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Frigidaire Freezer FFFH17F4QW0 Daily timer on freezer -- potential problems?

garya

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Ovando, MT
Model Number
FFFH17F4QW0
Brand
Frigidaire
Age
6-10 years
Our power company is instituting a peak demand charge, so I would like to have our freezer not run during those times. The peak demand times are 3 hr intervals, 7-10am and 6-9pm. I'm wondering what the ramifications are of putting a standard 120vac timer in the ac power ahead of the freezer plug. Because of the inaccuracy of these timers, it would have to be set to 4 hr intervals, 6:30-10:30am and 5:30-9:30pm. I am aware of current draw / fusing etc. concerns.

We typically open the freezer less than once per day, and keep it fairly full, so it should have a fair amount of thermal mass; I'm not worried about food defrosting.

What I am wondering about is affects on the compressor and associated electronics, and affects on the defrost cycle and related equipment.

This is a Frigidare FFFH17F4QW0 freezer, but I'm also wondering about freezers in general. Do so-called "smart" appliances have any special things they do other than restrict operating hours? (I don't count fancy monitoring, phone interfaces, etc. as features worth considering; this is an appliance, after all, not a human being...)
 

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
5,457
Location
Ontario, Canada
According to its parts manual there are no electronic controls in that model. The thermostat and defrost timer are mechanical. They should not be affected by power interruptions as long as it is off for a minimum of 10-15 minutes. The length of time off shouldn't matter... although the temperature might be affected a bit depending on ambient temperature.

You might want to try turning it off or unplugging it for that length of time and monitor the internal temperatures. Keep in mind that food temperature and not the air temperature is most important. Frozen food doesn't tend to thaw quickly.

You will need to get a timer rated for sufficient wattage or the compressor could be damaged if the timer failed under repeated load.

garya said:
Do so-called "smart" appliances have any special things they do other than restrict operating hours?

Is that a feature? I haven't heard of it but might be possible. The biggest drawback to "smart" appliances are the electronic control required for them to function. Those control are expensive to replace when they fail and the reason many newer appliances get scrapped. I can't think of any added benefit over a normal appliance. The simpler the better.

JMO

Dan O.
 

garya

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Ovando, MT
You will need to get a timer rated for sufficient wattage or the compressor could be damaged if the timer failed under repeated load.
I don't understand this. If the timer is of insufficient wattage, wouldn't it just burn up / blow a fuse? And then the compressor simply wouldn't function? Or are you saying if insufficient wattage there will be excessive voltage drop and the compressor motor will be having problems as a result?
 

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
5,457
Location
Ontario, Canada
I'm not just talking about the timer not keeping time. If the timer switch fails it will likely be when the compressor is starting up as that uses the most power. Devices don't often trip like a fuse, on/off. A failure of the switching in the timer could cause insufficient voltage to the compressor over and over again until it finally fails outright. That poor power supply could be enough to damage the compressor in the long run, which happens to be the most expensive to repair. It is best avoided whenever possible.

JMO

Dan O.
 

garya

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Ovando, MT
Sorry for the late reply; out of town.
Doesn't it take s bit of time (1/2 sec?) or so for the freezer to actually trigger the start of the compressor? If so, the timer has already done its switch by then, so it would only be the total current rating of the timer that mattered?
 

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
5,457
Location
Ontario, Canada
garya said:
Doesn't it take s bit of time (1/2 sec?) or so for the freezer to actually trigger the start of the compressor?

I don't know what you mean by that. If the thermostat is calling for cooling (which is likely to happen after being off for several hours), its contact is closed. As soon as power is supplied to the unit that power goes through the thermostat to the compressor... immediately. The compressor may take several seconds to start up but that's when the maximum current is drawn.

If the fridge timer was in defrost mode when power was removed, when reconnected it will be in defrost again... immediately.

If you want to take a chance, go ahead. It doesn't matter to me. You may get lucky and serious damage may never occur.

JMO

Dan O.
 

garya

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Ovando, MT
Thanks; I appreciate the detailed description. I didn't realize a freezer this "new" was still totally non-chip technology.
 

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
5,457
Location
Ontario, Canada
garya said:
I didn't realize a freezer this "new" was still totally non-chip technology.

You should really be thankful. They're A LOT less trouble prone. And that's what you usually want in a freezer (or any appliance).

BTW. I don't know that there is a delay in electronically controlled units either. As soon as the control calls for cooling a relay on the board is switched on to send power to fans and compressor.

JMO

Dan O.
 
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