It’s not unusual for busy Australian households with young children to keep an abundance of food items on hand. This is especially true during long summer days when the kids are on holidays and the weather is great for entertaining at home.
Many households have a second refrigerator in the garage or shed that’s expressly for keeping extra food, drinks and snacks. If there’s no need for that second refrigerator for the kids’ needs, it certainly may come in handy for temporary food storage of food and drinks at parties or for outdoor dining. That second refrigerator unit is a wonderful thing to have on hand when entertaining or even to stock up and buy in bulk when there are good sales at the supermarket.
Preserving a Safe ‘Entertaining’ Refrigerator
During the summer months, your second refrigerator is at your service, coming out of winter hibernation when it may have been stowed away or just shut off, to cut down on power costs. When you’re ready to recommission your second fridge for summer duties, you’ll definitely need to make sure the unit is still in good, operable condition and address any maintenance issues there may be as a result of sitting idle for a few months.
Each time you shut your second refrigerator off for winter there is some preparation to take, to ensure the unit stays in safe condition. If you took these steps before putting your second fridge into semi-retirement, you’ll probably be good to go now that the heat is on again.
If not, you may need to have your unit checked out before bringing it back into commission for the hot months ahead.
Checklist for a safe second fridge
Before you packed away your ‘summer fridge’ for the winter this year, did you …
1. Remove all food items from the unit and clean it out thoroughly?
We recommend using a mixture of 20/80 vinegar and water or a mixture of 1 tbsp. baking soda to 1 qt. of water. Do not use any abrasive cleaning agents on the refrigerator.
2. Turn the temperature control to the OFF position?
And also the icemaker (if available) in the freezer portion – by moving the swing arm to the locked position. Be sure to also disconnect the water supply valve that feeds into the refrigerator. If there is a water tank on the refrigerator unit, drain it and let it run until it empties itself.
3. Unplug the unit?
The refrigerator needs to adjust to room temperature, so leave the door ajar while you finish cleaning it. This also helps to cut down on any odours and the growth of bacteria.
4. Dry the interior?
After thoroughly washing the inside of the refrigerator, including the shelves and bins, you need to dry them with a chamois cloth or paper towel, to inhibit the growth of mould or bacteria. An open box of baking soda left inside the unit while it’s empty will absorb any odours or moisture you can’t see. Leave the refrigerator slightly opened during its hibernation period to keep fresh air circulating, ready for when you want to put food in your unit again.
5. Keep the fridge upright?
Never lay a refrigerator on its side or back, because it contains a chemical cooling agent that can leak out if the refrigerator is stored in an abnormal position.
Ready to Host Some Cool Parties?
When it’s time to use your spare fridge again, first check the hoses and valves for any signs of decay and replace any worn out parts. Plug it back in and restart the water valves for the ice-maker and the water dispenser, and everything should start back working right away.
If you’re lucky enough to have space for a second fridge to accommodate your summer entertaining needs and it doesn’t seem to be working properly, don’t try to troubleshoot it yourself if something seems wrong. Instead, call us for a maintenance appointment, so a professional can determine and resolve any safety issues.