TechConnectify , avatar

I have apparently developed a knack for going on a grocery run and loading my fridge up with stuff juuuuust before it hits a defrost cycle.

It's happened like three times this year!

tomlegamer ,

@TechConnectify Genuine question : How can I know how often my fridge freezer part do the defrost ? It's a brand new samsung, not connected but electronic control on the door. It seem it is doing it often but no documentation seem to explain what make the defrost kick in.

TechConnectify OP , avatar

@tomlegamer Not being familiar with your fridge I can't be certain, but usually the key determinant for me is that it becomes completely silent for an extended period of time.

Samsung fridges often have separate fridge and freezer evaporators which confounds things, but if you hear any mechanical noise at all, say from a fan, it can't be defrosting. Any airflow through the evap would heat up your food and also slow the defrost.

tomlegamer ,

@TechConnectify yes when it does defrost I hear water making noise when it drop, but I can't understand the patern of "when" it is doing it. I also have a smart metter where I can check in real time the consumption of my home but it is hard to tell apart the compressor running full load and the heating element

TechConnectify OP , avatar

@tomlegamer if you can log that, then its power consumption is definitely going to be highest in a defrost, by a lot. The compressor usually will use 100-200W at the most and the defrost heaters are around 500W

I myself don't know if there is any logic behind when it happens. Prior to microcontrollers, it would have just been a clock-based timer, maybe once a day. But newer fridges may have a way to detect ice buildup - there's tons of ways that could be done but I don't know particulars

tomlegamer ,

@TechConnectify Just checked my fridge and the heater is 135W. Since the compressor has variable speed, I guess I can check the difference ! I will look at that

TechConnectify OP , avatar

@tomlegamer oh wow, that's a tiny heater! But cool, now you know ;)

tomlegamer ,

@TechConnectify yes it's a tiny fridge (by North American standard maybe ?)
Also first time I see an appliange giving varying power rating for 220 / 230V

TechConnectify OP , avatar

@tomlegamer that's a cool label, I've never seen one here distinguish the defrost heaters as a load. All the ones I've seen just list a max current draw, which is always during defrost.

IIRC my fridge says it's a ~4A device, 400-500W ish, but plugged into a power meter it only draws about 100W when running

carighan , avatar

@TechConnectify Ha, always happens , yeah.

gigantos , avatar

@TechConnectify I thought defrosting was a thing of the past. I don't think I ever owned a fridge that needed defrost, but I remember my parents had them.

TechConnectify OP , avatar

@gigantos you probably just haven't noticed it before. All refrigerators build up ice on the coils which has to be dealt with in one way or another. That's typically accomplished automatically by stopping the compressor for some period of time and switching on heaters to melt that ice.

The only refrigerators that don't need to do this don't have freezer sections

gigantos , avatar

@TechConnectify that may explain it then. I also have the fridge and freezer as separate units.

But I remember back in the day when big lumps of ice formed on the inside, and you defrosted manually when it started taking up too much room.

My freezer says it has nofrost and describes it as a technology that avoids ice being created in the first place. No idea how it works. It is an Samsung RZ32M7520WW

TechConnectify OP , avatar

@gigantos ah, you're in Norway?

The European fridge market is very weird to American sensibilities. Our standard kitchen refrigerators have been "frost-free" as a rule since about the 1970s, but that really just means automatic defrost.

It is still relatively normal for chest freezers and upright freezers to be manual defrost, and some mini-fridges. But any "real fridge" needs absolutely no attention from its user over its life

TechConnectify OP , avatar

@gigantos now I very much suspect that whatever marketing copy Samsung has created is conflating frost-free with automatic defrost. I had a very similar conversation over discord with one of your compatriots.

There is literally no way to prevent ice from forming in a freezer, unless some miracle of physics has occurred. So my money is on it being a conventional automatic defrost system labeled as if it's magic

atatassault , avatar

@TechConnectify @gigantos

The refrigerator has summoned Maxwell's Demon to rid the air of all water molecules.

yrlf , avatar

@TechConnectify how often do fridges need to defrost?

If it's more than a day between defrost cycles, why can't an actual "smart" fridge time those to be when you're unlikely to have JUST put new stuff in? Say, at night?

TechConnectify OP , avatar

@yrlf I'm honestly not sure. I'm assuming that newer refrigerators have a way to tell when they actually need a defrost and aren't just using a dumb timer, but that's just a guess.

Since it's normally closed up and not exchanging air, I would imagine they don't need to defrost more than once a day - it might only be every couple of days.

ThaMunsta , avatar

@TechConnectify there should be a manual delay button similar to the manual defrost 🤔

redrummy , avatar

@TechConnectify At least your fridge's freezer still has a defrost cycle. Mine gave up so now I have to do it manually and figure out what I have to replace to fix it.

JohnJBurnsIII , avatar


Don't let the machine win...

Do the defrost on your own schedule. Preferably when it is cold outside so you can use a cooler out the backdoor to maintain your goods - while the defrost takes place.

xan , avatar

@TechConnectify it's like driving to work, and just as I approach the last light on my commute, I notice the idle ticks up. it's DPF regen time, baby. who am I to interrupt that? so I have to drive around the block a bit more, hoon it a bit even, to destroy all that soot, until the cycle completes

rysiek , avatar

@TechConnectify chilling!


TechConnectify OP , (edited ) avatar

"why aren't you running, you should be running, I put a bunch of sparkle water and crap inside you"

"yeah, chief, I noticed that but golly gee right this very moment I think I'm gonna need to just stop for a half hour and melt the ice on my coils. please enjoy the slurpy hissy sounds"

KayOhtie , avatar

@TechConnectify "slurpy hissy sounds" aka "what the hell is it doing is it summoning a demon???"

TechConnectify OP , avatar

@KayOhtie legit the first time I caught my new fridge in a defrost cycle I was extremely confused by what I was hearing.

It was making the sort of short hissing sounds of coffee dripping onto the hot plate of the coffee maker, with about the same cadence, too!

KayOhtie , avatar

@TechConnectify Mine makes these concerning groaning noises, as in if I heard person making those groaning sounds verbally, I'd be rather concerned.

This definitely hasn't contributed further to "is someone in my apartment??" fear at all, no.

danblondell , avatar

@TechConnectify Zoom loves doing this with software updates

Denton , avatar

@TechConnectify not perfect, but, my 20 year old analogue fridge has a temperature probe that disables the defrost if things get too warm.

Kinda surprised they didn’t find a better solution.

wonkish , avatar

@TechConnectify adds "sparkle water" to his delightful Midwestern phrase dictionary

penguin42 , avatar

@TechConnectify Oh for a small light to tell you.

dragonarchitect , avatar

@TechConnectify I'm guessing that this is impeccable poor timing on your part?

TechConnectify OP , avatar

@dragonarchitect All signs point to yes, but I choose to be annoyed at the fridge

rotopenguin , avatar

@TechConnectify @dragonarchitect no, there should be a technology that makes smarter decisions than this. Is there a rhythm to you opening the door? Are there certain hours where you never open it? HOW ABOUT DOING YOUR DEFROST THE FUCK THEN?

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