ovens.


    My question, I think need to be related before with this story to understand a little what is my concern and what I want to do.


    Sorry if I made the question in this place, but really I think that was the best place for your proffesionality and knowlgdment.


    Thanks again.


    All the best.


    Giovanni from Maracaibo – Venezuela

  • fixbear

    April 3, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    If your going to do all that, wouldn’t it be easier to build a wood fired oven?


    The elements will take it if properly mounted with air flow and high temp wires and terminals.  But, there is a lot of design work involved. And they are not big enough for a masonry pizza oven.  They would have to be above the base by a about 4 cm on heat proof metal stilts.


    Building a clay oven would be faster, cheaper, and cook better.


    Having spent time in Honduras, Belize, and Panama,  I know where you are coming from.

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