Your Laundry Is Done!

Have you ever put a load of dirty clothing in the washing machine and set the cycle running, only to forget all about it and discover a mouldering congealed mass in the machine a few days later? [Xose Pérez] has more than once, and to stop it happening again he’s got a project that monitors the machine in his basement and notifies him when his wash is done.

At the centre of his washing machine monitor is an ITead Sonoff IoT mains on-off switch. This device contains a 10A mains relay, an ESP8266 chip to control it, and a small mains switch-mode power supply. The Sonoff doesn’t use the ESP’s ADC pins, so he’s broken one of them out on a lead to a current transformer which captures the power level being consumed by the washing machine. The Sonoff is one of those IoT devices that relies on a proprietary cloud service and doesn’t have its own API, so [Xose] has created his own firmware for it incorporating an ESP port of an Arduino current sensing library. To round off the project and because he could, he’s added an ambient humidity sensor to the device.

The resulting boxed-up unit returns minute-by-minute current readings for the entire wash cycle. To spot when the cycle has finished, he waits for a moment when it has been using no power for more than five minutes, at which point his Node-RED system sends him a notification via Pushover.

This project is a very neatly executed hack on an extremely cheap piece of hardware whose capabilities would ordinarily be somewhat curtailed due to its proprietary interface. Surprisingly it’s not the first laundry monitor we’ve seen here at Hackaday, we’ve had this apartment laundry monitor using an accelerometer and a Raspberry Pi, and a notifier for a finicky dryer that insisted on stopping mid-cycle.

19 thoughts on “Your Laundry Is Done!

    1. Even basic setting have different cycle times – stains, rinse plus, hot/cold…My washing machine weighs the load so uses a different amount of water which takes a different amount of time to fill/drain, and a different amount of time to spin dry.

      You could just use a pocket sized kitchen timer, but where’s the fun in that!

    2. Mine takes very different times for different programs. Between less than 1h and more than 3h. But it shows the remaining time on the display. It can even be set for delayed start. But only if you do not use liquid detergent. :-(

  1. We have an automatic valve on our washing machine that turns the water off when the machine isn’t operating. It’s intended to protect our garage against flooding potentially caused by a burst supply hose.

    I suspect the operating principle is the same as this article’s device. A current sensor detects how much current the washer is using at any given moment. I believe this valve has become popular enough that manufacturers of high efficiency machines now add a bit of extra, constant load when they power up to insure the valve sees enough draw to open. For us this manifests itself by the valve opening about a half second after you push the first button on the panel. That wakes up the controller and starts things rolling.

        1. thanks! I recently expanded the scheme to warn me that the pool water has reached the refilling limit :

          instead of watching the pool , I have to be in hearing range of the microwave.
          I want to do something similar with the mailbox in the future.

      1. I put an nrf24l01 + arduino + sdcard inside the microwave, the thing is that the nrf24l01 and the SD card were in the same SPI bus and not happy until I put a buffer 74ls245 between SD and SPI bus, as earlier in a hackaday article on SPI suggested ,thanking HAD on these SPI /I2C articles!

    1. Yeah, I could maybe find a use for one of those, a generic signal light detector… might be difficult to apply on those tight packed light clusters… but I guess you could temporarily tape off lights you weren’t interested in.

  2. lol, I just epoxied an LDR to the cycle finished led, then hooked it up to a spare knock off arduino nano that cost pence and a piezo buzzer and had it buzz lots when the finished cycle led lit up.

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