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cliffy

Refrigerator in Garage

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I am looking to put a refrigerator in my garage. I was curious if any refrigerator would work or if there are some special things to keep in mind. I would hate to buy even a used one just to destroy it. FYI, my garage is insulated and it normally stays above freezing all winter long...might deep below freezing once or twice during the coldest winter nights if I forget to turn on the heat. Thanks for any help.

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Remember if it does get below freezing or anywhere where the temp does not allow the refridgerator to run, anything put in the freezer will start to thaw. I would not recommend putting any type of meat in a freezer in the garage over the winter. Plus more than likely it is a frost free refridgerator and it will pull the moisture out of the meat or fish a lot faster even if it is wrapped in freezer paper or vacuum sealed.

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We have a regular refridge\freezer and a chest freezer in our garage. Never had a problem with either.

Same here. No issues. Our garage is tucked under the house so maybe it stays a bit warmer than most.

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garage is not complete unless it has a fridge, I got a "freebie" and it has worked for 7 years. Winter time we just unplug it but come holidays it's great for extra food storage for a few days until it freezes up.

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Remember if it does get below freezing or anywhere where the temp does not allow the refridgerator to run, anything put in the freezer will start to thaw.

I've heard others say this and my science knowledge just has to ask, "How is it possible for frozen things to thaw when the ambient temp remains below freezing? Does the refrigerator heat the interior if it gets too cold?"

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Originally Posted By: #fishhunt#
Remember if it does get below freezing or anywhere where the temp does not allow the refridgerator to run, anything put in the freezer will start to thaw.

I've heard others say this and my science knowledge just has to ask, "How is it possible for frozen things to thaw when the ambient temp remains below freezing? Does the refrigerator heat the interior if it gets too cold?"

Mine has doen this when it gets very cold and I don't keep the garage heated. I am not a refrig. guy so can't say why, but have been told that once the condenser is colder than what it is trying to keep cold, it sort of acts/works backwards.

I do know that you can feel the things in freezer start to thaw, i.e. pizzas etc. What I do to combat this is keep bags of ice in the freezer, and the first sign of them melting take stuff out. Since I have been keeping ice bags in freezer, I don't notice this happening, but I definitely have seen things thaw and had to throw stuff out in the past.

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I did a little digging and from what I've read you are partially correct.

A lot has to do with the design of the unit. A frost-free freezer is probably the most suspect. This is because when it becomes necessary to defrost the freezer, it actually does warm the freezer. Where this theory seems to fall apart is that if the interior of the freezer is getting warmer, then the thermostat should be calling for cooling. Unfortunately, the compressor will not function properly below a certain temperature and therefore, may not be able to counter the effect of the defrosting process. This is because the system relies on evaporation to provide the cooling and when it is too cold, evaporation is hindered.

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Best thing to do is unplug them in the winter. Some of the older ones, the older the better, will work, but most of the new ones won't. Once it starts getting below 50 degrees consistently, they can start to act up. Whirlpool makes one now that is designated as a garage refer and supposed to be built for these circumstances. I haven't had the chance to come across one yet. The new ones use different freon and it has different characteristics compared to the old stuff. When it's pumped from compressor it's a liquid, it then superheats and this causes it turn to gas, which is the form when it reaches the evaporator in the freezer and the gas is cold. When the ambient temperature gets to cold, not all the liquid can transfer to gas and it actually kind of warms the freezer. Also, like already mentioned, the thrmostat won't cause the unit to run. Most are located in ref. compartment and are set around 38-40 degrees. Unit won't need to run if that temp is reached.

Any canned beverages will eventually freeze in ref. and explode. Only put them in there if you want to clean a big mess in spring.

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So, if I follow....it will work but if it gets near freezing..I might have some problems. Correct?

I saw that there was one refrigerator specifically made for garage usage but it was around 1000.00!! Looks pretty cool with diamond plate exterior but that is way toooooooooooooo much for me.

I wouldn't even need the freezer part. Just looking for it to hold some sodas, beers..etc. Maybe some live bait..etc. Nothing fancy.

Thanks for the info.

Cliffy.

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Your good Cliffy. Just if it gets below about 5 0r 10 degrees for more than a day or so, cans could 'splode! smile I had it happen once before my garage was insulated, now I don't worry at all all winter long. It stays about 30-36 in my garage all winter long, except those really cold weeks, and then I throw the furnace on now and then and all is good.

BTW - my garage fridge is about 30 years old, you know the old yellow/gold Kenmores wink

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I have had a chest freezer in my garage for over 10 years with no problems yet. We have an uninsulated garage.

I had a fridge in there to, but it was on its last leg and belly uped about a year after being in there

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actualy check the web one brand actualy has a garage kit. how the freezer thaws is the fridge is where the tstat is and and it cools by the cold air from the freezer. If that stays below 36 degrees it doesnt call for the compressor to come on. the kit actualy heats the area around the stat so it calls for cold air

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We have a regular cheapy fridge in our cabin. We keep food in the fridge and freezer all winter long. Avoid keeping cans in there. Other things like butter and ketchup will be fine. Some things like mayo will separate and get weird.

As for the freezer, the only items that seem to change are the frozen pizzas. They do appear to have slightly thawed but nobody has ever gotten sick and all of the other meats in there stay just fine. I wouldn't put a nice cut of meat in there, but for the things you'll likely keep in a garage freezer it shouldn't matter.

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I would like to educate everyone that has an "older" fridge in your garage or basement. This unit could be costing you more than you think, If it is more than 10 or 12 yrs old It is more than likely costing you $250 to $300 a year to keep your "beverage" cold.

these units tend to work good but use more electricity than you think. I got this info from my local coop in the monthly news letter on how to save money and energy.

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Some places are making garage fridges illegal just becuase they use so much juice. I've heard they're using the photos off of Google Maps to check and see if there's a fridge in the garage. I'm keeping my doors closed to make sure I'm not busted.

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I would like to educate everyone that has an "older" fridge in your garage or basement. This unit could be costing you more than you think, If it is more than 10 or 12 yrs old It is more than likely costing you $250 to $300 a year to keep your "beverage" cold.

these units tend to work good but use more electricity than you think. I got this info from my local coop in the monthly news letter on how to save money and energy.

Well, that's what I thought too, so I bought a little gadget that keeps track of the electricty used for whatever is plugged into it. Got it from my electric coop. You program the electric cost, plug in the appliance/computer/light/ehatever and let it run. The longer you let it run, the more accurate it is. I let mine run on my garage fridge, an old "puse-yellow-greenish" Kenmore, at least 25-30 years old. It is costing me about $5.50 per month...

I also tried on my "bait fridge" at the cabin. That is newer, only about 8 years old, and doesn't get opened that much, except on weekends. It is costing me about $3 per month.

I was totally expecting it to cost me about $200 per year for the garage fridge, and getting a new one would pay for itself. Not true, in my case anyway. So nobody will be taking my garage fridge, until they prove it is using too much juice. So far I have proved to myself that they are not.

Good luck, your mileage may vary...

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I keep a fridge in my garage here in phoenix. the only difference it that it runs a long time from about april to nov. then it will slow down for the winter time. does increase the electric bill but because we run our ac all but jan and feb we rarely see a low bill. i have a buddy who owns a two story house in phoenix. in the summer time he has to run 3 ac units to cool the whole house. his bill runs nearly a grand each month just for power. this does not include the money he uses to heat his swimming pool in the winter. seems like such a waste, we are actually considering downsizing and moving back north just to get away from the heat and cost of living here. if i could convince my wife to move to walker i would be set but dont see that happening soon. She has Chicago in her mind so what i pay in power will be paid in something else i think. oh well my rant is done

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I've heard they're using the photos off of Google Maps to check and see if there's a fridge in the garage. I'm keeping my doors closed to make sure I'm not busted.

This statement already can be seen as false simply because Google maps don't provide the angle, resolution, or light possible to see inside someone's garage.

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Google has a street view which is taking by a vehicle driving down your road.

It is not available in all areas but the technology does exist.

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Ahhh, the paranoia about big brother. We might as well all wear tin foil on our heads to keep the CIA from reading our thoughts. Even if they are doing what Tom says, a picture of an old fridge sitting in a garage is not probable cause. They'd need to prove that you were running the thing.

Either way I'll gladly pay $200 a year to have ice cold, delicious beers at my disposal. If it costs less than that then I've got more beer money to spend.

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Ok, I was joking. About a year ago this issue came up right after a piece on the radio about England banning old fridges. I poppped the Google thing into the discussion and the comments were incredible - a la' the NRA "you'll have to pry this fridge from my cold dead hands." Just trying to have a laugh but no one bit.

BTW a picture would probably be enough probable cause to allow for an investigation, and if in the investigation it were found to be running you may ultimately be nailed. Hopefully the world will have better things to do for a long time before we get this p*** ant.

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