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aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1

[Appliances] Is there a fridge that works correctly at any temperature?

A have an older Kenmore fridge that has a habit of quitting when the temperature drops. Currently the temp in my kitchen is 39F, and the fridge has apparently stopped working since my chicken nuggets and fish sticks are all defrosted.

Is there a refrigerator that would work correctly regardless of the outside temperature? (at least down to 32F)

I usually don't have much stuff in the freezer, so standalone freezer is not a sensible option.

TIA
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OregonBob

join:2008-10-14
Klamath Falls, OR

3 edits

The refrigeration process requires a certain temperature in order to convert the freon from a liquid to a gas and back to a liquid. If the temperature is to low, this cannot happen. I think 60F is probably the lowest temperature to allow the process to happen. Check the owners manual for the minimum temperature.

Here is some information......

»www.aham.org/consumer/ht/a/GetDo···n/id/844

Outdoor refrigerators....

»www.ajmadison.com/b.php/Approved···94966095



Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:1
reply to aurgathor

I guess I have to wonder... why is your kitchen down to 39 degrees??? That's pretty "chilly" for indoors... don't you think?



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·Charter
·surpasshosting
reply to aurgathor

Very odd that you let your house get that cold, but to each his own:
»www.frigidaire-store.com/gakithecokit.html
I know it's not Kenmore, but I'm sure there's something similar available.


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Pacrat

Could be chilly for indoors but what if a person had a fridge in an uninsulated spaced such as I do? I have an older fridge that works just fine in those conditions. Considering it's going to be about 22 tonight, the fridge part may freeze but I have never had the problem the OP describes. Freezer never defrosts in near freezing weather.



Hiker
Zeus
Premium
join:2002-10-27
Lebanon, NJ
kudos:1
reply to aurgathor

My 25 year old GE is in the garage where winter temps get as low as 35 deg and it functions wonderfully...


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1

2 recommendations

reply to aurgathor

Get one of these: Gladiator® Chillerator® Garage Refrigerator.

»www.gladiatorgarageworks.com/pro···F19XXYK/

I bought one and am very pleased with it.

The brochure indicates that is rated to maintain correct interior temperatures with exterior temperatures from 0 degrees F to 110 degrees F. It has an interior heater to keep food in the refrigerator compartment from freezing when the exterior temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

I live in Central Florida and it had no problem maintaining sub zero temperatures in the freezer when the temperature in the garage was 98 degrees F.



aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
reply to nunya

The issue is that aside from my main bedroom (finished with an extra 1.5" of foam on the walls and 2" of foam on the ceiling under drywall) the insulation sucks so much that it makes no sense the heat the rest of the space, especially since I mostly heat with electricity. I'm hoping to redo the insulation everywhere by next winter, but until then, the rest may be a bit chilly occasionally.
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aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
reply to Mr Matt

said by Mr Matt:

Get one of these: Gladiator® Chillerator® Garage Refrigerator.

»www.gladiatorgarageworks.com/pro···F19XXYK/

I bought one and am very pleased with it.

The brochure indicates that is rated to maintain correct interior temperatures with exterior temperatures from 0 degrees F to 110 degrees F. It has an interior heater to keep food in the refrigerator compartment from freezing when the exterior temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

That definitely looks nice, especially the heated interior.
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aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
reply to OregonBob

said by OregonBob:

The refrigeration process requires a certain temperature in order to convert the freon from a liquid to a gas and back to a liquid. If the temperature is to low, this cannot happen. I think 60F is probably the lowest temperature to allow the process to happen. Check the owners manual for the minimum temperature.

Here is some information......

»www.aham.org/consumer/ht/a/GetDo···n/id/844

Well the above actually has an answer:
quote:
manual defrost freezers can generally be operated in an unheated garage or porch without affecting the unit or frozen food
Hmm, I wonder if I can just disable the auto-defrost feature on mine?
Or it's more than just that feature.
--
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robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

The one I have which works fine in those conditions is an auto-defrost. It's probably about 20-25 years old.



aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1

There are probably some differences between different makers and models. Can you tell me the make and model?
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billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:3
reply to aurgathor

Might be that the defrost timer assembly needs replaced.


kherr
Premium
join:2000-09-04
Collinsville, IL
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to aurgathor

I have a gutted out soda machine. If need be it has a heater in it for when it gets REALLY cold and nothing will freeze. It's like 40 years old and is in my detached garage. I live in the metro-St.Louis area to give an idea as to how cold/hot it gets.


iknow_t

join:2012-05-03
reply to aurgathor

said by aurgathor:

said by OregonBob:

The refrigeration process requires a certain temperature in order to convert the freon from a liquid to a gas and back to a liquid. If the temperature is to low, this cannot happen. I think 60F is probably the lowest temperature to allow the process to happen. Check the owners manual for the minimum temperature.

Here is some information......

»www.aham.org/consumer/ht/a/GetDo···n/id/844

Well the above actually has an answer:
quote:
manual defrost freezers can generally be operated in an unheated garage or porch without affecting the unit or frozen food
Hmm, I wonder if I can just disable the auto-defrost feature on mine?
Or it's more than just that feature.

it's not the temperature of the refrigerant that causes problems, since it can be -20F and work fine. the problem lies in the fact that refrigerators and freezers don't have a crankcase heater, since they are designed to work in warm temperatures.
»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crankcase_heater so, there is a risk of damaging the compressor in cold weather. as far as working with that risk, an older refrigerator, without electronic controls is more likely to work..


Marcus

@direcway.com
reply to aurgathor

Yes, it's called a "new" fridge.... If yours is quitting based on ambient room temp, then it has an obvious mechanical problem. So you have two choices, buy a new one or call a repairman.



Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1

39 degrees is ambient room temp?


lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1
reply to aurgathor

said by aurgathor:

Is there a refrigerator that would work correctly regardless of the outside temperature? (at least down to 32F)

Your post reminded me of a CBC documentary where the Inuits in the Canadian arctic were installing fridges that were shipped in during the one unfrozen month of the year.
Anyway, whatever brand they buy will work for you too. I have to check.

For any standard fridge, you can attach a kapton heater pad around the compressor. Omega and other industrial sites sell them. You can probably also attach a low-wattage magnetic block heater module.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

5 recommendations

reply to aurgathor

The refrigerator/Freezer shuts off when the temperature outside is low enough to keep the inside of the Refrigerator lower than the thermostat is set. So when the Refrigerator temp is satisfied the unit does not run so the temp of the freezer rises to the ambient of the Refrigerator. It has nothing to do with the temperature of the compressor or lack of a compressor heater.



pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
reply to aurgathor

These work in a wide variety of outdoor temperatures

I agree with Jack_in_VA See Profile. When I lived in Cleveland I placed an old refrigerator in my attached garage and when it got too cold outside, the contents of the freezer became melty. Once it warmed up outside everything went back to normal. I just planned accordingly.

iknow_t

join:2012-05-03

2 edits
reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

The refrigerator/Freezer shuts off when the temperature outside is low enough to keep the inside of the Refrigerator lower than the thermostat is set. So when the Refrigerator temp is satisfied the unit does not run so the temp of the freezer rises to the ambient of the Refrigerator. It has nothing to do with the temperature of the compressor or lack of a compressor heater.

the temperature of the compressor is what will determine how long it will last in such an environment. it won't last long without lubrication.. a simple fix to just get it working without regard to longevity is to make the inside light stay on with the door closed, and replace to bulb with a 25 watt or less bulb, this will make the compressor run long enough to keep the refrigerator cold..

Tig

join:2006-06-29
Carrying Place, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

The refrigerator/Freezer shuts off when the temperature outside is low enough to keep the inside of the Refrigerator lower than the thermostat is set. So when the Refrigerator temp is satisfied the unit does not run so the temp of the freezer rises to the ambient of the Refrigerator. It has nothing to do with the temperature of the compressor or lack of a compressor heater.

Agree. Every fall when I clean out the garage beer fridge I defrost the freezer and remove Popsicles etc to prevent the mess that happens when ambient temps are below the fridge thermostat setting. It's not a pretty site when things melt down in late October.
On the other hand, my 25 year old chest freezer in the garage has no problems whatsoever because it's thermostat is set for freezing and the compressor will run when it needs to.

Tig

join:2006-06-29
Carrying Place, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to iknow_t

said by iknow_t:

the only thermostat that controls the compressor is the freezer thermostat, if it has one for the refrigerator compartment, that one only controls the air door that allows cold air from the freezer into the refrigerator compartment. the temperature of the compressor is what will determine how long it will last in such an environment. it won't last long without lubrication..

Interesting design, I've never owned one like that. At least not one that I've had in the garage or at the cottage.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

3 edits
reply to iknow_t

said by iknow_t:

the only thermostat that controls the compressor is the freezer thermostat, if it has one for the refrigerator compartment, that one only controls the air door that allows cold air from the freezer into the refrigerator compartment. the temperature of the compressor is what will determine how long it will last in such an environment. it won't last long without lubrication..

That's Baloney

I have a manual defrost fridge in my detached garage that has the old freezer in the top of the refrigerator compartment. When it's cold the refrigerator will not run and the Ice on the freezer will melt when the temperature is above 32 degrees. Keeps me from having to defrost it but it makes a mess in the fridge.

When the compressor does run it's start cold as there is no crankcase heater. It was here in 1989, compressor covered with water in 2003 and still operates. How much shorter lifespan should I worry about?

Through a feat of engineering genius, Refrigerator / Freezers are able to maintain two boxes (refrigerator and freezer) at two very different, but completely appropriate temperatures (0-ish and 40-ish), using a single compressor and thermostat. The problem is that they only do this well at nominal room temperature. The reason for this is that the thermostat controls only the temp of the refrigerator section. The cold air is directed through the freezer box, and a small amount is allowed to bleed into the fridge. By the time the fridge reaches 40 degrees, the freezer is near enough to zero (in the most common arrangement, the 'fresh food' or similarly labeled knob controls the thermostat, while the 'freezer' knob controls a damper between the two boxes). As the ambient temp drops, the compressor is called upon less and less, resulting in insufficient cooling in the freezer box, and the freezer temp begins to rise. When the ambient temp is below 40, the thermostat is happy and the compressor is never called into service. The result is that the freezer eventually settles in at ambient temp, too.


iknow_t

join:2012-05-03

1 edit
reply to Tig

delete.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

Ok whatever you say. Have a good day



norbert26
Premium
join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI
reply to Jack_in_VA

the temp in my childhood kitchen dropped to 40-42 for hours at a time all day long with no one home and no heat on. The frigidaire side by side freezer / fridge somehow always kept the freezer section cold . it was a frost free model made in the mid 70's.



pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3

But it was only the 8 or so hours the heat was off while everyone was at work/school and the heat was turned back on for the other 16 hours of the day. And no one opened the freezer door during that period either so it's not too surprising the freezer maintained temperature during that period.


lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1
reply to aurgathor

Perhaps a standard gas compressor becomes inefficient if the ambient temperature is low enough to start cooling the incoming low pressure gas to contain some liquid?


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL

2 edits

said by lutful:

Perhaps a standard gas compressor becomes inefficient if the ambient temperature is low enough to start cooling the incoming low pressure gas to contain some liquid?

To answer your question, if the evaporator does not fully flash off the refrigerant within the evaporator, any remaining un-evaporated refrigerant will flash off within the shell of the compressor and will actually aid in cooling the windings within the compressor.

This is why it is critical after maintenance, to recharge small refrigeration systems with exactly what the rating label states, too little refrigerant and the compressor will run hot and the device will not have the rated capacity it is designed for.

None the less, the efficiency of a small appliance compressor is higher when the ambient temperature is lower, as that lower temperature increases the efficiency of the condenser and therefore lowers the head pressure of the compressor dropping the amperage it is pulling.

Hope that answers your question.