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Re: New Fridge - setting up monitoring

"jamesgangnc" <jamesgangnc@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
On Aug 4, 7:52 am, "Robert Green" <robert_green1...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Just got a new fridge, and I thought I would try monitoring operating
> parameters with my home automation system. I 've got sensors for kWhs
> ambient room temperature, freezer and refrigerator temps and the
> of a sensor on the back of the unit. I was hoping this should give me
> enough of a baseline to be able to detect "out of whack" conditions before
> they show up in a puddle on the floor or a failure to cool.
> I discovered in my old fridge that as freon leaked, the kilowatt hours
> shot way up before I noticed the problem in the fridge temp (that became
> obvious on a very hot day when we had the A/C off and the kitchen temp was
> about 20 degrees over normal. Unfortunately, on the old box, I didn't have
> good baseline figures from the early on when it worked well. That's why I
> am trying to determine what information I need to be able to have my home
> automation system (HomeVision, CPU-XA, ActiveHome and more) record and
> process to alert me that there's an issue with the unit.
> I suspect that the electricity consumed daily will rise as the dust on the
> coils builds up. That should be detectable by looking at the average daily
> power used figure. I am recording ambient, backplate and internal temps as
> well in case the power usage increase is due to other factors, like this
> stinking endless heat wave. I also want a baseline on energy consumed and
> back plate temperature in case I decide to put a filter on the air intake
> minimize coil cleaning. I found out the hard way that an added filter can
> decrease air flow on some devices to the point of overheating the motor.
> the filter blocks too much airflow I would expect power consumption and
> back plate temperature to rise conspicuously.
> Reading this over, I realized I need two more monitors. A battery-backed
> dialer that can call my cellphone to tell me to buy dry ice because the
> power or compressor failed and a door alert to let me know if the dog
> manages to open the door again! She's been unable to do it with the new
> because the magnetic seal is incredibly strong - much stronger than the
> one. Took nearly ten pounds of pull as measured by a fish scale. But she
> might figure out how to do it in time. She's been watching very closely.
> In fact, I nearly spit out my coffee because she was eating when the new
> unit started up when it first arrived and she went off on it as if the
> fridge had made a move on her food. She's still not quite comfortable with
> it.
> Any suggestions on something I might have overlooked are cheerfully
> Bad attempts at comedy or remarks on my sanity, with much less cheer. (-:
> --
> Bobby G.

<I'd like to be the first to cast a vote for sanity, haha :-)>

Arf, arf.  Is there an emoticon for glaring?   -.-*

<Did the amperage actually go up?  Or was it simply that the compressor
was running a lot more due to the lack of cooling?  I'd expect the
later.  It will be difficult to early detect a problem based on
electrical operating conditions.  An internal temp sensor is all that
most manufacturers use as an alert system.>

I only had the Kil-o-watt meter on the machine during the final stages of
what I assumed to be a pinhole leak in the coils in the freezer compartment
due to some oaf manhandling them during a rapid defrost.  (me)

What I saw was a constant increase in the KWH's used.  I assumed that to
keep an unvarying temperature inside the unit it was working harder and
harder (longer, actually) to cool as it had less and less refrigerant.  Or
that the compressor was experiencing greater friction from having less

I was monitoring the room temperature as well.  When that shot up high
enough, the freezer temps began to rise almost in perfect correlation to the
room temp.  Only when the room temp got below 70 would the refrigerator
maintain normal inside temps.  All this leads me to believe that long before
I notice a change in the internal temperature of the unit, I would see a
rise in energy consumption.  In any event, just like medicine, it's probably
a good idea to have as many "base level readings" as you can.  That way,
when they change substantially, it's a pretty good idea that something's

We'll see.

Bobby G.

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