Washer/Dryer Notification Project Questions

Alright, it looks like I’m about to be snowed/iced in tonight, so might as well use that time to do something fun for the weekend! :tada:

I have a washer and dryer from (literally) the 70s. I had to youtube how to use it. They’re older than me.
Because of that, there’s no chimes, no cool things, nothing. It’s in the basement.

How can I have ST send me texts/notifications for when it’s finished? I picked up ST branded (because I wanted to get it super right) multi-sensor and a plug because those are what the preliminary research said. Dad said my dryer is a 220v, so the plug won’t work on that, but will work on the washer. So that means the sensor would go on the dryer.

Would that setup work?

I know I’d have to play a little bit to figure out what the power draw notification would be. I made up a test automation when using it to charge something else, so I know how to make that automation in theory. Do dryers just vibrate/shake the entire dry cycle? Or do I need to just be aware “go get the laundry after the second text”? That one I haven’t played with, since I’d need to return it if it wasn’t going to work for me.

Misc Question:

  • I managed to snag a ST round Zigbee plug as well as an Amazon warehouse deal. How do Zigbee repeaters work? Should it be between the hub and the other Zigbee items? Or should it be like past the Zigbee items? :zap: :honeybee: (zigzag bee, get it? (I need to go home.))

I’m in the US, with the v3 hub, using the New app.

Thanks in advance guys, for letting me run this whole thing by you! :blue_heart:

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I don’t have comprehensive advice but for dryer status but you could stick the multisensor in discharge duct. When it falls back down to 90 or less then it’s probably done. I have done this since I let the lint build up, and tripped the thermal fuse and had to replace it - now the peak has been 145F and still the fuse didn’t melt. I wonder when the sensor will melt.

… What’s a discharge duct? :joy: :sweat_smile:

the tube from the dryer that goes outside - for the hot air to leave the house. In my case it also collect a lot of lint (not supposed to)

Hmm… I’ll explore that as a backup option! I’m not sure I can open mine? It’s just like a 4 inch metally tube. It didn’t even exist until I made them put it in before I bought the house.

Please start a new thread for your weather question with “weather notifications“ in the title and you Probably will get a lot more responses from people who can help you with that. :umbrella:

As you no doubt noticed, this is a very active forum and I don’t think anybody reads all the messages. A good detailed topic title will go along way towards getting the attention of people who can help you with any specific question. :sunglasses:

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Okay, I think I’ve got it! I’ll replace one of my little cheap plugs with the repeating plug, so that it’s between that and my Sengled lights.

First step towards building a mesh!!! FIRST mesh too!!

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Are the “little cheap plugs” smart devices? Or existing dumb devices?

If they are smart devices, what’s the brand and model?

haha sadly, it’s more of an annoyance than anything truly important. And it’s only an annoyance because my city has been under advisories of various kinds for about a week and a half now.

(Also, I really hate cluttering up forums with one liner questions - the obsessive organizer in me)

Oh, they’re just the cheap smart plugs from China. Tuya/Jinvoo/Smart Life/GlobeSuite, that all run on the WiFi. I’ve got a few lamps I really like but can’t replace the (exposed) bulbs, so that’s how I make them smart-ish.

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From one obsessive organizer to another, this forum loves one-liner questions. :heart_eyes:

Seriously, a good topic title, a clear and concise question, and then hopefully a clear and concise response is a perfect use of the forum.

One of the things that makes this forum so active is that it’s an information store for all kinds of ideas and questions that many people have had over the years. Being able to quickly find a good quick answer to a problem that you have is one of the most helpful things the forum can provide.

So please do keep each thread to only one topic and don’t worry if you think it’s going to be a short question with a quick answer. That kind of organization will help many future visitors.


Okay, you’ve convinced me! I’ll make a new weather-y topic and remove it from this one.

Thanks! (And thanks for your help renaming this topic, it didn’t go unnoticed :wink: )

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@dare2smile, one of the best solutions what I have seen so far. But we were discussing other options too.

Trying to turn my analog dryer smart

Here is an updated SmartApp for motion triggers:

Another updated SmartApp for power meter triggers:

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I’m not really sure how to use this… I plugged the code in and published it as a SmartApp for myself, but I can’t even select a device. My machines are super duper old, older than me. It’s looking for an acceleration sensor - will that be the multipurpose ST sensor? I haven’t opened and installed it yet, since I wasn’t sure it’s what I needed.

How should I have my devices paired with my machines to use it? That’s what I’m trying to figure out.

@dare2smile, yes the multipurpose sensor is an acceleration sensor. It has an open close sensor and the 3 axis accelerometer. The second part senses vibration/acceleration.

Are your washer and dryer connected to each other or separate. If connected and when the washer running then the dryer is shaking too then you would be better to go with the aforementioned current meter. Otherwise you should just install it on the door. (You can install as it an open close sensor as well and then you can see when the door closed.) When the machine is running it will sense the vibration.

My machines are separate.

So I’ll put the vibration sensor on the dryer. And a smart plug will work for the washer? Or will I need another SmartApp?

I have posted two SmartApps there one for vibration and other one for power consumption.

For the plug, be sure that it can handle the load of the washing machine. @JDRoberts can give some hints which one would be good if you can post here what is the consumption of your washer. Maybe make a picture of the sticker on the back with the details if that is still there.

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I tried the vibration route with the multisensors and never could get reliable reports, so I switched to power monitoring.

On the washer, it’s easy with a Smart Plug (I happen to use the Aeotec Smart Plug 6 but anyone that reports power works fine). I have my logic setup in WebCore but in the new App and Automation would work too. Look for the power to drop below a certain threshold (for me, I use 10W) and then send an alert.

The dryer was harder because it’s 220v. I bought an old Aeotec Home Energy Monitor that is made to go into your load center. I unattached the 3-phase from the back of the dryer and put the HEM’s CT’s around 2 of the 3 legs of the 3-phase connector. It’s not pretty, and it’s probably not up to code (LOL) but it works like a charm using the same logic as the washer app.

That sounds really… complicated. I mean, I had to youtube how to even use the dang thing haha.

What about your dryer reports weren’t reliable?

The multisensor wasn’t vibrating enough to trigger and active/inactive state change. I guess I just have a really stable dryer.

I even tried hanging it from a string so it would swing and that didn’t work either. It’s been many years since I’ve tried and I’ve learned a lot about Home Automation since then. If I have an extra multisensor laying around somewhere, I might try it again for fun, but my power-monitoring based solution is practically flawless.

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