Best Dual Receptacle - For Controlling Small Appliances

(Brandon Dorney) #1

Hey all,

Here’s my set up:
ST hub V2 with monitoring kit
Philips Hue Lighting Kit V2 (with hub)

Here’s the Essential Question:
What is the BEST receptacle to use that will work with ST that will give me the most control?

Here’s the situation and what I’m looking to do:

  1. Wifey leaves her hair straightener ON ALL THE TIME! It’s killing me. I want the ability to check and control (turn on and off) that outlet she uses in the morning (which is in a bathroom)

  2. I want to replace the WHOLE outlet. I do NOT want to use an adapter that just plugs into the socket. (i.e.- The SmartThings Outlet or comparatively WEMO outlet)

  3. This outlet should also be able to use a hair dryer without it triggering an auto cut off…

What are some of the receptacles that will work best for this scenario?

Thanks in advance

In wall outlets where both outlets are switched?
(Jason) #2

I use a GE/jasco outlet for the wifes side of the bathroom for this exact reason. I put baby proof plug in the top outlets(because they aren’t controlled) so she knows to use the bottom. (we’ve had to turn around on trips before just to check…)
If no motion for 1 hour the plug turns off cancel-able via rule machine. Plug turns on with motion.

If you are good at wiring, you could wire the entire outlet to a light switch and be able to control both from a smart switch

(Brandon Dorney) #3

Thanks for the response.

Could you include a link to the one you’re currently using?

Also you said 2 things:

  1. Only 1 OUTLET is SMART? why not both? Is this right?
  2. Also motion sensored? like the OUTLET itself is motion sensored or you have it CONNECTED to a motion sensor?


(Jason) #4

In all of the smart duplex outlets that I know of, only one of the two outlets are controllable. There is an Aeon Power strip that has multiple controllable outlets if that suits your fancy.

Also as an alternative you could probably use an in wall relay to control the outlet on and off, perhaps even both individually with a dual in-wall relay, but I’ve never personally done anything like that.

I was referring to a separate motion sensor in the bathroom.

(Jason) #5

I use these and any thing like this is great for extending your zwave mesh around the house:

(Brandon Dorney) #6

thats the exact one I was looking at. Thanks for your help! @schapper05

(Pizzinini) #7

You could put a Aeotec relay behind the outlet to control both plugs.

Notes of caution: Typically outlets in Bathrooms have to be protected by GFI by code in the US. not sure how this would impact if the outlet/GFI is tured on/off.

For both, the GE duplex outlet and the Aeon switch: The duplex outlet is rated for 600W, the Aeon switch for 1100W (=110V*10A). This may not be enough for a hair dryer. Suggest you double check.Your existing outlet will probably be connected to a 15A or 20A breaker.

(Jason) #8

Yeah, I did mention the in wall relays as well, just depends on what your looking for. Good point about the gfci in the bathroom, my electrician wouldn’t do it without adding one down line, so I did it myself. The positioning is so far away from water I wasn’t worried. But if your going to have someone else do it and pull a permit you may have to deal with that.

(Brandon Dorney) #9

This is EXACTLY what I was afraid of. I do not know how to check for 15A or 20A. Where would I find this info? At the circuit breaker?

PS - the outlet is wayyyy up high i would say 3 feet up and 1 foot over to the left of the sink. I would imagine this is far enough from water. But perhaps not.

If I use JUST the relay, will that be enough? or would it be the Aeotec relay WITH the GE smart outlet?


(Pizzinini) #10

You will find the 15/20 A when you look at the circuit breaker. An existing GCFI outlet may also have it’s own rating (probably written on the back?).

I think the GCFI requirement is for all outlets in a bathroom (and usually a basement), no matter where they are located but this will be in your local building code. I know this is true for NY building code.

You would either use the GE outlet (1 plug switched) or the Aeotec switch (both plugs switched), not both combined.

Theoretically there may also be a building code requirement to mark controlled receptacles with a specific sticker… but again, that will depend on the building code of where you live.

(Jason) #11


Or you could use a Dual relay to gain Independent control of the two outlets on the one duplex switch.


Every outlet in a US home bathroom now must be GFCI. It could be 20 feet from the sink it won’t matter.

There are no Z wave outlets which are also GFCI because they perform different functions. The GFCI has to be able to kill all power to the outlet under certain circumstances. The zwave one has to always have some power so it can hear the next on command.

At present, there are also no Z wave outlets that control both receptacles, but as was mentioned there are dual relays that can do this. Now that zwave plus is out we may see outlets with this form factor in a year or so. There are some really nice dual control ones right now for HomeKit that plug-in but look great. But they don’t integrate with SmartThings.

Anyway, if you use a plug-in, you retain the GFCI protection on the receptacle, but I understand you don’t want to do that.

The alternative is to put the GFCI upstream on the circuit. This essentially gives you the same set up as a plug-in. This should be to code in most US jurisdictions. I would think any electrician could do it and keep it to code most places.

@Navat604 or one of the other electrical experts could say more.

By the way, if you’re curious about the HomeKit plug in one that offers separate control of each outlet, it’s the connect sense. I have these in our bathrooms and really like them. But again, no integration with SmartThings. I do expect to eventually see some Z wave plus devices with a similar form factor, but again not for about a year.

(Brandon Dorney) #13

This is awesome! Thank you so much for taking the time to write that all out.

I’m new to all this home automation and it’s nice to know that one can rely on the experience of others.

I think for now. I might go with one that just plugs in on top like the one you shared until an updated one comes out.

I can see something like that being handy anywhere.

Thanks again!

(Brandon Dorney) #14

What’s the name of that product? Thanks @JDRoberts


The HomeKit one? ConnectSense. You will have to have an iOS device (iPhone or iPad) and a third or fourth generation AppleTv streaming box if you don’t have one already. And it’s not compatible with SmartThings. But you could open the app on your phone and turn off the outlet if you wanted.

Buy it from somewhere with a good return policy as some people have reported defective devices. But I’ve got 3 and they’ve all worked great since we got them last November.

(Brandon Dorney) #16

i found this one as well.

not dual.

(Ray) #17

If you really want Smartthings. Then there are 2 options. You can replace your washroom circuit breaker with a GFCI breaker. It’s pretty cheap and easy to replace for newer breaker panel.
Option 2 would be a GFCI plug upstream of all the smart plug in the washroom. This could be tricky depend on your washroom. It doesn’t have to be right at the plug but somewhere easy to reset if it tripped.
Code is actually a minimum standard so if you go anything less then that would not be wise. Trying to explain to your insurance company is even tougher.


I’ve been following Zuli closely since Logitech invested in them because they hope to do some interesting things with Micropresence. However, I don’t think they fit the original use case you described.

The problem with Zuli is that you must have your phone with you when you walk into the room. Many people don’t do that in the bathroom. Particularly first thing in the morning which I assume is the use case you’ve been talking about. In order for zuli to turn off automatically when the person leaves the room, it has to know the person was in the room and that requires the phone to be present. And you have no control of Zuli devices unless your phone is within Bluetooth range. No turning devices off at home when you’re at the office. This is the main reason that Zuli is not more popular yet.

There are many different Wi-Fi plug-ins that do allow remote control available from different manufacturers that you would be able to manually turn off through a phone app if you just want to shop around. If you want indirect integration with SmartThings, look for one with an IFTTT channel. Although at that point, you might just go ahead and get a zwave or Zigbee plug-in that connects directly to the SmartThings.

Also I don’t know of any wifi that have dual controls at the present time except for the ConnectSense HomeKit one I already mentioned. There may be others, this is becoming more popular form factor. :sunglasses:

Of course if your wife already takes the phone with her every time she goes into the bathroom, then the Zuli would be another candidate and would mean you yourself wouldn’t have to use the phone app to turn off the outlet. But if she ever went in without her phone And use the hairdryer then you’d probably end up with a situation where it might be left on and you couldn’t turn it off without physically going in the room.