frequently asked questions

the shabbos keeper
What is a Shabbos Keeper?
The Shabbos Keeper is a mini computer that connects to GE Appliances refrigerators, providing 100% "Shabbos keeping" with zero disruption to your Shabbos routine.
What is so special about the Shabbos Keeper?
It is the first Automated Shabbos Mode device made by the same engineers who designed the refrigerator. This allows for complete control over the refrigeration systems.
Does Zman Technologies manufacture the Shabbos Keeper?
No. the Shabbos Keeper is manufactured by GE Appliances.
What does the Shabbos Keeper do?
Aside from turning on Shabbos mode automatically (every Shabbos and every Yom Tov), The Shabbos Keeper takes full control of every electronic system in the refrigerator so that there is absolutely no chilul Shabbos caused.
Were Rabbonim involved in creating the Shabbos Keeper?
Is the Shabbos Keeper Kosher Certified?
Yes.The Shabbos Keeper enjoys strong endorsement,support and recommendation from the OU, Hisachdus Harabbanim (CRC) and Halacha Tech USA
How much involvement did the Rabbonim have in this creation.
Lots. Each and every step in the design and manufacturing process was first approved by Rabbonim who have been involved with Halacha and Technology for many years.
the smart control
What is a Zman Refrigerator Smart Control?
The Zman Refrigerator Smart Control Device is an advanced automated timer for use in refrigerators on Shabbos. With times for Shabbos and Yom Tov already built in, your refrigerator will work normally during the week and automatically activate Shabbos Operation only for the duration of Shabbos. After Shabbos your refrigerator will automatically revert back to normal operation.
Why do I need a Zman Refrigerator Smart Control for Shabbos?
In today's refrigerators there is more than a high probability that built in electronic systems will activate each time the refrigerator door is opened on Shabbos. The Zman Fridge Smart Control ensures that there is no Chillul Shabbos when using your refrigerator.
Which refrigerator systems pose a halacha problem on Shabbbos?
Defrost heating coils, digital thermostats, defrost coil thermostats, damper vents and fans are just some of the systems that are electronically activated by the door or by the user. They pose some of the more serious Halachic problems.
Didn't Gedolim of the previous generations already address these issues?
Although some of the issues were addressed by gedolim of the previous generation, many of the systems in refrigerators today did not exist at the time. Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt'l alludes to new developments in his response on the issue, and current gedolim in Eretz Yisrael and in America have publicized many statements and essays on the new problems today. Some of these appear on the Halacha page of this website.
What are the issurim (prohibitions) caused by activating these systems?
Among some of the issurim are h'avara - igniting a flame and makeh b'patish - act of completion in addition to using electricity. In most refrigerators today, more than one of these issurim are present.
Are the issurim caused by opening the door considered a ma'aseh melacha– constructive action, and are they also considered miskaven - intentional?
Some of these actions are classified in halachaas direct actions and some, indirect actions - grama. There are different opinions in the poskim whether or not these actions are defined as intentional but all agree that it constitutes a psik raisha- an inevitable consequence. See the Halacha page for more details.
Are there issurei d'oraysa - biblical prohibitions involved, or only d'rabanan -rabbinical prohibition?
There is no Halachic precedent to use the term onlya d'rabanan. Keeping Shabbos includes keeping d'rabanan as well. Moreover, according to many of the current Gedolei Poskim in Eretz Yisrael and America, using the refrigerator on Shabbos involves issurei d'oraysa as well as d'rabanan. See the Halacha page for more information.
Do I need to use a Refrigerator Smart Control or is it only a chumra?
As many Rabanim declared, it is to the letter of the law to use a timer solution in refrigerators. Although one who is persistent maycombine several leniencies to find a heter, - once a complete solution to the issue is available, it is necessary to completely remove any uncertainty. One should ask a Rav.
We have been using refrigerators for years on Shabbos. Were we always causing Chillul Shabbos?
It is certainly not our purpose or intention to debate this issue. In halacha there are always clear distinctions between intentional actions and unintentional actions when classifying something as Chilul Shabbos. However keep in mind, the classification of what Chilul Shabbos is, can be very different when there is a clear solution available. For this reason, many rabbonim requested we not publicize the issues with refrigerators until a solution was available so it would remain unintentional.
Which Rabbonim say that the Fridge Smart Control is needed?
See letters by Gedolei Yisrael from many different communities in Eretz Yisrael and America that are posted on this website.
Does every refrigerator need a Zman Fridge Smart Control?
The new systems involved in these issurim were placed in refrigerators starting as many as ten years ago. Refrigerators manufactured from that time forward can be assumed to have one or more of these problematic systems inside. Keep in mind that these problems- including digital issues- may exist even on refrigerators which do not have a digital screen. Refrigerators manufactured in the last two years most certainly have problems.
How do I know if my refrigerator needs a Smart Control?
According to the above, it is difficult to be certain that there is no need for a timer solution. One possibility is to get a thorough inspection by a frum certified appliance repair technician who has knowledge of both-the problematic systems and their halachic implications. It may also be possible for a certified technician to determine this by reading the schematics of the refrigerator.
Do I need to remember to turn the Fridge Smart Control on each week?
No. Zman Technologies had a Jewish calendar built in to the Fridge Smart Control. After setting your information the Fridge Smart Control knows when Shabbos is. During the week it keeps the refrigerator running normally and only activates for Shabbos. You do not need to do anything.
Does the Fridge Smart Control also know when it is Yom Tov?
Yes. Dates and times for every Shabbos and Yom Tov are built into the device for the next 35 years.
I live out of the Tri-State area; will the Fridge Smart Control know what time Shabbos and Yom Tov is where I live?
Yes. Shabbos times are built in for all locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.
How will I know when I am allowed to open my refrigerator on Shabbos with the Fridge Smart Control?
A LED display with green and red lights indicate when it's o.k. to open the door.
Will I need to keep running to the refrigerator to check if it's "green" even during a Shabbos meal?
No. The Fridge Smart Control has coordinated on/off cycles every 15 minutes on the clock. At every quarter hour, the green light will allow access for several minutes (or half hour with Preset 3-see instruction manual for more details).
Will my food stay fresh if I use the Fridge Smart Control on Shabbos?
Zman Technologies tested many different timing options to ensure that your food always stays fresh. There are three Zman recommended presets to choose from. We advise monitoring one or more presets during the week before using it on Shabbos.
Will my food stay fresh even on a three day Yom Tov?
The Fridge Smart Control has features built in to help sustain food temperatures even over a three day period. One feature is keeping the fridge running longer during early morning hours to keep temperatures stable throughout the next day.
I just installed the Fridge Smart Control and the red and green lights did not go on this Shabbos.
Occasionally when the refrigerator is pushed back into place the buttons get pressed, changing the settings. To prevent this from happening, first verify that the date, time and location settings are correct. Then set the PIN to ensure the settings do not get changed accidentally.
The red light did not go on this Shabbos but the green light did.
Please call customer service for help with this issue.
How do I set the PIN?
Under the Setup menu ( ) there is an option to turn the PIN on. Use the UP arrow to change to YES and press the middle button to set.
What is the PIN number to change the settings in the Fridge Smart Control?
The PIN is 9-1-9-1 for every device. The pin cannot be changed.
My refrigerator has a power alert warning that beeps each time the power goes out. Can I still use the Refrigerator Smart Control on Shabbos?
In refrigerators with power alert warnings it is best to use the Smart Control only if the alert warning can be deactivated. (Check with your manufacturer). If the warning alert is active, it will sound each time the refrigerator powers back on throughout Shabbos.
Will turning the refrigerator on and off over Shabbos ruin the compressor?
There is no clear answer to this question. Manufacturers have told Zman that because electronics start the compressor and not the direct electrical connection, short cycling the compressor should not cause damage - especially when being used once a week. Zmandesigned the device to automatically go into normal mode after Shabbos is over to avoid situations where the timer mode is kept running. In addition, many refrigerators turn the compressor on and off with the same frequency as the Smart Control. We recommend asking your manufacturer.
Is there a warranty on the Fridge Smart Control?
Zman Technologies offers one year manufacturer's warranty.
the switch
How does the ZMAN Switch differ from other timers on the market?
The ZMAN Switch was developed from the ground up to serve the needs of Shabbos observers. More than just a timer it is a completely automated switch that revolves around the start and end Zman of Shabbos. The switch will automatically deactivate on/off operation out the onset of Shabbos right through Havdalah. The automatic on/off times self-adjust each week, and even switch from Standard time to Daylight savings automatically, so there is no need to adjust or even turn on for Shabbos.
How do I install the ZMAN Switch?
The ZMAN Switch is installed just like any other light switch; by either an electrically proficient individual or a licensed electrician!
How do I set my ZMAN Switch?
Once installed, simply set your preferences using the intuitive interface and buttons beneath the switch plate. Input your location, date, time, Shabbos in/out preferences and timer options. For more information on setting the ZMAN Switch, see the instruction manual.
Can I have different settings and preferences for each Yom Tov?
Yes, the Zman Switch is designed to accommodate unique settings for each Yom Tov. As per your preference, the Switch can also be set to follow the regular Shabbos or Yom Tov schedule.
Can I set multiple on/off settings for the same day?
Yes, the Shabbos Switch is designed to hold additional settings, if desired.
What happens if someone accidentally changes the settings?
The ZMAN Switch is equipped with an optional four digit PIN number to prevent anyone from accidentally changing your settings.
What should I do in the event of an emergency?
The ZMAN Switch features a uniquely designed Emergency Override feature that enables you or emergency personnel to easily activate the switch in the event of an emergency. See instruction manual for details.