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I want to operate a small mixer in the freezer, for churning ice cream. I can close the door over the power cord, but the door seal isn't flexible enough to enclose the power cord, so it creates a crack.

My idea is to make a small hole in the seal, for the power cord. If it is a tight fit, the cold loss during mixer operation will be minimal. But I don't plan to keep the mixer there permanently, so I'll have to seal the hole somehow.

I think that an earplug will be the best seal. It is easily removed, and once inserted, it will expand to fit the hole perfectly. The foam should be a fairly good isolator.

While it looks to me that this will work, it sounds slightly lunatic from some angles. Not being an experienced DIYer, and afraid to end up with a freezer which is constantly heated through a badly sealed hole, I want to ask you: Do you think this will work? Are there drawbacks I am missing? (Beside the freezer spending extra energy to cool a working motor, I think I can live with that). And are there better ways to do this?

update in response to ppumpkin

This is a standalone freezer, not a compartment in a fridge. It has no lightbulb or thermostat on the inside.

The mixer will only be put in the freezer for ice cream making, so it won't be there most of the time.

I have already thought of putting a socket in the freezer, caulking the hole for the power cord coming from outside. But while I can get wet-room rated extensions, the cords of premade extensions are too thick to lead through the seal. So I'll have to make the extension myself, which is much less secure than connecting the mixer to a socket outside.

The other idea was to build my own "mixer" from a 6 V DC motor and operate it from a li-ion battery. But not only is it lots of work, li-ion batteries at -18°C aren't a good idea. So I still think that connecting the mixer outside is better.

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While that's a pretty clever idea for doing in-freezer churning, is there any reason you don't just get an off-the-shelf churn? They have a below-freezing sleeve that you freeze and then you just pour your material in there to churn it. They also come with a mixer that perfectly fits the sleeve. Search Amazon for "ice cream churn" or similar. –  fluffy Mar 28 '12 at 20:12
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3 Answers

Put the cord/hole in the top of the door, and it really won't matter:

The cold air is heavier than the air around it. So your freezer full of cold air is like a bucket of water: the cold air is trying to flow out only where gravity will let it. Other than the stirring of air causing the mingling of warm and cold air, a freezer doesn't need a top at all. Ever wondered how the open-top freezers at the grocery store stay frozen? They're a big bucket, and the cold air is trapped by gravity.

So take advantage of that: Put your cord inlet at the top of your freezer, and don't worry about sealing it. The mixture/transfer of air at the cord inlet point will be negligible.

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I don't know about Germany, but in the US extension cords are available that have the conductors side-by-side, having an overall flat profile rather than round. Follow Bob's advice to put the cord in at the top, and seal any remaining gap with painter's tape. You should be able to pull it off and reapply it one or two times if you need to open the freezer to check on progress, and a roll will tape the entire door several times over.

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It really depends on what scale you are going to.

If most of the time you are NOT going to use the mixer in the fridge- then no- breaking the seal is not a good idea.

It is difficult to understand and see how to run this wire. I assume you are putting 220/110 volt in the fridge.. not a great idea-- but thats DIY :)

Look how the wires of the liight bulb go and see if you could feed 3(earthed) 2(non erathed) wires throught the same channel. This will be more work but is the cleanest solution. Then you could also put some kind of damp proof plug in the fridge. ..

-EDIT

I think your initial solution is pretty good- but can you look at how the seal is fastened- maybe there is a chance that you can slice out 1-2cm piece straight as possible - and remove it when you need to use the extension and replace the seal when you don't need it any more?

Other wise the only option is going to be to drill through the fridge wall and mount a plug inside like you said- or make a bigger hole to get the plug outside.. but then you have a much bigger hole to seal..

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Why is it riskier to operate a 220 v mixer in the freezer (plugged on the outside) than to operate it in my hand? For the rest, see my update. –  rumtscho Jul 2 '11 at 18:02
    
Just thinking about moisture - but usually it the the same or even less i suppose –  ppumkin Jul 2 '11 at 19:30
    
The air in the freezer is dry, because it is cold. Condensation occurs on surfaces which are colder than the air, and the mixer will be warmer, because the motor heats it. Also, if mixers were that sensitive to moisture, I wold have been electrocuted when using it over a boiling water bath (now this is a scenario which probably involves condensation directly on the motor). –  rumtscho Jul 2 '11 at 19:56
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