Will Power Allowance act as a countdown timer?


I am looking for a wireless controlled outlet that I can turn on wirelessly for 5 minutes and then go off automatically. It is for our hot water circulating pump. (The pump is 100 feet from the bathroom.) I want to turn the pump on long enough to get the hot water to the back of the house. With other wireless switches, I forget to turn the pump off so it ends up running all day and night. When I let the pump run continuously, my electric bill goes up $100 per month.

I can see that “Power Allowance” will shut off the pump after a set time… but will it turn it on also?

(Bruce) #2

No. You need something else to turn it on, e.g., “turn on at a specific time”, “turn on when there is motion”, etc. As far as I know mind reading isn’t supported.


So what about the instructions to turn on, run for 5 minutes, turn off are “mind reading?” is it possible to turn it on with one command… Then have it programmed to only run 5 minutes?

(Bruce) #4

Sorry, that was a lame joke.

Yes, you can turn it on with one command. Set it up in Lights & Switches, and then there are several options for how to control it. It isn’t clear from what you’ve written how you want to turn it on, when, or from what cause… That’s key.


It sounds like @Beaucastle wants to turn on the switch (for the hot water pump) manually through the ST app or some other trigger. Then have ST turn the switch off after 5 minutes.

I’d suggest setting it up in the Lights and Switches section to turn it on. Then setup the Power Allowance SmartApp to make sure it’s always turned off after being turned on.

I’d double check that the outlet switch is rated to handle the power needs of the pump. $100 extra per month suggests it uses a good bit of power.


That is perfect… I want to turn it on (with my phone) to circulate the hot water to the back of the house whenever I need it (dishes, washing my face, etc) , then not have to worry about turning it off which I think will happen based on your reply. I will use one function to turn it on whenever I need it… then the Power Allowance will be programmed to only let it run for 5 minutes.

Is there a wireless switch that will work with the outlets?

I believe the increase in electric bill is from the water cooling down as it runs through pipes in the ground for at least 200 feet, then pumps back into the hot water tank, which is continually reheating this water as long as the pump is running. I don’t think the pump pulls a lot of power, however, I will check.

I know this all sounds like it should be simple, but it has been very difficult for me to find a sensible solution. If ST has a “turn on” function, then I can use the Power Allowance to turn off after 5 minutes, my mission is accomplished. Thanks for the responses.

(Bruce) #7

If by wireless you mean as to its control, then yes. Look at the SmartThings SmartPower Outlet as an example (assuming your circulating pump is plugged in).


I think any z-wave or scene controller should work to switch it on, as well as the Aeon remotes.

i also happened to see that there’s an Aeon switch that’s got a high power rating and Amazon is selling them for a nice price.


That Aeon switch looks perfect so I am purchasing it and the ST controller from amazon. Thanks.

One more question, since you have been so helpful… what are the distance limitations? lets say my controller is the center of the house and i am at one end 50 feet away and the switch is at the other end 50 feet away… with walls in-between of course. Does that sound like it will work? I am assuming each device is communicating with the controller… not each other.


Z-Wave and Zigbee are mesh networks. Pretty much any mains powered device acts as a repeater. I think 50ft could work even without a repeater. My ST starter kit could reach 40ft across my house to toggle a power switch without any other powered devices in my network at that point.


I am all set up and am able to turn the switch (water pump) on and off on my android phone. However, I am not able to locate the Power Allowance Smart App. Am sure it it very simple but just can’t seem to find it. Help.


From the Dashboard in the mobile app:

  1. tap the + sign
  2. scroll right until you see MORE at the top of the screen
  3. scroll down to the Green Living category. It’s in there. :seedling:


Thank you so very much. I knew it was easy. Ha Ha


Also… just went back to iPhone 6+. Installed app and everything worked perfectly. So thanks for easy transition. Now working on getting remotes to work.

Again, I wish ST would market these as a countdown timer. This wireless function does not exist… I have been Googling literally for years to get this specific function. I am very pleased to have found this and will be adding more to my home.