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Old 12-24-2013, 07:28 AM   #1
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Freezer. How long will food stay frozen with no power?

I've read here several places that food should stay frozen for 24 hours without opening the freezer door if you lose power.
Here it is Tuesday morning. I'll assume the GFI my upright freezer is plugged into tripped either late Saturday night or very early Sunday morning. And my food is still frozen.

I noticed the puddle of water yesterday, but didn't think much of it, as my basement is still drying. Still, it didn't look right. I later assumed that the sump pump hose, which runs up the wall directly behind the freezer, had sprung a tiny leak. Not the case. After some investigating I realized my freezer was not running. The only items that were maybe 20% thawed were a few sausage rolls I had in the bottom. Probably from sitting in the water as the freezer defrosted itself. All other items are fully frozen.

Whew.
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:34 AM   #2
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You aren't having a good week, are you Pac? Sorry to hear this.
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:36 AM   #3
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We just had an ice storm go through our region this past weekend and there are a couple of hundred thousand people still without power.
According to the radio reports from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), a full freezer will stay frozen for 48 hours, while a half-full freezer will keep its cool for 24. A refrigerator, meanwhile, will stay keep food cold for four hours, as long as it isn't opened.

Check to make sure the motor and wiring isn't still wet before you plug it back in.
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket_J_Dawg View Post
We just had an ice storm go through our region this past weekend and there are a couple of hundred thousand people still without power.
According to the radio reports from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), a full freezer will stay frozen for 48 hours, while a half-full freezer will keep its cool for 24. A refrigerator, meanwhile, will stay keep food cold for four hours, as long as it isn't opened.

Check to make sure the motor and wiring isn't still wet before you plug it back in.

Well, I want to know how you can eat anything if you can't open the refrigerator? LOL
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by CarolPa View Post
Well, I want to know how you can eat anything if you can't open the refrigerator? LOL
I think you are supposed to wait the 4 hours then eat everything in the fridge.
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:07 AM   #6
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I would consider leaving it closed until the power comes back on. You can eat from your pantry, or refrigerator freezer, or go out. I think the stuff that is deep in your freezer will stay frozen for a few days and also help to keep the other stuff cold enough. You may suffer some food loss from the top layer of items like food sticking together once it is refrozen, condensation in packages, freezer burn, breading falling off proccessed foods, etc, but I would think that it would probably all still be safe to eat after a couple of days. Surely it would probably maintain refrigerator temps due to the frozen foods still in it....
Did that make sense?
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CarolPa View Post
You aren't having a good week, are you Pac? Sorry to hear this.
I consider a very good week I realized it wasn't running!

Rock, that's the good thing about GFI reseptacles, if it's wet or should not be running it will kick right back off without damage to the device or to the user. I plugged it in and it came on and stayed on. The water has been subsided since late Sun morning, so the wiring must have dried out.

Good guidelines. I didn't realize a refrigerator was only four hours.

And I'd say it's a little less than half full.
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:46 AM   #8
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I consider a very good week I realized it wasn't running!

Rock, that's the good thing about GFI reseptacles, if it's wet or should not be running it will kick right back off without damage to the device or to the user. I plugged it in and it came on and stayed on. The water has been subsided since late Sun morning, so the wiring must have dried out.

Good guidelines. I didn't realize a refrigerator was only four hours.

And I'd say it's a little less than half full.

Because tomorrow's Christmas, mine is stuffed to capacity, as is my freezer. Not another morsel of food could fit in my house!
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:09 AM   #9
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We had an ice storm and power outage a couple of years ago. We were without power from Sunday through Wednesday noon. The freezer in the basement was still frozen solid for meats but any bread in the freezer had thawed.

As long as the temp in the freezer was below 40F, the food would be safe. Defrosted but safe.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
I consider a very good week I realized it wasn't running!

Rock, that's the good thing about GFI reseptacles, if it's wet or should not be running it will kick right back off without damage to the device or to the user. I plugged it in and it came on and stayed on. The water has been subsided since late Sun morning, so the wiring must have dried out.

Good guidelines. I didn't realize a refrigerator was only four hours.

And I'd say it's a little less than half full.
The subject of GFCI and refrigeration equipment is a subject of discussion.
It is only recently (last few years) that GFCI receptacles were required in basements and garages.
This is strictly an NEC safety rule. Are you in the US?

I personally and purposely never put refrigeration equipment on GFCI circuits or receptacles in my home.
Now, by the NEC, (Electrical building code) I must use GFCI in your house if I do the work for you.

It is for this very reason this subject gets discussed now and again.
If you live in the US and your fridge or freezer is located in dwelling space (heated living space) no GFCI is required. Like in your kitchen.
But, if your equipment is in non living space such as unfinished basements and garages, it is required, unfortunately.

For the record. My freezer is not GFCI protected due to what happened to you.
GFCI was invented and is used for safety and nothing more. It is the byproduct of the GFCI that it will help protect equipment from further damage. But the damage must occur first, for the GFCI to operate/trip.
The purpose is to minimize the possible shock or electrocution that the equipment may pose.

Have you found the reason for the tripped GFCI?
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