Author Topic: Check Status of Gas Appliances  (Read 4681 times)

Offline Wickemu

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Check Status of Gas Appliances
« on: December 26, 2011, 03:04:02 pm »
Hi there,

My wife has an issue with OCD, and one of her biggest problems is constantly being worried beyond better judgement that the stove and oven were somehow left on (despite staring at the knobs for a long time, feeling each component to see if it's hot, and having me do the same multiple times) whenever we are going to bed or leaving the house.  I would LOVE for her to be able to just check her phone whenever she is worried about this and see very clearly that the oven is turned off; however, I don't know if anything like this exists. 

There are obviously appliance plug-in modules, but I assume these would turn the oven off entirely and necessitate resetting the clock every time it's used.  One of my thoughts is to have something that can measure the throughput of gas or electricity into the appliance to know when the device is "in use" or just "idle".  Does such a product exist that can work with Vera to show the status of the device and/or send a notification when it is on?

Thank you!

Offline DaveL17

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Re: Check Status of Gas Appliances
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 07:20:42 am »
I'm supposing here, but I don't think that there is an easy fix for your problem.  As far as I can tell, there are two ways to monitor the range:

Power usage: I would expect that the amount of power that gas ranges use between "off" and "on" isn't terribly different. Our range, for example, would realistically only use additional power to ignite the flame.  It would always use power for the clock.

Gas usage: I don't know of any Z-wave flow valves for gas, and I don't know that it would be easy to make one.  In the US anyway, the gas pressure is very low, and the flow pressure from the utility might not even change dramatically with the range on.  I wouldn't think it would be safe to try to adapt anything for this purpose either.

I know that there are some ranges on the market with child locks--effectively rendering the range useless until unlocked.  This, of course, would require you to replace the range which may not be an option for you.

Maybe someone else has better news for you.  Good luck!

Offline kgrr

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Re: Check Status of Gas Appliances
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2011, 10:47:39 am »
Has there been any attempt to integrate Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Gas Alarms into Vera?  These detectors can detect many explosive gasses such as natural gas, methane, and propane.
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Offline aschwalb

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Re: Check Status of Gas Appliances
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 02:08:28 pm »
Another thought might be to monitor temp.  Any zwave infra-red detectors out there?

Offline kgrr

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Re: Check Status of Gas Appliances
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 04:16:58 pm »
I don't know if a PIR (Passive Infra-Red) motion sensor would detect temperature changes such as a gas range being left on.  They detect motion by changes in heat, but the sensor would just see a gradual change and would not be tripped.

I have a handheld gadget that can measure the temperature of things from across the room.  It would be interesting to see that kind of an instrument hacked with a zwave control.  I can think of several uses pretty immediately.  1) Measuring the temperature in a kitchen to detect an oven or burners left on  2) Measuring the temperature of a high ceiling to know whether to open vents or not  3) To measure the temperature of a fireplace to make sure that the fire is out (in a rental cabin for example)  etc.

A thermostat could be used to measure the temperature of the kitchen without controlling anything.   I would love to be able to measure that my refrigerator and freezer are running properly too.
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Offline shady

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Re: Check Status of Gas Appliances
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2012, 01:21:22 am »
Something like this would provide peace of mind and automatic shutoff in the event of a leak detection:

http://www.safehomeproducts.com/shp2/sm/gas-leak-valve-control.aspx

You could figure a way to monitor and operate the valve through Zwave and Vera, but you wouldn't have to rely on Vera alone to be safe from gas leaks.

Or a natural gas solenoid valve that operates on 120v and use a Zwave appliance module to turn it on/off, like this:

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=natural+gas+solenoid+valve&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=16570488485974427053&sa=X&ei=Um4ST5uhKIzWiAL4uqSrDA&ved=0CFgQ8wIwAw

Edit: most gas stoves have electric igniters, so no pilot lights, so the gas could be shut off whenever you left the house as part of an All Off scene and turned on when you returned.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 12:03:46 pm by shady »
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Offline autotoronto

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Re: Check Status of Gas Appliances
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2012, 02:11:35 am »
You could use the one-wire ethernet server, the Vera plugin for the same, and glue a one-wire temp sensor to the side of the range or the ceiling above it.

Would it help to demonstrate to your wife that an oven and a range can be left on full heat, unattended, indefinitely, without damage?

Also some gas meters output infrared pulses, which you can count (read this in the context of one-wire counters). It's certainly possible to measure gas flows at low pressure; the gas company can do it to send you a bill. The technology is avaiable, if you need it badly enough. There's no great difficulty in connecting it to Vera one way or another.

If you have a technological solution to what is not, in essence, a technology problem, then maybe she'd just worry that the technology wasn't working ("how can you be sure it's telling you the right temperature...")
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 02:17:45 am by autotoronto »