Laundry Notification?


#1

Been searching around, and the closest I could find was Laundry Monitor which has been scrapped. Does anyone know of a way to get smartthings to know when the washer has finished? I know how to setup the actual notification, but I cant figure out how to get Smartthings to know when the washing is complete.


#2

There are several different ways to approach this depending on the exact brand and model of washer that you have. If you look on the quick browse list in the community – created wiki in the smart app section and check the “alerts and notifications“ list you should find several of them.

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

Basically there has to be an event that smartthings can recognize to use as a trigger for the notification. In most cases these will only work if you are using the smartthings classic mobile app, but if you happen to have a Samsung smart washer, then you would have to be using the “smartthings (Samsung connect)“ mobile app.

1. The washer tells you

If the washer itself is a smart device and either has an IFTTT service or is a Samsung washer that works with the connect app, you can just use that as the trigger for the notification.

If the washer has its own app and you have an android phone, you can also probably use a combination of Tasker and SharpTools To capture the notification event to the app.

If the washer can send an email or SMS, which some can, then you can capture that through IFTTT.

But all of these are based on the washer itself knowing that it is done and being able to contact you.

2. The washer vibrates while it is running and stops when it is done.

This is a typical method if you have a washer which is at least five years old. These washers generally have a drum which spins through their entire operation. This can usually be detected by any vibration Sensor that works with smartthings, including the smartthings brand multisensor. However, many newer washers have multi cycle operation where the drum spins for a while and then stops, and then starts up again later. This can cause the sensor to go off too early unless you use Webcore to create a much more complicated detection algorithm.

3. The washer draws more power while it’s operating than when it’s done.

This method only works with some washers. But if the washer does draw detectably more power while operating, you can add an energy monitoring device. I personally don’t like this as well because in order for it to work you generally have to have nearly continuous polling of the energy usage on that outlet, and while I know people like this Idea conceptually, it’s just not a really good match to a mesh network like zwave or zigbee home automation. You can end up flooding the network with Messages for something you aren’t even using. I believe at one point @tgauchat said that over 3/4 of the events from actiontiles users were just for energy monitoring. :disappointed_relieved:. But it is a popular method.

4. If the washer has a dial that rotates while it is operating, you can use a battery-operated Contact sensor to recognize when the dial reaches the stop position

A couple of community members have done this. I like it a lot. It doesn’t send unnecessary messages, the device itself is pretty inexpensive, you shouldn’t get any early alert misfires, there’s just a question of the aesthetics. And of course it only works on specific models.

image

5. Acoustic alert

There aren’t very many sound sensors that work with smartthings, but there are a couple if you go through IFTTT, Including some cameras that have built-in sound sensors. So if the laundry room is in an otherwise quiet area, you might be able to get an alert when the “laundry done” signal goes off. I’m less optimistic about this working reliably just because so many other sounds can set it off, but it will be an option for some people.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #3

There’s no polling required. All of the SmartThings (Centralite…) ZigBee outlets default to (or a sent) a configured reporting interval that triggers upon a tiny variation in current draw; even a fraction of a Watt.

If an Appliance or Light is completely off, then no power Events are sent (because of no delta from 0 Watts).

But even a 7 Watt light bulb will tend tend to vary ± 1 Watt quite frequently.


#4

Looks like number 2 is going to be my best bet. Thanks for the detailed explanation.


#5

Thanks for the input. I may try the multipurpose sensor.


#6

Well, I went out and bought a multipurpose sensor, but I am not quite sure where to place it. I ran my washer to see where there would be vibration, but the thing is awfully smooth and quite. So I am not sure where to mount the sensor. Still open to suggestions, anyone. Thanks in advance.


(Eric) #7

Open up the case and mount it to the drum, itself? Might want to put some extra adhesive on it.


#8

Not a good idea, for multiple reasons, Beginning with the fact that we are talking about a washer. So, you know, water, batteries, all that.

Or if we’re talking about a dryer, they get very hot. And again, not a good idea with batteries. :fire:

Next, drums in both washers and dryers are finely calibrated. Affixing anything to it will throw it off balance, and throwing it off balance will either cause it not to spin or wear the bearings unevenly.


#9

Oh ok. So those sensors are waterproof?


#10

Or did you mean on the outside of the drum?


(Eric) #11

I meant the outside. As to calibration, the constantly changing weight of the water/clothing shifting around kinda puts that reasoning to rest. A one-ounce sensor is nothing compared to a tub full of wet clothes sloshing around.

You could also put the sensor inside a ziplock bag to ward off moisture or humidity.

[Edit] Just thinking aloud here, but if you have any experience with wiring, I know my dryer gives off a pretty loud buzz when it’s done. It would be interesting to see if some sort of inline sensor could be wired along the electrical line to the buzzer, although I guess you’d need a secondary power line for the radio. [Edit] Scratch that, if the sensor is battery-powered, duh. Or perhaps putting the sensor next to the buzzer? I’m sure that sucker vibrates like hell when it goes off.


#12

As we’ve often discussed in the forums, batteries outgas. They should never be put in a Ziploc or any other airtight container unless the batteries are specifically designed for that purpose.

As far as how calibration works, the whole point is that you want the empty drum to spin perfectly on empty. After that, when you have clothes in the washer, Because the drum is calibrated you will get the “out of balance” warning when it’s out of balance. Even a one ounce sensor will throw that off. Which again will lead to uneven wear on the bearings. And that generally does not end well.

But check with the manufacturer, they can explain in more detail.


(Eric) #13

Yeah, no… I’m not that personally invested in this. Just throwing out ideas. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.


#14

I kind of figured the outside after I hit the submit message button. I will try it out. Ill report back with results


(Mike) #15

If you can get a power sense plug attached to the machines power this app will work well


#16

I just thought of this right before you sent this message. I got the Big Talker Announcement set up with a virtual swtich. I just cant get the Webcore piston to turn on the Virtual Switch. The Sensor seems to be sense the vibration just fine so far.


#17

Got it working. Thanks for the help everyone


(Jason) #18

I use a power metering socket for my gas dryer and this webCoRE piston to send a notification.


Switch 2 is my virtual switch that I use to pause all notifications.


#19

That’s a nice one that I will keep in my back pocket now that I have the Washer done. Now onto the Dryer. What kind of metering socket do you have, and where did you get it?


(Jason) #20

I use the Zooz ZEN15 because I have them on the washer and dryer.

I also have the Monoprice 15654 plug in the house as well. I use this one for measuring usage on a space heater.