Seeing the status of my dishwasher

Friday, February 23rd, 2024 at 08:56pm

When the previous owners of my place renovated the kitchen they put the power for the dishwasher directly behind the dishwasher instead of the correct location in an adjacent cupboard. This didn’t directly affect me until that dishwasher needed replacing and there was now not enough clearance for the plug.

I replaced the dishwasher over two years ago and my temporary solution was to have the cable coming out of a gap in the side panel and up to a power point above the bench. Last week I finally had an electrician in for a couple of changes which included replacing the kitchen downlights (from 300W of halogen to 48W of LED), replacing a failing bathroom exhaust fan and adding a power point to the cupboard next to the dishwasher.

However this meant that the Tasmota based smart power plug is now also located in the cupboard. I could no longer hit the button on it to turn on power to the dishwasher.

So I started to think about some kind of remote panel button/display that could be mounted on the wall above the dishwasher. As I am still building my projects around the D1 mini I was able to put this together from the variety of shields and bases I picked up a while back:

Unlike my clocks where I wrote a minimal program that communicated via MQTT, this time I decided to try setting this up using ESPHome which I had used to interface with my AC units. It was only a few minutes until I had a button and an RGV light showing up in Home Assistant.

I now started on the more complicated part which was deciding what logic I wanted and then implementing it as automations. So far I have the following:

First is the action to take if the button is pressed:

  • if power is off, then turn on power
  • if power is on AND dishwasher not active, then turn off power

Then the behaviour of the LED:

  • if power is off, then LED is off
  • if power is on:
    • if dishwasher active, then LED is blue
    • if dishwasher has been active since the power was last turned on, then LED is green
    • if dishwasher has not been active since the power was last turned on, then LED is red

I can now see at a glance if the dishwasher is running, if it needs emptying or if it is on and shouldn’t be. The next step will be to work out an enclosure, I am leaning towards something based around a wall place and spacer block like I did for my bathroom clock/sensor:

I’m thinking of a small hole for a button to protrude through, and then see how well the LED just shows through the plastic.

There are plate that exist for commercial applications for things like running AC after hours that are a push button and a neon indicator in a two gang plate, but those are quite large (in depth as they are intended to mount in the wall, not on the surface of tiles like I want) and also very expensive, even if all I wanted was the housing for the neon indicator that I would retrofit the LED into…

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