[Tutorials] How to remotely monitor an appliance


Staff member
During the course of automating your home, one will usually come across a dilemma on how to monitor a status of an appliance.  Examples can include wanting to know when a washer/dryer is finished, dishwasher cycle completed, etc...
Previous methods of getting status included monitoring the current of the appliance via a current donut, hacking the appliance so a relay or other device was installed in order to get some type of contact closure, and installing magnetic proximity sensors on the appliances dials (all of these methods are actually described in previous CocoonTech How-To's).
But, what happens when you don't want to modify your spiffy new appliance due to voiding warranty (or the WAF prohibits such actions)?
You could easily monitor a status light that most modern appliances have now as shown in Dan's previous How-To.  This method will let you monitor a light's on/off status with your home automation hardware that can detect an open collector contact closure (Modicon SECU-16, Elk Input, HAI Input, etc...).  But what happens when you don't have any wires running to that appliance from your home automation detection hardware?
This How-To will let you monitor the status of an appliance's light remotely using a standard DS10a security sensor from X-10.  Many members here already have the capability of monitoring these devices via a W800, RFXCOM, or MR26a receivers.  DS10a's are so popular we even have a thread dedicated to their non-typical uses in home automation projects  

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