Refrigerator/upright freezer door suction

uptownOctober 6, 2008

What causes the vacuum/sucking sound that I hear when the door closes? Some times the suction is so great that you have to wait some time for the suction to relax before you can reopen the door if I just happen to want to reopen the door immediately after closing. Thanks for all who reply!

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canuck99

What make of fridge?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 6:49PM
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llaatt22

When you open the door, the dense cold air "dumps" off the shelves and flows down to the floor. While this is going on less dense warmer room air moves in and takes the place of the cold air. When the door is closed the external airflow stops and the warmer air is trapped, surrounded by cold surfaces, and drawn through the cooling system to be chilled and recirculated. As the air is quickly cooled it takes up less space and creates a temporary lower pressure (small vacuum) within the unit compared to outside. While this pressure difference is small, it is being applied to the entire door seal from the outside and until the slight leakage that is usually present equalizes the inside and outside pressure, the door will not easily open.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 8:20PM
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canuck99

So if a fridge excepts this behaviour it would appear it is a good thing? Tight seal?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 9:36PM
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llaatt22

Yes the initial extra force on the closed door would help the seal work better later. It would be nice if some sort of pressure equalizer valve was built into the door handles for those "locked out" times when people are in a hurry.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 9:40AM
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joe_blowe

"It would be nice if some sort of pressure equalizer valve was built into the door handles for those "locked out" times when people are in a hurry."

It already exists: the human index finger. Just shove it into the gasket to break the seal and, voilÃÂ , pressure equalization!

(Of course, this doesn't work for those with fancy refrigerators that are built-in and have hidden gaskets ;-)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 12:07PM
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