Fridge rear clearance

foodonastumpJune 10, 2013

As mentioned on another thread I'm buying a CD fridge, not sure which yet but leaning towards Samsung FD. Anyway it occurred to me that no real thought was given to the placement of the outlet. I went to look at the documentation and it doesn't specify and there's good reason: they call for 2" clearance behind the fridge. So much for "counter depth."

I really want to push my fridge in as far as possible into the 24" surrounding cabinetry, so are my options as I see them:

1) move the outlet into a surrounding cabinet so that I don't have to worry about the depth of the plug. This means though that the fridge will be right up against the wall and the only real clearance will be the required couple inches up top.

2) cut out the Sheetrock behind the fridge to give plenty of clearance. The only real downside I see to that is potential noise transfer to the living room on the other side of the wall. I suppose if that's really a concern I could stuff some R board or something into the bays. An added benefit is this would add a half inch of depth, which I may or may not need.

Cabinetry is going in tomorrow, fridge not picked. Which would you do, or do you have a better suggestion?

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news but ---

First, I don't know what countertops you have (or have planned) , but most are actually 25 1/2" when measured from the back (the back wall) of the backsplash. It's only 24" from teh front of the backsplash tpo the edge of the bullnose/whatever at the front.

Second, the doors on some fridges (even CD models) have to stand proud of the front edge of the countertop in order to open fully. Otherwise, the hinge edge of the door bumps into the front edge of the countertop and the door will not open enough for crispers and pantry drawers to open fully..

Third, the reason that some makers say 2" rear clearnace isn't a problem with the plug or outlet. Rather, the problem s that ventillating/cooling air is drrawn through louvers on the bottom front of the frige and exhausted through a grate on the back of the frindge. So, even when you have a "flat" plug, you may nonetheless need a couple of inches behind the fridge for sufficient hot air to escape. So, even if you can move your fridge power-line outlet to the side, you may still need space begind the fridge for warm ("echaust") air to escape.

If you cuit the space behind the fridge by removing the sheetrock on the fridge side, you may or may not have noise transfer to the livign room on the other side of the wall. I wish I could find a simple answer to this, but I cannot. For one thing,if the wall behind the fidge is not "load bearing,"it will have a 2x4 or 2x6 board along the floor ("floor plate") into which the vertical supports (studs) will be nailed. If you take off the drywall, you still will not be able push the fridge back another two or three inches withou removing the floor plate and the . I have done this in a house I worked on, but I layered a 1" thick sheet of "r-board" (which is 1-inch thick poly-iso-cyonnate inslation board against the LR drywall, and then pt another layer of drywall on the kichen side (Code says it has to be 5/8" fire-resistant sheetrock) .This deadened the sound transfer but it only gained me an extra 1 1/2" pf depth for the fridge.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 10:45PM
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Thanks a lot JWV, I appreciate the response. Fortunately you were not the bearer of bad news. Hopefully responding to your points will clarify my question.

- No countertops next to the fridge, just 24" deep cabinetry, or, to be exact, pantry to the right, cabinets above, panel to the left. Yeah, no landing space. Fortunately (or unfortunately) my kitchen is small.

- I know that the doors stand proud. What I'm hoping for is that the black or grey sides of the case, which are typically about 24" deep, do not stand proud.

- Yes, the 2" is for ventilation, not for the plug. 2" of ventilation room off of sheetrock brings the fridge case 2" proud of the cabinetry, and that's what I'm trying to avoid. The idea of removing sheetrock was not to move the fridge back into the wall, (except maybe the negligible half inch that the sheetrock took up) but rather to open up the wall so it could provide adequate ventilation. The wall is load bearing, and I have no intentions of modifying it in any way.

Interesting about the code though, something I hadn't considered. No inspections here other than an engineer when I sell, and in my experience they won't pull out the fridge to see what's behind it.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 12:08AM
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You could remove the sheetrock, sister the studs with 2x2's (1.5" instead of 3.5"), and sheetrock that, thereby gaining 2" from where you are now. Shove some Roxul SafeN'Sound behind the sheetrock and/or use QuietRock.

I got the LG since the spec sheet said only 1" behind. When I got it, the actual installation manual says 2", same as Samsung.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 2:39AM
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