I plan to add this socket to the refridgerator light bulb to enable another device to signal when the refridgerator is open. The fridge is in the garage and the kids seem to leave it open.

If you have created a similar alarm for your fridge, please state this in your response. I am seeking ideas or hacking existing inexpensive devices to signal the fridge is open: that can be powered by the socket in the picture:

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  • You might check out this instructable for another route: instructables.com/id/Fridge-Door-Detector-Alarm Dec 30 '16 at 17:28
  • All you really need is a simple timer - if there's power to that socket (meaning the fridge light is on) for longer then X minutes, trigger an alarm. I don't think I've never seen a refrigerator that takes a standard E26 base like that. Dec 30 '16 at 17:34
  • 1
    Put a door closer on it. Nothing so strong it would trap a child inside, but enough to close it normally. In some cases that can even be achieved by simply adjusting the leveling feet a bit. Or you might Rube Goldberg engineer a bungee cord hooked to a shelf and a door shelf (though a weight on a string and a pulley would be more in RG's spirit.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 30 '16 at 17:49
  • I'd look for a photocell that triggers an audible alarm. That way the only thing inside the refrigerator is the photocell, the wires would lead out to the device on the exterior of the fridge and the alarm would sound when the light was on. I'll also point out that there's a possibility the door could be cracked open and the light not activated yet - depending on the door switch design.
    – Ramrod
    Dec 30 '16 at 18:13

I'd make the whole thing battery powered. If I was making it myself I'd design a circuit with a photocell, RC time delay, transistor and buzzer.

You can buy (amazon) a circuit to do most if not all of the job. Again I would adapt it to use a light sensor but you could stick a magnetic switch on with double sided tape (possibly replacing with something more permanent once you're happy).

I'd also add a "shut up" button. Our previous fridge had an alarm built in, and transferring a week's worth of chilled shopping into the fridge meant spending a couple of minutes with a buzzer going off in your ear (it normally started while packing everything into the veg drawer, which blocked the door from shutting). This button would be wired in parallel with the door switch to fool the circuit into thinking you'd closed and reopened the door.


There is a reason that refrigerators do not have internal electrical outlets and that reason is so that people do not die.

Generally, that socket is a bad idea because a refrigerator is cool and when warm humid air enters, it will condense. The amount of condensation could easily rise to a level beyond that at which the socket is electrically safe.

Unlike other outlets in the rest of a kitchen, the National Electrical Code has not, historically, required ground fault protection for outlets serving refrigerators and other major appliances. A strict interpretation of the 'major kitchen appliance exception is why many jurisdictions prohibit duplex outlets in the area where a refrigerator is designed to go.

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