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Old 07-18-2013, 11:51 AM   #1
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Dry Ice for broken refrigerator

I purchased a used Dometic refrigerator for my 1965 Safari. Bench tested excellent before installation but now has a leak (ammonia)? Is it possible to use dry ice in it or will the CO2 ruin my day? I was thinking cut a hole in the rear for an exhaust fan. Would that be necessary?
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:33 PM   #2
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I am sorry that I don't have a diplomatic way of saying this - don't cut a hole in the back. Such a "repair" will only contribute to the legend that all PO's (prior owners) do more damage fixing problems than the problems caused in the first place.

If you can afford it, get a replacement cooling unit. If you have to wait to buy one, you could use plain ice in the ICE BOX - just have a tub to catch the water that runs off as the ice melts. Most refrigerators seal up really nicely and a 5 or 10 lb block of ice should last for 2-4 days. Of course, don't open the door unless you have to. Ice cubes will melt a little faster.

Here we have to run with the propane off whenever going through tunnels or over bridges, so I've gotten into the habit of tossing a bag of ice into the vegetable bins before going on a long trip - so I don't have to stop and relight the reefer 3 or 4 times in a day.

good luck, Paula
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:43 PM   #3
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Use the dry ice till you get it fixed. You breath out C02 on every breath! The small about of C02 from the melting of dry ice will not hurt you (don't touch it with bare skin).
They use it for packing vaccines shipped all over the world. Nurses open the containers every day in pediatric clinics all over the country and remove their vaccines from the dry ice. If there were any danger I don't think the government would allow it, do you.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:42 PM   #4
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Dry ice will be no problem, I have used it short term in an emergency. It will freeze what is near by or touches and keep things cool that are slightly away. In hot weather you will need a medium size block in the freezer and a smaller one on the top shelf in the fridge. If I remember correctly, that lasted just over 24 hours and cost around $10-15 for the two chunks.

If you do not need to freeze anything, regular ice in an ice chest will be far less expensive.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:01 PM   #5
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As long as the box isn't air tight. Put some dry ice in our bear barrels for meat on the 4th day up in the Boundary Waters. The bear barrel is airtight and the gas built up a lot of pressure, swelled the barrel lid and upon release of the sealing ring blew the lid up into the air. Note to self....that don't work...but steak on the fourth evening sure was nice.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:19 PM   #6
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Use the dry ice till you get it fixed. You breath out C02 on every breath! The small about of C02 from the melting of dry ice will not hurt you.....
Exactly the point, one expels carbon dioxide. We need oxygen to breath.

Dry ice sublimates fairly quickly, and as has been mentioned it off gases with enough volume and pressure to blow the lid off a bear resistant barrel.

Enough CO2 gas can also create an oxygen deficient atmosphere in a closed space.

I am not saying a small amount used carefully in an unvented RV fridge or the semi-closed space of an Airstream trailer will cause problems, but neither is dry ice a completely benign substance.


Regards,

JD
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:36 PM   #7
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I've been using dry ice for years, it's no problem. currently I put 3 lbs wrapped in a brown paper bag on the bottom of my Yeti cooler. Cover it with ice cubes, layer in the beer, approx 36 can or bottles, intermix ice cubes with beer containers. place a cut to fit piece of reflectix bubble foam on top of all that and close the lid.COLD BEER for 6 days, no problem.no worries about outgassing pressure build up as the lid is opened every so often for an adult beverage.
Also for fun,, place a few small chunks of dry ice in a plastic soda bottle, fill about 7//8 with water, then GET away.The pressure build up can happen quickly. The bottle ruptures with a loud "report". sort of like a cherry bomb. gotta have some fun while drinking.
So dry ice in a dead fridge is no problem. hunters, fishermen, boaters, etc, use this stuff all the time.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:03 PM   #8
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Don't handle DI without gloves. Freeze to didgidts.

DI in a cauldron of soapy water makes nice effects of smoldering.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:43 PM   #9
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I've been using dry ice for years, it's no problem. currently I put 3 lbs wrapped in a brown paper bag on the bottom of my Yeti cooler. Cover it with ice cubes, layer in the beer, approx 36 can or bottles, intermix ice cubes with beer containers. place a cut to fit piece of reflectix bubble foam on top of all that and close the lid.COLD BEER for 6 days, no problem.no worries about outgassing pressure build up as the lid is opened every so often for an adult beverage.
Also for fun,, place a few small chunks of dry ice in a plastic soda bottle, fill about 7//8 with water, then GET away.The pressure build up can happen quickly. The bottle ruptures with a loud "report". sort of like a cherry bomb. gotta have some fun while drinking.
So dry ice in a dead fridge is no problem. hunters, fishermen, boaters, etc, use this stuff all the time.
wait! one cooler with 36 beers lasts you 6 days????? You need a helper....call me.....
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post

Exactly the point, one expels carbon dioxide. We need oxygen to breath.

Dry ice sublimates fairly quickly, and as has been mentioned it off gases with enough volume and pressure to blow the lid off a bear resistant barrel.

Enough CO2 gas can also create an oxygen deficient atmosphere in a closed space.

I am not saying a small amount used carefully in an unvented RV fridge or the semi-closed space of an Airstream trailer will cause problems, but neither is dry ice a completely benign substance.

Regards,

JD
Dry ice , use carefully, give me a break. What? When the dry ice vaporizes the CO2 will suck all the O2 from your lungs, LOL.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:19 PM   #11
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Dry ice , use carefully, give me a break. What? When the dry ice vaporizes the CO2 will suck all the O2 from your lungs, LOL.

Oh, one of the dry ice in the water bottle crowd.

Have fun. Saw one of you guys in the ER just a while back, minus 3 fingers.


Regards,

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Old 07-19-2013, 04:57 PM   #12
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Dry ice on the bottom of a cooler that is sealed with duct tape keeps meat frozen for days. Used to use it when tent camping for two weeks. Now there is nowhere to purchase it locally. Like anything that's used improperly you can get hurt by it.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:35 PM   #13
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We use dry ice regularly to boost our fridge into cooling at the start of trips all the time. It works great, though it can freeze everything!
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:10 PM   #14
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Question If the fridge was recently working.....

.....I would be more concerned with the leaking ammonia, you may have a bigger safety problem there.

Bob
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