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Is it ok to have refrigerator and freezer on carpeted floor?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:31 am
by investor4life
We currently have a fridge and will soon have a (auto-defrost) freestanding freezer in our finished basement, both sitting directly on carpet. The sales guy told us that it is not a good idea to do this--something about not enough ventilation underneath the units. Is this true? The fridge has been that way for a few years and we have not noticed any issue. But to be safe I am thinking of getting an appropriate "base" for these. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Re: Is it ok to have refrigerator and freezer on carpeted floor?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:40 am
by csmath
I know this doesn't address your question but I noticed you said "auto-defrost" freezer. You may already know this but I'm throwing it out there just in case you have been "sale pitched". I believe auto-defrost freezers allow items along the outer walls to thaw a bit during the defrost cycles and and does protect the food there as well. I don't remember all the details but I know that I specifically decided to avoid them after reading more about them.

Now to your question. It likely depends on the specific design of the appliance. For example, my chest freezer is 100% solid on the bottom and all of the ventilation is out of the side. The manual for the appliance should specifically address clearance expectations. You may still want to provide a more solid base to protect against permanent indentations or possible water damage if for some reason the freezer thaws and drains on the carpet.

Re: Is it ok to have refrigerator and freezer on carpeted floor?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:24 am
by cheese_breath
Why don't you ask him for more explanation? Considering the rate of change in appliances today I wouldn't make any decisions based on what worked with the older fridge.

Re: Is it ok to have refrigerator and freezer on carpeted floor?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 6:45 am
by Kagord
There's 3 things I know of that can go wrong with regards to water. I don't think direct on carpet is a good idea because water can leak as described below.

1. Defrost cycle, system failure, the element is heated, water drains to a collection container, usually a fan blows on this to dry it up. If this system fails, you get water on your carpet, you probably won't detect it for a long time.
2. Defrost cycle, drainage plugged, water escapes somewhere, usually out the front door but it depends on what type you have, you may see it.
3. Water inlet (ice maker, front water service), usually plastic tubing gets brittle over time and can fail and leak water, that fact that the water is pressurized doesn't help. You probably won't detect for a long time.

I always put my refrigerator on a tray that forces water from any failure above outwards so that I can see it. I don't think you can buy this, I just make it by braking some galvanized sheet metal to form the tray, and solder the corners (edges on the 3 sides, no edge on the front). The ugliness is hidden from view in the cases I have as the fridge is in an enclosed area.

Re: Is it ok to have refrigerator and freezer on carpeted floor?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:03 am
by TT
If the condensor coils are located on the bottom of the unit I would not install the unit on a carpet. My refrigerator is on a hardwood floor and the coils are less than 1/2 inch above the surface of the floor. On a carpet the potential for the coils being in contact with the carpet would prevent the coils from efficiently releasing heat causing your compressor to work harder and overheat and possibly resulting in premature failure.

Re: Is it ok to have refrigerator and freezer on carpeted floor?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:23 am
by Kagord
TT wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:03 am If the condensor coils are located on the bottom of the unit I would not install the unit on a carpet. My refrigerator is on a hardwood floor and the coils are less than 1/2 inch above the surface of the floor. On a carpet the potential for the coils being in contact with the carpet would prevent the coils from efficiently releasing heat causing your compressor to work harder and overheat and possibly resulting in premature failure.
Good point, and to add a friendly reminder for the few who don't do annual maintenance...if you don't clean your coils, after a few years you're likely having the same issue regardless of surface, as invading dust bunnies eventually impede air flow. Carpet would only exacerbate this. I guess I'll say the same issue with outside air particles for your home AC condenser, should you have one.

Re: Is it ok to have refrigerator and freezer on carpeted floor?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:33 am
by Sandtrap
Carpeting under a fridge/freezer can sometimes end up with an interesting smell, and, if there is wood underneath, other interesting smells and situations where moisture and humidity vs wood happen. Also, tiny crawling critters love soft warm and moist and dark places to live.

Possibilities: inadequate air circulation to evaporate the condensates, etc, potential leak damage and also not noticed except for the "smell", fire, etc.

Solutions:
1. Trim carpet to front of fridge. Install tile, stone, etc, non water permeable surfacing, and trim/transition strip where carpet meets tile.
2. Put the frig/freezer on plastic appliance slider strips or large discs so it can be easily accessed and serviced. It will also raise it a little to help.
3. Do nothing until there might or might not be a problem, then do something.

Dislaimer:
Though my memory fades. . . . . I've had 100's of properties and can't remember if I've ever seen carpeting installed under a refrigerator, or doing it on a new build or reno/remod. But. . . of course that doesn't mean it isn't done, nor is doing so "wrong".

j :D

Re: Is it ok to have refrigerator and freezer on carpeted floor?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:47 am
by Shallowpockets
Get an appropriate piece of plywood and put the fridge on that would be my first thought if I was worried.

Re: Is it ok to have refrigerator and freezer on carpeted floor?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:07 am
by investor4life
Thank you, all.

I plan to get this drain pan. Meant for washing machines but should work for fridge and freezer as well.

Re: Is it ok to have refrigerator and freezer on carpeted floor?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:18 am
by Jeepergeo
investor4life wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:31 am We currently have a fridge and will soon have a (auto-defrost) freestanding freezer in our finished basement, both sitting directly on carpet. The sales guy told us that it is not a good idea to do this--something about not enough ventilation underneath the units. Is this true? The fridge has been that way for a few years and we have not noticed any issue. But to be safe I am thinking of getting an appropriate "base" for these. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
You might want to consult the manufacturer and/or the installation manual to get the definitive answer.

I suspect it will be ok if the unit has the coils on the back and the compressor area is open to the back for heat transfer. That said, I'm just some guy on the Interweb.

If it were me, I'd lay an area of tile where the unit is to go as that would help with cleaning and spills. Sabe a piece of the carpet and pad so you can piece it in if you ever decide to move the unit.

Re: Is it ok to have refrigerator and freezer on carpeted floor?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:21 am
by Jeepergeo
investor4life wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:07 am Thank you, all.

I plan to get this drain pan. Meant for washing machines but should work for fridge and freezer as well.
If the area you live or the installation area has high humidity, that pan might cause condensation underneath and subsequent molding of the carpet.