Grandiose plans to monitor laundry

Evening all, I don't have any power-sensing devices, so trying this from a more manual perspective. My high-level plan was to start a cycle, wait 1 hour, then remind every 15 minutes.

Below is the actions from the rule, and for sake of ease, I have numbered the lines.

  1. I declare a global variable to say the cycle has begun.
  2. I am assuming I should repeat to get the desired effect, but I think this is my problem

After the 1-hour delay, is the first message "get laundry", then another 10-minute delay as otherwise, I was getting messages stacked at the same time, well below is the notifications I received tonight, so clearly it's still not right. Is there a better way to handle this?

Below is a list of notifications,

from bottom up, you can see the time, first message and reminder come in at the same time 6:42pm, actually messages #2 - #4 at 6:42, and #5 at 6:43.
#6 - #8 all at 6:57.

CLEARLY I'm going at this from the wrong perspective, but would love to have someone point out the problems.


ok actually this just happened, 1 message and 2 message are concurrent, but 3 is 15 minutes later, so perhaps its closer than I think.

Buy the power sensing plugs and use Laundry Monitor,


+1 Or vibration sensors like the old smart things contact sensor.

Agreed. Modern washers don't have a fixed cycle time necessarily. It will take longer to wash a full load of dirty clothes than a half load of not so dirty. Same with dryers.


You probably want something more like:

Washer start variable=true
Wait 1:00:00
Repeat while (washerOpen variable = false) every 00:15:00
Notification reminder

I haven't done this, but I think it would be best to tie into the existing buzzer.
Everything else seems to have pitfalls, but even the buzzers are probably integrated on some circuit board that you couldn't tap into.

I realize you mean "could tap into". Yeah, the beeps are how I detect the dryer completion (using Alexa's sound detection). That works nicely. My washer plays a little melody that she doesn't detect, though. But the washer is easy to solve using a power monitor.

If your washer has an LED that lights up when done (or turns off when it's done and is on when running--or possibly if it blinks, but I've had bad luck getting that set up), the HomeSeer Flex Sensor with the "indicator light sensor" might also work: HomeSeer HS-FS100-L Z-Wave Dual Sensor & Buzzer

That being said, I think power metering is generally a better solution, as suggested above, if there is any way you can make it work. Besides the Flex Sensor, I've also used an ST Multisensor as a vibration sensor, which wasn't bad aside from needing to change the batteries maybe a couple times per year and the fact that it sometimes thought I was doing laundry if it picked up enough vibration from other things nearby.

I can't help but wonder if its lower price (under $20 USD now...was $30 when I bought it--and I see several open box and refurb units available for as little as $12!) is a reflection of how others feel about it, too. :slight_smile: But ... it's the only thing that ever came close to working on my dryer without having to mess with power monitoring, which is much harder to set up on a 240 V dryer than a 120 V washer. (I'm using a Zooz ZEN15 for that, BTW, though a few others would likely work -- make sure a big appliance like this is within their specs.)

Iotawatt and Laundry monitor

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Order a couple of power sensing can get them for $10 each:

Add a a contact sensors on the washer and dryer, and use one of the existing laundry notification rules, or write your own based on them.

Much more accurate/reliable and you will thank yourself for "doing it right."

I use two Zooz ZEN15 power monitoring plugs, one for the washer and the other for the gas dryer. This is the rule that was honed to perfection by those here smarter than I. Perhaps you could tailor this to your needs.

Those may be too lightweight for heavy duty appliances. A zooz zen-15 would be better as it's designed for appliances or the Iotawatt...


I'm using them on my washer (electric) and dryer (gas), w/no issues so far. I can see how using them on an electric dryer would more likely be a problem. But being cautious about electricity is rarely a bad idea. :slight_smile:

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Well electric dryers are 220. That said Washing machines can have heavy draws at times.

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DOH...need to remember to think (a little) before I type/talk. :slight_smile:

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I'm just saying while it may work, it's not recommended to use things like that on appliances. Similarly it's like using a regular digital switch with a ceiling fan. It can work (at least for a while) but the load is eventually gonna cause an issue. Today, tomorrow, a couple of years from now? It'll happen.

Thank you everyone, I really was trying to zero in on the better way to handle the rule.

I have taken what I've read here and trimmed it down, and feel will be better. Next to run some tests to confirm it's closer to where it should be.

I fully expect to add more sensors, but that down the road. Yes, the 1 hour is an arbitrary time and not linked to anything real, but that is the timer I normally set on my phone, with no follow-up notifications and the reason it's failed over and over.


Based on below Sengled specs I think it should be fine. I don't remember ever seeing readings anywhere near 1800 from the plug on the washer. I can't remember anything over a thousand watts, let alone 1800. Or is your concern amps?

The next time I run a load I'll keep the logs open and see what's showing up.