I need to glue a plastic piece in my freezer.... how?

A piece that helps attach the little shelf/bins to the door of the freezer has broken off and needs to be glued. The freezer and fridge are full of food and we only have a medium sized ice chest, so taking the food out and turning off the fridge is something we’re trying to avoid. Anyway, our lease is up at the end of the month and we’re trying to fix everything up, so we need to fix this broken plastic piece…

What kind of glue would A) work adhering plastic to plastic and B) set up in the cold, dry atmosphere of the inside of a freezer? Is there a way to do it?

I suppose as a last ditch we could wait until the last day when we’re moving out and have removed all of the food and unplug it and glue it then, but we’re really like to get it fixed before that (partially to make sure our fix works!). Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. :slight_smile: Thanks!

If this won’t glue it together, nothing will.
However, I doubt it will set up in sub-zero temperatures. You might be able to just remove the food from the door, and hand a thick blanket over the open freezer for the 20 minutes it takes to set up.

JB Weld. I’d go for the more is better rule in this application. If you can fill the inside area and duct tape the piece in place while it cure it might work.

Empty whatever part of the freezer you can. Shove everything else over as far as it will go. Get some two-part epoxy, similar to what was linked to above. Turn the freezer OFF temporarily. Use a hair dryer to heat the area to be glued. Work quickly to apply the epoxy and to hold it in place. Let it set up for the required time, probably about 5 minutes for an initial cure. It will take about 24 hours for full cure at room temp (only about 90 minutes for it to be usable). Why not go buy a cheap Styrofoam cooler and pack your frozen stuff in ice for a day while this cures? Freezing temps are not going to be good for an exothermic adhesive.

I’d recommend JB-Kwik. I have worked with a lot of urethanes, epoxies and such and the general rule was that cure time doubles (or halves with an increase in temperature) with every 10 degree Fahrenheit drop in temperature. If the full cure time for 65 degrees is 4 hours (like JB Kwik) and your freezer is at 5 degrees F that means you’re going to have to keep the pieces aligned for 2[sup]6[/sup] or 32 times longer. The good news is that JB-Kwik sets in about five or ten minutes. Setting means it’s no longer runny and will hold its shape. So you can figure 3 hours to set and three weeks to full hardness. I assume by “the end of the month” you mean the end of June? Otherwise get some good quality CA (SuperGlue) adhesive and spray it with an accelerator on June 29!:smiley:

On re-reading the suggestions Chefguy’s idea is good too. But I’d keep the blow dryer on it as long as feasible. Tightly packed frozen food takes at least a few hours to thaw so that should give you some leeway.

Borrow another ice chest from a neighbor or fashion a temporary ice chest? I’m thinking a large plastic bin, some ice and a sleeping bag to throw over the top.

What type of plastic? JB weld and other epoxies won’t stick to many plastics. Often a recycle symbol will tell you what kind it is. Look for something made for it. When in doubt, I use 3 way plastic pipe cement. Big can for a few dollars, sticks to vinyl and ABS, both of which are hard to glue. Sets up almost instantly at room temperature. I have used it for a bunch of stuff besides pluming, the shift boot on my car, a printer, etc.

Also super glue will show less then JB weld.

Which is why I suggested the two-part plastic welder. It is designed to soften and bond to many different types of plastic, and will glue almost anything but low-surface-energy plastics (like Teflon and PPE).

solvent welding works good when the fit is very tight. that can be hard to achieve with broken pieces, easy to have the parts stick together misaligned and weak.

If you are replying to my post, this isn’t a cement. It’s a thick, epoxy-like glue that can be built up to fill large gaps.

Thanks for all the tips. I’ll research the various glues you guys have mentioned online tomorrow.

I’ll call the appliance place tomorrow from work and find out if they know what kind of plastic it is… I don’t think we can turn off the freezer without turning off the refrigerator, too, and it really isn’t feasible to find a way to keep everything from the freezer AND the refrigerator cold for several hours… it would take a lot of ice chests (when you take into account that part of the space has to be taken up with…ICE…) If we can’t find a glue that will set in the cold, we’ll probably have to wait until move-out day and hope for the best…

Dan has some Gorilla Glue that he thought might work–anyone have any experience with that?

I wouldn’t use Gorilla Glue to glue plastic.

In many refrigerators, this whole shelf is removable. Check to see if that’s the case in yours. If so, remove it, let it sit and warm up for a day or so, glue it, let it sit another day to cure, and then replace it in the freezer.

Note: it’s probably advisable to remove the stuff in the door into the ice chest while the gluing is happening. Otherwise a forgetful person opening the door too quickly will dump out all the contents. A friend once did this, and a frozen tub of lard landed on her toe and broke it.

Spend the next week eating your frozen food. lower the temperature on your freezer to max cold the day before you do the work. Put the frozen food in a cooler while you work, leave the refrigerator section closed, it’ll be fine for a few hours if you don’t open it. You can get a disposable styrofoam cooler really cheap if you need more space. Pack the coolers tight and don’t open them until you’re ready to put the food back in the cold freezer, they’ll be fine for a few hours.

Warm the freezer up with a hair dryer, glue it, keep the hair dryer on it for a while to speed the cure, then turn on the fridge, wait for it to get cold and move your food back.

If it is removable, can you buy a new one? I just found a new lint screen for our 70’s dryer on Ebay.

If the size of the pieces permit, consider including a pin in your fix along with the adhesive… A small length cut from a paper clip would be sufficient. That way, you aren’t entirely depending on glue to hold everything together when the clip has a load placed on it.

You could also try a Loctite product.

If everything in your freezer is frozen, it would take hours (maybe days) for it to thaw out.

Fill your freezer(the less air the better), add towels/blanket to insulate it, then seal up the door opening with tape and a garbage bag.
This should give you lots of time to get the door up to temperature, make the repairs, and allow for drying time.

My fridge has separate controls for freezer and refrigerator, located on the top wall of the fridge section. They are two dials that go from 0 (off) to 10 (ice age). If yours has the same you can turn the freezer off but leave the fridge on.

If you do pack up your frozen stuff, as long as it is frozen solid and packed together tightly in an insulated container it will stay frozen for days without needing a whole lot of ice in the cooler. Last fall when we had the flood scare we packed up the good stuff from the freezer when we evacuated, and it was still frozen solid 3 days later.

I’ll agree with what several others said… OPen the freezer door, use masking tape or something and seal a piece of plastic over the opening in the freezer. Put insulation (blanket, towel) over that. If necessary, tape the corners of the towel to ensure it’s held agains the plastic for good insulation.

A big lump of frozen food takes long enough to thaw in nice open room temperature. So what if your fridge is working a little bit overtime? It will stay cold with that setup. That setup is not that different than the door closed.

Try to figure out what glue you need. Generally, min expoxy sticks to almost everything. If it turns out the stuff does not work, repeat as necessary. If it won’t stick, it should peel off easily…