The Deep FreezeSeptember 2nd, 2008 | Posted by
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Sarah desperately wants a deep freezer. It turns out that (breast) milk takes up quite a bit of space in a freezer. We’ve got a side-by-side fridge. I honestly couldn’t tell you if freezers are bigger in those or the ones where the freezer is on top. I can tell you that our freezer *seems* a heck-of-a-lot smaller. It’s at the point where we are both scared to open our freezer, for fear that we may be buried in a heap of frozen milk bags.
She used to drop subtle hints about us needing a deep freezer (chest freezer). Now, she’s becoming more – uhhh – clear on her desires for one.
Before Tyler was born, she would say, “I hope the freezer is big enough to store a bunch of milk.”
I would respond with, “Oh yeah… Plenty of room.”
Then it became, “The freezer’s filling up with milk. We’re gonna have to figure something out, sometime.”
A couple days ago, I said, “Yay! Fable II is coming out soon for the Xbox360.”
She responded with, “We need a freezer.”
Today, Sarah called me to say “good morning”. I was driving down to Indianapolis for business. I drove by something that caught my eye.
“It probably won’t be a long day today, because my sales rep has my power tools. I’ll have to hook up with him on Wednesd-oooooooooooooooo.”
Sarah said, “What? What’s going on?”
Completely, 100% joking, I said, “Oh, I just saw a dune buggy for sale, but there was no price on it.”
“No. We need a freezer.”
Subtle? No. Tactful? Nope. My fault? Likely. After all, I’ve told Sarah that, because I am a member of the male populous, and because my primary fuel is testosterone, hints and sublety do not compute. If you want something, just say it. I guess that’s what she’s doing, eh? Or maybe she is *somehow* hinting that she wants a new pair of shoes. Women make no sense to me.
There’s no room for a freezer in our kitchen. The basement leaks like a sieve, so it can’t go down there, due to the likelihood of flooding when it rains. This leaves the garage.
Allow me to clarify. This leaves our uninsulated garage. Our too-hot-in-the-summer, too-cold-in-the-winter garage. I worried, because I figured that the hot weather would wreak havok on a freezer. It would appear, thank you very much to Google, that COLD weather is what’s bad. When it gets very cold, the compressor can’t start, but it still tries to. Also, the oil collects at the bottom and gets very thick, and thus, doesn’t circulate
well at all. As a result, the starter and/or compressor tend to burn up and require replacement. A lot.
I could just get a freezer that is designed for unheated spaces. They only cost an additional $1,500. 2 things immediately come to mind, which leads to a 3rd thought:
1) They exist
2) We’re not getting one, because they cost too much
Which leads to
3) I bet I can modify one of the cheap $200 models to work in my garage.
After a little more googling/brainstorming, here’s what I’m thinking. If the main concern is the compressor getting too cold, I need some type of automated timer with a heater. I can get something called a foil-coil or drain trough heater. I can wrap that around the compressor. To automate it, I can get a defrost module/thermostat from an appliance repair shop. I’ll set it for 40º – 50º fahrenheit (minimal operating temperature), and place the actual thermostat on the compressor.
The theory is this. During the winter, if the metal on the compressor drops below 40º, the defrost module kicks the foil-coil on and keeps the compressor above it’s minimal operating temperature.
Wiring will be a little tricky. I don’t want the compressor trying to start while the foil-coil is running. Basically, when the thermostat hits 40º, I need to divert the 110vAC away from the starter/compressor and to the foil-coil. A relay should take care of that. Then when the thermostat senses that we’re back up to operating temperature, it’ll kick off and send power back to the starter to fire up the compressor. EDIT: This is exactly what I’m talking about!!!
Am I missing anything here, aside from the obvious danger of burning down my garage? Sarah would be fine with the risks involved. To Sarah, her need for a freezer outranks my need for a garage. I can see it now.
Scene: It’s a cold winter afternoon. Fade to the kitchen. Joe is looking out the window. The room is illuminated with dancing orange and yellow lights. A firetruck siren screams in the backgound. A single tear escapes and begins its journey down a face that is devoid of all color.
“Sarah, the freezer caught fire and burned down the garage. Everything’s gone.”
The tear hangs precariously from his jaw, threatening to break free of its hold. A slideshow of images flash across Joe’s mind. A bike, a car, tools, old photos, his son’s red wagon. His heart feels heavier and heavier. As the images continue to splash his memory, the tear falls. He shifts his gaze to Sarah. She returns his stare. Joe can see, with only a fleeting moment of relief, that his despair is echoed in her.
She says, slowly and quietly, “Is the milk ok?”
Fade to black…. aaaaannnnnd end scene.