ice cube madness

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I have a fridge\\freezer with an ice maker. The automatic ice maker storage got high and a single ice cube got placed behind the large storage tray, it has sat there for a while, but started getting smaller, now it is almost nothing.
What causes this cube to get smaller in an environment that appears to stay the same?
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Sublimation. Evaporation from the dryer air around it. Happens to snow also.
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The same process keeps your freezer "frost free".
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Not really.
Your freezer remains frost free due to a mechanical process. The defrost timer completely cuts off the refrigeration unit at regular intervals and then a fan comes on and blows above-freezing-air from the refrigerator compartment across the freezer coil vanes which melts the accumulated frost. This happens for about a 15-30 min period every 12-24 hrs (depending on make/model). Defroster timer failure is the most common cause of refrigerator malfunctions. It's an easy fix. Just replace the timer, which is usually a plug-in module for easy swap out.
nb
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ACTUALLY, in at least SOME models, there is an actual heating element in the bottom floor of the freezer. I only know this because we bought a refrigerator at an auction for next to nothing, and it continued to frost up. We took it and had it repaired, the defrost element was bad. It works fine now. The man told me it comes on every 18 hours, and the resulting liquid runs down the tube to the evaporation pan underneath the refrigerator.
s
wrote:

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At least in my refrigerator there's also a heating element the winds through the freezer coil.
    Jerry
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Brawny wrote:

Some of the apartments I lived in was opposite the case, you had to defrost about every three months
Reminds me spring time is a good time to pull out and defurr the the fridge.
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Sublimation
http://www.wonderquest.com/ice-sublime.htm
s

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S. wrote on Tue, 18 Mar 2008 06:12:23 -0500:
SB> http://www.wonderquest.com/ice-sublime.htm
SB> sublimation
SB>
??>> I have a fridge\\freezer with an ice maker. The automatic ??>> ice maker storage got high and a single ice cube ??>> got placed behind the large storage tray, it has sat there ??>> for a while, but started getting smaller, now it is almost ??>> nothing. ??>> ??>> What causes this cube to get smaller in an environment ??>> that appears to stay the same?
As many people have said the cause is sublimation. Have you ever examined the ice-cube tray after a vacation? It will probably be quite apparent that the cubes are smaller than when you went away.
James Silverton Potomac, Maryland
E-mail, with obvious alterations: not.jim.silverton.at.verizon.not
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My inlaws didn't use ice cubes. Before going over there for whatever occasion, I'd remind them to refill the trays. It would be very disappointing to go for dinner and find tiny little dehydrated cubes.
nancy
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What's an 'ice cube tray' ? <G>
s

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S. wrote on Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:20:09 -0500:
SB>What's an 'ice cube tray' ? <G>
Huh! Are you implying that your fridge has a cube maker and people who use trays are old-fashioned? I made a conscious decision to get what I thought I needed.
James Silverton Potomac, Maryland
E-mail, with obvious alterations: not.jim.silverton.at.verizon.not
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Good for you. I can't imagine life without an ice maker, especially after having kids that never filled the trays. I'm willing to pay for modern conveniences.
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James Silverton wrote:

Yea that's true
Guess I haven't used ice trays for a while, I was thinking of making some juice or maybe root beer cubes when it gets warmer though.

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On Tue, 18 Mar 2008 02:20:39 -0700 (PDT), monkey snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

In addition to sublimation as mentioned in other replies, the environment is not 'stay the same'. The defrost cycle, done on a daily basis raises the temperature of the freezer some and things in certain locations where not well cooled can approach freezing temperatures.
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Oops. I answered before I read your post, Peter.
nb
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On Mar 18, 4:20am, monkey snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Same reason water evaporates in an environment that appears to stay the same. Solids can evaporate into gas. Dry ice is famous for doing that.
PD
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wrote:

Same reason water evaporates in an environment that appears to stay the same. Solids can evaporate into gas. Dry ice is famous for doing that.
PD
=============
"Famous" is right! I saw some dry ice on Letterman's show last year.
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On Mar 18, 5:20am, monkey snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

re: What causes this cube to get smaller in an environment that appears to stay the same?
Ice Mites - Small, almost invisible creatures with constant teething problems. By eating the stray ice cubes that end up outside of the storage bin, they keep their gums numb. It's a survival instinct - if they didn't numb their gums, there would be this constant moaning from your freezer, resulting in detection and probable elimination.
In desparate cases, when the ice cubes are removed by the human on a regular basis (resulting in few, if any, strays) the mites have been known to use their ice grabbing tenticles to create a small hole in freezer bags, allowing in just enough moisture for frost to form on the stored object. This gives them another source of ice to numb their gums.
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wrote:

re: What causes this cube to get smaller in an environment that appears to stay the same?
Ice Mites - Small, almost invisible creatures with constant teething problems. By eating the stray ice cubes that end up outside of the storage bin, they keep their gums numb. It's a survival instinct - if they didn't numb their gums, there would be this constant moaning from your freezer, resulting in detection and probable elimination.
In desparate cases, when the ice cubes are removed by the human on a regular basis (resulting in few, if any, strays) the mites have been known to use their ice grabbing tenticles to create a small hole in freezer bags, allowing in just enough moisture for frost to form on the stored object. This gives them another source of ice to numb their gums.
================== They don't want us to know about this mite issue.
They. You know who they are. Them. The same "they" who own the patent for an engine that develops 400 horsepower and gets 85 mpg.
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