Debugging a Fridge

No, I am not referring to some new IoT wifi smart fridge of the future. As a Software Engineer, I like applying the same problem solving techniques I use in my day job to other domains – like fixing fridges!

Recently, our fridge started giving problems – it just never cooled down and kept running. The first suspect was the door rubber seals. The door seemed to have drooped slightly over the years, but the seals were ok.

Next, I checked the ventilation. I threw out some preserves that were old and moldy and repacked everything to assist the air flow. I places a thermometer inside so I could monitor improvements.

The fridge purge didn’t have much effect. Then I realized something – because of the door drooping slightly, the switch that controls the interior fridge light was no longer triggered when the door closed because it is mounted above the door.

But why would the light switch affect the cooling of the fridge? I figured that modern, energy efficient fridges would likely want to disable the interior fan that circulates cold air inside the fridge when the door opens, preventing the cold air from escaping.

A quick test by taping the switch in closed position confirmed that this was indeed the problem.

I attached a small spacer to the top of the door with double sided tape to accommodate for the door droop so that the switch is once again triggered when the door closes.

For now, the fix will do. Time to start saving for a new IoT wifi smart fridge! 😀

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