GFCI Outlet Monitoring for Water System (Heater, Iron Curtain, Softener, etc.)


#1

So we just had an issue this past week where we had no hot water. It turns out that our whole water system is plugged into a GFCI outlet AND a AFCI breaker… yay electrical codes and unfinished basements. The breaker hadn’t tripped but the water heater had tripped the GFCI and well we didn’t notice until ice cold shower time.

So my question is, what is something that can give me that outlet’s status? What I would like is just a little plug in “beacon” that checks in every 15/30/60 minutes and if it loses power then no more check ins and an alert is generated.

Any ideas?


#2

Any energy monitoring smartthings – compatible device should be able to do that but the first question is exactly what kind of outlet is it? Is it a regular 110v 15A outlet? Or does it have a different kind of socket?

IMG_3652

If it looks like the one on the right, you have a lot of choices. If it looks like the one on the left, things get more complicated.

If it looks like the one on the right, the following device is popular, but there are other choices as well.

You can then combine that with one of the “wellness check” smart apps to give you notification if the pocket socket stops reporting.

I think the most popular right now is “simple device viewer,” but there are a couple of others as well. You can find these on the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki. :sunglasses:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section

If you haven’t used custom code before, it’s pretty straightforward. Basically you just going to copy the author’s code and paste it into your account. Who is the FAQ for that process:


#3

It’s a standard 15amp GFCI. I thought about using a smart switch wall plug but I was hoping there might be something cheaper more purpose built for it. I also looked into the power usage monitoring devices but again, I’m only looking for a small subset of the functionality.


#4

If you just want to know if it has lost power all together, then you can use any plug-in device that can report to smart things and again use one of the wellness check smart apps to let you know that it has stopped reporting. So any inexpensive pocket socket. There are some that will run about $20 on sale, you just have to shop around. The Lowe’s iris devices are often on sale at Lowe’s. Or zwave products.com usually has some refurbished products at a good price:


#5

Yeah I have a wink version of those from a long time ago that I need to find and I’ll try that out.


(Andy - United Kingdom) #6

I hava a similar problem… here was my fix…


#7

Right, I forgot @Navat604 did something similar using a less expensive US device :sunglasses:

I like using a pocket socket because then I can still use the outlet, but if you don’t care about that, there are less expensive ways.


(Michael Stroh) #8

I just read through the entire Simple Device Viewer thread and I’m not sure how I could use the ZW096 above and SDV to notify me that the GFCI cut the power to the outlet my freezer is plugged into. Maybe I’m looking too hard and the answer is obvious.

I wonder if I could put an ice cube inside a ziplock back with a water leak sensor, when the ice cube starts to melt I would know there is a problem? That would be pretty late notice though. Knowing about the power failure when it happens is a more desirable option.


#9

You can set simple device viewer to notify you x amount of time since the last event from a device as well as set up a polling interval. So you know when it hadn’t responded to the poll.

how long since last event, switch state, etc.


(Michael Stroh) #10

ahh, I was looking for how to detect power failures. By checking for events or polling the absence would imply the power failure.


#11

If you want something that will report very quickly without requiring a lot of polling, see the link to @Navat604 's thread above, or you can buy A ready-made version, although it’s expensive. Like @cobra 's solution above, you use a battery-powered open/close sensor so that it will fall closed if the power goes out and alert you immediately ( provided your hub and Wi-Fi are still powered, these devices only test a single branch circuit).

https://www.amazon.com/seven7express-S7E-01-Z-Wave-Outage-Sensor/dp/B01IZ2JYQU


(Michael Stroh) #12

Thanks, I saw those threads and found the device on amazon. I am going to try the ZW096 route since it isn’t a unitasker and I might get more use out of it that way. Its a couple bucks cheaper as well.


(Michael Stroh) #13

Here is my solution for now until a power failure detection capability is available.

I am using the Aeon Multiswitch 6 (Gen 5) with the DTH by @jbisson and have Simple Device Viewer by @krlaframboise set up to notify me if there are no events reported. I have the DTH set to report every minute and to force state changes so even if the data does not change there are reports/events generated. I have Simple Device Viewer to notify me if there are no events within the last 5 minutes. This should give me a maximum of 5 minutes lag for a power failure.

I don’t necessarily need to force the state change for this because the DTH reports the time since last reset and change in cumulative energy use every interval. I set it that way because I have a logging SmartApp that was only logging if there was a change. When the refrigerator was idle there was no change, therefore no entry in the logs. By forcing the state change I get consistent 5 minute entries so that the graphing shows an accurate timeline.


#14

Follow up to my original question. I ended up purchasing two of the devices @JDRoberts listed from Amazon, overall they work great but expensive.

Digging into them I think I (well let’s be honest, I find the instructions from someone else on the forum :smiley: ) will modify a Monoprice z-wave door sensor as they look to be almost exactly a like.

Power Outage Monitor - https://imgur.com/a/JVNLC
Monoprice Z-Wave - https://imgur.com/a/PgxbD

Looks like they removed the magnetic switch and wired in the USB 5V wire.