Unexplained fridge explosion (PHOTOS)
Wed, 03 Oct 2012 5:05p.m.
By 3 News online staff
Residents of a Tauranga home were awoken with a loud bang overnight when their refrigerator exploded.
The blast ripped open the refrigerator door and sent it crashing into the stove. The impact also smashed 11 windows including a ranch slider.
All of the food in the refrigerator was blown to pieces.
Firefighters were called to the house – a two-bedroom unit on Scott St in Gate Pa – just after 1am by police, SunLive reports.
Greerton fire station officer Steve Wright says police investigated but found that the occupants of the house – two men in their 40s and 60s – were not engaged in any sinister activity.
“We are still at a bit of a loss as to exactly what has caused the explosion,” Mr Wright told SunLive.
The appliance, which had been full, was bought a year ago from the Salvation Army.
Tauranga fire safety is investigating the cause of the explosion.
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23/10/2012 6:10:11 p.m.
my luv wrote:
one way to get a new fridge
5/10/2012 11:07:32 a.m.
I love reading these explanations. However, my reality is slightly different from most. Its likely someone has repaired the fridge and filled with a hydrocarbon refrigerant. The interior of the fridge had a small leak, slowly building up to its explosive limit. In the middle of the night CLICK, the thermostat inside the fridge turns the pump on with a nice big blue spark followed by KaBOOM. A fast short gas explosion is unlikely to cause much in the way of charring as the flames arent around for long enough. Rupturing evap panels will just cause a leak of gas which, at most may open the door, rather than send it across the room.
4/10/2012 10:52:27 p.m.
Corn. The fridge appears to be an old model F & P Kelvinator (the chrome door handle and woodgrain blaze seen in some of the TV news clip ages it) and would have been perfectly safe for most of it's life. The explosion is highly unlikely to be result of a fault in the fridge, more likely to be from poor service/repair techniques. Fact is that most modern domestic refrigeration, especially imported stuff, is inherently dangerous due to the widespread use of propane and isobutane based refrigerants. Perfectly safe under normal circumstances, so no cause for alarm, but can be a bomb if things go wrong. This particular fridge is too old to have a flammable refrigerant in it, so the 'explosion' is most likley the result of a pressure build up, not combustion. Note the lack of burning, or burn marks in or on the cabinet.
4/10/2012 9:17:08 p.m.
Not unless it had a refrigerant leak as well, which is entirely possible with a fridge of that age, but what can happen is that the pressure build explosion in the compressor housing causes the internal evaporator (cold plate inside fridge) to rupture and release the pressure inside the cabinet. The evaporator is made from two thin aluminium plates roll bonded together and folded into shape. This is the thinnest, and weakest part of the sealed system and is normally under low pressure, so it doesnt take much of a pressure rise to rupture it. Just a theory in this particular case, but it's known phenonenum in the refridge industry and is a lot more common than you might think.
4/10/2012 7:22:57 p.m.
Ralph F wrote:
Brian is right, though I've never heard it called dieseling. Another possibility is the use of contaminated/counterfeit refrigerant used if the fridge had been repaired. It is a huge issue internationally in the refrigeration industry, but not commonly known.
http://www.longshoreshippingnews.com/2012/09/counterfeit-gas-could-harm-reefer-sector-for-another-five-years/ There appears to be an issue with refrigerated containers with a number of deaths having already occurred.
4/10/2012 6:42:34 p.m.
So which company made the fridge?
I was very disspointed when you guys failed to mention the maker of the fridge. Not only will it prevent other people from buying this fridge for safety reason but the name needs to be put out there.
4/10/2012 1:14:06 p.m.
temple to takeout wrote:
Damn, I told them to throw out that left over Indian Take-out - it was so hot it blew up the fridge!
4/10/2012 10:42:02 a.m.
@Phil - clearly John Key is responsible - if they were not obviously hard up - they could have bought a new fridge.
4/10/2012 2:06:01 a.m.
Kevin M wrote:
Leak in the coolant.This can happen when buy old stuf or get given unsafe stuff from entities like the Sallies.
4/10/2012 1:16:33 a.m.
Daniel Neville wrote:
Brian: Thanks for introducing the dieselling concept! The shape of the fridge seems to suggest the explosion occurred on the inside. Is it possible for the dieselling phenomenon to fill the fridge combustible vapors? (Perhaps atomised by an elevated pressure through a hairline crack in an interior coil.)
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