Will fridge/freezer work in below freezing weather?

Opus

Silver Member
#1
We got a new fridge in December and my wife had them put our old side by side in the garage. I've noticed that when it gets really cold the freezer stops working. It did this a couple of weeks ago when it got real cold. I put a thermometer in the freezer a week ago and it has been reading around -5 five all week. Yesterday morning I checked since I knew it had been below freezing that night and it was 15 in the freezer. Checked this morning and it was 30 in the freezer. I asked on another board and several people said a freezer will not work in cold weather which doesn't make since to me since I have an upright freezer in the garage and it is reading 0. Has anyone else heard that a freezer will not work in below freezing weather?
 

IBM5081

Platinum Member
#3
Freezer thermostats can malfunction for a variety of reasons with the result that the temperature setting on the dial does not match the internal temperature as measured by a reliable thermometer. Think about a clock that is not even running - it will still show the correct time twice each day. What you have is an unreliable freezer that is unreliable for an unknown reason. Refrigerant is only intended to work properly across a certain temperature range, no matter what the thermostat is asking it to do. There is a disposal fee for appliances that still contain refrigerant unless the store where you bought the new one will accept the old one for disposal at no cost.
 

Opus

Silver Member
#4
Thanks for the replies. Been doing some research this evening and apparently the issue is the fridge. On a fridge/freezer unit, the fridge apparently is the one that calls for the compressor to come on. When it gets colder than the required fridge temp the fridge never requests the compressor to turn on and the freezer then warms up. Since my other freezer is just a freezer it is working fine since it is set to o and it hasn't been that cold here. There are some expensive kits that can make it work but the DIY way is to put a low wattage bulb in the fridge side which will cause it to warm up enough for it to turn on the compressor.
 

Opus

Silver Member
#6
Or you can just enjoy the free cooling.
Doesn't do me any good if everything thaws out.

I've tried some different settings since my unit has a separate temp knob for the freezer and the fridge. I set the fridge to its lowest setting and the freezer to its highest and so far it has worked. The fridge is staying colder than it needs but the freezer is now staying at 0 or below.