Difference between Refrigerator and Freezer?

Whats the difference between a refrigerator and a freezer as far as the compressor and mechanics of it? The compressors all look about the same. Are they more heavy duty in freezers, or are they the same and it's just all in the settings? Or could it be there are more coils in a freezer?
I've been helping a friend with a broken freezer and his food was thawing. I suggested using a spare refrig and turning it up real high until he can get another freezer because he had a repair company come and they said his compressor is dead. Seems the refrig is working pretty well for freezing until he gets another freezer.
jw
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Both have a compressor, both have evaporator (cooling) coils, but the layout is different. One unit is designed as single purpose, the other is designed to maintain two different temperatures in the same box. In a typical upright freezer, the shelves are a wire grid and have the cooling coil running through them making the entire box fairly even temperature-wise. The refrigerator cools the freezer hald and then blows a portion of the cold air into the other side of the box to cool it down. Rather than maintain an even temperature, the two sides can be 30 to 40 degrees different.
A refrigerator may be able to cool down below freezing, but it will not operate as efficiently and probably won't get the larger compartment down to as low a temperature. In a pinch, go for it, as you have done.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 24 Sep 2010 18:53:17 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

When I lived in Chicago, our refrigerator started freezing the lettuce. We found another fridge in the basement of the building and 3 of us dragged that up the back stairs to be a fridge, and decided to keep the first one as a freezer. Then we bought a quarter of a cow, well, that's what they call it but it's only about a quarter of the meat and selected organs from a cow. The three of us and one other ate 4 meals together a week, and it took us at least 4 months to eat the whole amount. We didnt' have meat every night, I'm sure.
I suspect the fridge isn't insulated as well as the freezer and costs more to operate, but that's a guess. In 1969, we didn't know from electricity.
We pretty much all moved out in June, and we turned over the apartment to friends of one of us. I don't know what they did with the "freezer".
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've seen plenty of equipment, where the same gas has been used for a refrigerator, or a freezer.
A unit which contains a freezer needs a way to defrost. Either with a timer, and heater. Or, to be defrosted by the user as needed. A refrigerator only, the evaporator is typically above the freezing temperature, and doesn't need complicated defrosting.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A freezer has a lower suction pressure, the gas returning to the compressor. So, they need to use a "low back" pressure. Larger suction valve sizes, and possibly higher compression ratio.
Of course, that means that a referigerator only unit will have medium or high back pressure compressor.
Dual units like most household refrigerators contain low back compressors, to serve the freezer side.
Running a refrigerator "turned up real high" may cause defrost problems after a while. Might also lead to frost in the refrigerator side.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.