General Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Will a fridge/freezer work properly if empty?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (23823points) 3 weeks ago

I’m waiting for a repair person to fix my fridge/freezer this week, and I want to know if when I tossed my defrosted food can effect the effectiveness of my appliance.

Someone had turned to low, and I got sick from drinking warm milk and honeydew melon. It was turned to normal and then 4/5, and finally to 5/5.

Is there anything that I should know?

It doesn’t get cold enough to preserve food, and the freezer does not get cold enough to freeze liquids. Even at maximum cold?

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14 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

New frig and freezer!

If it is older than five years most cases it is time for new one !

kritiper's avatar

Yes it will.
How old the unit is makes no difference because as long as all the parts continue to work properly, and not lose any refrigerant, it will continue to operate as it should.
I have a refrigerator that my father bought new in 1968, and it still works just fine.

nightwolf5's avatar

It will still work yes, in fact it works even harder when empty, and uses more electricity.

smudges's avatar

Just curious…who has access to your apartment that they would fiddle with the temp of your refrigerator? Maybe maintenance, but why would they mess with your frig?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I don’t know. I also don’t know.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 Don’t know where your temp adjuster is, but be careful when putting foods in or taking them out. I had one fridge that if the back of my hand barely touched it, it would adjust the temp. It was so sensitive that I wouldn’t even feel the brush in the right/wrong spot. I just happened to catch it happening by accident one day & I learned to double check the thermostat every time that I used that fridge. I finally purchased a new fridge when my local store had one on sale for a good price.

Since you rent, you might speak with the manager about replacing yours. They probably will decline your request, but you won’t know until you ask.

JLeslie's avatar

Without the food inside the appliance has to work harder to maintain the cold.

It sounds like it was already malfunctioning though, so filling it with food will likely just result in more food going bad. You need to be fixed or get a new one.

Zaku's avatar

As @JLeslie just wrote, a fridge works best when there is something inside it other than air. Otherwise, there is not much inside it to cool, other than the air (which mostly leaves when you open the door), and the inner walls of the fridge, and the shelves (which are usually pretty light, so don’t do much to cool anything down).

So if you have almost no food, put something in it that it can cool down, that will help it cool other things down that you want to be cold. Such as, a few large containers of water, until you get some food in there.

Otherwise, if you start with an empty fridge, the first few things you put in it may not get cold very fast. Especially if you keep opening the door to check on it.

@Tropical_Willie Sorry, but your comment about a fridge being replaced after five years . . . makes me want capitalist humanity to all die immediately . . . (I mean, we (or at least, our capitalist excesses) deserve to go extinct for our selfish closed-minded stupidity about such things as built-in obsolescence and destroying our own planet, but the rest of the species don’t deserve to go extinct . . . and nor do the humans who aren’t like that, but if we can’t stop them, maybe we deserve it too.)

What the &@%#? Why?

BTW, in my family, we NEVER replace refrigerators unless/until they have some major breakdown. Like, 40 years later, still working.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Zaku because the current frigs are costly to repair. My daughter was giving and estimate of $1000 to repair a 3 year old refrigerator.

Zaku's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Oh, I see, you mean IF it breaks down, and is 5+ years old, then it’s likely cheaper to fix it than repair it.

(Ok, mercy for capitalist Humanity slightly improved, thanks.)

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Update am getting a new fridge installed tomorrow afternoon. At no cost to me.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

New fridge installed.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

^^^ Great news ! ^^^

RocketGuy's avatar

Get a fridge thermometer so that you know where to set the knob. Most fridge thermometers have markings for ideal fridge and freezer temps. The 1 thru 5 settings on the knob don’t tell you much.

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