HA may have just saved my fridge

TL;DR: My HA may have saved my fridge from working itself to death.

Hopefully this is OK to post here!

Thanks to having an ADD kid that… usually shuts refrigerator doors, I have set up my Home Assistant to monitor my refrigerator and freezer’s energy usage and notify me if they have been running for too long, or haven’t run in a while. This has saved my food twice already – once when my freezer thermostat went bad and it wasn’t kicking on, and once when my kid left the door ajar after getting a turkey out of the freezer.

More recently, I think it saved my refrigerator as well. I have an LG fridge with the much-maligned happy-to-die-on-you compressor (just search “LG compressor class action”). 2 weeks ago, the refrigerator ran all night long, pulling more power than usual (130W vs 75W) and barely maintaining temperature. Thanks to the long runtime, I woke up to a notification on my phone. After swapping out my Shelly for a TP-Link plug to be sure something was wrong, I unplugged the fridge and opened it up to look at the coils. No issues there so I plugged it back in, and it immediately started consuming more power than normal.

All good here

Just some factory-bent bent fins to straighten :unamused:

Above the compressor you can see the tube-shaped filter dryer

Here it’s pretty clear where things went wrong, and second plug to confirm

While letting it run, I called around to local appliance repair shops, who all told me the repair would be minimum $800, with no promises on fix longevity. Most wouldn’t touch LG either. After some frustrated YouTube rabbit holes, I tried tapping on the filter-dryer with a tack hammer. On its next cycle, the fridge turned on, ran for 40 minutes at regular power consumption, and turned off!

Mechanical agitation at around 11:40AM

My theory is that the filter-dryer was clogged, and the mechanical agitation allowed refrigerant to flow through it more easily. I have no idea how much time I’ve bought, but I’m fairly certain that had I done nothing, running hard 24/7 would have quickly done my fridge in. I’m also curious now whether this is the culprit killing other LG compressors before their time.

So far so good… fingers crossed. Jan 27 is when I turned the ice maker back on.

I’m posting this here in case anyone has had similar experiences, and as a PSA for anyone else with a spare energy monitoring plug and an LG compressor fridge :slight_smile:


I have power monitors on every major appliance for just this reason - including both refrigerators and my deep-freezer. My system not only automatically notifies me of an issue but it also reports in my “morning TTS report” what the status of each is and the wattage they are currently using and the wattage they have used over the last 24 hours. I have a couple dozen of the ThirdReality outlets for just this reason, they work really well and report pretty accurately.

Oh that daily report is a really good idea! I was dreaming of some next-level anomaly detection but that would totally fit the bill, I’ll look into that too. Thanks for the suggestion!

I forgot to say in my other post, Home Assistant rocks!