Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I purchase a special unit for my needs instead of using a standard consumer model?
The main reason for not using a consumer model for your storage needs is the lack of precise temperature control and the variances of temperatures in a standard consumer unit. Our products are made specifically for these applications and provide the security of knowing that your sensitive vaccines, samples, etc., will be kept at safe temperatures.
What are Hydrocarbon Refrigerants? Are your products EPA SNAP Compliant?
Hydrocarbon Refrigerants are naturally occurring refrigerants with Zero Ozone Depleting Potential and Low Global Warming Potential. They are a safe and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional refrigerants. We are proud to lead the industry with the most extensive line of Hydrocarbon refrigerators and freezers.
Click Here to view the latest list of models. Our Hydrocarbon models comply with the proposed standards of the EPA SNAP program.
Are your products Energy Star compliant?
Nor-Lake Scientific is committed to leading the industry with energy efficient and sustainable products. Many of our products are Energy Star certified.
I need to make sure I follow the guidelines for safe storage for my vaccines. Do these products meet those guidelines?
What are the differences between Cycle Defrost, Manual Defrost, and Auto Defrost?
Cycle Defrost is a design used in Nor-Lake Scientific Refrigerators. Cycle Defrost refers to a balanced design of the refrigeration system in which defrost occurs automatically with the normal cycle of the compressor (without the use of a heater). Because of this balanced design, Cycle Defrost refrigerators are able to maintain a precise temperature with minimal fluctuations. Cycle Defrost is not possible in freezers due to colder temperatures, so freezers must use one of the following defrost methods instead.
Manual Defrost freezers are recommended for most Laboratory and Medical Applications because they provide the most stable temperatures. Because there is no functionality to initiate a defrost cycle, frost will build up over time. The only downside to Manual Defrost Freezers is that they must be emptied and unplugged periodically to defrost. Manual Defrost freezers are ideal for sensitive materials such as Enzymes.Auto Defrost freezers incorporate an electric heater on the evaporator that assists in the removal of frost and ice. Although the heater helps speed up the frost and ice removal, it can raise the temperatures within the freezer.
Auto Defrost freezers are convenient, but these temperature spikes can be harmful to some medical and laboratory products.
What is the difference between a “Built-In” and a “Freestanding” Undercounter model?
“Built-In” Undercounter Refrigerators and Freezers are engineered with a front-venting design allowing them to be built into casework or used in other tight spaces. Because they are front-venting they do not require any clearance on sides or rear of unit.
“Freestanding” models on the other hand require four inches of clearance on each side for adequate ventilation.
What is the difference between a Flammable Storage and a Hazardous Location (Explosion Proof) model?
Flammable Storage and Hazardous Location models are both used to store flammable (volatile) materials.
Flammable Storage models are designed for general laboratory work areas and have a “spark free” interior meaning that there are no electrical components on the interior of the unit. The compressor’s electrical components are also sealed in a vapor-proof enclosure for additional safety. Nor-Lake Scientific Flammable Storage models meet NFPA and OSHA guidelines 45 and 70 for the refrigerated storage of flammable materials in general laboratory work areas.
Hazardous Location models which are commonly referred to as “Explosion Proof” have a “spark free” interior and exterior. These units are designed with no internal electrical components and all external electrical components are sealed. Hazardous Location models are designed for use in environments where volatile / explosive conditions could potentially exist and must be hardwired to a 120VAC power source. These models meet NFPA and OSHA guidelines for Hazard Locations, Class 1, Division 2, Group C & D.
What are Remote Alarm Contacts and how do I use them?
Remote Alarm Contacts allow you to connect the alarm on a refrigerator or freezer to an existing building alarm system or a phone dialer. This occurs through use of a simple technology called “Normally Open/Normally Closed” – meaning if the contact is closed = no alarm. If the contact is open = alarm. If in alarm, a signal will be sent to the building security system or phone dialer. Please refer to your owner’s manual for instructions or contact our Technical Service Department with any questions.
What is a Probe Access Port and how do I use it?
A Probe Access Port is a small port that allows you to insert a probe for a Data Logger or Central Monitoring System into your refrigerator or freezer. Without a Probe Access Port, probes would have to be inserted through the door gasket which can prevent the door from sealing and cause performance issues. After inserting the probe through the port, the opening should be sealed with a plug or putty. Please refer to your owner’s manual for instructions or contact our Technical Service Department with any questions.
Why do my Air Temperature and Sample Temperature readings differ?
Air temperature inside a refrigerator or freezer can change very quickly based on factors such as door openings and cycle of the compressor. Air temperature readings are not an accurate method of measuring the actual temperature of the samples being stored. For more accurate readings, we utilize a “sample simulated” or “buffered” probe. With the sample simulated method, the temperature probe is placed inside a bottle filled with glycol solution or glass beads. These materials provide an accurate reading by “simulating” the temperature of samples being stored.
I need my refrigerator unit as quickly as possible, how soon can I expect my purchase to be shipped?
Every product we make goes through stringent testing before we ship to our valued customers. After these tests are complete, we ship each unit as quickly as possible. If, however, you need your unit right away, please let us know and we
will be happy to work with you.
What kind of warranty can I expect with my purchase?
We stand behind our products by offering an extensive warranty package. Please reference the individual product pages for the product warranty. Extended warranties can also be purchased for select product categories. Warranties must be purchased at the same time as equipment.
What is the return policy?
If you have an issue with your product, please contact customer service at, 1-800-477-5253.