What level of cooling performance can we expect from a Koolatron cooler?

Each cooler should identify the cooling capabilities of that specific cooler in relation to the air around the cooler (ambient temperature). It's best to load pre-cooled food or drinks into the cooler.

As a rule of thumb, it takes about one hour per pound of material loaded into the cooler to bring it from room temperature down to maximum cooling temperature. At a temperature of 80°F (27°C), the contents of the cooler can be maintained at approximately 38°F (3°C). Normal household refrigerators are usually maintained at 45 to 48°F (7 to 9°C). At a temperature of 90°F (32 deg. C) the contents of the cooler can be maintained at approximately 48°F (9°C).


Can a Koolatron cooler freeze and make ice cubes?

Koolatron coolers don't have ice cube facilities. Operating in an air temperature below 65°F, the contents could become frozen slowly or frozen foods could be kept solid for some time. Most Koolatrons are not thermostatically controlled and run at maximum cold. Specialty coolers with thermostatic controls are available for Medical, Scientific and other Premium applications.


What temperatures can be expected from the Koolatron cooler in Heater mode?

Temperatures in the range of 130 to 140°F (54.4 to 60°C). This is hot enough to bring hot food to a pot luck dinner or a picnic. Practice safe food handling wisdom and do not keep food in the cooler for longer than about 45 minutes. The temperatures are in the prime bacterial growth range so it's very dangerous to store foods at these temperatures for long periods of time. If you have a long way to go, bring the food refrigerated and cook it at the destination.

If you need dedicated Heater boxes, Koolatron can provide these (with no cooling capability) ranging in temperatures up to 160°F (71°C). At the upper temperatures these are used for Senior’s meal delivery programs, or School meal programs. Mid range Heater boxes are used as portable incubators for rare animals or for incubating medical swab cultures on the way to the lab. Lower heat settings are used to keep utility workers mitts warm or for storing construction adhesives in winter so they can be dispensed in cold weather.


How much power is consumed by your Koolatron coolers?

Most of our current production coolers consume 4.5 amps at 12 volts. The conversion is: 4.5 amps (X) times 12 volts (=) equals 54 watts. The P9 consumes only 3 amps = 36 watts. On household current the power consumed by each cooler is less than 1 amp at 120 volts.


If my vehicle’s engine is turned off, how long can I safely leave the cooler plugged into my cigarette lighter before compromising the battery’s ability to start the vehicle?

The safe answer here is approximately 3 hours in most situations. Actual conditions will vary depending upon the number of electrical devices that have been switched on during the last part of your drive (wipers, lights, blower, defogger, radio, cell phone, aux heater, cooler and or other accessories) and what driving conditions have just been experienced (high speed highway or stop and go traffic). Further limitations and factors are the relative condition of the battery and its charging system as well as season, temperature and weather conditions.

Under ideal conditions a cooler could be run for many hours on just battery power. Under the worst combinations of conditions, accessories could potentially deplete the battery in 10 to 20 minutes. Some vans have 10 or 12 bulbs lighted when the interior lights are on. Just these lights can drain a battery below starting power in about 15 minutes, without any other electrical device being present. Good judgment is required when making the decision about whether or not to leave any device plugged in while away from the car.


Sometimes I don’t know how long I will be away from the vehicle, how do I ensure that I have starting power when also running a cooler?

To completely eliminate the burden of energy management, use a Battery Saver (found here). It allows you to leave the cooler plugged in PERMANENTLY. The Battery Saver will automatically switch off the cooler when it senses that the vehicle’s battery has dropped below 11 volts. (That is about half discharge in most vehicles). This will leave plenty of power to start the engine. When the vehicle is started, the Battery Saver reconnects the cooler and active cooling begins automatically. In conditions where you expect the cooler will be switched off for extended periods of time, do not store any foodstuffs in the cooler that will go bad under these conditions. Stick to soft drinks and bottled water which can be consumed at temperatures above refrigeration range.


How long does the cooler stay cool when unplugged?

This is very dependent upon conditions. Koolatron coolers are extremely well insulated and will provide many hours of cool protection, even when switched off. Try to keep the cooler in the shade. Instead of leaving the cooler in a vehicle overnight, use an AC adapter which converts standard 110 Volt AC power to 12 volts DC, and plug the cooler into mains power when not driving.


Can I put ice in my Koolatron cooler?

Yes BUT not loose, any water inside the cooler will splash up under the cooling fan and short circuit the electronics. Put the ice in a sealed container, NOT a plastic bag. That way you can use the ice for drinks and it will help to rapidly cool the contents on really hot days. Keep the ice container at the opposite ends of the cooling fins. This way your contents get the benefit of two cold sources and you are not blocking the interior air circulation.


Can I put the cooler in the trunk of my car?

NOT recommended. The coolers give off heat externally while cooling. If this heat is shed into a closed space like a trunk, it will eventually heat up that space. These coolers need good ventilation to cool properly.


How do I calculate the volume capacity of my cooler?

Put the cooler in the chest position. At the halfway point in depth measure the inside length, width and height in centimeters. Multiply these three dimensions by each other. This will yield so many cubic centimeters. Once cubic centimeter is equivalent to 1 millilitre. Divide your cubic centimeters (milliliters) by 1000 and you now have the capacity in Litres. Multiply litres by 1.0567 and you will have the capacity in US Quarts, OR multiply by 0.881 to get imperial Quarts.


If I need Warranty work performed or need spare parts, how do we arrange this?

In North America call 1-800-265-8456 or e-mail to service@koolatron.com. Mention your location, model of cooler and problem and/or parts required. If you don’t know the model number, measure the length, width and height so we can identify the cooler.


Is there any time limitation on running the cooler on the AC adapter while in the house, office or dormitory?

These units are designed to run 24/7. Make sure there is good air circulation to the cooler vents and for the adapter. This will assure long life for both.


Can we use a battery charger to operate a Koolatron cooler?

No, not directly. When plugged into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter receptacle, a battery charger can be connected to the vehicles battery to keep it "topped up" while the cooler is running.


Are there any concerns with long-term full-time operation?

Do not place the adapter on carpeting since this tends to block the airflow up through the bottom of the case. Instead, put it on a brick or tile or other smooth surfaces. Every few months the external fans may accumulate dust due to the point of blocking the airflow. Take off the end panel and vacuum and brush away any dust on these fins and fan. The internal fins may accumulate frost and ice occasionally during operation (frequently during humid weather). To defrost, simply reverse the current by unplugging the power cord from the small pigtail cord near the base of the cooler and re-plug using the red mark to the arrow putting the unit into heater mode. The ice should melt off in 2 to 3 minutes. Remove any ice that falls off and wipe up any melt water. MAKE SURE TO REPLUG INTO COOLER MODE OTHERWISE YOU WILL COOK THE ENTIRE CONTENTS OF THE UNIT.


Why does my cooler work on the AC adapter but not in the vehicle?

 Some vehicles do not have power to their cigarette lighter sockets when the ignition is off. If the vehicle is running and the relevant fuse is good but the cooler still will not run then get the cigarette lighter socket tested.


Why does my cooler work in the vehicle but not on the AC adapter?

Make sure the AC adapter is plugged in. Check with a multi-meter to determine if there is at least a 12 Volt DC output voltage from the Adapter.


Can we use an AC Adapter other than the one supplied by Koolatron?

Not recommended and may void Warranty.


What should I check for if the cooler is not running at all?

  1. Are both ends of the power cord plugged in?
  2. Is there power coming from the socket or adapter being used.
  3. Check for kinks, knots or other damage to the power cord.


Is it allowable to use a 12 volt extension cord to run the cooler further away than the 10 foot factory cord will reach?

This is NOT recommended. There is a voltage drop in long cords so cooling performance will be degraded.


Is a Koolatron cooler strong enough to sit on?

In most cases yes, but it’s not a good practice as a heavy person could warp the lid thus affecting the seal and the cooling performance of the unit.


What are some common complaints and how do we deal with these?

The coolers are too cold and tend to freeze things inside: Move the cooler to a slightly warmer area of the home, office or dormitory room. Leave the lid open slightly (say by putting a pencil between the body and lid) ((this may necessitate more frequent defrosting)). Unplug the cooler for a period of time each day. Stand the cooler up into a fridge position. Cold air will leak out the bottom of the door and cooling performance will be less.

The cooler is not cold enough: Place the cooler in the chest position so the cold air stays inside. Make sure it has an ample power source. A weak power adapter or low voltage in the vehicle can cause decreased cooling performance. The fan must be running and all air vents internally and externally must have free access to air. Do not part the air vents up against curtains, walls or other obstructions. Make sure the fins inside and outside are free of ice and dust. If you have an questions not answered here, drop an e-mailto service@koolatron.com or call our toll free number 1-800-265-8456. Our operators are very knowledgeable, very friendly and will be happy to assist you.