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Thread: Fridge/Freezer packed up.

  1. #1
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Fridge/Freezer packed up.

    Just what you need on New Years day with a ram packed freezer.

    Light comes on in the fridge section so it's getting power, but the motor isn't running amd any boxes in the freezer are feeling soggy/limp on their way to defrosting.

    I've got a spare fridge, two in fact, but neither has a freezer compartment.
    I'll fire those up and put the frozen stuff in one on coldest setting to help delay defrosting.
    If I remember correctly one does get cold enough to put a thin layer of ice on any open liquid in there, but its not a freezer.
    TBH I could just put most stuff in a box ouside it's that cold here.

    I've no friends nearby to borrow space in their freezer, (if they have any at this time of year), so the frozen stuff is going to have to be cooked and eaten as it defrosts.

    It's not a big freezer (about 60 L) but I'm talking about - liver, two pork steaks, a silverside joint, diced beef, minced beef, 4 or 5 chicken thighs, a couple of fish pies, fish in batter, 4 individual cheese pies, 3 tupperwares of homemade stew, and then frozen veg, frozen chips and croquettes, plus a large strudel.
    I've used fresh stuff over Christmass and expected all that frozen stuff to last me for at least a month.

    Can't invite anyone round for a feed in tier 4 so it looks like I'm getting fat this week - and still throwing food away which I hate doing.

    Then I have to think about affording a new freezer, if I can't fix this one myself.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    Frozen veg will refreeze as will bread. Cook all the raw food and freeze when you have a freezer. You can then defrost and reheat. A trick with any joints is to cook them, slice then and repackage in single portion packs. They can then be put in gravy and reheated or used in homemade soup.
    If it were me I would possibly be able to salvage everything except for the fish and the cheese pies.

    My large upright freezer broke in July 2019, I kept the door shut and things did begin to thaw. It was 4 days before I could get a new one delivered. Very naughtily I refroze everything in the new freezer, made sure it was very well cooked when we used it and neither of us had any health problems.
    Last edited by beau; 01-01-21 at 17:50.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I'ts probably going to be a while, at least a few weeks, before I can get a new/replacement freezer, 10 years of living on £100 a week WRAG doesn't give you much lying about for emergency purchases.

    From a quick look I reckon I'm looking at about £130 to £190 for a freezer about the same size or a bit larger which could be handy at times, as I say I already have 2 spare fridges. (Well one and one spare now).

    I'll probably apply for a budgeting loan but it's not the best time of year to apply for one for furniture/appliances as the pot will be running low and they like to keep it for funeral/maternity/moving expenses. April/May is the best to get a budgeting loan for household goods and clothing.

    (Another option may even be to apply for UC and get the UC advance payment. LOL perhaps, but it is an option).

    But I might just get away with the food for now without having to throw anything away.

    After turning on the spare fridges and putting the one I remembered could freeze water on it's coldest setting I put about 10mm of water in a tray in there to check.
    An hour later it's frozen solid, showing that it's under zero degrees C.

    Whilst I wouldn't try to freeze food in there, or store frozen food in it for any length of time, it should keep what I've already got frozen for long enough to use up fairly normally.

    I've transferred everything frozen over and will be keeping a close eye on it.

    Thinking about it, that strudel is going in the oven now, it will make good snacks cold for the next few days.
    Then I'll do cheese pie, with potato croquettes and cauliflower for supper.

    Despite what magazines say most raw foods can be safely refrozen once defrosted, as long as they are eventually going to be cooked thoroughly.
    It the taste and texture that may deteriorate rather than it becoming unsafe to eat.

    Edit- The pastry on that strudel was already 3/4 defrosted, I'll have to watch the rest of the stuff closely to make sure it's refreezing.
    Last edited by nukecad; 01-01-21 at 19:24.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    Just wish there was an active pm system on here.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    And now we enter the Twilight Zone, but with an explanation.

    Almost 2 hours after taking the partially defrosted food out of the freezer, there is now a small puddle of water on the floor under it and it's working again.
    You can hear the motor humming.

    I've done nothing other than take the food out, not even switched it off/on, and the food was definitely defrosting.

    I've come to the conclusion that it was too full and not allowing enough air circulation; staying so cold at the back that the sensor kept it off even though the food at/nearer the door was defrosting.

    Lesson learned.

    I'll give it a clean while it's empty and put the food back more carefully to allow air circulation.

    That's a relief and saved some money buying a new one.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    The motor may be humming but the freezer is not working. Can't remember the reason, something to do with the coolant I think. Wait and see if it actually freezes before you put the items back

    May seem a stupid question but was the door properly shut tight. Reason, still frozen at the back and thawing at the front.
    Last edited by beau; 01-01-21 at 21:16.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Yes I'm testing first, same tray full of water test to make sure it freezes, but having just cleaned while still running it's cold in there.
    And yes the door was closed properly, I'm always careful about that one.

    (Once had a fridge where the door sealed but wasn't fully closed unless you gave it an extra push, so the light stayed on turning it into a warm box rather than a fridge).

    The freezer was absolutely rammed full, cardboard boxes close packed, tupperware stacked up, and veg in bags stuffed in tight. (That tight that I double checked the door was closing).

    I don't usually have it that full, but hey it was christmass and I went a bit OTT.

    EDIT- Water froze just fine, splitting the food 50/50 between the two machines for now and I'll see how it is tomorrow.
    Last edited by nukecad; 01-01-21 at 22:17.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I've been doing some reading up on fridge/freezers and leared something interesting which explains what happened.

    Whilst the freezer being too full was part of my problem there was bigger underlying issue, which is a bit unusual these days and would not affect most households.

    The property I live in is over 400 years old, and has an odd layout with all the changes that have been made over the years.
    My fridge/freezer is located in a unheated utility room off the kitchen, and there is no central heating in the kitchen either.
    So in weather like it is currently both can get close to freezing, unless there is cooking going on.
    And due to covid my usual housemate is not here and there is only me using the kitchen.

    This means that the air temperature outside the fridge/freezer can be as low as the inside of the fridge, and most modern fridge/freezers are not designed for that.
    With fridge/freezers it's the temperature of the fridge section that trips it on and off, not the temperature of the freezer section.
    And if it's not switching on regularly then the freezer compartment eventually warms up to the same temperature as the outside air.

    So last night I spent more time in the kitchen/utility than I had for at least since christmas day, with the oven on as well, the air temperature in the rooms rose, the fridge thermostat kicked in probably for the first time in a week, and the freezer started freezing again.

    Stand alone freezers don't have this problem because their thermostats are set to the freezer temperature not the fridge temperature.

    You can buy fridge/freezers that are designed to go in a unheated garage or outbuilding and will work properly with air temperatures even below freezing.
    Obviously though these are more expensive. (Two thermostats, two cooling systems, plus a small warming element to keep the fridge section and working parts from freezing).

    For the moment turning the fridge thermostat to it's coldest setting is working here, but if the weather gets any colder it will probably stop again.

    So odd as it may seem, for my fridge/freezer to work properly in freezing mid-winter weather I'll have to move it into a warmer room, or put a heater in the utility room.

    An unusual situation that wouldn't affect most these days, but something to bear in mind if you are thinking about putting a combined fridge/freezer in an unheated garage or outbuilding.
    Last edited by nukecad; 02-01-21 at 08:24.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    Yes, I know that you can get freezers that are designed to be in unheated rooms, ours is in the garage. Apparently only Beko do those unless things have changed.
    When ours broke in 2018 it was that very hot summer. I still blame the high temperatures for that. Designed to go in cold places but can't cope with the heat.

  10. #10
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    So pleased the freezer is working again Nuke, I've no idea why you can't get PIP you don't know when you will become unconscious surely that means you need help/supervision cooking & bathing!

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