The Internet of Annoying Things

Our old refrigerator died early in the pandemic. We found out that there was some sort of appliance shortage and it took a while to get a replacement. But all in all the new fridge is a big improvement. It is “internet enabled” and I installed the app, which was fairly useless. I suppose I can check my fridge and freezer temperatures remotely, if I ever have the urge.

I actually found the published REST API and was able to write some python to contact the refrigerator, but alas, I wasn’t able to get it to do anything. Couldn’t even get it to send me back a temperature reading. Did a bit of googling and it seems nobody else out there could get it to work either. No matter, I don’t need to be writing code from my kitchen appliances anyway.

Yesterday I noticed a red light on the panel inside the door. It seems out ice maker has a filter that needs replacing every few months. Ok. Read the docs and it turns out you need to turn off the water to the ice maker to change the filter. I’m not sure how other houses do it, but the water connection and valve are behind our refrigerator. I would have to pull the refrigerator completely out to replace the filter.

Surely this can’t be true. But it is. Reading the comments by other owners discuss this. Many turn off the water to their entire house to change the filter. Ok, a little better, but not much. People also warned not to try to change the filter with the water on, or you would get sprayed and fill the bottom of your freezer with water.

Screw it. I’m just going to go into the app and turn off the little red nag light. Except I couldn’t. Further googling indicates that this part of the app is broken, but the manufacturer says if you unplug the refrigerator for 15 seconds it will go off. Ok. Maybe some other time.

I decided to just ignore the red flashing light inside of the fridge. Went back to reading (Thomas Pynchon’s “Beelding Edge”) when my pad began beeping. An alarm from my fridge. Time to change the water filter. I turned off the audio beep alert, but I keep getting text warning alerts. I suppose I could turn then off all together, but not much point in having an internet connection fridge at that point.

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