"Fridge/freezer not designed to work if ambient temp<10oC"

On Sun, 29 Jan 2017 13:22:17 +0000, I wrote:

garage/
Anyone know when the new refrigerant (the one that needs minimum 10oC ambient) was first introduced - and why?
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Might it have been introduced because it is not freon-based so is less harmful to the ozone layer if it is released when the fridge is scrapped?
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On Tuesday, 28 February 2017 11:21:17 UTC, NY wrote:

There is a much simpler explanation for fridge/freezer problem:
Suppose the fridge thermostat is set to 4degC and as discussed above there is no separate freezer thermostat. If the ambient is a steady 2degC for example the compressor will never turn on. The freezer will eventually warm up to 2degC. This will happen regardless of how good the refrigerant is.
I have a small John lewis "own brand" chest freezer in the shed which works very nicely in cold weather. I think it was rated for use down to 10degC which was the best I could find. I do try to keep the shed just above 0degC in the winter though to protect various liquids from freezing. John
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I have to admit that I thought people were having a laugh when they said that there was only one thermostat. It seems blindingly obvious that you need two, to monitor and maintain two very different temperatures. Having just one thermostat, with the temperature of one compartment being assumed to correlate with that in the one whose temperature is monitored, seems a recipe for disaster. How much is a thermostat and a couple of valves to direct refrigerant to either one or both compartments? A pound or so?
Some fridges require you to keep the house almost at normal room temperature while you are away on holiday, which is very expensive when there are no people (only fridge/freezers!) that need to be kept warm.
We have two separate devices - a fridge (only) and a freezer (only). And yet for some reason they have a minimum room temperature of about 10 deg C - right only the borderline of what we'd set our house thermostat for while we were away over Christmas. Given that the shared-thermostat excuse can't apply in our case, I wonder why such a high minimum is imposed. Could that be a non-Freon refrigerant?
As it happens, our house never dropped below about 11 deg C, even though (as far as we are aware) the heating never came on. It would have been a different story if our house had been detached rather than terrace (which gains a bit of heat from neighbours) or if the outside temperature had gone well below freezing. But we'll need to watch what we set the min temp to while we are away. just in case...
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On Tue, 28 Feb 2017 04:39:46 -0800, jrwalliker wrote:

Our new Indesit has a freezer temperature sensor, but none for the fridge compartment (which receives the remainder of the cold air passed into the freezer).
It also has an 'ambient' sensor, which operates the same on/off switch in the thermostat unit* as does the freezer's sensor.
(* Situated just under the front top edge of the whole unit. Because of that I tried leaving the fridge door slightly ajar, so that the warmth from the interior light might leak out and influence the 'ambient' sensor. Result: The compressor started up at 7oC instead of 10oC, and the freezer's temp went down to the required -18oC! ) The danger with the 10oC minimum is that those who are not aware of it will be ignorant of the possibility that items in the freezer compartment will be thawing out during cold snaps, with the possibility of damage to the 'frozen' food. (Thawing out in colder weather sounds ridiculous, does it not?)
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Is it not simply a temperature thing? Ie its a bit like you ask why nobody has managed to make a freezer that goes below what we call absolute zero. the reason is that you need to dump the heat inside somewhere and you can't do that. Brian
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On 28/02/2017 11:13, Maurice wrote:

Around the time of the withdrawal of CFCs and the modern central heating system. You have to read the rating plate very carefully to choose a fridge/freezer that will work below about 6C. It is extremely bad news for a freezer as the entire contents unfreeze and spoil.
I have previously posted a link to how to read the plate codes. My brother in law was caught out by exactly this problem one cold winter. Freezer in garage cold weather but freezer thawed out completely = MESS!
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Yes a lot of modern fridges and freezers are designed to be used in a room at around 15-25 deg C, and are not suitable for use in an unheated shed/garage. I think it's a different refrigerant that is not a CFC - maybe ammonia. My wife lost a lot of meat when she discovered that the contents of her freezer were thawing out from the freezer in the shed, even though the ambient temp at the time was about 5 deg C. She'd only known me a few weeks and she made a frantic phone call to my mum (her own mum and her sisters and friends were all out when she tried them) to say "help - what do I do?". Mum's advice: throw away the meat, just in case; thaw out all the fruit, boil it for a while to sterilise any bugs and then re-freeze it. This was for fruit that was semi-frozen. If it had been thoroughly thawed it could have been like that for ages, so wouldn't have been worth the risk.
When she bought another freezer, we chose one by Beko which was certified for ambient temps down to about -15. It lives in the house, along with others that are not suitable for low temps, but can be moved into the shed if we need the space in the pantry for something else.
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NY wrote:

When I needed one to go in our garage, Beko was the only make that I could find that was actually rated for such a location.
Being an inset garage, it doesn't get very cold, but would still have been outside everybody else's terms, and I didn't want to risk warranty quibbles.
No complaints so far.
Chris
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On Sat, 28 Jan 2017 13:26:10 +0000 (UTC), Maurice

Fridges and freezers have a climate class which specifies the acceptable temperature range. But most only go down to 10 degrees C ambient.
I used to have an old chest freezer in an outbuilding in the 1980s, and that worked fine even in winter, but perhaps things have changed since then.
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Having looked around recently, most new ones nowadays only go down to 16C.

It's slight less of an issue for a single fridge or freezer, than it is for a combined fridge/freezer.
I bought one a year ago. In the instructions, it shows you can get different varients of it for different temperature ranges, but in practice, only one of the ranges was imported to the UK.
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16 C really is well into chocolate teapot territory, since you may well let the temperature get lower than that if you go away on holiday in the winter. It seems daft to have to heat an uninhabited house to 16 deg, when anything above about 5 deg is fine to prevent pipes freezing, simply for the sake of keeping the freezer happy.
As an aside, I was surprised when we went away on holiday for three weeks over Christmas, and the outside temp got down to around freezing some of the time, that the inside temp never got down as low as the 14 deg that we'd set the thermostat at, so the heating never came on. That was just due to heat of the sun and heat from houses either side in the terrace. We have a weather station which uploads inside and outside temps to the web, so it was weird to be able to keep an eye on things back home when we were on a cruise liner in temps that never went below about 30 deg C outside.
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On Sat, 28 Jan 2017 14:04:17 +0000, Caecilius

Mind does not cope with low temperatures (indoors) in the winter. There is a special switch though that leaves the internal light on all the time, which warms up the fridge and forces the compressor into action. This seemed very odd at first, but it works okay.
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On Sat, 28 Jan 2017 14:53:15 +0000, Scott

Confuses the hell out of Schrödinger's cat.
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On Sat, 28 Jan 2017 14:53:15 +0000, Scott wrote:

Interesting! Perhaps as a last resort I could somehow prevent the fridge light going out when door closed.
Otherwise perhaps install a low-wattage background heater? (Where would the best place be?) And/or wrap the unit (apart from rear) in a duvet to keep it warm?
I find the whole situation ludicrous. What is the point of the high-set temperature? Economy? Perhaps OK for just a fridge, but surely not for a freezer temp of -18oC...
If the Indesit engineer can't replace the thermostat with a more useful one it may be time to ask ao.com (who delivered the unit into the garage) to replace it with one that will work there.
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On 28/01/2017 14:04, Caecilius wrote:

My Liebherr fridge/freezer has a conventional electro-mechanical thermostat and it has a 'cool weather' button which simply keeps the internal light on at reduced brightness. The purpose of this is to trick the thermostat into thinking the fridge is warmer than it is. This keeps the freezer from getting too warm.
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What? Blimey bet they don't sell many in hotter climes than ours, is this perhaps the Antarctic Survey model? Brian
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Brian Gaff wrote:

The Indesit/Hotpoint engineer did not have a stat on his van??!!
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On 28/01/2017 13:26, Maurice wrote:

I put my freezer in the cellar - temp range 6C to 14C. The only easily available brand that would work in those temperatures was a Beko.
Something to do with the refrigerant used I think - can';t remember the details now.
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On Sat, 28 Jan 2017 13:26:10 +0000, I wrote:

Interesting FAQ answers at:
https://www.reevoo.com/pages/fridge_freezer_buying_guide
"Climate class This is the room temperature that the fridge freezer can operate in. The most common classes in the UK are N class which means it should be in a room with a minimum temperature of 16°C and a maximum temperature of 32°C. SN models can cope in temperatures between 10°C and 32°C. Other classes are ST and T which operates best at a minimum temperature of 18°C and a maximum of 38°C and 43°C respectively."
"Can I keep a fridge-freezer in a garage?
All fridge free freezers have a climate class which tells you the minimum and maximum room temperature they should be placed in to work properly. For most models the minimum temperature is 10°C and most sheds and garages are colder than this in winter. When the temperature is lower than this, the fridge freezer will use more energy to maintain the right temperature. If it is kept in an out building and it does break down, it may not be covered by the guarantee. Chest freezers are better suited to outdoor houses as they are double insulated."
Note:

Uh? But it does NOT maintain the (-18oC) temperature..

How can that be justified?!
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