Rebooting the refrigerator

This example of modern life and first-world problems (solved) is about as mundane and pointless as it gets.

We got a new LG refrigerator a few months ago, and the other night the ice and water dispenser on the front door did nothing when you put a glass against the switch paddle. Then, after what had seemed like forever (but was only about 3.5 seconds), the ice or water came out. Up till then it had responded instantly.

At first I thought that there was a problem with the door switch, since it won’t dispense when either of the doors is open. I tried pushing against them, which seemed to work. But then I realized that the delay had nothing to do with the door. Just wait and the ice or water came after a little more than three seconds, whether you pushed or not.

There are probably bigger issues somewhere in the world, but it was annoying, and I wasn’t looking forward to the time it would take to try and get warranty service on the thing.

Then I had a thought. I pulled the fridge out from the wall, unplugged it for a few seconds, then plugged it back in.

Problem solved!

I just fixed my 24-year-old fridge (bad defrost timer and one bad defrost heater). We had ordered a replacement , which I had to cancel.
I am SO GLAD I didn’t have to buy a new fridge with all those pointless money-wasting anti-features!

My dishwasher at the office occasionally gets sulky and doesn’t response to button pushes. I have to flip the breaker off and on to reset.

Don’t get me wrong, for the most part I like this fridge. And I use the icemaker and water dispenser every day. It just struck me as odd that it would need rebooting.

I’m not anti-technology, but I’m firmly in the camp of “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”

Now get off my lawn!!!

Just because I can get off your lawn doesn’t mean I should. :stuck_out_tongue:
says the guy who will never have an internet-connected fridge. I may have to buy one with that feature but that doesn’t mean I’ll give it the wifi password. Too damn creepy!

Funny you should mention the defrost timer.

I found last month that the newer, electronic fridges have digital “adaptive” defrost timers. These are digital and, instead of once every 8 hours or so, the defrost cycle is based on how many times the door is opened. If the door hasn’t been opened in the past 8 hours or so, it skips a defrost cycle, with a minimum of one cycle every day.

The defrost heater uses something like 300 watts for about 10 minutes. so this “improvement” has the potential of saving up to 0.10 KWatt-Hour per day (or none). At 12 cents per KWatt-Hour cost of electricity (average rate in the US), that works out to a maximum of about $4.40 per year. This is maximum theoretical savings. You might actually achieve 60% of that, or about $2.70.

Now, here is the big thing. These adaptive timers cost about $75, plus a service call to replace them. At $125 for the service call, that’s $200. Their reliability is less than the older mechanical timers, perhaps 10 years average. So, to save $27 over 10 years, you pay an average of $200 (or buy a new fridge at, what, $2000?). But, the cost of the replacement parts and service call isn’t factored into the yearly cost every manufacturer must calculate and report for the appliance.

Kinda like the first run of 1.6g flush toilets…

Having the maintenance guy at a hotel reboot the TV inspired me to write a column about all the weird stuff you have to reboot these days. Weirdest was someone at a conference who told me she had to reboot her digital picture frame all the time.

I don’t want an internet connected fridge. I’d probably find my milk turned to borscht one day.

The borscht isn’t the real problem; the big thing is when the fridge discovers Instagram and quits cooling the food because it’s busy. :slight_smile:

To be clear, although my fridge is nominally “Internet-connected,” all that function permits AFAICT is to notify you that the “ice plus” feature, which accelerates ice production somehow, has been turned on. It’s a perfectly useless feature, since I’m the only one who turns it on.

Also AFAICT, the fact that the fridge has an “Internet connection” has nothing to do with the problem I was experiencing with delayed ice and water dispensing.

Our new washer and dryer, also made by LG, like the fridge, are also Internet-connected. Now, what very obvious feature would you want in such a device? Perhaps a notification that they have completed their cycle, so you could go and empty them, if you happened not to be close enough to hear the cute tune they play when they’re finished? Sorry, not available. Instead, a couple of other useless capabilities. :mad:

A couple of weeks ago at work the process tech had to reboot my power screwdriver. :slight_smile:

Which is particularly stupid since students at MIT dorms set up that feature on washers and driers years ago.

The fridge did it again last night. I’d better call LG to document this, problem in case it becomes chronic.