Solution: Smart Plug with Auto Shutoff

By: Frank Engelman.  Updated: December 17, 2021.


The Problem: Forgot to Turn Off the Iron, Hotplate, or Heater

Have you ever plugged in a device, turned it on and later forgot it was still plugged in? If this was a device that consumed a lot of energy such as a clothes iron, electric hotplate, coffee pot, tea kettle or a space heater you might have wasted some power or even have caused some damage..... More about the Problem


Solution: Smart Plug with Auto Shutoff

Isn’t there a simple solution using a smart plug with Alexa to turn the plug off after a fixed time?

Yes, and this article explains exactly how to do that.


Alexa Timer Routine

If you have a smart plug you can say “Alexa, set a sleep timer on ABC for 30 minutes” where ABC is the plug name. If this is too difficult to remember, you could create an Alexa Routine to make the command simpler.


Alexa Timer Routine

Caption: Simple Alexa Routine



Energy-sensing Plug

The timer routine above works great if you can remember this command, but what about if there was a way to automatically detect that power was being used by a device plugged into a smart plug?

OK, how does this magic happen?

Using a SmartThings energy sensing plug along with SmartThings automations, the plugged in device that is switched on could be detected.

It could be automatically turned off after an adjustable time.

This could be much handier for your elderly loved one who forgets Alexa commands.

As the device is switched on, an Alexa will inform your loved one that a timer has started. This delay can be remotely adjusted by you in the SmartThings automation.

After the timeout, Alexa will announce the power was turned off and automatically reset the plug for next device detection. You can also remotely set the delay before power back on is restored.



Kit List for this Solution

See the Kit List for the Products and Routines etc Needed to Implement This.



Example Routines and Automations

Here are images of some of the software needed for this solution. See the Kit List for more details.


SmartThings Automations

Caption- SmartThings Automations


IFTT Applets

Caption- IFTTT applets


Alexa routines for smart plug with power sensing

Caption- Alexa Routines



Kit List for this Solution

See the Kit List for the Products and Routines etc Needed to Implement This.




More Like This

This is part of a series of "Problems" and DIY Technology "Solutions" to the challenges faced by older adults, by Frank Engelman. 



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Target customers & users: 
Family of the aging, Caregivers for the aging
How important is it?: 
Moderate problem
Key words: