Prepared Society Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,616 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a new propane refrigerator. :woohoo: We wanted a backup for the regular fridge in case of an extended power outage so we got a 19cf EZ Freeze from a company in Arizona - amazing customer service. We had it shipped to our propane company (with their permission) and they brought it out when they came to run a new line. We didn’t have it delivered to the ranch because 18 wheelers won’t make it down our county roads.

As you can see, it looks just like a regular fridge. Four “D” batteries power the interior light. The doors hold gallon size containers. Glass shelves. A DVD came with it and has instructions from how to set it up all the way to maintenance. We did order an extra thermocouple just to have one on hand because that will be the one thing that eventually needs replacing. We also ordered aluminum ice trays with the fridge.

We have thermometers in the freezer and the fridge and right now the temperature setting is on “1” which (I’m guessing) probably uses 1.5 to 1.7 gallons of propane a week. I’m sure if we are in it a lot I’d have to nudge the setting a bit higher. For those of you doing the math in your heads, yes - it does cost more to run a propane fridge. Our peace of mind is worth it. Just like our propane stove gives us peace of mind.

As a critical part of our plan, we have two propane tanks - 250 gallon and a 500 gallon. The 500 gallon is our SHTF tank. That tank stays no less than 75% full. We use the 250 gallon tank for every day use. We’re fortunate our propane company has a disaster preparedness plan so they can keep the propane running in all kinds of disasters. Even then, we still like having that second tank.

The kickplate is off in the second picture so you can see the area for the controls. And yes, that is our junky shelf to the right. M&Ms have been a priority lately. And we didn't pick the flooring... it was here when we bought the place.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,616 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We looked at propane refrigerators for a long time. We got the 19cf because it used the same amount of propane (on average) as the next two smaller models so it made sense to get the larger one. The 21cf was just too large for us. We're happy with the 19cf.

There's nothing electronic on the fridge. As I said in my earlier post, the interior light runs off four "D" batteries which are easily accessible on the back of the fridge.

The EZ Freeze line is made in the US by the Amish. You just gotta love the Amish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,764 Posts
And now for the $64,000 question, if you don't mind sharing. What does it cost?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
I keep threatening to get one. MY wife vetoes the idea. We have a full house genny but it LIKES propane. I'd hate to go through SHTF without refrigeration.
 

·
I am a little teapot
Joined
·
2,696 Posts
Looks really nice, Countryliving!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,616 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
And now for the $64,000 question, if you don't mind sharing. What does it cost?
I went through WarehouseAppliance.com to buy the fridge. This is an employee owned company in Arizona. I called several times to get information and I was impressed with Mike's knowledge and the fact he sells so many propane fridges (somewhere between 800 and 1,000 a year - can't remember the exact stats).

The price of the 19cf EZ fridge was $1,995
Arizona sales tax is 7.35%
Mike got me a LT Carrier and the shipping was $172.

I ordered a few other things from him and they were all shipped with the fridge. Aluminum ice cube trays. Thermocouple (always should have one on hand).

We've been looking at propane fridges for almost a year. We almost bought a Diamond; however, they are significantly more expensive and several of the dealers have quit carrying them.

Yes, propane refrigerators are more expensive than electric fridges. But, consider the cost of the food you have to throw out because of a power outage or the lack of food you can have in your house because you don't have a refrigerator.

If I've violated some forum rules by posting the website, please xxx it out and anyone who is interested in the company can PM me.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,616 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I keep threatening to get one. MY wife vetoes the idea. We have a full house genny but it LIKES propane. I'd hate to go through SHTF without refrigeration.
We have a whole house generator also. As you said, it's just not cost-efficient to run it for an extended period. If we're confident the electricity would be off for a couple of days, we'll go on generator. If the event is more long-term, we'll save the propane for the fridge and the stove. We heat the house with a wood stove so a winter event would not be a problem for us.

Plan A: Electrical grid is up and running.
Plan B: Electricity is out; go on generator for a short-term event.
Plan C: Electricity is out long-term. Not going to run generator except for maybe an hour every few days to take showers, do laundry, catch up on email, etc. We're setting ourselves up not to need the generator. It is a nice convenience.

We've been working on Plan C the past six months because it wouldn't take much of an event in just the right place and the right (wrong) time to knock out the electricity for an extended period of time in a large geographical footprint.

We recently modified our aerobic septic system to overflow into a leach field. We bought the propane refrigerator. We're putting a manual pump on the water well this week. Months of planning is finally coming to closure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,281 Posts
Good for you. We've thought about this a bit ourselves but decided to go solar emergency power. What would be interesting is a system that used a closed circuit ethylene glycol solar heat system that could be used with an ammonia absorption refrigerator/freezer. Our motorhome has a fairly large refrigerator/freezer that's propane, 12 VDC and 120 VAC. It's very efficient on propane and 120 AC but will drop the charge fast on battery only, where the 12 volt works great is when running down the road.
 

·
Okie from Michigan via Alaska!
Joined
·
412 Posts
I want one too!

Looks like a fantastic refrigerator and investment in peace of mind.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,660 Posts
Congrats!

I have one on my wish list.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,616 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Using your stated fuel consumption and tank reserve. Is a thousand gallon tank or two on the short shopping list?
Not at this time.

The 250 gallon tank was on the property when we bought it. We added the 500 gallon tank. We looked at the 1000 gallon tank; but, it would have to be buried and, as odd as this sounds, it's not something we wanted. I can't remember why we would have had to bury it.

Another complication was at that time they would only come out if the tank was 25% or less. That has now been resolved and we can get topped off at any time.

We like having separate tanks. They are pig-tailed so we can easily switch between them. The smaller tank needed to be repaired a few years ago. We switched over to the larger tank until the repair was made and then switched back. You don't have that flexibility with one tank.

We have already discussed getting another 500 gallon tank if at any time we feel there might be a situation that warrants adding a third tank. Maybe at that time we could look at a 1000 gallon if an above-ground tank is available. It just depends.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,764 Posts
Another question. What is the consumption rate? I'm sure it varies with climate conditions but does the manual give you a general idea?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,616 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Another question. What is the consumption rate? I'm sure it varies with climate conditions but does the manual give you a general idea?
I'm using 1.7 gallons a week as my assumption since that's the published average stats on the fridge. You're right - climate conditions will impact usage. Hot and humid would cause the fridge to run more - just like a regular electric refrigerator. It's in the house so the air conditioner will favorably impact the ambient temperature and humidity.

Right now the setting is on "1" so it's not using much propane at this time. I think my worst case assumption would be 2.5 gallons/week and that would be using a much higher setting. If we had a long-term electrical outage in the heat of the summer I would expect to hit that 2.5 gallons a week mark since the propane fridge would be our primary and the electric fridge would be decommissioned for the duration of the outage.

One way to think about this - when we have a significant power outage in the heat of the summer we'll still be able to enjoy having ice cubes in our cold drinks, sipping on cold sweet tea, having cold milk (Honeyville Grain Milk Alternative) for cereal, refrigerate eggs from the chickens, and have a place to safely store food and leftovers until the next meal.

This is a lifestyle choice. And it's a personal preference. For us the value of having the new fridge is not just a convenience, it's a solution for safely storing foods that need refrigeration when we have our next extended power outage. Food in the refrigerator section of your fridge spoils when the inside temperature gets above 40 degrees. That usually about four hours if you don't open the door. After that, the food needs to be discarded.

As with all personal preferences, it helps to make informed decisions. This decision was the cumulation of several months of research and for us, it was the right decision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,764 Posts
Please don't take my questions as any type of criticism of your decision. They are in no way intended as such. My reasons for asking are because I just acquired a small propane fridge from a fellow that gutted a tow-behind camper and haven't taken the time to do any research on it. It runs on 12v, 120v or propane.

Once I take a closer look at it, I will probably start a thread looking for help to get it up and running.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,616 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Please don't take my questions as any type of criticism of your decision. They are in no way intended as such. My reasons for asking are because I just acquired a small propane fridge from a fellow that gutted a tow-behind camper and haven't taken the time to do any research on it. It runs on 12v, 120v or propane.

Once I take a closer look at it, I will probably start a thread looking for help to get it up and running.
I understand you weren't criticizing me - the comment at the end of my last thread was NOT directed at you. It was one of those "guns and butter" kind of statements - one has to do what one feels is the right thing at the right time for the right reason. There are a lot of people who scoff at something outside their comfort range or experience.

I think one of the things we collectively accomplish in this forum is the sharing of information that allows people to make informed decisions. The questions you asked were pertinent to the thread. I am pleased you were forthright enough to ask them. And I guarantee you several people are glad you did ask!

Everything has a price. Whether it's the price to implement or a price to recover. Our personal decision (there I go again!!!) is to mitigate losses to minimize the financial loss while balancing the safety and well-being of the family. This propane refrigerator is just one part of our long-term plan.

Off the subject a bit ... how many of you still call them "ice boxes"?
 

·
Just walking at the edge of my grave
Joined
·
4,246 Posts
Please don't take my questions as any type of criticism of your decision. They are in no way intended as such. My reasons for asking are because I just acquired a small propane fridge from a fellow that gutted a tow-behind camper and haven't taken the time to do any research on it. It runs on 12v, 120v or propane.

Once I take a closer look at it, I will probably start a thread looking for help to get it up and running.
I just today pulled the functional 3-way refrig out of my RV and I am installing a standard 120 volt one(compact). They use so little juice I will run it from my batteries and solar panels.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top