Alerts based on energy use, which devices aren't a problem?

I’d like to set up some alerts to monitor energy being used. Not for savings, but for making sure stuff is actually continuing to do what it ought to be doing.

As in, is the basement freezer still consuming it’s typical amount of power? As in, is it still running? Belt-and-suspenders against the temp sensor not registering.

Or whether a sump pump has been running. Just running at all, or running a LOT more then typical. There’s times where it’s not going to run at all, others where it’ll run for a bit, off and on, due to local weather. Then there’s times where a float gets stuck and the thing runs itself dry for hours on end.

Note, in most situations here I have no desired to actually control the devices. I just want to know what they’re doing. I’ve experimented with the ‘clamp around’ amperage monitors and while those can be ‘made to work’ they’re not ideal due to needing to build break-out cables just so the clamps have somewhere to go.

Using something line an in-line Aeon DSC06106 would seem like an interesting possibility. But I’ve read a lot of pros/cons regarding Aeon device reliability. The kinds of things I want to monitor here HAVE to stay powered. I don’t need misbehaving automation devices to disrupt that. Yeah, I could always set up a repeating power-on scheduled event. But I’d prefer to find devices I could trust not to potentially require that all the time.

At some point I may go down the road of using a system that monitors the circuits themselves, right from inside the breaker panel. I’m not at that point yet, and some of the stuff isn’t on it’s own unique circuit. Best to be able to monitor some of the loads right at their use.

So, is anyone out there using an in-line device to just monitor usage? What kinds of problems have you encountered?

@wkearney99, I’m using both Aeon’s DSC06106 (2 of them) and Lowes’s Smart plug (2 of them) along with the Energy Alerts smartapp (it’s in the Marketplace in Energy Management). I monitor a garage freezer, washer, dryer, and when my kids should NOT be watching TV.

The Aeon’s have been in place for over a year without a problem, and the Iris ones are only a couple months old, but have also been working great.

I have had zero problems with these devices or smartapp.


What kind of alerts have you programmed for the washer and dryer?

So you get an alert when the washer goes to zero?

How does the smart app work? wouldn’t it send continuous notifications when the washer was not in use and not using any power?

Even for the freezer? It seems my freezer seems to cycle on and off, so I would like to get notifications if the freezer was not working anymore, but sometimes the energy usage does go to zero because the freezer does cycle on and off.

@professordave, the smartapp basically monitors for high and low thresholds:

So for the washer/dryer, I use the smartapp and I look for anything below 10 watts before a notification is sent. It only sends it once, and if it goes above 10 and back down, I’ll get another. That’s perfect for being notified for each load completed.

As for the fridge/freezer, that is a challenge but I’m lucky because it does constantly draw enough power to keep the outside LED panel on (water/ice indicators). I watch for zero watts before a notification is sent to let me know about a power loss. I also have a temp sensor in freezer, and I use ST’s Damage & Danger dashboard (yes, I still have that!) to alert me that way too.

Do you have to place a value in the “Reports Below” AND “Reports Above”? If, so do you get 2 notifications for one laundry load?

Nope, I just set the “or reports below” value for each install of the app.

My wife did a wash while I was at work and it looks like the app works well. Thanks!

However, the reason I am confused is that the app seems to require a value in both fields so I placed 0 in the below field.


Above is so it knows the appliance started.

I just saw your reply, sorry for the delay. I did have to provide an above number, but it’s well over anything I would expect.

Waaaah! The DSC06106 units can’t handle the in-rush current from by basement fridge! Dang it!

Symptom is I hear the compressor try to kick on (clink) and then nothing. No bleeps, blinks or other indicators on the DSC (or in the app). Plug the freezer straight into the socket and it works fine (clink and then it starts and the humming commences).

This, of course, I discover after muscling the (full) freezer out of tight quarters in order to reach the plug for it. Wisely, however, I’ve extended the connection via a (heavier gauge) extension and have left it reachable for future fiddling. Meanwhile… where’s that Motrin…

So if you’re planning on monitoring a refrigerator or freezer (or any other device with a high start-up in-rush current drain) then you probably won’t be able to use the Aeon DSC06106. It’s listed as supporting 15A, and the freezer only lists 5A. But the startup drain is clearly more (as I would have expected, just not over 15A).

Meanwhile I’m going to cobble up a way to get the clamps for their DSB09104 around the individual conductors. I’ll probably just separate the wires of a short extension cord (the molded kind, not the wrapped).