Arduino + Washing machine

Hi all!
I'm tired of forgetting the wet laundry in the washing machine, so I decided to put an Arduino (or maybe just an esp8266) in it so it will be able to send a notification to my smartphone when the cycle is finished.
I want to use the "finished" LED on the machine as an indication, but I don't want to connect it to a light-sensor because I want everything to stay inside the machine and not change it's appearance.

My thought is to connect the Arduino in parallel to the LED and test the voltage, but before I go on to ruin my washing machine I just want to make sure:
-The ground leg of the LED goes to the Arduino's ground pin
-The positive leg of the LED goes to a pin on the Arduino
-Use DigitalRead() to see if it's high or low (assuming that the LED's voltage is 3-5V, and using a resistor otherwise)
Does that seems to be right?

While I'm messing around with the machine, I'd also like to be able to remotely activate it. So is it the same setup as the LED, this time with the machine's analog button, and DigitalWrite() instead of DigitalRead()?

Thanks for your input!

Use a optocoupler to remotely activate and also read. That will eliminate the possibility of frying the washer. You should use a voltmeter to test what happens before hooking anything up.
Then you can still use digitalRead and digitalWrite.

Sounds a complicated way of doing your washing !

How about just connecting up a loud sounder in parallel with the led ( opto coupled) so you get audible notification; as you must be in or around the house at the time; or simpler still, just use one of the many kitchen timers like this swish model
http://www.salterhousewares.co.uk/salter-heston-blumenthal-digital-dual-kitchen-timer.html?gclid=CMD5k-Ow3c4CFaMW0wod6RIBUg

As for remotely turning on your machine, you could just use a simple wall plug timer and set it for when you arive home, though think I would not like doing that with a washer or drier as many of todays machines sold in Europe still have problems, like setting on fire, leaking or exploding as the main chassis breaks off - not a scene I would like to come home to.

You could also use a really powerful Nerf gun to hit the button :slight_smile:

ricky101:
How about just connecting up a loud sounder in parallel with the led ( opto coupled) so you get audible notification; as you must be in or around the house at the time; or simpler still, just use one of the many kitchen timers like this swish model

But then where would be the fun and challenge?

Isaac96:
Use a optocoupler to remotely activate and also read. That will eliminate the possibility of frying the washer. You should use a voltmeter to test what happens before hooking anything up.
Then you can still use digitalRead and digitalWrite.

Definitely will, thanks for the input (reading about octocouplers now)

Isaac96:
You could also use a really powerful Nerf gun to hit the button :slight_smile:

That would have to be one hell of a nerf gun to be able to shout through walls... not sure about the girlfriend being too pleased with this tough :wink:

hahaha

shayelk:
I want everything to stay inside the machine and not change it's appearance.

So either a wifi transmitter will be inside the machine, or a power-line (consumer mains) communications device will be connected within the machine to communicate, right?

Southpark:
So either a wifi transmitter will be inside the machine, or a power-line (consumer mains) communications device will be connected within the machine to communicate, right?

Indeed. I'll use wifi as I want it to be standalone, rather than using another module as the outside control