My name's Derrick Mickelson. I work for Cache County School District. I do all their refrigeration. We wanted a solution to monitor our walk-in freezer and cooler while school is down during breaks, so we reached out to the ControlByWeb guys. They gave us the option to do this XW-110 Plus, it gives us an opportunity to monitor with one monitor, the freezer and the fridge together.
It works out great, works through Wi-Fi, makes it really simple, it has battery backup. You can plug it in, it gives us our temps when coolers go below what we wanted to keep them so they don't go too cold or the freezer doesn't get too cold, or obviously when it's high, it gives us a high alarm. It's been really great, we've actually saved a couple of coolers, we've saved some food from spoiling.
We're kind of in this situation where we have long breaks like Spring break, Fall break, and on those breaks there's no kitchen staff here, so it helps protect us during those times. It helps me know if there's a problem, I can get an alert, and I can come check it out and fix it before we lose any food.
So what we've done is we've mounted our XW-110 right here. We have a battery backup, I've just screwed it on. This situation's really nice because I have one wall that separates the two coolers so it was really easy just to drill a hole here, drill a hole there, and then I can go into my cooler or freezer. It worked out really simple.
So what I've done is I found on Amazon that you can get a 5.5mm by 2.5mm power adapter. I've actually got it to where it comes to a USB. I've hooked it up with this setting right there. This is SnapPower, you can find them on Amazon, and I think even maybe Home Depot or something like that sells them. It's nice because it just steals power from each side of the outlet. Most coolers usually have a light switch with a pilot light. I can just steal power and then it converts it to 5VDC power, and that's what these take so it ended up working out really good.
I just unplugged this to see, and you can actually see that I just got an alert from Heritage Elementary, is where we're at, and it says “External power lost.” So you lose power and within a minute or two it'll tell you when power is lost, and that's the nicest feature for us. When we have the power set up that if the power of the cooler goes down, then it will actually let me know that I've lost power.
That's why I kind of like tying the power into the cooler itself because if the rest of the school has power but we've just lost power to the freezer, I know that I need to come and either reset the breaker, or replace a fuse or something like that. So it's worked out really good for us.
Installed in 24 Schools in Cache County School District
The guys at ControlByWeb have been really good. We ended up doing a little test trial when we installed that first unit about a year ago. We went on to install it in all 24 of our schools in the school district. It's been really awesome.
It's saved us a lot of headache in having to have lunch managers come in on their break to check the fridges and freezers and custodians always having to come in and check during long breaks.
We've actually during Christmas break this year, or this last year, we ended up saving a freezer that went down over Christmas break when we had a really cold spell. It was nice, it alerted me soon. I went out to the school, found out there was so much snow buildup around the condenser that it wasn't working. I cleared the snow, did everything, we didn't lose any food. Potentially could have saved us thousands of dollars, so it paid for our investment right there.
Cost Effective Freezer Monitoring
It's been a really good product, we've liked it. For the money, it's probably the best product you can get to monitor your cooler and freezer. For the price, you really can't beat it.