Author Topic: Refrigerator using too much power  (Read 7422 times)

Mark31

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Refrigerator using too much power
« on: March 29, 2015, 05:29:04 PM »
We have a 13 year old Fisher and Paykel (model E331T) freezer on top fridge.

It is currently chewing through 1.8 kWh per day, higher than its usual sub 1 kWh usage.

This increase, as far as we can tell, happened abruptly about four months ago. The fridge is largely working well, but since weíve been paying attention, things in the freezer are not always as frozen as they should be.

This fridge has alarms to tell you if temperatures are fluctuating, and this has not gone off. It did go off last year and it turned out the problem was the fan.

So, either the alarm no longer works, or the fridge thinks it is working properly. (The fan does work.)

This leads me to suspect that the defrost system is activating too often, using power and warming up the freezer.

Iím thinking of finding and disconnecting the defrost circuit and then measuring the power usage for a week and seeing if goes back to normal. Iím assuming the fridge would operate normally if I did this.

So, am I barking up the wrong tree? Which part of the defrost circuit do I likely need to replace? Could I get away without replacing it and just do a manual defrost every three months? Is disconnecting it possible and a valid course of action?

deborah

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Re: Refrigerator using too much power
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2015, 05:36:07 PM »
Get a new fridge - it will use half the power of a fridge that old - so much so that they revised the star system for fridges several years ago. I bought a new fridge recently and it uses half the power of SOs fridge (yes we are profligate fridge owners - his has just about nothing in it) which is significantly smaller (as measured by the kill-o-watt from the library). His fridge is still using the same amount of power as its star sticker says.

You could get a kill-o-watt from your library and monitor the fridge for a few days to make sure the problem is what you think it is.

Mark31

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Re: Refrigerator using too much power
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2015, 08:00:03 PM »
hello deborah

I have my own plug in power meter, which is how I know how much the fridge is using. (First we noticed our overall power had gone up, and then I tracked it down to the fridge)

Few mid-sized to large modern fridges get down as low as 1kWh per day (Iíve looked at the recent Feb 2015 Choice fridge guide), which is around about what this fridge was using prior to four months-ish ago.

If I can fix this fridge for under $100, itís worth it.

MrSal

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Re: Refrigerator using too much power
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2015, 08:07:15 PM »
Get a new fridge - it will use half the power of a fridge that old - so much so that they revised the star system for fridges several years ago. I bought a new fridge recently and it uses half the power of SOs fridge (yes we are profligate fridge owners - his has just about nothing in it) which is significantly smaller (as measured by the kill-o-watt from the library). His fridge is still using the same amount of power as its star sticker says.

You could get a kill-o-watt from your library and monitor the fridge for a few days to make sure the problem is what you think it is.

Really? New fridges use 500 Wh a day? just that?

We have a fridge from 1987 I believe ahah it came with the house and works super good. ... It spends 2 kWh a day though ... We are renovating our kitchen so were looking into a new fridge.

Our fridge is around 20% of our electric consumption - we average 10 kWh a day.

deborah

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happy

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Re: Refrigerator using too much power
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2015, 05:27:10 AM »
Sorry can't help with the technical problem (maybe google  "how to fix a short cycling fridge?" if you haven't already.

Just to confirm if your fridge is that old Mr Sal, you may save quite a bit. Micheal bluejay has a calculator that might be useful:http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/refrigerators.html

I have to say my fridge is 18 years old and I will save money if I replace it, but I still haven't done so. It works fine apart from electricity consumption.

Greg

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Re: Refrigerator using too much power
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2015, 09:40:09 AM »
If the freezer isn't getting as cold as it should, you could have iced-over coils.  This usually happens if the freezer is left ajar (usually just a bit) in my experience.  The fix is to take apart the freezer compartment enough to expose the coils, use a hair dryer or heat gun to defrost them, and make sure the drain is clear.  When this happens to my fridge, the fridge part stops being cold as well.  The cause is the iced-over coils don't transfer enough cold to the airflow, despite the poor thing trying.

math-ya

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Re: Refrigerator using too much power
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2015, 07:01:21 AM »
Off topic here- I heard that removing the light bulb from the fridge can really cut down on power consumption cuz that bulb is going on and off so many times a day.

mr42

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Re: Refrigerator using too much power
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2015, 09:28:14 PM »
Check out this video. Mustache gives him a lot of greed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4O7P9LElM8&index=2&list=PLzNGe4RIH2pEgstYFvrTxy-JswLXtv40O

If its fixes the issue, set a calendar reminder to do the fridge maintenance every 6 months.

I bought a new fridge last year(new house didn't have one), its rated at 59 kWh a month.

MikeBear

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Re: Refrigerator using too much power
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2015, 11:48:44 PM »
Off topic here- I heard that removing the light bulb from the fridge can really cut down on power consumption cuz that bulb is going on and off so many times a day.

I replaced my 4 fridge light bulbs with LEDS. You can get the proper base size to replace the standard 40watt appliance bulbs.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 11:52:39 PM by MikeBear »