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33 posts


# 208898 4-Mar-2017 13:32
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Hi all.


There is a fridge at my parents house that they suspect is causing them large power bills. It is not keeping things cold, and the compressor never seems to run.


However I have plugged in a power meter that is definitely working (checked it with an electric fan heater) but it is registering nothing with the fridge plugged in.


Is there anything about a fridge that would cause it to not register on the power meter?


I have checked it plugged directly to the wall and to an extension board.



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  # 1729905 4-Mar-2017 14:15
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Hi Chris


Interesting they think it is causing large bills when it does not seem to be running.  Perhaps leave it unplugged for half an hour (so it starts to worm up) and then in theory when you plug it in, it should almost immediately start up to bring the temperature down again.


Some electrical goods have 'power factor' changes which might affect the accuracy of the power meter, but it should not register nothing, as best I am aware.



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  # 1729906 4-Mar-2017 14:16
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Open the door for a bit. That will cause the compressor/motor to turn on. See if that registers. If it has a door light, that will register.

What brand and model power meter? Some are not great with inductive load, but zero would be unusual.


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  # 1729907 4-Mar-2017 14:18
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If the compresor isn't running, there isn't much else to draw power so it's not suprising that it doesn't register anything.


I'd suggest you just have a fridge which isn't working, and something else is contributing to the high power bill.

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  # 1729912 4-Mar-2017 14:34
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Or it's running so much it trips it's overheat and then does nothing till the motor cools. I had that on a nearly dead fridge. Was barely able to hold 6° in summer with it on non stop till it cut out.


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  # 1729916 4-Mar-2017 14:40
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Yea that was my thought too.

The power meter registers and reports the power factor so that probably isn't it. Will see what happens with the door opened, but I think you might be right- fridge is shot.

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  # 1730413 5-Mar-2017 15:43

Some fridges have a power on start delay timer. So the compressor won't lock up if the power gets disconnected and quickly reconnected again. Maybe the power meter can't measure the small amount of power drawn by the timer.

Fault could also be a failed mechanical defrost timer if the fridge is a fisher and paykel.

Make sure you check the hot water cylinder and any water pumps. As they can also cause high power usage.

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  # 1730568 5-Mar-2017 21:41
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Is their hot water really Really hot ? That would be my first port of call.

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