The refrigerator keeps going on and off a LOT

I am new, so I dont know if this is how it is supposed to be. My refrigerator seemingly turns on 477x a month. Is something wrong with my refrigerator?

Well if you believe that number my garage fridge has been on and off 743x’s this month. Once every 2 hours is still 12 times a day and could easily hit your number.

Mine says 700 last month. 800 this month.
We do have 6 people in our house at the moment.
It is also about 17 years old.

@jonhawkes and thanks! That is a lot of on and off… and at present, I have it notifying my watch. Since I am in the initial phases wanted to see what’s happening. For now I will turn it off.

Mine turned on 410 times… just last week! 67 times just yesterday. It’s a 5 year old high efficiency / energy star fridge. Maybe I should look into that…

Edit: I have wireless thermometers in my fridges, so I know they are keeping the temp in an appropriate range, and I’ve been paying attention to that more than cycle frequency.

Something you’ll see on the forum is discussion of inverter-based equipment and it’s detection. For example, AC-to-DC conversion transformers powering DC motors in compressors and pumps in fridges/freezers/air-conditioners. Like DC-powered electronics, detection of these devices is, in general, more difficult for Sense because of “smoothed out” power usage.

My fridge, for example, was not detected by Sense natively. Not until I installed a smartplug on it did I see on-off cycling in the waveform. Like most modern inverter-based fridges mine cycles less than what you are seeing (e.g. in June it did 230 cycles). It runs, though, at around 1/2-1/3rd the wattage during those cycles. It’s definitely less power-hungry than a non-inverter fridge but when you consider the physics of a fridge, the only way to really gain in efficiency is to improve the insulation and interior-exterior thermodynamics when the fridge is opened/closed.

It’s fine!
Refrigerators cycle many times a day and can even cycle multiple times an hour.
Here is a shot of mine

1 Like

newer refrigerators run more but cost less to operate so it’s not unusual to see it run, check the energy tag that went with the refrig and see what the annual cost would be, you image doesn’t look unusual

1 Like

I think that door openings could contribute to On and Off numbers.
The light going on (and the fans activating after a while, to cool the lights) would add to the numbers.
Add in compressor cycles, defrost cycles, ice making and water dispensing(OK mine doesn’t work) would make these numbers realistic.
800 a month, for me, is ~26 per day. Six people in our house, that would mean opening the fridge 4 times each, per day, to get these numbers for fridge opening alone.

1 Like

Not necessarily. In most (almost all?) cases, the light will get detected separately from the compressor. If you merge them, then definitely.

This doesn’t seem too crazy though. Mine shows as on 629 times a month. It’s probably ~10 years old and definitely been running more frequently in these recent warm months.

1 Like

Yes I do have a separate “appliance light” detection… that i think is attributable to the fridge. And I have not separated them - since the turn on comes only when somebody opens the fridge. BTW not sure if it triggers the freezer light as well.

BTW I just got a detection notice last week of a Fridge #2!! hows that possible :frowning: I only have one fridge.

You have another device that “looks like” a fridge to Sense. This could possibly be anything with a small compressor. Do you have a dedicated freezer, small A/C unit or dehumidifier?

Or you could have a fridge that looks somewhat different electrically under different conditions. Sense really detects components or elements of a device’s electrical behavior, not the whole device. Many devices are composed of many elements that don’t always turn on together. examples:

  • furnace - blower, ignition fan, ignition blower, control board
  • electric range - different burner settings look like different devices
  • electric dryer - tumbler motor, fan, heating element

Sense won’t see all the elements as a single device without assistance, either via a smartplug, or via merges after the individual elements show up.

@samwooly1 nope…

I have a gas cooking range, furnace is off for the summer and have a gas dryer. thats why baffled @kevin1

The gas dryer does have a motor to spin the tub. I honestly don’t know what the draw is on one normally, only the heating of mine is detected.

A test that would help is to set a notification for when fridge 2 comes on. Take note of usage at the “mains” in the app, especially when it turns off. This will narrow your search to either a 240 device or 120.

Could just be two versions of the same fridge… My examples were more about how a single device can look like multiple devices to Sense.

@samwooly1 help me understand the test a bit more. whats the “mains” and is it web app or mobile… #2 how would i tell from that if its 240 or 120 @kevin1 ok

Sure thing @Krishnan
Start by navigating in the app to settings. Then “my home” and finally to “sense monitor”.
There you will find various information about your setup. What you’ll be looking at is called “Mains”. There are two mains, each being one leg of your single phase 240 supply.
Each of these will be a nominal 120v. When a appliance plugs into 120, it uses one of these legs and when it uses 240, it uses both.
Let’s say you have a detection that is 1,000 watts. You have a notification set for when it turns on/off. When it turns on go to this page and take note of the wattage being used on each leg. If at that time, one leg is using 1000 watts or more and the other is using less than 500, you would immediately know the detection is a 120v device.
Or take note of the values and when the detection turns off, go look again and see how the values for each leg have changed. If they are both reduced by approximately 500 watts, it is a 240 device.
I know this requires some extra work with observation but it’s worth it in my opinion when I’m trying to nail down a detection.
Here is a screenshot