refrigerator in garage - freezer


The refrigerator in the garage, the freezer section, the ice cream was not quite frozen last week when it was real cold outside, now that it is warmer, it seems to be working, could the freezing weather have something to do with it? I am in Maryland btw.
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allan wrote:

Yes.
The following is a Q/A about keeping a freezer outdoors but the point has to do with the surrounding temperature:
http://www.appliance.com/questions.php
"QUESTION: Can a freezer be damaged if its placed outside underneath a carport?
"ANSWER: It depends upon whether your freezer is manual or automatic defrost. Manual defrost freezers can generally be operated in an unheated garage or porch without affecting it or your frozen food, but you should check your Use and Care manual to determine whether your freezer requires special care.
Automatic defrost freezers, on the other hand, should not be placed outside, because your food may not remain fresh. Freezers (and refrigerators) with automatic defrost systems are sensitive to the temperature of the air surrounding them. As the air temperature rises, the freezers compressor wastes energy by running more than necessary to maintain the correct temperature. When the room air temperature falls, the compressor may not run often enough to maintain a cold enough interior to store your food safely. As the room temperature becomes colder and falls below 38 degrees F, the compressor may not run at all, the inside of the freezer will increase to match the rooms air temperature, and your frozen food will thaw."
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wrote:

I don't understand. Why does the temp of the inside of the freezer increase? How come the thermostat in the freezer doesn't call for cooling when the temp rises a couple degrees over what it is set for?
I understand the compressor wouldn't run as much when it is cold in the room (or outdoors) outside the freezer, but that would be because there would be less warming of insides, because it's cold on the outside, and also I presume because the whole system is more efficient when there is cold air around the condenser coils than when there is warm air.
The article above seems like it is trying to give an explanation -- it gives reasons -- but I still have these questions.
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I think it is the way they control the box. As I understand it, there is only one thermostatic setting in a refrigerator and the freezer actually is where the cooling takes place and the fridge is cooled from the freezer. If the refrigerator is at 40 degrees and does not call for the compressor to kick on, the freezer is still absorbing heat if the outside temperature is greater than freezing.
I caution that I am no expert, but this is the way I understand these machines to work. Perhaps someone can explain it better than I can.
--

__
Roger Shoaf

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On Sat, 3 Mar 2007 23:52:14 -0800, "Roger Shoaf"

Yes. I think so too.

Hmmm. This is certainly better put than the pdf file in the earlier post. Of course that made a big distinction between manual defrost and automatic, and your explanation would apply to both! Your explanation would apply to a manual defrost fridge/freezer even if the defrost was never used!
I think something to include in your style explanation is that the outside temp is between the desired freezer and fridge temperatures. So there is no need to run the cooling to reach the desired fridge temp, but there is to reach the desired freezer temp.
If it were warmer out than both temps, the cooling would run. If it were colder out than both temps. There would be no need for the cooling to run.
Although then the problem might be that things in the fridge would eventually freeze. Your mother would say, Don't stand there with the door open. You'll let the cold air IN. We had a broken fridge that froze the food, maybe to about 32 or 31, although only the lettuce was really ruined, of the foods I kept in it.

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But the fridge contents can freeze. In PA, I unplug the barn fridge and put a 100 W bulb in a bottom drawer in series with a Thermocube (tm) that turns it on below 38 F from November through March.
Nick
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On 4 Mar 2007 13:30:51 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@ece.villanova.edu wrote:

No "but". I brought up freezing refrigerators in the very next paragraph.

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mm wrote:

Rudolph Clausius formulated the Second Law of Thermodynamics thusly: "The entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium." Then he put it another way: "Heat cannot of itself pass from a colder body to a hotter body."
Lord Kelvin jazzed the 2nd Law up by saying: "A transformation whose only final result is to convert heat, extracted from a source at constant temperature, into work, is impossible."
To most, the 2nd Law still doesn't make sense.
I like to think of the 2nd Law as: "When you move heat from one place to another, you generate more heat doing the work than you move." Or, when you're filling a hole with sand, eventually the hole won't hold any more sand irrespective of whether you've finished your original pile.
Let us move on to the question: "Do blood-hounds smell in stereo?"
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allan <allan at his dot com> wrote:

If the thermostat's in the fridge, the compressor won't run if the fridge is cool enough, say 40 F, and the freezer compartment will unfreeze. Some manufacturers sell $15 kits to fix this.
Nick
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allan wrote:

Keep in mind that refrigerators are generally deigned to work in normal room temperatures. The owner's manual will list the temperature range it is designed for. Anything outside the range can cause faulty operation and possible damage. As funny as it may seem too cold can damage a frig or freezer.
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Joseph Meehan

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allan wrote:

The newer ones are not designed to work fin temperatures below 50! I replaced an old one which did not have any problems with temperatures well below that (I live in Rochester, MN), but the new replacement behaved like yours the day the temperature dipped below 50. Right in the book, it does say that :(
So I encased the back in a foam box, and included a small fan heater which comes on when the temperature dips below 50,. and everything works fine now.
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snipped-for-privacy@his.com says...

A typical residential refrigerator/freezer combo uses a neat trick to satisfy the needs of keeping the refrigerator at 40F and the freezer at 0F using a single compressor/evaporator. This is mainly in the name of economy - two compressors/evaporators would be significantly more expensive. It only works, however, because the temperatures surrounding the box are reasonably predictable and consistent.
If you notice, there are two 'temperature' controls in a typical 'Frost Free' refrigerator/freezer. One is usually labeled something like 'Fresh Food', while other is labeled 'Freezer'. The one labeled 'Freezer' controls the actual thermostat, which is located in the refrigerator section and is typically set to maintain a temp of about 40F in that section (sounds wrong to label it 'Freezer', but bear with me). The one labeled 'Fresh Food' simply controls a damper between the freezer and refrigerator sections. When the compressor runs, the chilled air is dumped directly into the freezer compartment. The damper ('Fresh Food' control) allows a portion of that super chilled air to enter the refrigerator section after it has passed through the freezer section. So the freezer gets the bulk of the cold air - sufficient to freeze everything, whild the refrigerator section gets only a little of what's left after it has picked up some heat from the items in the freezer. As I said, in a typical kitchen, this works remarkably well.
Now, as the air temp outside the box goes down, the thermostat calls for less cooling, so the freezer gets less cold air, although the refrigerator stays about right, since that's where the thermostat is. Once the temp drops below about 40F, the thermostat, which is set to 40F, doesn't call for any additional cooling at all. Hence, the freezer temp eventually rises to the temp outside the box. The only way to keep the ice cream frozen is for the outside temp to get down to around zero. But then the lettuce goes to heck.
So it's not that the compressor will be damaged by cold ambient temps - it's simply that the trick that is used to maintain two different temps requires that the ambient temp be in a specific, predictable range.
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