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Old 05-27-2018, 03:39 PM   #1
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Any Special Considerations: Refrig in Detached Garage


I'm having a garage built, which will be detached. My wife would like to have the "overflow" refrigerator in there; the garage will be unheated/uncooled. Any special considerations?
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Old 05-27-2018, 04:02 PM   #2
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Re: Any Special Considerations: Refrig in Detached Garage


Where are you located? Your profile is incomplete. May make a difference if it has no insulation either.
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Old 05-27-2018, 04:51 PM   #3
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Re: Any Special Considerations: Refrig in Detached Garage


Old fridges work best in unheated locations. My FIL bought a new one that would not work in an unheated space.
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Old 05-27-2018, 07:16 PM   #4
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Re: Any Special Considerations: Refrig in Detached Garage


Yes, a relative bought a new refrigerator for his detached garage in our cold climate and the thermostats did not work right. Not sure what the exact problem was but everything in the freezer section thawed out.

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Old 05-27-2018, 08:47 PM   #5
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Refrigerators are designed to work at normal interior temps. If the room is too cold like in a garage where it gets below freezing it will not run long enough to keep the freezer at 0 degrees F . The fridge temp won’t be accurately controlled either . If the garage gets very hot in the summer, the machine might have to run continuously to matain correct temps. This could shorten the life of the machine. The hot weather will bump up your electrical bill but the cold weather could cause your frozen food to spoil. If you have a basement that would be the better spot to install a second fridge.
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Old 05-27-2018, 10:57 PM   #6
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Re: Any Special Considerations: Refrig in Detached Garage


We have no problems running the refrigerator in the garages here in the south. It does get hot in the garage. I think itís a good idea as if you have the kitchen frig break down you have a backup while waiting for a part or repair. Personally we have a deep freeze and a regular refrigerator/freezer combo in the garage. I can not speak for what would happen in a cold climate. There are some condenser fans that wonít come on when the temp is cold on some units. Which would help in a cold temp. Canít come up with a model number right at the moment


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Old 05-28-2018, 06:52 AM   #7
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Re: Any Special Considerations: Refrig in Detached Garage


This articles doesn't detail the 'why' but it does confirm the problem: http://www.appliance-repair-it.com/g...rigerator.html We actually called the MFG at the time who gave some technical answer I have long since forgotten. In our case it was colder not hotter temps that were the problem.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:13 AM   #8
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Re: Any Special Considerations: Refrig in Detached Garage


I think the manual for the fridge will specify an operating temperature range. Probably can't go too far outside that, particularly on the low side.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:23 AM   #9
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Re: Any Special Considerations: Refrig in Detached Garage


Quote:
particularly on the low side.
I agree with that. The low side won't let the refrigerator maintain the heat, since it is set up to cool only. You see drink and even ice machines sitting out in the open in the heat of summer, and the drinks and ice are fine. It may work the compressor to an early death, but it is common.
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:59 AM   #10
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Re: Any Special Considerations: Refrig in Detached Garage


Here is my experience with a fridge outdoors...

We live in NY and had a little fridge outside on our deck for
about 18 years, I say 'had' because three years ago we bought
a new one because the bottom of the door started to corrode
because of the snow. It was still running fine when we tossed it,
just the front of the door on the bottom was unsightly, so we
bought another little fridge 3 years ago. We run it 24/7 all
year long in zone 7.

The front of the fridge is totally exposed to the elements, the sides and
top are protected in a cabinet. In the freezing winter we have to
lower the thermostat way down. Diet soda will freeze in the winter.
Beer is very cold, but won't freeze. Food such as vegetables will
freeze.

You have the fridge already, so why not try it out.
Not knowing where you live, I can only guess that it will
be useful for three seasons and
will be too cold to store most food in it during wintertime as
the food will freeze.
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Old 05-28-2018, 09:38 AM   #11
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Re: Any Special Considerations: Refrig in Detached Garage


Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Knots View Post
Here is my experience with a fridge outdoors...

We live in NY and had a little fridge outside on our deck for
about 18 years, I say 'had' because three years ago we bought
a new one because the bottom of the door started to corrode
because of the snow. It was still running fine when we tossed it,
just the front of the door on the bottom was unsightly, so we
bought another little fridge 3 years ago. We run it 24/7 all
year long in zone 7.

The front of the fridge is totally exposed to the elements, the sides and
top are protected in a cabinet. In the freezing winter we have to
lower the thermostat way down. Diet soda will freeze in the winter.
Beer is very cold, but won't freeze. Food such as vegetables will
freeze.

You have the fridge already, so why not try it out.
Not knowing where you live, I can only guess that it will
be useful for three seasons and
will be too cold to store most food in it during wintertime as
the food will freeze.
Thanks for all the suggestions and experience. I live in Zone 7 Mid Atlantic. The fridge will go over to the garage when completed hopefully in about 45 days. I think I'll take this advice, and just give it a go. There will be enough room in the garage such that I could build a small insulated enclosure for it, and stick a small baseboard heater in there to keep the temp above freezing in the winter. I'll assess after a year.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:24 AM   #12
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Re: Any Special Considerations: Refrig in Detached Garage


I was thinking on this about you building a little
alcove around the fridge for the 'winter only' ... I think just for
the sides and top... leaving the back open for air circulation.

I was thinking about the folding flat foam type of insulation
(that they sell for houses to install under siding)

What about just picking up some sheets and duct taping it
together...cut two sides and the top and make a cover for it.

First cut the top piece, lay it on top of the fridge and then cut
the two sides and duct tape it to the top. Just don't do it on the back!
You can then remove it in the warm weather.

Remember, I'm a woman with a vivid imagination, if anyone thinks
it's a crazy idea, please say so. I won't be hurt.
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Old 05-29-2018, 04:17 PM   #13
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Re: Any Special Considerations: Refrig in Detached Garage


Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Knots View Post
I was thinking on this about you building a little
alcove around the fridge for the 'winter only' ... I think just for
the sides and top... leaving the back open for air circulation.

I was thinking about the folding flat foam type of insulation
(that they sell for houses to install under siding)

What about just picking up some sheets and duct taping it
together...cut two sides and the top and make a cover for it.

First cut the top piece, lay it on top of the fridge and then cut
the two sides and duct tape it to the top. Just don't do it on the back!
You can then remove it in the warm weather.

Remember, I'm a woman with a vivid imagination, if anyone thinks
it's a crazy idea, please say so. I won't be hurt.

Not so crazy. I'm mulling over how I am going to keep it above freezing on the one hand, but not limit circulation needed when it gets hot. Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:18 PM   #14
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Re: Any Special Considerations: Refrig in Detached Garage


Yes, you need something that slips off easily for the warm weather.
Hey, our fridge was out in the elements for many years and survived.

You can always double or triple up on the folding foam on the top
and fridge sides...
also, on the back wall (just behind the fridge) you can attach
the folding foam sheets permanently to the wall to help insulate the inside
garage wall, or better yet -- insulate the wall between the 2 x 4's
behind the fridge with regular insulation.
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