Refrigerator Running 1 Hour Warning

Hey Yo’s,

So, cognizant that these questions are dependent upon a number of variables, most of which are unknown to me or beyond my comprehension ability, I’ve come to terms with those truths a long time ago. But I’m still curious to see if anyone or any group of people have been seeing similar indications, if so if there are any apparent common threads we could pull on, and maybe if someone has actually taken the time to identify the cause, determine the implications of the condition, and/or taken actions to mitigate with any level of success or no change. Here’s the deal:

This has been happening periodically, about 3-5 times per month, on average, at what seems to be random yet at a relatively similar rate of occurrence.

I recieve a notification from Sense which is telling me that my kitchen refrigerator has been running constantly for 1 hour. But if I’m being honest, I have no idea if that’s an indication of nominal operation, or if it’s an early sign that the efficiency of this unit is impaired.

The refrigerator was purchased new and put into service in mid-2013, is a GE Cafe configured with a bottom freezer drawer, top refrigerator double french doors design, an automatic icemaker, and a chilled water, hot water, and ice dispenser located on the front left door.

This unit has caused us no issues for the 7 years we’ve owned it, and honestly the fact that it’s almost a decade old always surprises me based on how it looks and operates.

Here’s where the waters become muddied for me. As anyone who owns the Sense system long enough will eventually come to realize, what is being reported to you as the Kitchen Refrigerator is designated the Kitchen Refrigerator because way back when in the first few weeks after installing the Sense system, you felt that one of these appliances found was the kitchen refrigerator, and thusly name it so.

Not long after my first recognized and corrected appliance designation error, the trust and confidence in the rest of my designations began eroding in earnest. This was especially true for those designations made in the earlier days before I had been able to really observe the subtleties and nuances of the Sense system operations. With this refrigerator’s designation having been one of the earliest, I’m not quite at the levels of suspicious, but I’m certainly open to the possibility that I’ve been seeing warnings for some other appliance.

Based on this lack of confidence of accurate designation, I wasn’t going to begin any analysis which focused on understanding how to troubleshoot the indicator or if troubleshooting was even necessary would need to wait until I could validate with a higher degree of confidence that the current frequency being detected by Sense and which I designated as “Kitchen Refrigerator” was in fact an accurate correlation with the actual kitchen refrigerator in service.

So, why don’t I just see if the refrigerator compressor is running whenever I see the warning, and look for the correlation indicator when it shuts off? Well, I was going to, but as I worked through how I would I do this, I started seeing a number of immeasurable variables which could be part of the equation, and create a slew of data contaminations of the data I was using, which of course invalidated any analysis of it I may conduct.

The first challenge, one which would not allow for a simple compressor/ indicator correlation, and which I felt would be useful only insofar as being used as a single data point to be considered only along side a larger set, the population of being the only antidotal element.

First, the thing has always been and still remains the quietest appliance in the kitchen, usually barely audible when running. And like when you go to a hearing test, put on the 1962 vintage headsets, and strain to hear the slightest softest tones to the point of not really being able to tell if it’s real or if it is in your head. Same sort of issue.

Adding to that difficulty is the unknown total number of auxiliary systems which operate within the refrigerator’s system. Some I am aware of, but I don’t know what I don’t know, and with most of these subsystems operating largely independent of all others, some which make no sound all the though those which make a sound easily heard and identified.

However, identifying what subsystem makes what sounds is of little, if any use in the process of validating when I consider that I still don’t have a comprehensive enough understanding of all the refrigerators subsystems, if the Sense system is differentiating some, but lumping others together with the compressor and reporting them as the single refrigerator?

Here’s the subsystems I know about, and any of the indicators, audible or otherwise, I am able to identify them when being powered:

  • Intetior Refrigerator Cabinet Lighting
    • Only on with door open
  • Automatic Ice Maker
    • Unique audible indication at the conclusion of an ice making cycle. Light motor whir followed by falling clunks of ice cubes into storage bin.
  • Cold Water Dispenser
    • Doesn’t dispense without manual intervention which makes the same noise as any water being poured. However, the current draw, mechanism used, or indications on activation on the cold water cooling process is unknown.
  • Hot Water Dispenser
    • Never used heating elements are only active with manual intervention, which we never use because there are 25 ways to heat 8ozs of water in less time than the 8 minutes it takes.
  • Refrigerator Cabinet Odor Filter
    • As far as I can tell, this only runs when we activate it, which is not often, but does happen. The fan being used is not audible at all, and I’ve made the mention before that I wouldn’t believe it was a real subsystem and not just a button to press, if not for the truely impressive effectiveness of eliminating some smelly stuff
  • Produce & Meat Drawer Isolated Temperature Differentiation Settings
    • No idea how they work, if they are actually working well, if they are a subsystem or somehow create the temp differentials by leveraging the main compressor somehow.

So with all this going on, if the Sense system lumps everything into the same bucket of Kitchen Refrigerator, I could understand how 3-4 these subsystems being operated in staggered but always overlapping durations, with the main compressor kicking in for 10 minutes at the beginning and 10 minutes at the end, an hour of continuous operation isn’t unrealistic during nominal operations.

HUGE post, tons of relevant context, the inclusion of being something I am fanatical about. But for those of you who got through it, any thoughts?

BN

You are lucky it sees your fridge. But frankly I do not think sense has a way to lump all the various elements of modern refrigerators into a single device. All these things go on and off and each has its own unique signature. Until users are allowed to make the connection they are just independent devices. That said it is plausible for sense to see the compressor kick in, recognize it as the fridge and have that event followed by lots of other elements come on and of, including the compressor cycling again and that could all be reported as a single event if the off cycle of the compressor is at the end of the chain of events.

Some of the more knowledgeable guys may correct me but that’s how I see it

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I didn’t realize it was that rare. Huh…

As far as the lumping multiple functions of one appliance together, I’ve done this a few times with at least one. I have an GE Cafe Electric Range and with a 5 burner flat ceramic stove-top. The the 5 surface burners, 3 are equipped with double elements which can all be used with the inner single element, or for a larger heating area, with the inner and outer elements together. The oven can be used in 3 distinct modes, old school oven, convection oven, or broiler.

So the there are probably a few hundred thousand unique ways that thing can be used, all of which draw a snowflake special current signature. At some point during the last however long I’ve had Sense, I recieved notification that it had discovered a new appliance. I seem to remember that based on the suggestions and correlation of the recent history of the new device, it was pretty obvious that it was the stove or oven.

But as any good Sense owner does when intaking a recent appliance discovery, regardless of how confident I was that it was the stove, I had the Insatiable need to validate the designation with real-time correlation. It was then that first learned really how inconsistent I was when using the stove. Like, it took me a solid 45 minutes of on-off… On-off… Off… On-on before I finally found the random combination which I felt like had been tried at least 35 on-off cycles previous to that one.

So, the range was found, or at least 1 of 15,664 possible configurations of that range. But over the next few months, I would periodically get these new discovery notifications, usually the same kinda easy to initially designate it as the stove. The funny part of it is I only repeated the 45 minutes of on-off trial and error once because it didn’t matter. That second time I was able to validate it again, and again a totally random burner configuration. So now I’ve got two ovens…

I haven’t had to do this for a month of Sundays, so I would need to play around with it to remember where the option lives. But I was able to combine the second burner configuration stove with the original, and as it should, the now combined oven indicator triggers for both.

There have been a handful more since, but I need became lazy and combined them without validation. I know, my doing so is probably the reason COVID-19 is a thing, and no, I’m not happy now!! :joy:

One last thing, about the fridge. I don’t know much about these new fandangled appliances these days, but what I do know know is pointing me to a pretty much already known by most conclusion. With what used to be called a refrigerator, and dish washer, and washing machine, I don’t think we would be far from the truth if we called them in their current form things like The Automated Enclosed Temperature Stabilization Server, or Dishwashing Computer System, or the Unbalanced Computerized Seizure Jumping Box (which is what mine does). You see where I’m going? So, if these are not just similar computers doing different stuff, wouldn’t it be possible that they similar chipsets and control boards which have some of the same uber-voltage sensitivity issues? If so, all the subsystems in the fridge would probably be powered through a common transformer, if for nothing else to just clean up the current feeding all the different. If that’s the case, the primary draw feeding that controller/transformer could look very similar to the Sense elves.

BN… I did not read all of your write up closely word for word… But I think you left out one major ‘sub system’… Your defrost system… Think you may have an auto defrost system that maybe kicking in let’s say ‘3-5 times a month’. And after the defrost system warms the frig, it then has to run a little longer… ‘1 hour’ or so to get things cooled back down… Hope this makes sense… Gerry

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Gerry!

Absolutely makes sense, thanks for taking the time to educate me on that.

As for not reading my posts word for word, in that I’m a viciously advocate for inclusion of all context, I think if you did do that, you be one of about 3-4 people from around the globe.

At this point in life, I’m unfazed by the constant flow of unsolicited criticism all insisting that if I don’t start respecting the Millennial’s Laws of Appropriate Words & Brevity Mandate as soon as possible, I’ll be told over and over.

Yeah, bad things happen when context is omitted, I’ve seen it and won’t participate in that.

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But wouldn’t that be PoE powered and so sending all it’s energy use data back to the Mother?

The terse answer is (if there was an answerable question in there): Put the fridge on an HS110 smart plug and feel the power!

The long answer would involve the inclusion of a zoom-out from the fridge to the household and ask “What house isn’t likely to have a fridge?”.

Considering all the ground you’ve covered there I feel remiss in not going deeper … I’m oddly reminded of the first episode of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Dekalog”. May be a good binge-watch in times like these.

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Pete…

I easily followed your verbose postings and agree that “sometimes” brevity affords clarity! Following my September 2019 reset, I’ve decided to merge devices sparingly.

Example: Although the interior lighting and water dispensers help comprise the Refrigerator, it may be prudent to sub-group them separately.

Benefits:

  1. Supports quicker problem identification and a clear awareness of the baseline state of “important” major components.
  2. Additionally, we Smart Home homeowners can leverage the IFTTT integration more effectively, against strategically identified individual/grouped components.

Let me know if you like/appreciate this potential approach!

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BN… Real fine on all… Glad I could help… Later…Gerry

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I have HS110s on my main fridge, mini fridge and new chest freezer(bought partly for Covid-19), The fridges are old and suck a lot of power. The estimated yearly cost for the freezer is less than the cost for the main fridge for one month.

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@jonhawkes Assume you mean HS110s … the HS100 doesn’t integrate with Sense.

That’s the Sense estimated costs you refer too?

It’s interesting to compare the Energy Star label annual cost with actual (from Sense with HS110). My Blomberg BRFB1312 fridge has used 227kWhrs over the last 316 days … an average of about 712Wh/day. That’s calculating from an export. Sense stats show average usage of 44w … of which 36w is listed as Always On. Looking at about 263kWh/year. Energy Star label says 395kWh. Well, good.

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I fixed the typo. They are 110s.

LOLOL, I bet you deal with many of the same criticisms from people who simply aren’t programmed using the unique code which l think we might have in common.

Open the faucet to start the stream of conscious thought and hope the fingers are able to keep up. You’re like me, the rate that your mind processes all the stimuli, develops a response, and queues the outbound response is in a perpetual state of overwhelming your physical ability to get it memorialized into the chat/forum/email/every thing else!

And people complain that it’s disjointed and pivot instantly from topic to topic, and they aren’t able to maintain the theme… The people who I write for know who they are!

I get you man!

What’s Covid-19? Is that a new streaming service?

Kidding

Makes sense. I fancy myself a smart home at a level of: Advanced Amateur

If something needs a level of code writing which requires anything beyond my ability to copy someone’s project and paste it into the Smarthings IDE site, it’ll never be integrated into my system.

I wish everything was IFTTT-easy and only front-end IFTTT! Although, the last few weeks IFTTT has been behaving uncharacteristically unstable, like it just went into puberty and is now adolescent. Just stops doing tasks for reasons, always emailing now telling me what isn’t going to work anymore because reasons, and staying up all night, sneaking out the garage window, then stealing the family minivan to go do god knows what with his new best friend, Tasker, who is known as a rebel, and teaching our litte IFTTT all these bad habits and the Devil’s Lettuce, I’m sure…

Ok, I’m done, everything after sneaking out is fake, everything before is true. It actually has been acting the fool lately, and a fickle Makes sense. I fancy myself a smart home at a level of: Advanced Amateur

If something needs a level of code writing which requires anything beyond my ability to copy someone’s project and paste it into the Smarthings IDE site, it’ll never be integrated into my system.

I wish everything was IFTTT-easy and only front-end IFTTT! Although, the last few weeks IFTTT has been behaving uncharacteristically unstable, like it just went into puberty and is now adolescent. Just stops doing tasks for reasons, always emailing now telling me what isn’t going to work anymore because reasons, and staying up all night, sneaking out the garage window, then stealing the family minivan to go do god knows what with his new best friend, Tasker, who is known as a rebel, and teaching our litte IFTTT all these bad habits and the Devil’s Lettuce, I’m sure…

Ok, I’m done, everything after sneaking out is fake, everything before is true. It actually has been acting the fool lately, and a fickle yet parsnicity fool, at that,

I bought all the appliances a year or two too early. The smart integrations were still in their infancy, and what I saw was mostly gimmicky forced smart features. Please don’t think that would cause me to be not purchase or I integrate something because it’s gimmicky, hell, we could hold a 45 minute Social Distancing FaceTime Caucus Tour and we may get through just the stuff I consciously and willingly forced into my system. That’s just how I do.

Ok, I gotta do work… :skull: