faulty new brunswick freezer = fire

May 2, 2007 at 8:55 am | | hardware, lab safety

I received an interesting email yesterday from some of the facilities managers here at Stanford:

On February 26, 2007 we had a small fire originating on one of the circuit boards of the power supply for a New Brunswick -80 freezer…. I was alerted by an automatic alarm system that text messages my cell phone. I responded and put the 3 inch flame out with a spray bottle of water. Had it been on the weekend, the board would have totally burned and possibly spread the flame to surrounding components with disasterous results. That same day I called the New Brusnwick factory and spoke with tech support lead guy … about this incident. I explained New Brunswick should contact all customers who had purchased one of these freezers and replace the power supplies immediately. Obviously they did not. In fact, instead of replacing the entire power supply on our unit, I have subsequently learned they just replaced the board that burned.

After being repaired with a new control board, this same freezer again started acting up this week and yesterday a technician … came out. After inspecting the power supply, he shut the freezer off. He said it again presented a fire hazard and could not be turned on until repaired. The freezer was holding temperature OK – meaning it was not something that was obvious. The only clue was indicator lights on the outside of the freezer saying “low battery” and “low incoming supply voltage”.

Scary. Here are some pics of the control board (post fire) and the nameplate of the freezer model:

closeup-of-burned-component.jpg location-of-burned-board.jpg nameplate.jpg

So check to see if you have one of these freezers and be careful.

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  1. That IS kinda scary.

    Comment by Ψ*Ψ — May 2, 2007 #

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