June 22, 2017 12:20 am at 12:20 am #1302167
How do you deal with the refrigerator light on Shabbos?June 22, 2017 8:40 am at 8:40 am #1302213NechomahParticipant
We have one fridge that is Israeli model and has switch for the light. I never turn the switch on so that I won’t have to worry about forgetting before Shabbos. My other fridge is regular American model and we put tape over the little stick that goes in and out when opening/closing door, so the fridge thinks the door is closed all the time. Sorry if this is not great advice, but I think there are enough things to do on erev Shabbos before candle lighting and I do not want to add fridge lights to the list.June 22, 2017 9:01 am at 9:01 am #1302218
We just take out the bulb and leave it out forever.
You get used to it pretty quickly and it’s not worth the risk of forgetting about it before shabbos.June 22, 2017 9:54 am at 9:54 am #1302282apushatayidParticipant
We dont.June 22, 2017 10:11 am at 10:11 am #1302319
We just take out the bulb and leave it out forever.
Why don’t you get the bulb with the built-in 7 day timer?June 22, 2017 10:13 am at 10:13 am #1302331
Why don’t you get the bulb with the built-in 7 day timer?
Those don’t exist and it would be impossible to make one so don’t even think of trying.
Though you could probably just use a bag of sugarJune 22, 2017 10:18 am at 10:18 am #1302335lowerourtuition11210Participant
Are you referring to old fashioned bulbs that can be removed or the new fridges with LED lights that can’t be removed? Does the fridge have a shabbos mode that keeps the lights off?
When I had a fridge with the old fashioned bulbs I removed the bulbs after it was installed. On another model I used velcro to keep the switch in place.June 22, 2017 10:18 am at 10:18 am #1302338
I tried sugar, but one of my kids knocked it off, and it was the last bag.June 22, 2017 10:20 am at 10:20 am #1302349blubluhParticipant
I have it easy since my refrigerator was manufactured before much of the Shabbos/Yom Tov challenging features became available. All I’ve needed is a piece of good quality duct tape applied over the pressure switches inside the doors and that takes care of the lights and the fans.
An article posted here not even a year ago by Rabbi Hoffman describes some of the issues the newer technology presents and, apparently, those issues are no longer limited to just very high-end models. He also identifies a device approved by Rav Belsky, zt”l among others that provides an easy to use – though not inexpensive – solution that some manufacturers examined and said would not damage their products. It goes for about $133 including shipping.June 22, 2017 10:22 am at 10:22 am #1302355
it was the last bag
They sell sugar at BingoJune 22, 2017 10:34 am at 10:34 am #1302365GadolhadorahParticipant
There are several models which have built-in LED lights that can stay on 24×7 so that the bulb will outlast the refrigerator. Problem solved, if you only worry is the bulb going on/off. Most yidden don’t get hung up on the compressor going on any more than worrying about a few additional yidden walking into the beis medrash and their body temperatures pushing up the ambient temperature sufficiently to trigger the thermostat to put on the cooling compressor (even if the fan on the air handler is running).June 22, 2017 10:34 am at 10:34 am #1302366
I would’ve gone there to replace it, but they’re closed on Shabbos.June 22, 2017 10:48 am at 10:48 am #1302372👑RebYidd23Participant
If your fridge is old enough that you don’t have a problem with Shabbos features, replacing it would probably pay for itself in energy savings in just a couple of months.June 22, 2017 10:57 am at 10:57 am #1302375
Eh, probably more like a couple of yearsJune 22, 2017 11:05 am at 11:05 am #1302381CTLAWYERParticipant
Obvious that you don’t have SubZero refrigerators
Our combination units (fridge/freezer) in our 3 kitchens would cost in excess of $36,000 certainly not worth it, I just removed the bulbsJune 22, 2017 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm #1302406
How have you folks here dealt with an issue where the tape unglued or somehow the light went on during Shabbos with all the Shabbos food now stuck in the fridge?June 22, 2017 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm #13024042qwertyParticipant
@Gadolhadorah – R’ Ahron did worry about the compressor going on and i think some people in lakewood either wait for compressor to be on or have the fridge on a timer to be completely off around the meals times.
Nothing personal but here is how i understand it…
The difference with compressor and going into BM is that if you time your fridge compressor during the week you will learn a pattern and exactly how many seconds it takes for it to go on. So just because you are lazy and dont count those seconds on shabbos doesnt mean that there is no psik reisha at a certain time.
If i stand next to your fridge and i count out the seconds and i tell you if you open the door now even for 1 second the compressor will go on, would you still open it? So is lack of knowledge a valid excuse?June 22, 2017 1:22 pm at 1:22 pm #1302522lowerourtuition11210Participant
joseph: That is why I took the light bulbs out. Personally, I have never heard from any of my neighbors or friends that the tape became unglued or “somehow the light came on”.
2qwerty: I have heard from a frum repairman that most modern fridges use a timed cycle for the compressor as opposed to the older models that a rise in temperature caused the compressor to go on.June 22, 2017 1:55 pm at 1:55 pm #1302629GadolhadorahParticipant
2qwerty: Thanks for the useful and informative information. However, I’m not sure the same analogy about timing the compressor works for an HVAC system using the type of thermostat with a lag response that is impossible to predict. If the cooling is set to 70 degrees in some small shteeblach and the ambient room air temperature is at that same 70 degrees, having a few daveners walk into the room could increase the room temperature by a degree within a minute or two, thus triggering the thermostat to start the compressor to cool the room back down to 70 degrees. I don’t think you would stand outside the beis medrash and only go in while the compressor is already running to avoid being the davener who starts the compressor.June 22, 2017 2:23 pm at 2:23 pm #1302637blubluhParticipant
“I have heard from a frum repairman that most modern fridges use a timed cycle for the compressor as opposed to the older models that a rise in temperature caused the compressor to go on.”
Frost-free refrigerator/freezers use both one or more thermostats as well as a timer. The timer periodically shuts down the cooling mechanism and activates a heating unit installed by the fins of the condenser coil in the freezer cavity to counter-act ice build-up. It then reverts the appliance back to normal operation. However, these refrigerator/freezers most certainly do depend on thermostats to monitor/maintain the selected temperature during normal operation.
For those interested, there are some very helpful appliance repair videos on-line for lay-people explaining what these components do and how they are replaced when defective.June 22, 2017 2:34 pm at 2:34 pm #1302646golferParticipant
That does sound complicated Joseph.
We once noticed a problem Erev Shabbos and I spent a lot of Shabbos thinking about what you asked.
I guess I should have asked a “just in case what if” shayla.
Watching here to see if anyone has anything to say to you.June 22, 2017 7:14 pm at 7:14 pm #1302808MammeleParticipant
On newish models, taping the switch and leaving it that way causes the fridge to go into “vacation mode” after a few days which lowers its cooling temperature.June 22, 2017 7:51 pm at 7:51 pm #1302814
So what is the workaround for those with newish models?June 22, 2017 8:11 pm at 8:11 pm #1302820ZTAParticipant
In Europe the modern fridges & freezers have hidden sensors that make sure the motor does not go on whilst the door is open, even if the temperature has dropped. So basically, when you close the door, you are basically switching the fan on!
Some electricians make a point to know how to sort this.
The sensors are magnets in the door and main body of fridge, so sticking a magnet to the door or actual fridge will usually solve this. Some models need two magnets.
Taking the bulb out does not solve this problem. Obviously the good old fashion time switch will also be ok..June 22, 2017 9:26 pm at 9:26 pm #1302825etzharParticipant
We have a Fisher Paykel fridge which has a Shabbos setting. Lasts upto 72 hours. Good for yomtov. controls both light and fan.
I have another fridge where I use the magnet trick.
Vacation houses can be an issue because he very mofern ones are quite sophisticated.
Although I live in Uk, there is a very good Star-K article on their website on this.June 22, 2017 9:49 pm at 9:49 pm #1302830hujuParticipant
I have a Persian Muslim neighbor. The one time we forgot to tape over the switch on Shabbos, I asked the neighbor – at about 10 pm on Friday, when her husband was still at work – she knew what I was asking before I finished my explanation and came over and taped over the switch for us.
So it’s a good thing that Muslim ban never kicked in.June 22, 2017 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm #1302835
ZTA, magnets work in many situations. we place a magnet in two different places that keep two separate lights off; it would cost over $100 for them to be permanently removed. we removed two other lights. the fridge came with our vacation home and some googling around and calls to the manufacturer helped solve the problem.June 23, 2017 8:55 am at 8:55 am #1302888
I also use a magnet.
I use it to stick a big piece of paper on the fridge that says “DON’T FORGET TO TAKE OUT THE LIGHT BULB BEFORE SHABBOS”June 23, 2017 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm #1302984MammeleParticipant
Joseph: With a “newish” fridge we use velcro strips to keep the fridge and freezer switches covered on Shabbos and Yom Tov and removed afterwards. (Two small strips of the “hook” side stuck one above and one below the switch, a long “loop” side velcro that gets raised to connect the two velcros and keep the switch pushed in so it’s off, or lowered when we want the switch to function as usual.)
It’s not a perfect system, and the velcro may need to be replaced occasionally. If something goes wrong, a non-Jew will need to be called to help out.June 23, 2017 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm #1303124
For those who think removing the light bulb solves the problem, unless your refrigerator is not self-defrosting, you’re probably wrong. The switch typically has an effect on the defrost circuit. This is independent of the thermostat problem mentioned by gadolhadorah. Also, it’s not a good idea to leave the switch taped all the time. We had a refrigerator that stopped working if we taped the switch for even a three day Yom Tov. A repairman told me that that was a problem with that brand and recommended a different brand.
You can read about adaptive defrost controls in Rabbi Hoffman’s article referenced above.
After running out of good quality duct tape (the cheap stuff is useless), I came up with a solution using a wide craft stick (i.e. a tongue depressor) and sticky velcro.June 25, 2017 11:14 am at 11:14 am #1303463hujuParticipant
The refrigerator light is only a part of the refrigerator problem. When you open a fridge door, you let in warm air, and the thermostat generally kicks on. Have the rabbis deemed this different than opening the door of the fridge? I don’t see the difference – but I am not a rabbi.June 25, 2017 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm #1303476
huju, that was covered in earlier replies. Most poskim don’t consider it a problem.
If your home’s heat is controlled by a thermostat, you have the same problem when you open your front door. While it’s possible to listen to your refrigerator to determine whether the compressor is running and delaying opening the door until it does, I’ve never heard of someone waiting outside in the cold until the heat comes on before opening their front door. They’d also need some way of ascertaining from outside whether the heat was on.June 25, 2017 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm #1303477
yehudayona: Taking out the light bulbs is an answer and possible solution to the question of the OP. This is not a solution for the new models with LED lights which I am not sure if they can be taken out. All the other issues as to the compressor turning on are old shailos that have been discussed for many years. There is now a shabbos clock specifically designed for refrigerators that turns off the fridge at specific intervals each hour (or some predetermined interval). There are various articles on the websites of the OU and Star-K that addresses these issues.June 25, 2017 1:51 pm at 1:51 pm #1303487
huju, heat entering a refrigerator is a textbook case psik reisha delo nicha lai – the basis for heterim from many great poskim.June 25, 2017 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #1303609
iacisrmma, the light is the least of the problems with anything fancier than an old dorm fridge. As I stated above, in many self-defrosting fridges, the switch affects the defrost system. Many people erroneously think that taking out the light bulb eliminates Shabbos problems. If you have a 50 year old non-self-defrosting fridge, you’re fine just taking out the light bulb. But if it’s a 15 or 20 year old self-defrosting model, there’s a good chance that the switch is doing something that’s not psik reisha delo nicha lai.June 25, 2017 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #1303651
yehudayona: I am not arguing against you. The specific question of the OP was about the lights. I have spoken to my repair person numerous times about my fridge (again, I am talking about the model that I have in my house and he has repaired) that my model does not have the issues that you refer to.June 25, 2017 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #1303660
Are you sure your repair person is completely sufficiently knowledgeable regarding the detailed technical intricacies of your specific model to be able to use his opinion to make a chillul Shabbos determination?June 25, 2017 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #1303669
yehudayona, psik raisha delo ichpat lai by a melacha derabbonon is also muttar lechatchila le’rov [oskim.June 25, 2017 9:43 pm at 9:43 pm #1303676DovidBTParticipant
Why can’t some observant Jews get together and design an affordable, Shabbos-compliant refrigerator? Or even a kit that can be assembled from off-the-shelf parts?
This isn’t rocket science. Or is it?June 25, 2017 9:43 pm at 9:43 pm #1303680
Joseph: according to the Rav who when I consulted him about the particular model referred me to speak directly to this repair person on how to safely use this fridge on shabbos.June 25, 2017 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm #1303687usa-tralianParticipant
Try 3M Command picture hanging strips instead of Velcro. They’re much stronger, same idea.June 25, 2017 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm #1303693
DrYidd, what makes you think turning on the defrost circuit is a derabbonon? It’s like turning on a space heater.June 26, 2017 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm #1303957PinchasParticipant
ZTA, thank you for this information. I searched for a finally found where the sensors are on my Sharp Hybrid model (a popular model in Israel). It requires taping two magnets at the bottom or the doors near where they meet in the middle of the fridge. Indeed even with the lightbulbs removed I still here a “clicking” noise when I place and remove the magnets indicating something else is going on each time the door is opened and closed (probably the fan going on and off.)June 26, 2017 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm #1304606
yehudayona, there is no heating element that gets to a relevant temperature, hence de’rabbonon at best
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