View Full Version : Outside Operating Temperature for a refrigerator

04-11-2001, 05:39 PM

I have an old Westinghouse (c1964) refrigerator as an extra in my garage.

My question is: As winter is coming, does anyone know what the minimum outside operating temperature is for this fridge (or just your run-of-the-mill home refrigerator)?

Also, what problems occur if you run a fridge below this minimum?


04-11-2001, 08:32 PM
I'm not conversant with your fridge model Kato but one thing that would concern me is the temperature that the compressor will go down to.

With a cold, or very cold, compressor the oil inside it will be sluggish possibly causing motor start up problems. There is also the fact that the refrigerant will have migrated to the coldest spot, namely the compressor, and this refrigerant will wash away any lubricant on start up.

The first thing I would suggest is that you fit a crankcase heater to the bottom half of the compressor and provide a permanent power supply to it. This should, I say should, help preserve the life of your long standing friend.

05-11-2001, 01:04 PM
Depending on the Class rating lowest Class SN 10Deg C and Class N 16 Deg C.

Normally the rating class is on the back. These were the manufacturers limits. There was a discussion on this on www.ior.org.uk some time ago. The seach words should be low and ambinet or or course derek!:cool:

06-11-2001, 11:47 PM
Thanks for the input!


07-11-2001, 10:30 PM
The problem with low ambient is that you have very low head pressures which in turn means a lower pressure drop at the metering device, if you even have any liquid refrigerant making it that far.

You can cover the condenser simulating a higher ambient temperature and causing head pressure to raise creating more liquid in the condenser, creating a liquid seal at the capillary tube. Tricky part is that you have to adjust it as the actual ambient temperature rises and falls. If you really want to get savy you can install an automatic dampering system to do it for you as the ambient changes or by head pressure. Or you might even get away with a headmaster... depending on the condenser type.

If you really like the unit.... take it in the house... alittle more brawn is required but definitely less expensive than retrofitting to meet low ambient conditions.

10-11-2001, 12:55 PM

I think that the easiest solution is to bring it inside ... I turned it off last year during the winter and I'll do it again this winter. We're moving into a bigger house come springtime so it's new home will be the basement of the new house.