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Thread: Outdoor refrigerator worth the price?

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    Outdoor refrigerator worth the price?

    I'm in the beginning phase of building an outdoor kitchen for my pool down here in Florida. Can anyone comment on whether or not it's worth the extra cost to purchase an "outdoor rated" refrigerator? Will a normal mini fridge be able to keep cool down here with the humidity?

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    'burbs of Augusta, Georgia

    Re: Outdoor refrigerator worth the price?

    I don't believe the traditional indoor "mini" or "dormroom" type fridge has the insulation for outdoor use. Or protection possibly from the elements of rain and such.

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    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Toronto, Canada

    Re: Outdoor refrigerator worth the price?

    Im also building an outdoor kitchen, I ended up buying an outdoor rated Danby fridge from Costco (also found at Walmart, HD, Lowes) for a few hundred $.

    Since one normally builds an outdoor kitchen around item dimensions its best that you figure out what fridge, etc you are using first.
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    ctrav's Avatar
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    Apr 2017
    Northlake TX

    Re: Outdoor refrigerator worth the price?

    With the heat here in Texas it seems my neighbors replace them boy every 3 years. For that reason I do not own one! I'm good with having a small cooler on the patio or by the pool...
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    Join Date
    May 2017
    Southern NJ

    Re: Outdoor refrigerator worth the price?

    There are several levels of outdoor refrigerators, and what you'll need depends on your intended use/placement. The main features of outdoor refrigerators are bigger compressor/more insulation, enclosed back (water and critter resistance) and front vent. Most important is closed back, which can be found on the cheapest outdoor fridges. Front vent is needed only if you're installing in a tight-fitting cabinet. Larger compressor/more insulation = higher price.

    I have a low-range outdoor fridge, cost about $250. Closed back, rear vent, probably only slightly better insulation/compressor than a dorm fridge. Installed in a vented cabinet under a pavilion. Keeps beer in the high 30s on 90+ degree days, which is good enough for me. A $1k fridge would probably keep it at a crisp 32, but not worth the extra expense for me. Had a basic $75 dorm fridge before that, maintained a high 40s temp, but lasted only one season -- field mouse got in the back and shorted it out. An indoor fridge might work on a covered/screened porch, but I wouldn't risk one outside.
    30k gal IG SW gunite pool, 4-8' deep w/ 16" baja shelf; Ocean Blue PebbleSheen; well water (resin softener); Hayward Pro-Grid 7.5 lb., 60' D.E. filter; Hayward TriStar VS filter pump; Hayward TurboCell T-15 SWG; AquaCal TropiCal heat pump; Hayward OmniLogic automation, Colorlogic lights (2 large; 2 accent); Polaris cleaner w/ booster pump; TurboTwister slide (gray granite); 5' rock waterfall w/ second Hayward TriStar VS pump; TF-100 test kit

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    rajung's Avatar
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    Mar 2015

    Re: Outdoor refrigerator worth the price?

    I have the EdgeStar OBR900SS, it is outdoor rated , not sure what I paid for it 3 years ago, but current prices look to be 650.
    About 2x the price of comparable indoor unit " size wise".
    I think when deciding to go with a outdoor rated unit for a fridge, its unlike a indoor tv being used covered, outside.
    This fridge is all closed and stainless. The only time it sweats is in extreme high humidity, the kind where you cant breath, and only the glass on door . It is on our covered deck, so its shaded. I place on deck in April /May and it runs continually until we start to put items away in the fall. Never failed and it keeps items at 36-38 deg.I don't think it ever went over 40 even in the hottest days. Only one problem with this unit is the lower pivot pin for the door, if it even is a pin, not sure. it must be made of un- treated metal because after the second year it started to leave a rust spot on deck floor right below it, about the size of a penny, so no big deal.
    Unlike a standard tv outside, which I use, this might be a money saver in the short haul.
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    Re: Outdoor refrigerator worth the price?

    I installed a small outdoor fridge from Bull

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    DFW, TX

    Re: Outdoor refrigerator worth the price?

    We've had a regular old side by side fridge on our screen porch for years. We also have a 1950s era fridge on the screen porch of a cabin in Missouri that has been there for decades.

    There are plenty of beer fridge pics on my pool thread, link in sig. Here's one.

    Attachment 74079
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    Brentr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Jacksonville, FL

    Re: Outdoor refrigerator worth the price?

    TheEngineer I think it would depend where you place your fridge. I have a small 2.6 cub ft home mini fridge in my summer kitchen however the sun only shines on it for a couple of hours 12-2pm each day. Our kitchen is protected from the elements so we are happy so far with our regular fridge. Look at our summer kitchen build New Outdoor Summer Kitchen in the Dolphin Bar and Grill in the sig bar
    6,000 gal, IG free form,Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish,Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues,Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump,Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15,Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers,Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Pentair IntelliBrite, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer Our New Poolbuild, Jacksonville, FL yr 2009 Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    PoolguyinCT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Re: Outdoor refrigerator worth the price?

    A couple summers ago, I had an outdoor fridge
    Installed between my breezeway & kitchen door..
    I always enter through the breezeway...

    My biggest advice is to keep water bottles stocked, I was hung over for the first month.

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    Azmp1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Re: Outdoor refrigerator worth the price?

    I have a $100 and change Danby mini fridge, that sat in my non-air conditioned sunroom for about 6 years. I would turn it off for the off-season, so it only worked for about 7 months out of the year, but it did like a champ and for pretty hot inside that sunroom. Now, as we moved, I'm planning to use it in the outdoor kitchen, so we will how it will do.
    But, here's my view on this. You can easily buy a standard mini fridge for a about $100. Let say, even if it lasts me 2 seasons, and I Have to spend $100 to buy a new one every two years, it will take 6 years to reach $300 that will the cheapest outdoor fridge cost me.
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