How To Test Gas Pressure

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Manometer to test LPG pressure

Although most gas appliances are not sensitive to slight gas pressure variations, performance of a gas refrigerator is very dependent upon the correct gas pressure. Checking the gas pressure should always be a part of a any gas fridge maintenance program or gas refrigerator repair. We suggest to have your gas supplier check your gas pressure or do it yourself with the below instructions.

Parts needed;

Approximately 60″ of clear 3/8″ flexible plastic (vinyl) tubing.

Staples or tie straps to hold tubing to back plate.

6″ x 16″ wood board or sheet metal.

Ruler.

1.) Attach the plastic tubing to the back board using staples or tie straps in a “U” shape 12″ to 14″ in both directions as per the below drawing.

2.) At about the midway point of the tubing, mark the back board with a zero location.

3.) From the zero location, place marks every 1/2″ above and below. Number the marks every one inch. Place a target arrow mark at 5 1/2″ on top and bottom. This target will equal 11 inches of water column (W.C.).

To test gas pressure;

1.) Fill the Manometer “U” tubing with water until both sides reach zero.

2.) Connect free end of tubing to the gas supply line. A slip fit or hand held fit should be sufficient. Be sure it does not leak.

3.) Hold the Manometer vertical and slowly turn the gas supply on.

4.) The pressure will push the water down the input side and up the output side. The combined sum of both distances is the “inches of water column pressure”. The target is 5 1/2″ + 5 1/2″ = 11 inches of W.C.

5.) Most high quality regulators will have an adjustment screw usually covered with a plug or plastic screw cap. Turn the adjuster screw slightly and repeat steps 3 & 4 until 11″ W.C. is achieved.

Maintenance for Gas Refrigerators

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How to do maintenance on your gas fridge or gas freezers.

Because there are no moving parts in these gas refrigerators and gas freezers, there’s not much maintenance needed. One very important thing you can do to keep the unit working to it’s maximum efficiency is to periodically clean the flue. The flue will soot up due to impurities in the gas. The dirtier the gas, the more soot will develop. Turn the unit off and let the flue cool for awhile. Place something over the burner orifice to protect it from the falling soot. Place a rag or piece of tin foil under the unit to catch any falling soot. Remove the baffles from the flue (if any). Be careful!! They may be hot. Use the Flue Brush and gently scrub the full length of the flue. Rotate the brush a few times to get all the soot possible.

One other common occurrence is debris in the Burner Air Intake. If the gas fridge or gas freezer has been sitting for awhile, spiders like the smell of propane and will make webs in the burner area and the unit will not light or burn with a dirty foul flame. Dirt, dust, pet hair, insects, lint, or anything migrating behind the gas fridge will increase the chances of the burning running foul. If the flame tip is yellow or orange, then chances are, there is debris in the Burner Tube and Air Intake. It is very easy to remove. Turn the unit off. Using a piece of 1/4″ flexible rubber hose, just aim it at the Air Intake of the Burner and blow through the other end to clean out the debris. Using compressed air or “air in a can” works well also. Be sure the unit is off and cooled before using “air in a can” since it can be highly flammable. Re-light the unit and visually check the flame. It should be a crisp blue flame with a white or yellow tip. To prevent debris from getting into the burner tube and creating this problem, it’s a good idea to vacuum under and around your gas refrigerator or gas freezer often. This is best gas fridge maintenance practice.

A more detailed description for servicing gas refrigerators is available on DVD along with many other troubleshooting and repair tips and tricks. The Diamond Gas Refrigerator Service, Maintenance, Set-up, and Trouble Shooting DVD or the Danby Consul Service Repair DVD. The EZ Freeze Maintenance DVD is available FREE with the purchase of the unit.

How does LP Gas power a gas fridge?

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Using LP Gas to power a gas fridge

Liquefied Petroleum Gas is a group of compressed vapor gases of which one of the gases is propane. The vapor being a by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining. The vapor is compressed into a liquid form for transportation and storage. Propane gas is cleaner burning gas than gasoline but slightly less clean burning than natural gas. Propane gas is odorless in raw form but a fragrance is added to help in leak detection. Most describe the fragrance as a rotten egg smell.

This gas type is well suited for off grid living because it is very portable and perfect for propane appliances. Either in small steel cylinders or it can be delivered by truck to a permanent on site tank. This makes it a great solution for energy storage in any environment, therefore making it great for an off grid refrigerator.

Using propane gas to power a refrigerator seems out of the normal but in fact this application has been used since the early 1900’s. One of the more popular brands in the 1940’s was the Servel LP gas refrigerator. Many are still in operation today being used as an off grid refrigerator. These old units have been recalled and many are taken out of service and replaced with the new more modern and efficient models. Read here for more about the recall.

Depending on the size of your propane refrigerator and the number of people living out of it and the environment it is being used in will determine how much propane gas it will use. We usually see an average of 2 gallons per week. Sometimes as low as one gallon per week or as high as 3 gallons per week in the extreme. The flame only burns 1750 BTU on high flame and 800 BTU on low flame. A propane refrigerator will operate most of the time on low flame. The actual physical flame size is about the size equal to a cigarette lighter. The EZ Freeze brand refrigerators are tested to put off less than 50 parts per million of Carbon Dioxide which is safe levels for home interiors.

History of a Propane Refrigerator

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HISTORY ON PROPANE REFRIGERATION

The ammonia refrigeration cooling system which is also known as an absorption cooling system was first discovered in 1824 by Micheal Faraday who tried to liquefy gases which, among them was an ammonia gas. This experiment was used in taking ammonia vapor in a glass tube with silver chloride in it and allowing it to absorb in the silver chloride powder. He then heated the chloride -ammonia mixture and watched the ammonia liquid evaporate out of the silver chloride and become cold.

This experiment later was the birth of the ammonia absorption cooling systems [HEREAFTER CALLED PROPANE REFRIGERATORS]. There has been much advancement in the understanding of this type of refrigeration in our time and age. There is also not much LP fridge history given until the early 1930’s when the SERVEL propane refrigerators were invented.

At the time of this invention there was not much refrigeration available on the market. Therefore, this become the first most popular refrigerator which at that time was sold in large cities by the 10’s of thousands for apartments, hotels, and any other application known. People had only a few other options available for refrigeration at that time.

Since then, refrigeration has greatly advanced with electric refrigerators, 12V solar DC refrigerator units, and propane gas refrigerators. These refrigerators are always being improved to add more efficiency and less energy with less money. Many people still resort to propane absorption refrigeration systems for a non electric appliance.

What is a Gas Refrigerator?

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We answer the question… What is a gas refrigerator?

The term gas powered refrigerator describes a household, RV, or commercial refrigerator operating from a gas source in order to create cooling. The typical gas used is propane since it is portable and relatively easy to handle. The other common gas is natural gas. The EZ Freeze brand household units sold here on the WarehouseAppliance.com site can be set up for either propane or natural gas. Most RV units are manufactured as propane gas models and some have electric 110 and or 12 volt capability. Not as popular in North America, is the use of kerosene as a fuel / gas. The kerosene burns very dirty and requires constant maintenance of the burner to keep it clean.

Most household style gas fridges do not have electric power options. Considering these units are intended to be operated in a home without electrical service and coupled with the fact that the electric option consumes a very high wattage, there is not much demand for the electric option. Without the electric option, the household propane powered refrigerator models are much more simple in design and construction therefore keeping the failure of parts to a minimum. There are no moving parts of a household gas refrigerator other than the operator adjustable thermostat. The cooling unit, also know as the absorption system, is a completely sealed system with heat and gravity acting as the motivators. More on absorption systems… . We consider these units as a great alternative off grid appliance.

Some off grid appliance owners elect to use a gas refrigerator that has been salvaged from an RV motor home or RV trailer to use within the household. There a few disadvantages to this. 1.) The RV units are much smaller in capacity and usually will not provide enough space to feed a family for more than 2 or 3 days. 2.) Most of the RV units require 12 volt DC electric to keep the gas solenoids open during gas operation. Now, two power sources are needed for operation. Gas and electricity 3.) The cooling units are designed for the life expectancy of an RV which is much shorter than that of a home’s life expectancy. Due to the short lifespan, there is a large demand for rebuilding service of cooling units. Do an internet search for “rebuilt RV refrigerator cooling units” to confirm.

For the lucky that have an on-property natural gas well, an EZ Freeze Natural Gas Refrigerator is a perfect choice. This is as close as you can get to free utilities. The natural gas kit is only $75.00 and can be installed prior to the gas fridge being shipped or installed on-site afterwards.

Why do I need a Gas Fridge?

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Reasons to own a Gas Fridge are:

  • You don’t have on grid electricity.
  • You don’t like the noise an electric refrigerator makes.
  • You are EMF intolerant.
  • Your home is subject to natural disasters and power outages.
  • Dooms day is coming.

One of the most basic necessities in life is food. And food storage is vital to prolonged life. And cold food storage is important for healthy living. If you fall into any of the above scenarios or categories, then a gas fridge may be perfect for you or your situation.

All refrigerators must run from an energy source. One of the propane fridge advantages are the fact that the energy (propane gas) is able to be stored. Not only that, but the energy is portable. This fact alone gives the propane refrigerator great advantages over any electric refrigerator in some situations.

The myth that a gas refrigerator does not cool as well as an electric is not at all true. Not only will they get as cold or colder than it’s electric counterpart, the absorption unit has far less parts than an electric compressor system. Less parts equal less chance of a failure. There are virtually no moving parts within the propane gas refrigeration system with the exception of the thermostat which is moved by the user.

One power outage of more than two days can completely decimate your food supply in your electric fridge. With the cost of food within the fridge being upwards of $500.00, it pays to have a gas fridge as a back up unit.

Of course in the case of off grid living there is not much of an alternative. Many will find that purchasing ice for coolers will get very expensive and eventually over run the cost of a LPG fridge. DC refrigerator solar powered units are an alternative if the area has enough sun light per day and the solar system is large enough to handle the enormous load. See them here.

About the Absorption Refrigerator

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Warehouse Appliance provides information for consumers in regards to purchasing an absorption refrigerator.

What is an Absorption Refrigerator?

What is an Absorption Refrigerator? It is exactly what the name implies. The unit refrigerates by absorbing the warm air from the interior and expelling it to the exterior. Within the gas refrigeration industry, this process is accomplished by using a sealed absorption system containing a solution mixture of ammonia, water, sodium chromate, and hydrogen. The mixture is boiled by a flame usually fueled by either propane gas or natural gas.

The active ingredient is the ammonia which turns from liquid to vapor and back to a pure liquid again. This pure ammonia liquid absorbs the warm air through aluminum plates on the fridge back wall, freezer back wall, and freezer floor. This system uses no motors, compressors, or any moving parts. This is all accomplished by heat boiling the solution and it rising to the top of the sealed system where gravity takes over and allows the liquid to flow through the coil system at a rate determined by slight downward angles of the tubing.

The system is very simple in operation but very complicated in design. A very slight change in angle can alter performance and lower efficiency. A couple percentage difference in the solution ingredients will also change the gas refrigerator performance . Any weakness in a weld will shorten lifespan. All these factors must be correct in order to produce an efficient unit with top performance. Strict quality control is vital toward good production results.

At Warehouse Appliance, we rely on our many years of experience in using gas freezers and fridges, servicing gas refrigerators, and repairing gas fridges, and our warranty records to make the business decision of promoting the best brand. We choose the EZ Freeze brand.

We rate the EZ Freeze quality control as the best in the industry. EZ Freeze is the only company that produces the absorption system in house at the factory. No outside contracting is used in production. Over 50% of the production process is centered around quality checks within the production line of the product.  A high pressure flushing occurs immediately after the welding process is complete to remove any weld slag or foreign objects that may be inside of the coils. The absorption system is then baked in an oven to relieve stresses and reduce the risk of stress cracks during its lifespan. The oven baking process also aids in sterilization of the internals of the absorption unit prior to filling. Baking off the oils and impurities. Each unit is then pressurized and leak tested before installation in the cabinet. The EZ Freeze absorption units are all made on a jig and foamed in a mold and are interchangeable at anytime in it’s life span with a new unit. This promotes consistency and reparability. It may seem excessive, but after all, this is the heart of the absorption refrigerator. It is also the most labor intensive part of production so it must be 100% before the unit ever gets to the consumer.

Further down the production line near completion, each unit is tested in the factory “Hot Room” which simulates a harsh operating environment with temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity levels. Each unit must pass well within the limits of good food keeping temperatures after this 16 hour torture test. The results are recorded on each refrigerator prior to packaging. No over company within this industry does this.

When asked about these strict quality control issues, EZ Freeze ownership replies “We realize that most of our fridges are used in remote areas. Hard to get to and from areas. It puts a great hardship on the consumer if there is a failure and we just don’t want to see that happen.”

For more information regarding Propane Refrigerators contact Warehouse Appliance at 928-636-1955.

The History of Propane Refrigeration

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Warehouse Appliance provides information for consumers in regards the history of the propane refrigerator.   

The ammonia refrigeration cooling system which is also known as an absorption cooling system was first discovered in 1824 by Micheal Faraday who tried to liquefy gases which, among them was an ammonia gas. This experiment was used in taking ammonia vapor in a glass tube with silver chloride in it and allowing it to absorb in the silver chloride powder. He then heated the chloride -ammonia mixture and watched the ammonia liquid evaporate out of the silver chloride and become cold.

This experiment later was the birth of the ammonia absorption cooling systems [HEREAFTER CALLED PROPANE REFRIGERATORS]. There has been much advancement in the understanding of this type of refrigeration in our time and age. There is also not much LP fridge history given until the early 1930’s when the SERVEL propane refrigerators were invented.

At the time of this invention there was not much refrigeration available on the market. Therefore, this become the first most popular refrigerator which at that time was sold in large cities by the 10’s of thousands for apartments, hotels, and any other application known. People had only a few other options available for refrigeration at that time.

Since then, refrigeration has greatly advanced with electric refrigerators, 12V solar DC refrigerator units, and propane gas refrigerators. These refrigerators are always being improved to add more efficiency and less energy with less money. Many people still resort to propane absorption refrigeration systems for a non electric appliance.

For more information regarding Propane Refrigerators contact Warehouse Appliance at 928-636-1955.

A review of the EZ Freeze gas refrigerator from a satisfied customer

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A satisfied customer from Texas sent in this review of the EZ Freeze 19-cubic foot refrigerator. Warehouse Appliance is happy to share that the EZ Freeze refrigerator and our dedicated staff has met and exceeded this customer’s expectations!

The customer writes: “We’ve had the fridge for five years so I feel confident in giving a review. Our decision to purchase a propane refrigerator was based on the fragility of the grid and the requirement to have safe cold storage of food in case of a grid failure – either local or national, short-term or long-term.

Pros

  • It doesn’t look any different than a regular electric refrigerator.
  • The inside of the fridge has an excellent LED light powered by D batteries. The case for the batteries is in the back outside of the fridge, and it’s not difficult to change them. We’ve changed the batteries just once in five years and it was only because we did some maintenance on the fridge.
  • Easy to clean. All it takes is a damp rag and a dry paper towel. Just like you’d do on your electric fridge.
  • The biggest pro in buying the unit is getting one from Warehouse Appliance. They have been amazing all these years on all of my pre-purchase questions as well as maintenance questions. The DVD you get with the unit is invaluable. Watch the DVD and keep it with all the documentation that comes with the fridge.

Cons

  • You’ve got to defrost it. The defrosting frequency depends on how much you use the fridge. I defrost as soon as the fins are 50% to 75% iced. I use a small fan and defrost the freezer first. Then I move the fan to the refrigerator section to blow on the fins.

Lessons learned

  • Get the AcuRite thermometer.
  • Keep maintenance equipment on hand at all times.  We use the flue brush once a year.
  • When you defrost the fridge, clean the flue and blow out the blower with a can of air. The instructions are on the DVD.
  • Pay attention to the maintenance schedule.
  • We moved as many appliances to propane as possible over the past several years because it’s reliable in a grid-down situation.

The bottom line of any review is “would I buy this again?” The unequivocal answer is “yes” and I would still buy from Warehouse Appliance because their team is knowledgeable, pragmatic, professional, patient, and friendly.

Updated 6/26/2020

We’ve had the 19 cubic foot refrigerator for 11 years and it’s still going strong.

Where we are today

We continue to do regular maintenance when the fridge is defrosted: wiping the inside, cleaning the door gaskets, brushing out the burner to remove dust and dirt, and cleaning the coils on the back of the fridge.

Because this fridge isn’t a big electric monster with a compressor, fans, etc., it’s easy to fix. Warehouse Appliance has all the spare parts for their appliances and ships them quickly; however, we keep critical spare parts on hand at all times because we don’t like even the rare emergency.  Anyone reasonably handy with tools, and can follow directions, can easily perform maintenance and repairs. A caveat, we would never go into the sealed tubing and chambers nor should there ever be need to do so since it’s a sealed system.

Don’t get me wrong, things do wear out. We had a problem a few years ago and I called Warehouse Appliance and described the situation to see if it really was a problem. Without missing a beat, we were walked through the repair that we could do right then because we already had a thermocouple.  Hint on replacing the thermocouple: lay a short 2X4 under where the top of the fridge will be when it’s laid down on its side to replace the thermostat. Put a towel on top of the board so the fridge won’t get scratched. This helps when you need to lift the fridge back to standing position.

Customer Service

Is top-notch. I called today to ask a question and they always have the time and patience to talk with me. This is service after the sale more than a decade later.

It all comes back to the question “would I buy this again?” Absolutely. It’s a good product and we have had consistent excellent customer service.

The EZ Freeze gas refrigerator is the top brand in the LP refrigerator industry. When you’re in the market for a gas refrigerator, call the experts at Warehouse Appliance. We offer technical advice and repairs on site or via telephone. Call us today at 928-636-1955.

The Importance of a Blue Flame on Propane Refrigerators

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What so many of us with a propane refrigerator don’t realize is that flame within the burner box needs to have a certain look and sound in order to produce just the right amount of heat to cool a gas refrigerator.  The right amount of heat produced beneath the cooling unit exhaust pipe is of the utmost importance to cool down the propane refrigerator.  This flame size will vary depending on the thermostat and the actual temperature inside the gas refrigerator.  We look for a 1 to 2 inch flame with a nice crystal blue crown.  We want this flame to be more along the lines of a butane lighter look and not a regular zip lighter.  As most of us know, the blue flame produces more heat than a dirty camp fire flame.  If this blue flame turns into a more yellow looking candle, you can be sure your propane fridge will not cool properly.

So, what are the causes of a yellow flame?  The most common cause of a yellow flame or dirty flame, as we call it here at Warehouse Appliance, is debris.  This could include dust, lint, spider webs insects and other critters that find the burner box as a nice home.  Typically, propane refrigerators are used in cabins and other vacation spots that aren’t used all year round.  When your vacation time is over and you turn the gas off on your propane or natural gas refrigerator you can be sure that your burner box and orifice become a collection spot for dirt and debris that find their way to the back of the fridge.

We here at Dynamx encourage all of our customers to clean out their burner boxes before starting up their propane fridge.  The best way to keep from getting a dirty flame is to use compressed air to blow out the affected area.  Cleaning the exhaust pipe with a flue brush is also a necessity to ensure the pipe stays clean and heats the cooling unit properly.  Our EZ Freeze refrigerators provide easy access to the burner tube and orifice while also providing better protection from outside wandering debris and possible items that can burn up in the burner tube.

Need more help servicing your propane or natural gas refrigerator?  We are here to help!  Call us at 928-636-1955 or visit the service part of our website by click here.