Notification when GFCI trips


#1

I am trying to figure out a way to send a text or push notification when a GFCI outlet trips. The specific use case is that I have a fridge plugged into a GFCI that occasionally trips, cutting off power to the fridge and causing my frozen goods to defrost. I’m trying to find a way to receive a notification when this happens so that I can take care of it.

I assumed there would be a CoRE piston for this that pings a smart device and when no longer finds it online sends an alert. Absent that, I purchased a Zooz Zen15 power monitor thinking it I could tap into when it is shut off. Alas, I have been unable to find a solution that works.

Any clever ideas?


#2

It’s not webcore, but “simple device viewer“ is a very popular smart app which will monitor the SmartThings logs and if a device has not had any activity for the time period that you select can send you a notification.

You can find it and other approaches to this problem by looking at the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki, looking in the smart app section, and reviewing the list for “wellness check.“ :sunglasses:

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

You can also look down at the bottom of that page at the project report section and look on the list for “power“ projects. Those have some other options including a plug-in device that can send a message when the outlet it is plugged into loses power.


#3

I’d recommend using a current sensor on the circuit powering your fridge. Aeotec has a nice Gen5 model that monitors two circuits but you can make due with a cheaper, earlier model as well. Just add a SmartApp/condition that sends an event if the current drops to near zero for a minimum time period. Since the sensor is powered from a different circuit you’ll always be able to interrogate it.

You’ll have to remove the front panel from your breaker box and kill power for a short while installing the current transformer or practice installing it one-handed as a safety measure.


(Kirk Hilzinger) #4

A better solution might be to change out the GFCI outlet if it trips for no reason. They are not supposed to do that. They do get weaker as they age. That is why you should test them monthly. For less than $20, you can get a new one.


(Michael Stroh) #5

I have the same issue, just a different cause. I investigated this and bought an energy meter and also put a temperature sensor inside the freezer. The freezer doesn’t draw power when not cooling so the absence of power through the meter isn’t accurate. For my use case setting the temperature sensor to send a push notification anytime the temperature rises above 30 degrees seems to work. I tried lower temperatures but it seems the defrost cycle interfered with that.

It would be nice if the power meter had battery backup feature and could monitor when the outlet loses power. Apparently the energy meters that exist (at least the last time I checked) can’t send notification when the power fails, because it has no power to send the notification.


#6

Good suggestion and is absolutely something I plan to do. I’m just a little paranoid now …as well as the fact that I am simply set in motion to figure out an option to this puzzle.


#7

I read somewhere about a motion sensor device that plugs in but also has battery backup. The approach with that was to monitor for the event of shifting from power to battery, and send a notification based on it. Sounds like a good option but I can’t seem to find the device referenced.

Anyone have idea of devices that are powered and switch to battery when power is lost?


#8

I like it. Next challenge… I’d also like to put a similar notification on my sump pump in case it, for whatever reason, loses power. But the sump pump only draws power when the water is high enough to trigger it. Given that most of the time it is idle, I don’t think triggering based on power flow is an option.


#9

The project power project reports quick browse list I mentioned in post 2 above has at least two topics that discuss exactly that kind of device. One you can buy from Amazon and one you can make yourself.

That’s why it’s always helpful to start with a quick browse list, it’s usually the fastest way to find things that you know you’ve seen in the forums before. :sunglasses:


#10

For that situation it sounds like you’d like to ensure that the sump will run when you want it to? I’d suggest wiring up a Z-wave dry contact switch in parallel with your existing sump switch so you can turn it on whenever and validate the resulting current draw is what you expect.

Or, you could monitor the sump switch itself and when closed, have a Z-wave event sent to your app that will look for a corresponding current draw within a short period.


(Alan Lambert) #11

I have a smartoutlet plugged in to the other half of my GFI. I created a piston to notify me if that smartplug goes offline.


(Thomas Kelso) #12

I am just getting started with SmartThings after loosing the contents of our freezer while out of town. I have ordered a hub and a smartoutlet. Where can I find out how to import your work.

Thanks