Turn refrigerator into wine cooler (smartapp to turn on and off?)


#1

I want to use my fridge at our vacation home in Las Vegas, NV, as a wine cooler. I have a ST Hub and a GE LPM-15 ZWave switch which I will use to turn the refer on and off. I am looking for a temperature sensor that can enable me to incorporate the switch to automatically turn the switch on at, say, 65 degrees and off at 55 degrees.

I assume I can do this manually with a temperature sensor in the fridge, but I would prefer ST to handle it. I can also do a trial and error method and time the “on” to. approximate the desired temperature. I am reluctant to use this method because of the extremes in temperatures in Vegas would require me to monitor the sensor too much

Can a smart app be written for the switch to handle it? I think what I am asking is can the switch be enabled to read the temperature from the sensor.


#2

I know some people do turn conventional refrigerators into wine coolers just through power on/power off mods, but you should be aware that a true wine cooler controls both humidity and vibration. Vibration is going to be the big issue. Every on/off cycle is going to vibrate the bottles. Just something to consider.

http://blog.wineenthusiast.com/2008/04/08/wine-fridge-vs-regular-fridge/


#3

Yikes! You blew my cover! I just want to protect my $10-$20 wine from the heat.


(Marcus) #4

Starting this one off with no guarantees! I did this with a $20 digital temp controler off amazon before I knew ST existed and I haven’t used my ST hub to manage this task.

But if I did it again I would do this:

Using a temp sensor:
SmartThings SmartSense Temp/Humidity https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MOJBR0M/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_AG.Vvb529NTGB

At this point I would pair the sensor with the ST hub. Next with the fridge off but plugged into the wall ensure a consistent connection to the hub with the sensor inside the fridge(door closed). Most fridge exteriors are a ferrous material and this can interfere with RF signals. Additionally grounding the fridge can effect the amount of the interference also. That’s why I suggested having the fridge plugged in during your testing.

If the sensor passes the signal test my next goal would be to prevent the sensor from being damaged by moisture. You could possibly skip this and try your luck at the sensor being ok. But again, this is what I would do…
NOTE: this method will void any warranty the sensor may have and could render the sensor inoperable.

Purchase some Rust-Oleum® NeverWet® this is a two part kit.
Open the sensor exposing the electrical components. Following the NeverWet instructions coat the sensor and remember you need to cover the front and back of the circuit board. I’ve used this method to make several electronic components water resistant with 100% success. I have a Z-wave vibration sensor literally floating in my pool. It detects water disturbances(waves) to signal an alarm if someone falls into my pool.

Using a plug like an: Aeon Labs DSC06106-ZWUS - Z-Wave Smart Energy Switch https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007UZH7B8/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_S7.VvbV1C0NF0

Set up (Keep Me Cozy II) to use the fridge thermostat and switch on and off the plug at your desired temps.

Threw this together quickly with Siri while mowing my lawn so if it’s a little ruff sorry.


#5

Lots of people report successfully using the sensor inside a freezer, no problems, no rustoleum needed.


(Jared) #6

I used my ST Multi in my deep freeze, and I have no issues.

As cool as it would be to have SmartThings control this, the unreliability issue is a very real concern. A better solution is probably using a PID temperature controller. They can be had for peanuts on eBay. It has lights, and it’s sexy!


#7

This will work, I think, but before I buy one I’m a little concerned about accuracy.

One issue that has a arisen since I tested my “SmartThings SmartSense Moisture Sensor” in my refrigerator for connectivity and temperature sensor accuracy: It connects to my SmartThings hub from inside my fridge but the temperature sensor appears to be eight degrees colder than the actual temperature.

If the guts of the “SmartThings SmartSense Temp/Humidity” sensor are the same as my “SmartThings SmartSense Moisture Sensor” then maybe I should keep looking elsewhere for better accuracy?


(Marcus) #8

I think you should just wire this temp controler up. I use the same one for my solar heating system on my pool and the price is right ;D

Docooler® Digital Temperature Controller Thermocouple with Sensor (-58~194°F) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F05UI8O/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_sB4XvbCXB3K40


#9

I discovered that I can calibrate the temp sensor in its settings in the app.

Since the refer/wine cooler is in a second home that is 9 hours away by car, I will replace my current digital controller which is OK with this setup; so I ordered two ST temperature sensors.

I plan to not only do this with the garage “wine cooler” but also the fridge in the house. I will have a cold fridge when we arrive and I can then set the away temp to be 50-60 degrees to save power. The inside refer does not have a vacation setting so I have to run it at its warmest setting which is 44 degrees, which is wasteful. The refer manual says for extended absence, clean it, unplug it and leave the doors open to prevent smell buildup.

I will have to turn off the water to the refer, but it should work fine.

I am also going to install a gas hot water heater timer to solve that issue.

I’ll report back in a month.