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Energy Guide estimate for fridge 25% off.


oletimer

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I installed a Frigidaire 18' top freezer in the 5th summer of 2013. Every thing worked great for two winters, and was working fine when we got back to Kansas in May. It didn't cool when I turned it back on, so took the truck & camper to the shop where we found it was out of Freon. Condenser bad. Replaced, worked 4 hours, had to return to shop twice as it was still leaking, bad connection on replacement the first time. The second time, gas was a little low, but couldn't fine any more leaks, recharged 3# Freon . The third time I removed the unit from the 5th, and took it back to leave in the shop for 10 days while they monitored it. Evacuated Freon, charged with 300# nitrogen for 3 days, and the pressure held. Recharged with 5# Freon even though the tag called for 3#. It has been working good now for about a week, but I don't want to reinstall until I am sure it is OK. Temp in fridge is running 34-41*F, freezer -6 to 8*F. I stuck a kilowatt meter on the fridge and in 6 hours it used .37kWh. It is energy star rated, and the estimated use is 383 kWh per year. I took .37 X 4=1.48 X 365=540.2. That's about 25% more than posted, is that normal? It is warm in the garage, but according to the tag, even at 90* it should only run 50%. I will check at 24 hours also, but was just wondering??? Does this sound about right?

 

Thanks, Dick T

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Thanks guys,

Yes, the unit was pre cooled. Maybe I should contact Frigidaire Tech for some advise, or maybe just get a new box. The condenser installed was $380, and I now find I can get a new unit for about $550. Sometimes I think if I had a brain, it would roll out my ear. More later.

 

Dick T

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When was your meter last calibrated and what is the stated accuracy of the meter?

You may be as close as you can get.

mohamer,

Are you talking about the kilowatt meter? I have never calibrated that, I don't even know how!! It is a cheapie I bought at Harbor Freight. Or are you thinking about the gauge for the Freon?

 

 

Dick T

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  • 3 weeks later...

I didn't want to reinstall a unit that was just going to give me trouble, so I purchased a new 18' fridge like the one in the original post. It set in the garage for 3 days plugged in with the kilowatt meter on it. Didn't even precool the box, and after 72 hours it used 2.45 kWh. Just what it was suppose to use. I then powered down, let it set for a couple days, then installed it in the 5th. I do have to lay the unit flat to load it through the escape window, but not for more than 5 minutes. Reinstalled unit, left it unplugged for a couple days, then plugged it in with kilowatt meter, but on MSW inverter power. In 24 hours it used 1.9 kWh, unit was not pre cooled, and it was about 90* in camper. Switched to shore power, turned on AC, unit was precooled, in 24 hours, it used 1.51 kwh. What have I done!! <_< Could laying the unit flat caused a problem, I do have the stated clearance on both sides, and the top, but not as open as in the garage. Any thoughts??? Thanks, Dick T

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I don't think you can use the Energy Guide estimates for anything other than relative comparison between units. There are so many environmental variables during actual operation that make it impossible to determine how much power will actually be used. It will be affected by ambient temperatures, starting temperatures, the amount of food in the unit, the number of times the door is opened, the temperature of any food added to the unit and some other factors I'm sure I have forgotten. When they come up with those Energy Guide numbers they put each refrigerator through exactly the same tests under exactly the same conditions. Those conditions may or may not be anywhere close to how you use it.

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I don't think you can use the Energy Guide estimates for anything other than relative comparison between units. There are so many environmental variables during actual operation that make it impossible to determine how much power will actually be used. It will be affected by ambient temperatures, starting temperatures, the amount of food in the unit, the number of times the door is opened, the temperature of any food added to the unit and some other factors I'm sure I have forgotten. When they come up with those Energy Guide numbers they put each refrigerator through exactly the same tests under exactly the same conditions. Those conditions may or may not be anywhere close to how you use it.

 

Well stated. Those DOE numbers are solely for the purpose of comparing one model to another. Think of them as being equivalent to the EPA mileage numbers for cars. There's nothing at all surprising about the fact that your actual usage will be different and don't contact the manufacturer about this since all they will tell you is the same thing.

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I do have to lay the unit flat to load it through the escape window, but not for more than 5 minutes. Reinstalled unit, left it unplugged for a couple days, then plugged it in with kilowatt meter, but on MSW inverter power. In 24 hours it used 1.9 kWh, unit was not pre cooled, and it was about 90* in camper. Switched to shore power, turned on AC, unit was precooled, in 24 hours, it used 1.51 kwh. What have I done!!

With mine, the installation sheet said that if it were laid down in installation it should be set upright and left for a minimum of 24 hours before operation. If it is working properly and cooling as it should, I doubt that you did anything bad.

 

 

Mine uses about the same as the guide. BTW Refrigerators use a few ounces of refrigerant not pounds. You couldn't put 5 pounds in the system if you filled it completely with liquid. Seems like the last one I charged used about 6 or 8 ounces.

Very good point.

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I don't think you can use the Energy Guide estimates for anything other than relative comparison between units. There are so many environmental variables during actual operation that make it impossible to determine how much power will actually be used. It will be affected by ambient temperatures, starting temperatures, the amount of food in the unit, the number of times the door is opened, the temperature of any food added to the unit and some other factors I'm sure I have forgotten. When they come up with those Energy Guide numbers they put each refrigerator through exactly the same tests under exactly the same conditions. Those conditions may or may not be anywhere close to how you use it.

I guess I'm not surprised the guide is off some, but my confusion is, when I ordered a NEW unit the other day, and tested it in my garage for 72 hours, it was spot on @ about .85 kWh per 24 hours. I then turn it off, and let it set for 48 hours, and then installed it in the fifth. Let it set for 36 hours, only then did I turn it back on, and it then used 3.6 kWh in 48 hours, more than twice what it was using in the garage!! Checked everything, amps, voltage, watts, etc. I'm CONFUSED. Dick T

 

 

Mine uses about the same as the guide. BTW Refrigerators use a few ounces of refrigerant not pounds. You couldn't put 5 pounds in the system if you filled it completely with liquid. Seems like the last one I charged used about 6 or 8 ounces.

Your are so right, I called the repairman, and he confirmed. The tag called for 3 oz. Not 3#. He didn't charge with 5#, but 5 oz. On the new box I just got the tag calls for 4.25oz. It is the same model!!! Maybe I'll go back to an "Ice Box". Just kiddin' Dick T

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I guess I'm not surprised the guide is off some, but my confusion is, when I ordered a NEW unit the other day, and tested it in my garage for 72 hours, it was spot on @ about .85 kWh per 24 hours. I then turn it off, and let it set for 48 hours, and then installed it in the fifth. Let it set for 36 hours, only then did I turn it back on, and it then used 3.6 kWh in 48 hours, more than twice what it was using in the garage!! Checked everything, amps, voltage, watts, etc. I'm CONFUSED. Dick T

 

 

 

When you installed the fridge in the RV you significantly changed its operating environment. Now it is essentially a built-in unit with limited clearance between its back and side walls whereas in the garage it probably was probably standing alone. Furthermore, the ambient temperature in which it is operating is different. Both of these factors can have significant impact on its energy efficiency.

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docj,

I'm sure you're right, and this entire project has been a comedy of errors, some my fault, some others. After my last post, I checked the spec tag on the fridge I installed a short 2 years ago, only to find it also showed a 4.25oz charge rate. Now I have to question the entire process by the "certified appliance repairman". When we get home in a couple days, he will get a call, but now we are at the lake for the first time this year for some R&R. The new fridge is on the blink, so we went back home(only 12-15 miles) loaded another fridge from the garage, and it is now outside the 5th, a little inconvenient, but still better than working, and MOWING every 3 days at home. As far as your last reply, when I restarted the fridge in the 5th the last time, it was on MSW( I forgot). I know Jack, and others have always said to use PSW, but I only ran it for 48 hours that way. I then bypassed the RV, and plugged the fridge directly to shore power, and had the AC on. Do you think I could have damaged the unit by running it on MSW for that short of time. My clearance is what is recommended, but is a lot tighter than freestanding, would that triple the usage?

We have a new 5th ordered, but trying to get this fixed so new owner doesn't come and kill me. BTW, do you miss the HDT? Thanks, Dick T

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I'm not familiar with the model refrigerator you have. Are the coils under the refrigerator so it pulls air in and exhausts through the front, or are the coil on the back? If under it should work fine, but if the coils are on the rear it will be far less efficient in the RV than in the garage.

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If the leak was fixed there would be no reason to overcharge. A slight undercharge can cause it to ice up, where a slight overcharge can have the negative effects on efficiency already mentioned.

 

What hasn't been mentioned yet is what did the "technician" do to stop the leak? Did he dye it and find the leak? If all he did was use the stop leak refrigerant that can drastically shorten the life of the components of the system. It does many times in car systems.

 

When you talk with him ask.

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I'm not familiar with the model refrigerator you have. Are the coils under the refrigerator so it pulls air in and exhausts through the front, or are the coil on the back? If under it should work fine, but if the coils are on the rear it will be far less efficient in the RV than in the garage.

The coils are on the bottom, but at the back. However, there are vents back there on both sides, but I'm sure ventilation is not as good as in the open. Now I know more than I did Rif, but I'll probably forget the info anyway, like I've said before, I'm old and dumb. Dick T

 

If the leak was fixed there would be no reason to overcharge. A slight undercharge can cause it to ice up, where a slight overcharge can have the negative effects on efficiency already mentioned.

 

What hasn't been mentioned yet is what did the "technician" do to stop the leak? Did he dye it and find the leak? If all he did was use the stop leak refrigerant that can drastically shorten the life of the components of the system. It does many times in car systems.

 

When you talk with him ask.

I'm not for sure how the leak was fixed, but I was there, and I think he evacuated the system, repaired, recharged. I will check though, because this is also the guy that told me, "the tag called for 3#, but now I charged with 5#." Not only was it oz. not #, I just yesterday found the tag calls for 4.25 oz

 

Thanks folks, Dick T

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The coils are on the bottom, but at the back. However, there are vents back there on both sides, but I'm sure ventilation is not as good as in the open.

Is there any reason that one could not improve the ventilation for a home refrigerator in an RV by adding some small fans, much as is becoming common with the absorption refrigerators? I would think that this could be a very effective means to allow installation into the same type of locations as are favored by the RV builders.

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I have thought about that Kirk. The vents I spoke of are on each side of the rear, and I could install a computer fan on one or both sides to move more air.

The first new fridge I installed 1 1/2 years ago that I had repaired earlier that is a little overcharged 5oz. instead of 4.25oz does seem to be working OK now, :wub:

BUT, I found out today, the second new fridge I just bought is DEFECTIVE!!!! :blink: Another new one is on the way. <_< Which one to install? :wacko: Maybe the third time will be a charm. The story continues. After all this, those sensors on the Volvo don't seem so bad after all. Dick T

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