I purchased a new refrigerator two days ago and have been running it. But I need to stop using it for 70 days, and then start it again once I get married. Could this usage pattern cause a breakdown?

So the scenario is:

turn it on for 2 days --> shut it off for 70 days ---> turn it on and leave it on

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    that's fine. leave the door open the first day or two after you unplug it. – dandavis Jun 1 '18 at 9:15
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    I don't think it will cause a breakdown unless there's a serious disagreement over the fridge. – Transistor Jun 1 '18 at 16:55

Running it or not running it doesn't make a difference to the mechanical parts. It was probably tested at the factory similar to what you plan to do.

If you're just testing it empty for two days to make sure it works, just shut it off until you're ready to use it. However, if you are going to use it to refrigerate food, it can develop an odor if you then leave it closed and off for a while. Some choices:

  • Don't put food in it for those first two days.
  • Use it for food, but keep the food well sealed. Before you leave it shut off, wash the inside with baking soda but don't rinse it off (leave a film of baking soda on the inside). Maybe even leave an open box of baking soda inside. When you're ready to use it again, wipe the inside down.
  • Keep the inside clean and block the door open while it's not in use so that the inside can stay aired out.

One thing to think about--doing what you describe will waste over two months of the warranty. You would be better off handling any refrigeration needs for the first two days some other way (if you need it, use a cooler). Then arrange delivery for when you're ready to use it.

Edit: I haven't personally experienced a mold bloom from the moisture that collects when the refrigerator gets cold (and hadn't thought about moisture collecting in just a couple of days of use). But Harper is right, that can happen. Your best bet is to leave the door blocked open so things can dry out.


Block the door open!

The reason is the cold refrigerator and freezer will tend to collect water inside.

It has to do with relative humidity - air holds water. Warm air can hold more water... when that warm air gets inside the fridge (when you open the door), it cools and can no longer hold the water that is in it. This causes condensation within the fridge. The condensation occurs anywhere air can get to, which is many places you can't see, like the backsides of all those panels.

When you unplug a fridge, it warms. That water evaporates, humidity goes to 100% inside, and it becomes a mold and mildew factory. Open it up 3 days later and the entire inside will be horribly splotched with mold - and it will be on the backsides too. It's impossible to clean it without taking the fridge all apart, and you can't get it all.

We had a genius "watt miser" who went around the lodge unplugging unused fridges. He did this no less than 3 times and wrecked the interior the fridge in every case. That's why we have a procedure now.

Now if you can block the door open, air will circulate in and out of the fridge, preventing 100% humidity from happening inside the fridge. People say you can close it after a few days, it's up to you whether to chance that. I use something (possibly taped in place) to force it to stay open 1/2" or so.

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