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Thread: Propane Fridge

  1. #1

    Default Propane Fridge

    I got a cabin at 7500ft and use a propane fridge we are 8 miles from the nearest power the question I have is that in the winter temps can and do hit -20 + we are not at the cabin full time in the winter so we shut the fridge down this spring the fridge was toast previously my father inlaw lived there year round .Can leaving the propane fridge not running in the extreme temps damage it ? would like to figure it out before I pull the trigger on a new one any insight????

  2. #2
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    KY bluegrass region-the center of the universe


    There are two things that must be addressed here;

    1. Did you light the pilot light? Propane fridges have to be lit up before they will cycle the propane into cooling power.

    2. Deep temps can cause the fluids inside the cooling system to gel. Sometimes it refuses to return to the fluid state. Many technicians in the south claim that can not happen but the techs up north report that it happens all the time.

    If the unit is ruined consider buying a smaller propane fridge made for an RV. Some are small enough to remove when you close up for the winter and take home to store in a protected area.

    I learned that maintaining a remote off grid cabin is often easier if you consider it a stationary RV and turn to the RV store when you have situations and questions. I lived that life for several years before the electric department caught up with me and ran some lines my way.

    Hunter was a HVAC tech for years, but not a fridge mechanic, and may have some answers. Could be he might know just because he has spent 8 months a year frozen up in Wisconsin for his whole life.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 12-19-2017 at 07:56 PM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    SE/SW Wisconsin


    Hunter63 saying Hey and Welcome...from Wisconsin.

    I don't understand the quote> "the fridge was toast" <quote ...? Does this mean that it won't work?

    Propane refrigerators in RV are shut down when not in use, all the time

    They sit the all winter and it does get cold....but doesn't seem to hurt them..I have one in a 1995 camper that is a three way.
    I mostly use it on campground current....or while running down the road, on 12 Volt....but do start and run it on propane to make sure that it works.

    If it is shut down......and you to happen to want to start it up...I would get the heat on to the cabin before lighting.

    The propane is not used as the refrigerant....rather it heats a chamber containing water, ammonia and hydrogen gas.

    Propane tanks and line will freeze up....especially when running low...and shut down the flow to the heater...

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    Can't speak to a residential unit .....
    I'm gonna say...It shouldn't hurt it to shut down.....just heat the unit before trying to light the pilot
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  4. #4
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    tip of the mitt


    we leave our propane fridge at camp in the upper peninsula of michigan off all winter long. We've done this for years with no problems.
    so the definition of a criminal is someone who breaks the law and you want me to believe that somehow more laws make less criminals?


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