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Whats the best way to monitor an open fridge door?

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  • Whats the best way to monitor an open fridge door?

    Hi,

    After an incident this weekend with an open fridge door overnight, i now have the chance to monitor my fridges (which I like to keep an eye on everything).

    I have a few DS10A's floating around & I was thinking I could use that. I have a W800 for my wireless X10 sensors. I guess I could just simply monitor each door (2 fridges, 4 doors) but I dont know how ugly that would look.

    One fridge has two side by side doors, the other has 1 door on top, 1 on the bottom (that would look pretty ugly I think).

    Any ideas on how to proceed?

    I wouldnt mind buying something to shove in the fridge with a wireless temp sensor but I am not looking to break the bank with this.

    I am hoping to do voice announcements with this (maybe a flashing light or two as well).

    Thanks,
    Rich

  • #2
    The one-wire temperature sensors are an inexpensive way to monitor temps which can be used as a trigger for an open door.
    -Rupp
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Or use a wireless temperature sensor for example;
      the THC138
      http://www2.oregonscientific.com/sho...scid=79&pid=87
      this sensor is received by a 433.92MHz X10 RFXCOM receiver.

      or the RFXSensor with a number of 60014 connected
      http://www.rfxcom.com/sensors.htm#40065
      these sensors are received by the US version of the W800 (310MHz)

      Positive point of the temperature sensor is that also a power loss will be reported.

      Comment


      • #4
        I thought about the 1-wire as well Rupp, for me it wasn't going to solve the problem though because I might be long gone at work by the time the temp sensor senses enough difference to remind me.

        With an actual door sensor I can have my house check things on my way out the door... like when the front door opens, if the fridge door is open warn me.

        The temp sensor is still a great idea, because there are other things that could cause your fridge to get warmer inside, like a circuit breaker etc.

        So if you can do both, that's a great idea.
        Joe (zimmer62)

        BLSecurtiy, AC-RF2, RCS Serial Thermostats, RFXCOM SMarthome SwitchLinc, mcsXap, Global Cache GC100, SqueezeBox, TWA_ONKYOINTEGRA, BLLogMonitor, BLPlugins, BLRadar, BLSpeech, BLZLog.aspx, HSTouch (Windows, iPhone, iPod), USB Mimo touchscreens, VMWare Server, Vortexbox, Windows Home Server, MyMovies, Windows Media Center, X10, ZWave, and much much much more.

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        • #5
          Personnally, I think that a DS10A is the way to go here, especially since you already have a W800...

          Surely, you can position the reed switch and magnet so that they are out of the way and out of sight. For multi-door fridges, keep in mind that you can also wire two reed switches in series and use only one DS10A! ...

          If you can't hide all of the wires, an alternate solution is to use flat stick-on speaker wire, which looks much better, once installed, than regular wires.

          Joel

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          • #6
            Hide the contacts at the very bottom edge of the door on the fridge. It will be quite appealing to everyone other than pets and of course the person lying on the floor doing the install. You can run the wires through the vent just below the door, to the back of the unit, possibly into the wall or a bit further away to a spot of convenience for a DS10A. Just remember to leave plenty of spare wire to allow for the frig to be pulled out for routine cleanings.

            I think the idea of metal foil for contact pads on the door was a good one. Putting them on the bottom of the door might keep them out of sight and out of mind.

            As for the door open switch idea... most frigs I've seen don't turn on the interior light with just a small opening in the door like some of the folks have wanted to detect. Maybe adjust the angle on the frig feet to help the door close better will help more than a switch and alarm.

            Just some random thoughts I've had while reading the thread. Thanks for the ideas.
            huggy_d1

            Automating made easy

            Comment


            • #7
              This is how I monitor the freezer:

              An Oregon THC138 sensor sticked to the freezer using double sided tape with the sensor wire fed inside the freezer.

              In the RFXCOM plug-in, the sensor has set a warning and alarm level and if the temperature exceeds one of these limits a warning or alarm message appears in the RFXCOM Sensor Message Panel. (see the picture below)
              An event on this panel sends a Text Message (SMS) to my mobile.
              See http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=127413

              Any problem with the temperature is reported. It can be an open door, a power problem or a defect of the freezer.
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                I have a CR3110 / DS10A current sensor installed on the power cord of my fridg. I installed it to track the amount of electricity it uses based on the amount of time it is running. After a week of monitoring, I found that the cycle ON and OFF times are pretty consistent. Therefore I think this approach could be used to determine if the door is left open. Homeseer could check to see if the refrig time ON is greater than 1.66 times the normal ON time. THis approach would work for both the freezer or refridg doors, and it would probably not give a false alarm if the door is only open 1/4 or 1/2 inch.

                Food for thought!

                Steve Q
                HomeSeer Version: HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.368, Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 - Home, Number of Devices: 373, Number of Events: 666, Enabled Plug-Ins
                2.0.83.0: BLRF, 2.0.10.0: BLUSBUIRT, 3.0.0.75: HSTouch Server, 3.0.0.58: mcsXap, 3.0.0.11: NetCAM, 3.0.0.36: X10, 3.0.1.25: Z-Wave,Alexa,HomeKit

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am using a CR3110/DS10a wireless current sensor to detect when the freezer turns ON/OFF. After several weeks of monitoring, I have found the cycle time of the freezer is quite consistent ( never ON more than 20 minutes or OFF 2 hours). I am going to add an event to homeseer: If the ON cycle for the freezer is longer than 30 minutes or if the OFF cycle is more than 2 hours, speak a warning and send me an email warning.

                  I think this approach would prevent a freezer melt down.

                  A door switch magnet will work but it will not detect a tripped circuit breaker or a unplugged power cord.

                  Steve Q
                  HomeSeer Version: HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.368, Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 - Home, Number of Devices: 373, Number of Events: 666, Enabled Plug-Ins
                  2.0.83.0: BLRF, 2.0.10.0: BLUSBUIRT, 3.0.0.75: HSTouch Server, 3.0.0.58: mcsXap, 3.0.0.11: NetCAM, 3.0.0.36: X10, 3.0.1.25: Z-Wave,Alexa,HomeKit

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Very innovative and totally passive.

                    What do you hang off the sensor to connect to - I assume - the transmitter wires?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by coghlan View Post
                      Very innovative and totally passive.

                      What do you hang off the sensor to connect to - I assume - the transmitter wires?
                      See the attached document for a complete description. If you are interested send me a PM.

                      Steve Q
                      Attached Files
                      HomeSeer Version: HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.368, Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 - Home, Number of Devices: 373, Number of Events: 666, Enabled Plug-Ins
                      2.0.83.0: BLRF, 2.0.10.0: BLUSBUIRT, 3.0.0.75: HSTouch Server, 3.0.0.58: mcsXap, 3.0.0.11: NetCAM, 3.0.0.36: X10, 3.0.1.25: Z-Wave,Alexa,HomeKit

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I use the CRMagnets to monitor all of my TV's and Washer. I combine the CR magnet with the powerflash modules and they work without a circuit.
                        Attached Files
                        -Rupp
                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Rupp,

                          Your approach using the powerflash module is excellent. My original design for the circuit was for my water heater (220V - no 120 outlet was available) but it also works on a 120V circuit, so I decided to use it on many of my 120V appliances.

                          Since I have my Homeseer computer, my cable modem, and my W800 on a UPS, the current sensor still works even if there is a power outage.

                          For a refridgerator or freezer application, if the circuit breaker is tripped or the power goes off, the powerflash module would not work.

                          Steve Q
                          HomeSeer Version: HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.368, Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 - Home, Number of Devices: 373, Number of Events: 666, Enabled Plug-Ins
                          2.0.83.0: BLRF, 2.0.10.0: BLUSBUIRT, 3.0.0.75: HSTouch Server, 3.0.0.58: mcsXap, 3.0.0.11: NetCAM, 3.0.0.36: X10, 3.0.1.25: Z-Wave,Alexa,HomeKit

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Steve Q View Post
                            Rupp,
                            ...
                            For a refrigerator or freezer application, if the circuit breaker is tripped or the power goes off, the powerflash module would not work.

                            Steve Q
                            Yes, this is not one you want to use on any critical on/off application. The DS10A's or temp sensor are the better bets in this application.
                            -Rupp
                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This is great!

                              Originally posted by Rupp View Post
                              I use the CRMagnets to monitor all of my TV's and Washer. I combine the CR magnet with the powerflash modules and they work without a circuit.
                              I just ordered four of these things. These seem to be very useful for monitoring an appliance status. Im pretty sure I can use this with the Z-Wave door sensor, to check the on off status of my washer and my dryer. I ordered a couple spare, because I know I will find another use for these!

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