(All temperatures are listed in fahrenheit)
I have a Kenmore refrigerator (built by Whirlpool) model 106.73194302
For the five years we've owned it, food in the freezer goes bad (frostbitten to the point where we can't eat it) in about 2 or 3 weeks, even food that is factory sealed (we've never opened it) and has an expiration date months in the future.
We bought the 5-year extended warranty with our fridge, but the service technicians have never been able to pinpoint what the problem is, so haven't been able to fix it.
I'm told that an auto-defrosting freezer like this will warm up 10-15 degrees two timers per day, for 20 minutes. The last technician who visited changed the defrost mode to last 9 minutes instead of 20, hoping that would keep our food from becoming frostbitten.
I use two thermometers in my freezer (and two in the fridge) so that I know they're accurate. I've been datalogging with the wireless thermometer (writing down temperatures at set times) so I can track the temp fluctuations in the fridge.
Every 26-30 hours, the freezer goes over 0 degrees for more than 60 minutes. It spends about 45 of those minutes over 10 degrees, and usually peaks around 20, 22, or 25 degrees over 0.
That schedule and duration do not jive with what the service technicians have told me about the freezer - defrost should be twice per day (approx every 12 hours), not every 24-30 hours. Defrost should last 9 minutes (or 20 minutes in an unmodified freezer), this temperature starts rising from the normal -10, goes over 0 (when I'm notified by an alarm on the thermometer), and does not go back under 0 for 60-80 minutes.
So, is it bad for frozen food to be taken up to those temperatures for that long? It certainly seems to cause frostbite (moisture which leaves the food and forms ice on the inside of the package) in 2-3 weeks.
The last service technician told us that 2-3 weeks is about how long we should expect the freezer to keep brand-new (unopened) food for. He says he would never, ever think that a freezer would keep food good for a month - that's entirely too long.
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