I had a mini freezer fail. I bought a new one which worked for a day or two, but I came home today and it was not running and the compressor was hot and everything in it melted.

I measured the voltage and it read 124V AC. The listed voltage for the freezer is 110V. Could the slighter higher voltage be damaging the compressor?

The freezer has plenty of ventilation.

  • No it should handle the slightly higher voltage. It's the compressor. You got the one they built on Monday or Friday. – ojait Oct 15 '15 at 2:22

I agree with the others that you probably need a replacement under warranty.

Answering your question:

Most motors are rated for the UL label nominal +/- 10%. The tolerance delivered by many utilities is their nominal line voltage +/- 5%. The UL label on your compressor hopefully states it is rated at 115v, giving it an actual operating range of 104-126v, notwithstanding the 110v documentation that came with the unit.

Higher voltage than nominal+10% can saturate the magnetic cores of a motor, causing rapid overcurrent and overheating, which exponentially gets worse as the supply voltage is increased. Generally though, fractional horsepower motors like the one in your freezer are somewhat more forgiving. Also, these motors are thermally protected with an automatic reset. Even if the voltage is a bit high and the motor gets a bit hot, the unit should cycle occasionally on the thermal overload, temporarily shutting off and then returning to service. A thermal trip and reset like this should not cause the freezer to thaw out.


124V is within the typical range. It is supposed to be 120V +/- 5%, so 126V on the high side. The freezer should be designed to handle that without issue.

Did you leave it unplugged for awhile after setting it up at home? Most have instructions that they need to be left to sit for several hours, sometimes a day, after transport - especially if it wasn't transported upright. I believe this is so the liquids can settle to the right spot in the compressor.

Failing to do that can cause compressor problems.

  • When I picked it up, the arrows were pointing up. I had it upright and did not start it for about 16 hours after I picked it up. – Tyler Durden Oct 15 '15 at 2:03
  • @TylerDurden - How did what you did coincide with what it said about initial startup in the user guide? – Michael Karas Oct 15 '15 at 3:08

124 would actually help the compressor start easier in the U.S. Where nominal voltage is 110-120 vac RMS. if it was laid on its side or upside down all the oil in the system could have been on the wrong side of the compressor, even old R12 units could fail from being turned on after being not right side up but today's 134a and even some older units cannot take the heat if there is no oil to keep the compressor cool the "freon" breaks down very quickly, if a unit is put on its side it needs to be up right at least 24 hours then a few minutes run and shut down wait 6-8 hours and then most times they will be ok Sounds like if new you should take it back IMHO

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