SPT, or Sunpentown, is one of the most popular home appliance brands based in the US. They utilize decades of experience to offer products ranging from air conditioners and dehumidifiers to fitness and lifestyle gadgets.
The SPT WC-31U is one of the latest additions to its extensive range of refrigeration products.
It incorporates cutting edge features like memory IC, integrated dehumidifier, multiple temperature sensors and most importantly, sufficient bottle capacity and temperature range.
Packed into a box so compact it can fit under the countertop, these coolers are meant to provide users an easily accessible and highly efficient means of storing a wide variety of wines while adding sophistication to the kitchen space.
- Temperature range of 39-68 degrees Fahrenheit covers all variants of wine and also some other drinks like beer.
- 5 large racks and one smaller rack together hold 32 bottles of wine.
- Racks can be removed in order to clear space for storing large bottles and 6 packs of beer.
- LED control panel allows for easy control over temperature and operation cycle.
- Memory IC applies last settings automatically when the unit recovers from a power failure.
- Stainless steel frame improves the appearance of the counter/room.
- Security lock prevents inadvertent settings change.
- Double-pane glass door for adequate insulation.
Installing the Wine Cooler
Like all reputed manufacturers, Sunpentown suggests that the unit should only be installed in the presence of a qualified professional electrician/technical expert. Users who could not avail the services of such experts however, found that installation was a simple affair if the following steps were followed:
- Remove all labels and packaging material from the unit and check the parts (door hinge, gaskets, racks, power cable, etc.) for signs of damage or malfunction. If any of the parts appear to be damaged or inoperable, contact customer care immediately. Users warned that the company entertains return requests only up to 3 days (72 hours) from the date of delivery.
- If all parts appear fine, leave the unit in a cool and dry area for about 4-5 hours. This area should be inside the house and away from direct sunlight or moisture.
- Clean out the exterior parts and the racks thoroughly (see maintenance section for directions).
- Check the integrity of the racks if you’ve not already done so. If any seem rickety or loose, contact customer care.
- Insert the power cord into a 115V power socket capable of providing at least 10A of current.
- Turn on the power and wait as the machine applies the default settings. (for changing settings, see below).
- Once the unit has started, leave it in a free-standing state for 2-3 hours.
- Disconnect power and move the unit to the area you wish to use it in.
- Reconnect the power cord and start the SPT WC-31U wine fridge.
Users noted that the cooler can be used as a free-standing fridge, under-the-counter unit or even inside-the-cabinet unit. For the latter two applications, a few additional points apply:
- Ensure that the cabinet is at least 1 inch wider than the wine fridge itself. This space is necessary for the door hinge to work properly.
- Some users who had trouble opening the unit suggested inserting a thin piece of foam or other padding between the fridge and the cabinet so as to maintain the minimum clearance area.
- The fridge should be inserted such that the fridge door protrudes slightly from the cabinet. This makes opening the door and cleaning it easier.
- Insert the product into the cabinet only when you’ve carried out all except the last of the steps outlined above.
- Do not place any bottles in the fridge when running the product for 2-3 hours immediately after unpacking.
- Do not use extension cords or inverters with the unit during installation or at any other time.
Using the SPT WC-31U
While you can use the unit for cooling a variety of drinks (by adjusting the racks), we shall assume that you’re using standard wine bottles. To store these bottles:
- Ensure that the product settings are set to default.
- Turn on the blue LED lights inside the fridge (unless they are already “on”).
- Open the fridge and choose the rack you wish to place the bottles in. Note the grooves/depressions in each of the racks. There should be three grooves in the larger racks.
- Take the bottle and place it carefully in the groove of your choice.
- Place the next bottle in the next groove and proceed until all three grooves are covered. Proceed with the next row.
- Place bottles in between the bottles in the grooves only if all the grooves are filled.
- Once all your bottles have been securely stored inside, close the door.
- Set the temperature of your choice and turn off the LED lights inside the fridge.
- If you have a large number of bottles, you may want to turn off the wine cooler before opening the door. This would ensure that the compressor inside the unit is not unduly strained by the constant influx of hot air from outside the unit.
- Do not close the door until all the bottles are securely placed. If any of the bottles seem to be “rolling” around, you may want to place it in a different grooves (or the smaller rack).
Being a single temperature-zone fridge, the few controls are located at the top of the front face of the product. These consist of five buttons – three on the left and two on the right of a small LED display.
- The button at the far right is the power button. Press and hold it for 2-3 seconds to hear a loud “beep” sound. The LED display at the centre shows “888” for a couple of seconds before displaying the actual interior temperature. This indicates that the machine is now working. If the interior light setting has been set to “on”, the blue LED lights would also come on inside the fridge.
- Press the button next to the power button to turn the interior light on/off as per your convenience.
- If you wish to change the temperature immediately, press either the upward or downward arrow on the left of the LED display. Each press changes the temperature by 1 degree Fahrenheit. The wine cooler will display the temperature thus set for 5 seconds before reverting to the actual temperature inside the fridge.
- If left untouched for 12 seconds, the machine’s controls are “locked” ie they cannot be operated directly. Pressing the up and down buttons together causes the lock state to end and enables normal functioning of the buttons.
- The left-most button can be used for shifting between the Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature scales.
Cleaning and Maintaining the SPT WC-31U
Regular cleaning of the wine fridge ensures that mold and bacteria do not grow and thus produce unpleasant odors. To clean the refrigerator –
- Turn off the machine and unplug it.
- Remove all bottles from the racks and leave the door ajar for about half an hour.
- Take a damp cloth and rub the exterior of the machine thoroughly.
- Take out the racks and rinse them thoroughly with warm soapy water.
- Leave the racks to dry in a warm and if necessary, sunny place.
- In the meantime, use a dry cloth or tissue paper to wipe the interior of the fridge as carefully as possible.
- Replace the racks and replace the bottles.
- Close the door and restart the unit.
- Since the product comes with an in-built dehumidifier, it is not necessary to run a dehumidifier during the cleaning process.
- Do not use a wet cloth to clean any surfaces inside the fridge compartment or on/near the control panel.
As per the user manual, the SPT WC-31U has dimensions of 15” (width) x 23” (depth) x 33.64” (height). Most users found these dimensions sufficient for storing not only wine bottles but also packs of beer and large bottles of other types of liquor. The cooler weights 77.75 lbs or 33kgs.
Sunpentown has provided this wine cooler with a limited warranty period of 1 year. This aside, customers who discover damage immediately after unpacking the unit can return the product (or avail free repairs) if they report the damage within 72 hours of delivery.
- Product capacity sufficient for most users.
- Temperature range caters to a wide range of alcoholic beverages.
- Compact unit fits into most cabinet and countertop spaces.
- Easy controls and bright LED display allow for precise and convenient controls.
- Memory IC makes repetitive modification of settings unnecessary.
- No provision for two temperature zones.
- Product is a little noisy compared to others.
The original price offered by the manufacturer is $619, whereas Amazon is currently offering the appliance at a lower price with free shipping.
Customers commended the company for producing a good looking and compact unit that works well.
While some complained of the temperature falling below the accepted temperature range, others found the temperature to be constant and well within the range prescribed for wines. One user found the product to be rather noisy as well.
While the lack of a second temperature zone might not satisfy users who wish to store a wide variety of wines in the same wine cooler, the product has very few other defects.
Instead, we find that the company has managed to provide the elusive combination of a decent cooling apparatus along with sufficient storage space.
With the controls being accurate and easy to operate, these easily make the SPT WC-31U an ideal companion to a person/family that truly cares about its wines.
|SPT WC-31U Under-Counter 32-Bottle Wine and Beverage Cooler, Stainless Steel|
Stores up to 32 standard wine bottles . Black cabinet with stainless steel trimmed and dual paned insulated glass door . Digital LED display panel
$427.19used from: $305.00
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