too cold for the freezer to work?

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Old 01-27-08, 06:25 PM
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too cold for the freezer to work?

I just got home from a 4 day trip and the temperature in my house was at 45 degrees for the whole time. My freezer has defrosted and the fridge doesn't seem cold enough to save the food either.
Was it possible the surrounding temp was too cold for the freezer to work or should I have the whole unit checked?
The power was on the whole time so it's not that.
My freezer in the garage still works fine and it is just as cold in there as it is outside.
Somebody told me that might be the problem, I just wanted to get an opinion from you guys, you have been very helpful before.
Thanks for your help.
JB
 
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Old 01-28-08, 02:33 PM
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My parents had a refig/freezer go belly up when they moved it into a house under construction (no heat) and the compressor oil became too thick when it got cold causing the compressor to fail. There are heater bands that can be mounted on the compressor to keep them warm and stop this from happening; many freezers that live in cold garages have them from the factory. Just a possibility.
 
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Old 01-28-08, 08:08 PM
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might be it

It works fine today once the house warmed up. I guess there is a temperature differential switch in there somewhere and if it gets too cold, it just won't work. Can't let that happen again!
Thanks
 
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Old 01-28-08, 09:56 PM
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I used to keep my "beer fridge" in my garage and decided to move it to my basement after finding the freezer defrosted during the winter. I was told by an appliance guy that they are not designed to work efficiently in a cold environment due to the freon not being able to work properly in the cold. Once I got it in the basement, it worked like new. By the way, my garage is attached, insulated and drywalled. Glad you figured it out.

Mark
 
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Old 01-29-08, 06:19 AM
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This happens because the refrigerator has the thermostat in the refrigerator section. When the garage gets cold enough, it satisfies the thermostat in the refrigerator and the unit doesn't run, thus the freezer starts to defrost.
 
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Old 01-30-08, 11:25 AM
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That makes more sense...thanks.
 
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Old 01-30-08, 10:23 PM
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doug hit it on the head. If the outside ambient (air temp) isnt warm enough, the fresh food thermostat wont trip. but not all units use a fresh food stat, some like amana use a freezer thermostat ( but not all models)

Heater bands are generally on commercial models that might be outside. as i have always been in the west i have never seen a house uni needing a heat band around the compressor. Only if the unt is large and is an outside instalation.
 
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Old 01-30-08, 10:40 PM
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Wink

Out of the box here. If you have a freezer or just a fridge and its out in the garage or the home will get colder. You can just put a 60W light by the compressor for that time. Its not the oil. But when it gets so cold around the compressor the freon will move down into it and turn in too liquid. Then when it starts up it can slug out the valves in the compressor. As the compressor can only compress or pump freon as a gas. That is why heatpumps and some AC units have the crankcase heaters on them.
 
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Old 02-12-13, 03:08 PM
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Freezer tripped 15 amp breaker in the cold

i know this thread is old from 2008 but i just had this problem, searched and the thread came up. while i was away, the circuit breaker on my garage freezer tripped. the electrician tells me the freezer isn't meant to be used outside... he says an attached garage is outside... and that when the compressor tried to turn, it couldn't and tripped the breaker. Needless to say i had a mess and lost a lot of $$. I need some advice. It is only a 14 cu ft freezer but i so need it and depend on it. I've read about heater bands but don't know where to get them not sure if that will do the trick. Any help out there?
 
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Old 02-12-13, 08:56 PM
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The poor compressor got socked for a loop.

A compressor heater band would probably work. Most commercial ones (like in the link) are meant for larger diameter cases and need 240volts.

A start would probably be to measure the diameter of the compressor.

I'm wondering if heat tracer cable would work. It would heat the compressor but if the compressor was running it could overheat. Some heat tape comes with a thermostat that energizes the tape just above freezing which may allow the compressor to get too cold to
start.

ICP Heil Tempstar Sears A C Condenser Compressor Crank Case Heater 1148113 | eBay
 
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Old 02-13-13, 10:31 AM
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I've always had an upright freezer in my unheated garage and it's always worked fine in the frigid winter. My mother in law has always had a standard refrigerator in an outside unheated shed and it's always kept beer cold & ice cream frozen.

How do you know which will work in sub-zero ambient, and which won't? The internal thermostat shouldn't care what the outside temperature is--it lives in a controlled, insulated environment.
 
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Old 02-13-13, 11:49 PM
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Ed.....addressed the issue back in post # 8. It has nothing to do with the thermostat.
It's the compressor trying to compress liquid freon. By heating the compressor it will lessen the amount of liquid in the compressor.

There really is no way of knowing which units will continue to function normally in extreme cold temperatures. Luck of the draw ? Karma ?
 
 

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