Deep freeze failure alarm

My folks spend the winters in Arizona. They have a person who checks in on their house from time to time but they are worried about the freezer, if it were to give out, odds are that all their meat would have thawed by the time it was noticed.

Are there any devices that could sense a freezer failure and trigger an alarm (such as a flashing light in the window where a neighbor could notice it, or a very loud audible alarm?) I’m not so much worried about a power outage, as the neighbor would be aware and could take care of it. I’m primarily concerned that this old freezer will give up.

Such a thing may be pretty far-fetched but I thought it was worth asking. Surely I’m not the first person to have thought of such a thing.

Laboratory freezers (and other temperature cabinets) can have have audio visual alarms on them.

Contact your local laboratory suppier and see what they say - however, it may cost more than a new domestic freezer.
That’s because contents of a domestic freezer (generally) have a far lower cash value than the contents of a freezer on the pharmaceutical or clinical world.

I don’t know of any such alarm. However, if your folks will stack some ice cubes in a container in the freezer, they’ll be able to tell if the power went off and then came back on. The ice will no longer be in distinct cubes. At least they’ll KNOW if they should through out all their meat.

I’d suggest trying to eat most or all of the meat in the freezer anyway, though this will probably make for some…interesting…meals towards the end of autumn. Most health guidelines indicate that meat shouldn’t be kept frozen more than about 18 months, at the most, depending on the kind of meat.

If you’re the type, you can rig up a Basic stamp with a thermometer, and add some type of warning system on the side. (I heard some companies stick something like this in a refrigerated shipment so they can retrieve it at the end and make sure the temp didn’t go up during travel).

Or… oooh oooh! Rig a mouse-trap to set something off, then freeze it in a block of ice and trip it! See, this board has all the answers. :smiley:
Oh yeah - or you could just buy another 'fridge. :wink:

Check for home automation products. A brief web search found the Smarthome Sensaphone which is $400 including an external temperature sensor. It can be programmed to call you on the phone when the temperature goes above a preset threshold.

On the other hand, you an buy a lot of fresh meat for $400…

Freezer Alarm

We have a CO2 backup system on our lab freezers now, after losing about 70K worth of stuff after the freezer alarm failed. It’s very handy in a lab setting, but perhaps impractical in a home, but then again, it would depend on the amount and value of items in the freezer. The freezer alarm Desmostylus found would probably be the most practical approach.

You might be interested in this
Freezer Alarm.

Using spare parts (free)…

  • nearly any old computer
  • existing net connection or a modem
  • part of an old thermostat with the bobbling mercury bead
  1. Balance the thermostat element so it closes the contacts at around 0 C. Some experimentation between your own freezer & fridge should help.

  2. Contacts can connect a couple of pins on a serial port of the computer. (CTS to RTS?)

  3. Software monitors the serial port and “calls home” (email, dial direct and screech, whatever).

The computer’s a bit of overkill, but maybe there’s one there already.

Hmm, sounds like a fun project for my Christmas holidays.

Although, it would be easier to wire that LED on the aforementioned freezer alarm to the computer.


Thanks for the tips!