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Freezer Disaster #8126932 01/12/21 11:04 PM
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Brother Phil Offline OP
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I have a 5 cubic foot chest freezer, it is 12 years old, and I keep it in the garage. In early Fall, I defrosted, it, cleaned it, and threw away some old food. I also started eating some game left from last year, and gave some away. I shot a doe early in the season. One day I went to grab some steaks, and it was 55 degrees in the freezer! WTF! What happened? The power light was on. Nothing I could do. The meat was ruined. I buried all of it. I felt sick to my stomach. Time for a new freezer. But, oops, where to get one? Covid has cleared out the freezers. Off to youtube, to see what may have caused this. I did some tests, and determined that my switch/thermostat had gone out. I bought a new one on Amazon, and the freezer works fine. I also bought a freezer alarm, it has a remote sending unit (for inside the freezer) and a alarm that I keep in the house. The alarm was under 25 dollars, well worth it. I have owned several freezers, never had an issue. I used to set it and forget it. Not anymore. I hope this helps someone.

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8126963 01/12/21 11:22 PM
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Its an awful feeling. I had something trip a GFI outlet last summer and had the same thing happen. I had some great stuff in there and lost everything. First thing I did was buy an alarm for each of my freezers. Never again.

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8126964 01/12/21 11:22 PM
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Same problem happened to our freezer in August. I lost some deer burger and sausage from last season. The wife lost more stuff. We went to Lowe’s for a new freezer, none to be found. Called repair guy $250 later it was a defroster switch. Lesson learned!

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8126971 01/12/21 11:29 PM
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My hunting partner had a similar issue. He purchased a new house, and now had his older freezer in the garage. Went to get some meat out, and it was off and everything from last year was spoiled, and freezer reeked!! UGH. He is not very mechanically minded and called me; I had him check and it was plugged into a GFCI protected circuit. The starting current was enough of a mis-match that it tripped, causing loss of power. I had hime get his electrician buddy to put a regular breaker in, and he got an new alarm when he got the NEW freezer!! Always have some type of indication for when it's off, could be an alarm, or something as simple as a night light

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127469 01/13/21 12:33 PM
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I hate those GFI outlets for this very reason. mad


" Excuse me, while I whip this out!"
Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127516 01/13/21 01:29 PM
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It was in the 90s I lost about half an elk to a freezer in the garage that was on a GFI circuit. bang I have not had a freezer or fridge on a GFI since then


lf the saying "Liar, Liar your pants on fire" were true
Mainstream news might be fun to watch
Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127537 01/13/21 01:50 PM
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Fridges any freezers should never be on GFI outlets. Many outlets in garages are on a GFI circuit by code so don’t assume if there isn’t a reset on the outlet it’s not gfi. Just push the test on the GFI then see what has power and what doesn’t.


-----------------------
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Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127599 01/13/21 02:32 PM
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Talking with my electrician on a new build. He has to install a GFCI by code. He told me to switch it out once i move in.

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127642 01/13/21 03:18 PM
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GFCIs will trip when you have a bad storm even when there really wasn't a ground fault. The GFCI circuit breakers in the load center are even worse. The power for a refrigerator or freezer needs to be a dedicated circuit without a GFCI. I like to do the quarter trick in my freezers. Get a whiskey glass, fill it with water, and leave it in the freezer. Once it's frozen put a quarter on top of the ice. If your freezer ever defrost you will find the quarter in the bottom of the glass even if things managed to refreeze.

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127664 01/13/21 03:34 PM
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Ours went out a couple of years ago. Fortunately, we caught it before the meat thawed, and a friend manages the cafeteria at a local Christian school. He offered their walk-in freezer to us until we got another one. Saved our bacon and all our venison!

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127665 01/13/21 03:36 PM
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Get you an external over/under temp. Alarm on Amazon, about $10.00. I run one on each of our freezers have it set to -5 for the low and 20 degrees for the high. Almost lost a freezer full of elk, hog and fish.
Always change out the GFI outlet before plugging in a freezer.
Sorry for the lose of your game meat.

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127669 01/13/21 03:38 PM
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Had GFCI do the same thing to us in the garage. Luckily I noticed our security cameras (which are on the same circuit) went out and saved myself from disaster. Sorry you lost that meat, definitely unfortunate.

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: blkt2] #8127670 01/13/21 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by blkt2
If your freezer ever defrost you will find the quarter in the bottom of the glass even if things managed to refreeze.

I’m not sure about that. Ice will evaporate the same as water, even in a freezer.

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127682 01/13/21 03:52 PM
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https://www.amazon.com/ETHMEAS-Digital-Refrigerator-Thermometer-Function/dp/B076M71GXR/ref=sr_1_25?crid=1SLLPUIL8357S&dchild=1&keywords=freezer+alarm&qid=1610553039&sprefix=Freezer+al%2Caps%2C299&sr=8-25

Saved us from the freezer lose.

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127701 01/13/21 04:10 PM
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We had a GFCI trip on our freezer in the garage. Full of elk, buffalo and beef. We were gone for two weeks on vacation and it must have happened right after we left, this was mid summer. As soon as we walked in the house the smell it us. Searched everywhere for a dead animal somewhere until I opened the door to the garage and immediately started dry heaving. I must have puked a dozen times cleaning out that mess and getting rid of the freezer. Luckily it was only one of three and the other two were fine. Just the thought of that smell is making my stomach turn.

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127711 01/13/21 04:15 PM
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Been there. Luckily mine was still cold and some even frozen so I fired up the grill and cooked most of it up and refroze it. made great dog treats.


Originally Posted by bill oxner
Haven't had it in years but never spit any out.


Originally Posted by bill oxner
I am a sucker for happy endings and strapped cowboys.
Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127749 01/13/21 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Brother Phil
I have a 5 cubic foot chest freezer, it is 12 years old, and I keep it in the garage. In early Fall, I defrosted, it, cleaned it, and threw away some old food. I also started eating some game left from last year, and gave some away. I shot a doe early in the season. One day I went to grab some steaks, and it was 55 degrees in the freezer! WTF! What happened? The power light was on. Nothing I could do. The meat was ruined. I buried all of it. I felt sick to my stomach. Time for a new freezer. But, oops, where to get one? Covid has cleared out the freezers. Off to youtube, to see what may have caused this. I did some tests, and determined that my switch/thermostat had gone out. I bought a new one on Amazon, and the freezer works fine. I also bought a freezer alarm, it has a remote sending unit (for inside the freezer) and a alarm that I keep in the house. The alarm was under 25 dollars, well worth it. I have owned several freezers, never had an issue. I used to set it and forget it. Not anymore. I hope this helps someone.


This is a good reminder. I have two freezers in my laundry/utility room - both with alarms that trip at 10F after I learned that hard lesson years ago!

Suggestion for anyone dealing with cleaning one out: Smear Vicks Vaporub all over the outside of a mask. It REALLY helps.

Marc


A Democracy is when two wolves and a lamb vote on the dinner menu. That is why this country was specifically not designed as a Democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic.
Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Somebeach] #8127766 01/13/21 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Somebeach
We had a GFCI trip on our freezer in the garage. Full of elk, buffalo and beef. We were gone for two weeks on vacation and it must have happened right after we left, this was mid summer. As soon as we walked in the house the smell it us. Searched everywhere for a dead animal somewhere until I opened the door to the garage and immediately started dry heaving. I must have puked a dozen times cleaning out that mess and getting rid of the freezer. Luckily it was only one of three and the other two were fine. Just the thought of that smell is making my stomach turn.


Played that game with a frozen turkey in our garage fridge that accidently got unplugged. A week later I discovered the bird had exploded in the summer heat inside the freezer. I can't un-remember that smell. Makes a gut shot deer smell pleasant.

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127771 01/13/21 05:00 PM
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Having bear baited for years with old rotten sheep, I can tell you that gasoline on your upper lip will get you thru the smell!!! smile

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: garyrapp55] #8127789 01/13/21 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Dadof2
Originally Posted by blkt2
If your freezer ever defrost you will find the quarter in the bottom of the glass even if things managed to refreeze.

I’m not sure about that. Ice will evaporate the same as water, even in a freezer.


Try it before you poo poo the idea. Been doing it for decades.

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127814 01/13/21 05:29 PM
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Lost almost two processed deer about half was in sausage. Young teenage girls, one left the door open in the garage freezer over a weekend. Never seen anything like it. She didn’t think it was a big deal. But then again she has no idea what a loaf of bread cost.

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: SNKETR] #8127883 01/13/21 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SNKETR
Talking with my electrician on a new build. He has to install a GFCI by code. He told me to switch it out once i move in.

This is correct

Every circuit in a house must be protected by either a GFCI outlet or breaker, or an arc fault breaker....even those dedicated circuits to single receptacles for refrigerators, microwaves, freezers, etc.

I've been an electrician for right at 30 years and let's just say as soon as the inspector left my house we built 6 years ago on the final inspection, the arc fault breakers serving my dedicated circuits to the appliances mentioned above were replaced with standard breakers!

One of the posters above stated the in-rush of current will trip an GFCI. If this is happening it is one of two things causing it. Either the appliance has a issue or the GFCI does. GFCIs do not read or react to inrush. They read unbalanced current between the ungrounded (hot) conductor and the grounded (neutral) conductor and will trip at typically 5ma.
Arc Fault CBs on the other hand are a complete other pain in the azz! lol

One of my big chest freezers went out about 2 years ago in the summer time. It was located in an old garage that we didn't frequent daily and sometimes went a week or more without going in it unless we needed something. Lets just say the smell got bad enough you didn't have to be too close that building to know there was something wrong! OMG it was horrible. It probably had 400 lbs of different meats in it and I'll promise you that once I got it all dug out and taken to the back of our place and dumped, there was a 'soup' at the bottom of it that was probably 15 gallons worth that made the nasty meat I'd just dumped seem like heaven!

eek2


High fence, low fence, no fence, it really doesn't matter as long as you're hunting!
Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127887 01/13/21 06:23 PM
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I forgot to add a feature of my freezer alarm. It also shows the high/low temperature. So, if I was out of town, the power went out, and the freezer reached an unsafe temperature, I would know. I have seen the comments regarding GFIC breakers/outlets. These are required by the NEC code for a garage outlet. A freezer, by itself, should not trip one. These outlets do not last as long as regular outlets, and should be tested for proper functioning. If one is tripping, I suggest finding out why. Depending what else is on the circuit, it may not be the freezer. There is also an issue with the homeowners insurance, if a fire is started because of the code not being followed. I think at one time, the NEC code allowed a non-GFIC dedicated appliance outlet in a garage, not now. I kind of ran on on this, but really suggest the freezer alarm route.

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127986 01/13/21 07:25 PM
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Reading this thread has got me ready to buy one of these alarms. I've had this happen before, luckily it was very early on and cold outside, so I didn't lose much.

Does anyone have a Wi-Fi unit that they'd recommend? I have a detached garage where my deep freeze is located. Unless I'm in the garage, I wouldn't hear the alarm. So I need one with a base that I can bring in the house.

Re: Freezer Disaster [Re: Brother Phil] #8127996 01/13/21 07:31 PM
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Just ordered up a freezer alarm been meaning to do so. Thanks for the post.


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I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


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