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Website owner: 
Dave Harnish
CEO: Sadie
Dave's Repair Service
1911 Heath Hill Rd
New Albany, PA 18833

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The DRS News
June - July 2002

In this issue:

1) Vaseline – Your Refrigerator Door Seal’s Best Friend
2) Room Air Conditioner Sizing – a Quick Primer
3) Old Freezers and Child Entrapment – Still an Issue

 Here’s a trick that will prevent your ever having to replace either of your
refrigerator’s door seals.  It becomes even more valuable if you own one
of the newest models whose seals are no longer attached with screws, but
“glued” on. Once per year – make it a part of Spring housecleaning? – wipe
down the working surfaces of the seals with a damp cloth, and dry.  Then
apply a thin film of Petroleum Jelly to the HINGE side surface of both seals.
(ONLY to the hinge side working surface that contacts the cabinet, NOT
the whole seal!).  This allows the sliding face of the seal to, well, slide,
across the cabinet face, and prevent its twisting and tearing, the #1 cause
of failure.

There was a time when new refrigerators, at least Frigidaires, arrived from
the factory with this already done, but that was back in the late 70’s so
I’m dating myself and we’ll drop that subject…

2)  Here in the mountains we’ve never had too much need for air conditioning,
but more and more folks around here are buying them for the 2 or 3 weeks
we do, and I regularly see the same mistake: under-sizing!  This not only causes
the little units to run themselves to death, but can cause other problems, like
excessive dehumidification and excessive utility bills.  Here’s a “rule of thumb”
chart for calculating how many BTU’s of  “cooling capacity” you need for your
room’s area (length x width, for those of you on Hatch Hill

Sq Ft                     Approx BTU's needed

100                                   3500-4500
200                                   5000-5500
300                                   6500-7000
400                                   7500-8000
500                                   8500-9500
600                                   9500-10.5k
700                                   11k-12k
800                                   12k-13k
900                                   13k-14k
1000                                 14k-15k
1500                                 19k-21k
1800                                 22k-24k
2000                                 23k-25.5k

(These figures assume an occupied space above the ceiling; add about ½ size if the ceiling is insulated under an attic, and add a full size if the ceiling is non-insulated. Also, add at least one size if the cooled area includes a kitchen)

3)  Our thanks to AHAM for the following:
Up to 9 million chest freezers were manufactured between 1945 and 1970 before voluntary safety standards went into effect allowing freezers to be opened from the inside. Although some manufacturers had freezers that were in compliance prior to the 1970 standards, most old chest freezers have latches that can trap a child. Children playing “hide-and-seek” have found the non-working freezers a deadly place to hide. When the lid closes, children can become trapped inside and suffocate – usually in less than ten minutes.

Consumers should properly dispose of these non-working freezers immediately or disable the latch if disposal is impossible. AHAM has set up a special toll-free number (800) 267-3138 from which consumers will be sent detailed information on identifying the affected units and how to dispose of them or disable the latch.

Even if a consumer has a pre-1970 chest freezer that is working, they should still call the toll-free number to get information on what to do when the freezer is no longer working. Consumers also can receive information at:

Tragically, 27 children died from suffocation between 1980 and 1999 after becoming trapped in the freezers. The deaths occurred in non-working freezers stored outside, in basements or garages. Victims ranged in age from two to fourteen. In many cases, more than one child suffocated inside the freezer.

The freezers that are part of this program were made before 1970 by more than 40 manufacturers, a number of whom do not exist today. Consumers can determine if their chest freezer poses a hazard by trying to open the freezer without using the handle.

If the freezer can be opened by pulling up on sides of the lid, it is not a hazard. If the lid only opens by using the handle, it needs to be properly disposed of or disabled.

”Many of these old freezers are still sitting in people’s basements or abandoned in backyards,” said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. “This is an innovative cooperative effort that helps get safety information to consumers and saves lives.”

”We are hopeful this partnership between manufacturers and the government will help save children’s lives. We urge all consumers with an affected freezer to dispose of the unit as soon as possible,” said Joseph M. McGuire, president of AHAM.

Well, that’s about it for this month. Thanks once again for enduring this rambling! Don’t forget to send me your suggestions for topics you’d like to see addressed here.

God bless you,


“History is crowded with men who would be God,
but only one God who would be Man.”  John 1:14



"Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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