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December 30, 2010
My garage freezer won't work!
Installation of a Frigidaire garage cold kit.

A few weeks ago we noticed that when the outside temperature dropped our garage refrigerator freezer wouldn't keep things frozen. Berries, breads, bagels were just cold, not frozen.

I searched the internet and found out that I wasn't alone. Frigidaire is aware of the problem and sells a garage cold kit which can be installed into your fridge. The kit is available online for about $20. Here's what I did:

frigidaire garage cold kit

The part doesn't look like much; it is just a small heating coil set in a blue adhesive backing. There are two wires which connect to the rest of the refrigerator. The principle is that in a cold garage (below 55 degrees) the defrost timer malfunctions. The fridge gets colder than normal because of the ambient garage temperature. This tricks the defrost timer into not turning on since the fridge is already cold enough. This causes quite a bit of trouble in the freezer where the ambient temperature isn't enough to freeze things. The freezer will stall out at about 20-25 degrees because the compressor is not turning on as often. After the installation of the electrolux/frigidaire garage cold kit the defrost timer is tricked into thinking that the refrigerator is warmer than it actually is so the compressor will kick on more frequently. This allows the freezer to stay at the appropriate temperature.

where to install the cold kit

The first thing to do is to locate the control box. This is located in the refrigerator next to the light and temperature control dial. Four screws hold the control box in place. Unscrew these and remove the molex connector to get the control box out of the refrigerator.

installing a garage kit to a refrigerator

Once the control box is removed the defrost timer needs to be unscrewed the control box. The defrost timer is the only thing in the control box that is connected by two screws. This easily comes out after unscrewing. Once the defrost timer is removed you fold the garage kit into a "U" shape which will surround the defrost timer once its all back in place. The above picture shows the defrost timer laying forward with the blue garage kit folded into a slight "U" in the background. The holes in the garage kit will help with the alignment of the kit into the control box. Remove the adhesive backing and stick the heating kit to the back of the control box.

installing a garage kit to a refrigerator

After the heating kit is in place the orange and black wires must be connected. There are only two other orange and black leads in the control box so its pretty easy to recognize these. Take them out of the control box and connect them to the heating kit. The leads essentially connect by sliding over one another. From the pictures above you can see the orange and black leads connecting into the control box.

The above picture shows the defrost timer screwed back into the control box. Notice how the heating kit surrounds the little defrost timer and will create a microenvironment of warmer air than what is normally found in the refrigerator. After the control box is back in place, plug in the refrigerator and set the dials to the middle position. The freezer should now be much colder after about 24 hours of running.

This kit is manufactured from Elextrolux but the customer service representative from Frigidaire told me that there is only one garage kit sold from Frigidaire. I was told that this kit will fit all newer models of Frigidaire refrigerators.

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By John Thomas
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