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  1. #1
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    water under chest freezer


    Hi, it's my first post on RE's forum. Hoping to get your help on this matter.
    Recently our whirlpool 22 cubic feet chest freezer has caused large amounts of water to accumulate on our floating wood floor. At first, we thought the kids had dropped something but we soon realized that the unit is condensing water at a fast pace. The unit is 6 years old. It was resting on 3 2x6" wood pieces on a carpet floor up to last February at which moment we renovated that part of our basement. All was dry under the unit, the carped and bottom of unit were in perfect condition. Before moving the unit to re-surface the floor, we put the food outside (very cold winters out here) and let the unit completely unfreeze for a few days and cleaned the interior completely. We reinstalled it on the floating floor without the 2x6's. We respected the minimum 2" clearance on the back but could not maintain the 3 inches on the sides. We have 1/2" on each sides. After this water started accumulating ( six months after the above described procedure), I spoke with a friend that works at a Sears store ( not the store I bought the unit from ) and he told me that induction occurred and in order to prolong the life of the unit, I needed to put in the center part of the unit a piece of pink insulating foam to recreate the insulation as well as wood strips under it all. That could prolong life of the unit for up to 10 years. I then browsed through the web and I gathered that the problem might have occurred when we completely unfroze the unit...water sort of penetrated the urethane isolation hence favoring induction and the heavy condensation we are now experiencing. In any case, we appear to be up to the possibility of having to buy a new unit. Please advise me if you have a long term solution ( i.e. is my friend's advice on putting a pink urethane board under the unit a good advice) or if we need to purchase a new unit, how to avoid loosing our food while we resurface the floating wood floor (could take 3 days in all) as it is summer out here and hence we do not have the flexibility of putting the food outside while we fix the floor issue. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks for your prompt help on this cool issue!



  2. #2
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    Re: water under chest freezer

    Here in the UK this would take me along the route of waterlogged insulation - when the unit is in operation the insulation either absorbs the surounding moisture or if bad the insulation is already waterlogged and just freezes up. When the unit is off this water is then released as the outside returns to ambient temperature. Another good indicator is that the outside of the cabinet has moisture condensing on it. Its quite important to note the ambient temperature, if this is low this could cause the condensation on the cabinet outsides.

  3. #3
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    Re: water under chest freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by freespirit View Post
    Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks for your prompt help on this cool issue!

    Hello.

    I have seen this problem countless times before and it is due to a break down in the insulation.
    I have repaired them before now but in the UK the cost of a new freezer is less than the labour charges on the repair. If you attempt to repair it yourself ensure you dry it a much as possible. remove all the base insulation, it is normally sealed with aluminium foil. Dig it all out make sure you do not damage the inside lining of the freezer. Then I would recomend you coat it with bitchumun (spelling) type waterproof paint. place the new insulation in and seal it in with expanding foam and then seal the whole lot in the paint again.

    I then used to seal the base with a thin sheet of aluminium or galvanised steel but this was an added extra because it was a chargable job.

    Six years is a fair life for a freezer so if you do not mind the effort the repair will extend the life.

    All the best taz.

  4. #4
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    Re: water under chest freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by freespirit View Post
    . Please advise me if you have a long term solution ( i.e. is my friend's advice on putting a pink urethane board under the unit a good advice) or if we need to purchase a new unit, how to avoid loosing our food while we resurface the floating wood floor (could take 3 days in all) as it is summer out here and hence we do not have the flexibility of putting the food outside while we fix the floor issue. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks for your prompt help on this cool issue!

    Just reread your post again and you friends advice is not bad advice but I would suggest you do the repair by removeing the old insulation first. The water will always log inside it an it will always conduct the heat.

    If you do not feel upto the task of stripping the isulation from the base then I suggest you dry the base as much as possible and then seal it from the new insulation with paint. Make sure you insulat the whole base from edge to edge and seal the joints with water proof paint otherwise moisture will just track inside the joints and expand, seperating the base from the repair.

    taz.

  5. #5
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    Re: water under chest freezer

    Thanks all for your detailed answers, I very much appreciate the time you are alloting me and my issue.

    In order to understand what happened, please instruct me on what caused the issue as our previous freezer had lasted 12 years.

    Is it the complete defrosting that caused this issue or is it the fact that the side clearance was 2 and 1/2" less that recommended.

    Also, I'm surprised that in the owner manual of both freezers which I consulted before posting on this great site, no mention is made as for the under freezer minimum clearance. There is back wall, side wall, upper clearance mentionned but never anything about the bottom. If there had been, I would have reinstalled the 2x6"'s on the floating wood floor. I did not put them back as there was no chance of the bottom to touch the floor surface this time around whereas the carpeted floor allowed for that possibility.

    Also, I repost my worry about loosing my frozen food while I fix the flooating wood floor that got flooded. What would be best for the 3 days that will last the fix (repairing the floor and actual freezer). If I buy a new freezer, I'll just fill the new one while I fix the floor and reempty it when it will be ok to move it back to it's location.

    Cheers ,

    Luc

  6. #6
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    Re: water under chest freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by freespirit View Post
    Thanks all for your detailed answers, I very much appreciate the time you are alloting me and my issue.

    In order to understand what happened, please instruct me on what caused the issue as our previous freezer had lasted 12 years.

    Is it the complete defrosting that caused this issue or is it the fact that the side clearance was 2 and 1/2" less that recommended.

    Also, I'm surprised that in the owner manual of both freezers which I consulted before posting on this great site, no mention is made as for the under freezer minimum clearance. There is back wall, side wall, upper clearance mentionned but never anything about the bottom. If there had been, I would have reinstalled the 2x6"'s on the floating wood floor. I did not put them back as there was no chance of the bottom to touch the floor surface this time around whereas the carpeted floor allowed for that possibility.

    Also, I repost my worry about loosing my frozen food while I fix the flooating wood floor that got flooded. What would be best for the 3 days that will last the fix (repairing the floor and actual freezer). If I buy a new freezer, I'll just fill the new one while I fix the floor and reempty it when it will be ok to move it back to it's location.

    Cheers ,

    Luc
    For most chest freezers they need a gap around them to allow the waste heat to dissipate away from it. The base only needs a bit of ventilation to stop condensation but for the most part it just stands on the feet it was provided with. (mine is in the garage and I left it on the wooden pallet it was delivered on).

    As for the last one lasting 12 years and this one only 6, I'm affraid that is the luck of the draw and nobody would be able to predict which freezer would or would not fail in this way.

    You will have a problem with the time it takes to repair the floor and freezer.
    Why not just run the freezer down over the next few weeks and when it is empty or at a level you can turn it off and then do the work.

    The other point you refer to is the swopping of old for new. If you repair it, it is not garrenteed to work or last but if you buy new then it will come with a garentee.


    Cheers taz

  7. #7
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    Re: water under chest freezer

    Thanks Kaz,

    Very informative answer. Again, thanks for sharing your experience with us. All of Britain is with us today as Sir Paul is giving a free concert tonignt in Québec City. You guys are cool ( just in case it does not mean the same thing as it does here, you know word have different meanings sometimes ) meaning you are great!

    Cheers

    Luc

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by freespirit View Post
    Thanks Kaz,

    Very informative answer. Again, thanks for sharing your experience with us. All of Britain is with us today as Sir Paul is giving a free concert tonignt in Québec City. You guys are cool ( just in case it does not mean the same thing as it does here, you know word have different meanings sometimes ) meaning you are great!

    Cheers

    Luc
    I'm a fridge man I know what cool means

    Your welcome Luc. Enjoy the concert.

    taz

  9. #9
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    Re: water under chest freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzaco View Post
    Here in the UK this would take me along the route of waterlogged insulation - when the unit is in operation the insulation either absorbs the surounding moisture or if bad the insulation is already waterlogged and just freezes up. When the unit is off this water is then released as the outside returns to ambient temperature. Another good indicator is that the outside of the cabinet has moisture condensing on it. Its quite important to note the ambient temperature, if this is low this could cause the condensation on the cabinet outsides.

    Hello I need some help on a leaking freezer

    I have a condenser dryer with a chest freezer in the basement - when the dryer operates the the basement does get very warm.

    unfortunately the chest freezer is leaking water from the bottom, could this be due to the condenser dryer?

  10. #10
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    Re: water under chest freezer

    Definitely an insulation failure. Obtain a sheet of high density styrofoam and sit the freezer on it, this will give you a few more years of service.

    Trevor

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