Author Topic: Should I Start Up Old Fridge in the Basement now and then, to preserve seals?  (Read 618 times)

slackmax

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I have a working (last time I started it) fridge I keep in the basement. It's a Whirlpool from I guess the 70's or 80's. Bought it used.   I got the idea somewhere that you ought to start a fridge up every so often just to keep certain things, like seals(?), 'lubricated', or something like that. 

I've been starting it up every 2 or 3 years and I let it run for about 2 days, then unplug it again. Works fine, makes ice, blows cold air.

But I wonder if it's doing more harm than good, because it squeals and moans for a about a day before it settles down and runs quietly. But then, maybe all the squealing and noise is a good thing, maybe it's  just the oil moving around and getting to the 'seals' that need it.   

I found one similar question about this on the net, but no answer.

I guess I'm hoping a fridge expert will see this post !

Thanks


YttriumNitrate

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I'd recommend turning it on every year or so. I have no idea if that helps with seals or other stuff, but it's a good test to make sure the thing is still functional.

therethere

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If its that old it's an energy hog. And if you don't use it, it's probably not worth having. My electric company will pay you $50 to pickup an old fridge. I would check to see if a similar deal is available in your area to get it off your hands.

Bracken_Joy

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If its that old it's an energy hog. And if you don't use it, it's probably not worth having. My electric company will pay you $50 to pickup an old fridge. I would check to see if a similar deal is available in your area to get it off your hands.

+1. I see no point in keeping a fridge you're not using? And old upright fridges are some of the worst energy thieves. Get rid of it.

Sibley

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So, you have an old fridge that you turn on every 2-3 years to make sure it still works. Why? Do you actually use it as a fridge ever? Just get rid of it.

slackmax

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If its that old it's an energy hog. And if you don't use it, it's probably not worth having. My electric company will pay you $50 to pickup an old fridge. I would check to see if a similar deal is available in your area to get it off your hands.

I have a few good reasons to keep it around.

I have used it to ferment lager beer at cool temps, and to keep a minikeg of homebrew cool. I just haven't used it lately.

Another good reason to keep it around is that it would make good backup to move food to, in the event that my main fridge needs to get fixed. That way I could take my time fixing the main fridge, not panic and get an expensive repairman in, or buy a brand new fridge.

 Mustachian all the way !  Yes, yes indeed....


Bracken_Joy

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If its that old it's an energy hog. And if you don't use it, it's probably not worth having. My electric company will pay you $50 to pickup an old fridge. I would check to see if a similar deal is available in your area to get it off your hands.

I have a few good reasons to keep it around.

I have used it to ferment lager beer at cool temps, and to keep a minikeg of homebrew cool. I just haven't used it lately.

Another good reason to keep it around is that it would make good backup to move food to, in the event that my main fridge needs to get fixed. That way I could take my time fixing the main fridge, not panic and get an expensive repairman in, or buy a brand new fridge.

 Mustachian all the way !  Yes, yes indeed....

A cooler and ice works wonderfully for the one time every 5 years a main fridge has issues, lol.

Wouldn't a basement in general stay cool enough for ferments?

slackmax

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If its that old it's an energy hog. And if you don't use it, it's probably not worth having. My electric company will pay you $50 to pickup an old fridge. I would check to see if a similar deal is available in your area to get it off your hands.

I have a few good reasons to keep it around.

I have used it to ferment lager beer at cool temps, and to keep a minikeg of homebrew cool. I just haven't used it lately.

Another good reason to keep it around is that it would make good backup to move food to, in the event that my main fridge needs to get fixed. That way I could take my time fixing the main fridge, not panic and get an expensive repairman in, or buy a brand new fridge.

 Mustachian all the way !  Yes, yes indeed....

A cooler and ice works wonderfully for the one time every 5 years a main fridge has issues, lol.

Wouldn't a basement in general stay cool enough for ferments?


I was making lagers that wanted to be fermented around 50 something degrees, or even lower.  I was able to adjust  the mechanical thermostat on the old fridge to keep the temp around 50. Worked out well.

In the winter the basement can get down to around 50, but in summer it stays around 65 ish I think.   Yes, I have made lagers using the natural winter coolth of the basement, but with the fridge I can make them in summer too.

Maybe I have lager-making on the brain, hence the fridge question!

Cadman

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Slackmax, as long as the old fridge isn't in your way, keep it! But, it's not necessary to run it as preventative maintenance. Just be sure to keep the doors open slightly so air can circulate and so the door seals aren't compressed. Your sealed-system should be just fine.



Bracken_Joy

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Ah, okay, so you are properly using it. I thought you meant you were storing the ferments in the fridge (not on), to keep them cool. In that case, I highly recommend getting a Kill-a-Watt or similar and checking power draw. Even at 50F, it's likely drawing way more power than you realize- old fridges are just incredibly inefficient, plain and simple. A lot of libraries have kill a watts available to check out. Do a break-even on getting a newer energy star fridge off of craigslist.

I forget the numbers, but replacing the 9 year old fridge in our house when we moved in had an appallingly short break even time. (I mean, it was also frosting over constantly and dripping on the floor, but we would have tried harder to fix that if it had otherwise been fine).

Cadman

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Bracken_Joy, sounds like you had a bad defrost timer. This would explain the frost-over, dripping and high energy consumption as it's the heaters in 'frost-free' fridges that make them energy hogs.

Should one decide to run their fridge on a Kill-a-watt, make sure you gather data to average over at least a week's time to account for heater cycling and temp compensation time.

The fridges I run are pre-1965 and extremely efficient, though manually defrosting a couple times a year when it gets humid is the drawback. As a mustachian, it's an easy decision.

Gone Fishing

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I fired up a freezer that had been stored for 10+ years in an unconditioned shed and it was fine.  I wouldn't worry about it.