Sunday, September 20, 2015

Getting notified when my laundry is done using the WeMo Insight switch and IFTTT

While I normally would remember to switch my clothes from the washer to the dryer, I would accidentally forget my clothes in the dryer. Buying some new smart dryer is out of the question, especially since I am an apartment renter and the dryer is included. So I wanted to find other some home automation method in order to alert me when the dryer is done. This is what I came up with:

What you will need



The WeMo Switch

The WeMo Insight switch is a smart switch that is able to measure power consumption of anything that is plugged into it. We will use this feature to know when the dryer finishes. These switches use WiFi for communication, so no smart hub or cell phone nearby is required. I plugged in my dryer through the switch to the wall. The switch supports a maximum of 1800W, so make sure that you appliance comes in below this max rating. My dryer uses gas, so the only power it needs is to spin the drum. We want to make sure the switch is always powered on, since we will not be switching the dryer on and off. 


Setting up IFTTT

We will use IFTTT as the backend to this setup. IFTTT supports a trigger when the switch enters standby mode. This means that the trigger will only occur once the switch has stopped using power. This is perfect for us, since we do not care when the dryer starts but when it ends. For me, I decided to let IFTTT send me a PushBullet notification when the trigger occurs. But you can change this to send you a text, an email, or anything else you can set up on IFTTT.
  1. Create a new recipe
  2. Select the WeMo Insight Switch as the IF trigger channel.
  3. Choose the trigger to be Standby mode entered and select your switch name.
  4. Set the action channel to be any notification system you prefer. I selected PushBullet.

And that is all there is to it! I have gotten it to work successfully every time. I no longer accidentally leave my clothes in the dryer or try to set a timer and guess how long it will take. And nothing is stopping you from setting up the same thing for the washing machine too. Home automation is all about making your life simpler. And easy, low cost projects like these are great for almost everyone.

2 comments:

  1. I want to do same thing for my washer but it enters standby several times during the cycle. Consequently I get lots of notifications. How to get just one notification switch drops to standby then stays there for five minutes?

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    Replies
    1. There doesn't seem to be a standby delay. When the washer changes during the cycle, does the power drop completely to 0? I would maybe try decreasing the standby threshold in the WeMo app.

      The only other thing I can think of is to use the IFTTT Numerous channel (https://ifttt.com/numerous) to create a countdown timer for the alert that gets reset if the switch comes out of standby mode. Not sure if that would work though.

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