Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jul 29, 2011 03:51 AM

Fridge in a hot place.

We have recently built a modest (15ft square) timber garden room for our children and have put in a very (25+ years) old fridge as a drinks cooler. My worry is that even here in the UK the room gets incredibly hot, like parked car hot, with the doors and windows closed during the day. I'm concerned that the extra load on the old fridge could lead to electrical problems, even though there's a professionally installed trip board.

Do I need to worry much please? I've actually just removed it, pending advice.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. In theory at least, it should be ok. Obviously as you have stated, it will have to work harder to do it's intended task, which could and likely will shorten the life of the motor and compressor. But by working harder, it simply will run for more extended periods of time, it will continue to draw the same amount of curent. If it runs too long and gets too hot, the motor should be thermally protected and shut down until reset or it cools. This is of course, all in theory.

    BTW, how hot is "parked car hot" in the UK? I have a small fridge in my garage where summer temperatures easily reach 32 on a hot day. A parked car here can be well over 50. My fridge works fine at 32.

    1. I had two thoughts when I read your post. 1)Is this a frig that is so old it locks from the inside? Deadly dangerous around kids. 2) If it's that old, its energy efficiency would be terrible. You might want to consider a smaller, "dorm size" frig if it's just for drinks. Then no matter how hard it has to work it's not sucking up the electricity.

      1. Thanks both.

        I've put a thermometer in there to see how hot it gets (guessing 40+), but I'm starting a week's "staycation" (we are by the sea), so the weather has of course turned cool!

        A fridge that locks from the inside?? No, and I'm mean with the beer, so it is in fact a dorm sized unit and my teenage thugs wouldn't fit, sadly! I try not to waste energy, but that's not my main concern. My real fear is a sparky/fizzy electrical event, followed by goodbye log cabin.

        1. I have a dorm sized refrigerator with built-in freezer compartment (small) in my hot garage here in Texas. It is often in excess of 105 F, which is about 40 C, and it seems to be fine as a drink refrigerator as long as the door is carefully closed. If it is left open, or if the people opening it tend to linger and linger often, the excessive heat will cause the freezer frost to build up and require a complete defrosting. Other than that, no problems whatsoever.

          The comment about the advanced age of your unit is true - a newer unit will be more efficient. Still, even as I write this, my little dorm refrigerator is sitting happily next to my 23 year old chest freezer that inhabits the same garage space.

          One more thing:

          If it gets very cold, which is rare here, the little fridge can freeze if the outside area stays below the freezing point for an extended period of time. All in all, I think you will be fine.