38 year old freezer efficiency?

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I have an approximately 38 year old upright freezer. It is working perfectly. I know door gasket is not as good at it could be, however, it seems to close pretty tight. It can be real hard to open a 2nd time after looking for something. But I know there are a lot of square feet which are acted upon by a very small vacuum. Also, if the unit is not running, like after a defrost, the magnets in the door gasket are pretty weak. Anyway, to the question. In your opinions, would it be advantageous to replace it for a new more efficient unit? How long do you think it would take it to pay off? BTW, this freezer has survived being powered off for 4 months and moved 700 miles, approximately 3 years ago. It is a little noisy, but it's been that way for 38 year, except now it is in a place were I can hear it more.
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I'd be tempted to use an ammeter, to see what the running current is. That could give you some "hard data" to go on. I do know that old compressors use more power, as they grow older.
Anecdotal evidence. I got a newer fridge, the old one was here when I moved in, late 1994. My electric bill dropped about ten bucks a month.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I have an approximately 38 year old upright freezer. It is working perfectly. I know door gasket is not as good at it could be, however, it seems to close pretty tight. It can be real hard to open a 2nd time after looking for something. But I know there are a lot of square feet which are acted upon by a very small vacuum. Also, if the unit is not running, like after a defrost, the magnets in the door gasket are pretty weak. Anyway, to the question. In your opinions, would it be advantageous to replace it for a new more efficient unit? How long do you think it would take it to pay off? BTW, this freezer has survived being powered off for 4 months and moved 700 miles, approximately 3 years ago. It is a little noisy, but it's been that way for 38 year, except now it is in a place were I can hear it more.
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On Apr 10, 8:49 am, "Stormin Mormon"

As I reported previously, I replaced a 27 year old fridge a year ago. Prior to doing that, I used a killawatt meter for a few days on it. It was using $180 a year in electricity. I measured the new one after it stabilized. It uses $95. The EPA calculator that estimates savings had predicted the old one was using more like $275. So, my conclusions were:
You can save a decent amount on energy that will help pay for a new fridge/freezer, but the payback period can still be long.
The EPA calculator in my case significantly overestimated the amount my old fridge was using, but it was spot on about how much the new one used.
You may want to buy a killawatt meter which can be had for $25. It's usefull anytime you want to know how much electricity something is using. You can even put in your cost of electricity per kwh and it will then display the usage of whatever you plug into it in terms of $$$ per day, week, month, year, etc.
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On Tue, 10 Apr 2012 06:13:48 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Can I use a voltmeter with probes to measure what the refrig uses? Do I just measure the 2 sides of the refrig's electrical plug? Or how do you do this measurement?
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No. You need a "tong" meter and a special cord that isolates the hot from the neutral to measure only instantaneous current. Or a special cord that lets you put an ammeter in series with the unit. Most pocket meters can't handle that sort of current, anyway. Look on your meter, if it reads amps, it should say 10 or 20A max on the jacks. That's why the Kill-a-watt is so useful. None of that is required. Plus, even the cheapest ones can read power use over time in kWh which no common multimeter I know does. The more expensive units have memories and cost computers built in, but unless you have lots of power blinks or outages, that's overkill, IMHO.
-- Bobby G.
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On Tue, 10 Apr 2012 11:24:02 -0400, "Robert Green"

I should have said multimeter not voltmeter... my mistake. Specifically can the Fluke 117 do it using it's amp meter?
I know some are wondering how is a Fluke 117 in my hands with my lack of knowledge but let's just say that the price was too good to not buy ... and no I didn't steal it, got it on ebay new.
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http://www.fluke.com/fluke/usen/Digital-Multimeters/Fluke-117.htm?PIDU996 From what I can tell here, this meter will measure AC amps up to 10 amps scale. I've got a similar meter, I've used the AC amps scale for reading HVAC thermostat and gas valve. Refrigerator is typically about 5 amps, at least the new ones.
If it were me, I'd not risk a good Fluke meter on an old freezer. I'd go buy a HF ammeter, less likely to break your good Fluke.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I should have said multimeter not voltmeter... my mistake. Specifically can the Fluke 117 do it using it's amp meter?
I know some are wondering how is a Fluke 117 in my hands with my lack of knowledge but let's just say that the price was too good to not buy ... and no I didn't steal it, got it on ebay new.
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<stuff snipped>

First, if you're determined (and it will take making up a special line cord to accomplish), read the MAX AMPS listing on your Fluke. That will tell you if it can handle current drawn by the unit. You can probably get away with measuring fridge if there's a slow-blow fuse on the meter, but it's dangerous to do unless you feel comfortable with wiring up a special outlet (which I did) to allow you to measure an appliance's amperage. You have to read the current draw in series, not in parallel like a voltmeter. Unless you are using a tong meter (clamp on induction measuring device) the meter needs to become part of the entire circuit.

It's a fine meter, but not so much for this job. An instantaneous reading of the current, which is all your Fluke is likely able to do, won't tell you much about weekly costs to run. That's because a fridge uses differing amounts of energy during its operational cycles.
Break down and buy the Kill-a-watt. No special cords, no electrocution hazard and the ability to log readings over long periods of time to average out fluctuations. Even my meter that hooks into an RS232 port of a PC to allow logging readings can't tell you what a Kill-a-Watt can. It's the right tool for the job and it will have uses far beyond the current one.
-- Bobby G.
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On Tue, 10 Apr 2012 13:02:31 -0400, "Robert Green"

Will do and thank you !!!
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A kill a watt measures power factor to get the true watts. Unless you measure the volts and amps with an oscilloscope and do the calculations, an amp meter is useless. An interesting fact, my old fridge has .59 pf where my newer one is close to 1. The kill a watt also calculates total on time for the kwh.
Nothing was mentioned of size of freezer. You can buy a moderate sized one cheap, and I would recommend the chest.
Greg
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wrote:

It's a damn good thing the hot is seperated from the neutral. If they were connected you'd have a short. As to measuring only the instantaneous current, why would you want to do that? To figure out the electricity cost of the refrigerator you need to measure it over a reasonable period, ie a few days. That way you'll see defrost cycles, start-ups, etc. And the obvious problem with any current measurement using an amp meter is that it doesn't take into account power factor.
> Or a special cord that

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Very seriously, please try to find someone in your life who is experienced with electricty. You already should know that electricity is dangerous, and house power can kill you. Or kill someone else. Have that other person show you some of the simple measurements. To answer your question, no, you can't measure amps with two volt meters.
That said.....
To measure amps, you need a device like this: http://www.harborfreight.com/clamp-on-digital-multimeter-95683.html The big open end clamp is clamped around ONE of the power wires, not both. If you clamp the AC line cord, you get a reading of zero, as there is both a hot and neutral. You need to separate out the wires, and clamp either the hot, or the neutral.
Measure the voltage (volts scale, read at the power socket).
Volts times amps (multiply the two numbers) equals watts.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Can I use a voltmeter with probes to measure what the refrig uses? Do I just measure the 2 sides of the refrig's electrical plug? Or how do you do this measurement?
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On Tue, 10 Apr 2012 11:37:24 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

You're right but I like to learn and I'm not afraid of dying.
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In that case, this should be a terrific learning experience.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
You're right but I like to learn and I'm not afraid of dying.
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wrote:

That's the pioneer spirit that made this country great! (-:
Seriously, though, the Kill-a-watt is exactly the right tool for this job. Once you've used one, you'll see.
BTW, I long ago made up a test outlet box with isolated hot and neutral wires and banana jacks on the side of the outlet box with a bypass switch that allowed me to use either a clamp-on ammeter or a multimeter "direct wire" connection. I never use it anymore since I got the Kill-a-watt.
-- Bobby G.
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On Tue, 10 Apr 2012 13:06:14 -0400, "Robert Green"

Thanks for the info Bobby. I'll look into it.
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On Thu, 12 Apr 2012 07:37:42 -0400, "Robert Green"

Appreciate that. To be honest, I slept on this kill a watt meter and decided tho I liked the idea, if all I'm going to do is measure things but take no action, might as well not buy it. Sure it's nice to know what things cost individually (in regard to electricity) but I am already pretty thrifty and follow age old advice to save. I'm overall satisfied with my electric bill considering my home size. But I still appreciate your offer and thank you !!!!
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Crap. Our freezer is getting close to 40 years old. I was hoping to never buy another one.

Oh, okay...
--
Dan Espen

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wrote:

Well if you are old enough, you might get your wish !!!
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Art Todesco wrote:

Your answers can be found here:
http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/refrigerators.html
It helps to know how the size (in sq.ft.) you have.
A chest-style freezer is more efficient vs an upright style.
And yes, your 38-year-old freezer will be an energy hog compared to a new unit. You'd probably see a payoff in 5 years for a new chest-style unit of equivalent size.
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