Imagine complete peace as you’re out in the middle of nowhere coasting along in your boat. It’s day three of a week-long trip, and you don’t plan on seeing land for another couple of days. You’re feeling a little hungry and head over to your freezer. You open the lid, and the usual feeling of cool air hitting your face is replaced by a surprising smell and a sinking feeling in your gut. You quickly realize that all of your food has defrosted, and you now have to decide if your food is still safe to eat, or if you need to throw out everything in your freezer.
Freezers play an important role in our water-based adventures. For the most part, they’re considered to be simple “plug and play” appliances that we can rest assured that they’ll be working tomorrow as well as they’re working today. But, as with any appliance — freezers need maintenance and sometimes need to be replaced.
Not every scenario like the one above comes without warning. By knowing what warning signs to look for, you can prevent having to cut a trip short or throwing away hundreds of dollars’ worth of food because your freezer needed to be replaced years ago.
Here are seven signs your boat needs a new freezer.
- Items aren’t freezing quickly or staying frozen
Are those ice cubes taking a little bit longer to freeze than they should?
If things just aren’t freezing as quickly as they have in the past, this could be the beginning of the end for your freezer. After all, freezing things is kind of the point of a freezer, and if yours isn’t getting the job done, it’s time to have it repaired or look for a new one.
If items aren’t freezing quickly, you may also have items that are defrosting — making them unsafe to consume. If your food is not staying frozen, throw it out unless you know how long it has been unfrozen for.
Tip: Check your unit’s thermostat by using a thermometer to gauge if the actual temperature matches what your thermostat reads.
If you don’t have a thermostat for your freezer, checking the temperature inside your unit will help you to immediately know if the temperature is higher than it should be. An ideal temperature for your freezer is 0 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent bacteria growth and ensure your food is fully frozen, but anything below 32 degrees Fahrenheit should keep the items in your freezer frozen.
- Ice buildup
A buildup of ice inside your freezer is a clear sign that air is getting into your unit. As warm air is coming in, your freezer has to work harder to remove the warm air. This causes a buildup of ice, which is usually near the opening or top of the freezer.
Tip: While your freezer is currently being overworked and can’t stay at this level of output forever, you may not need a brand new freezer. Air getting into your unit could stem from an old or broken seal, an improperly closing door or lid, or crack or hole in your unit.
- It’s constantly overcrowded
Your freezer should accommodate your freezing needs. If your boat’s freezer is constantly overcrowded, you either need to clean out your old or unwanted food, or replace or add another freezer to your boat.
- What’s that awful noise?
The noise from your freezer should not be keeping you up at night. If your unit is starting to sound more like your boat motor than a freezer, have it inspected or replace it. The problem could be something simple, but an uncharacteristic noise coming from any appliance should be addressed immediately.
Age alone isn’t a good reason to replace your freezer, but older appliances are more likely to need repairs and to be replaced. Older units should be closely monitored and as warning signs appear (overheating, broken seals, defrosting unexpectedly), be repaired or replaced.
- It’s poorly insulated
As your unit ages, the insulation that helps keep hot air out and cold air in can wear out or become wet. If your unit is poorly insulated, it will have to work harder to remove heat, and will break down and stop working sooner than expected.
- It’s rusting
Rust is a very bad sign for a marine refrigeration system. Due to the conditions experienced out on the water, if already rusting, damage to your freezer and your boat can escalate quickly.
Tip: Rusting can cause stains on the deck of your boat. If you notice light brown stains on your deck or rust-colored water, you will want to replace your freezer before further damage is caused. Make sure you have a freezer that is made for the elements. If placing a unit on your deck, it should be rust-proof and made for outdoor use.
Have a question or looking for a new freezer for your boat? We’re here to answer your questions and help you navigate the buying process. Contact Frigibar at 305-757-7697 or firstname.lastname@example.org. View our product catalog on Frigibar.com.