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Re: New Fridge - setting up monitoring

Robert Green 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 used,
> ambient room temperature, freezer and refrigerator temps and the temperature
> 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 used
> 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 to
> 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.  If
> the filter blocks too much airflow I would expect power consumption and the
> 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 box
> because the magnetic seal is incredibly strong - much stronger than the old
> 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 welcome.
> Bad attempts at comedy or remarks on my sanity, with much less cheer.  (-:
> --
> Bobby G.
Automation system itself can fail too. Even if it had redundancy
built-in. I'd rather depend on my ears, eyes, hands and common
sense. Also house insurance covers for spoiled food in case of break down.

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