sensing if washer / dryer is running - vibration sensor?

Hello, I'd like to figure out when my washer/dryer is running. I've tried the "SW18010P" vibration switch, which I'm surmising is the most sensitive switch of its type, judging from this table:

http://s4.electrodragon.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/sw18020.png

But the washer and dryer still doesn't vibrate hard enough for this sensor. Wondering if there's a better way of detecting if the washer or dryer is running?

Those non-invasive current transformers would require splitting the neutral and 230V, so I don't think it would work without getting into the washer/dryer.

Is there a "power-on" light that you could detect (perhaps with an LDR)?

...R

EricExperiment: But the washer and dryer still doesn't vibrate hard enough for this sensor.

Use a microphone then.

Try an accelerometer.

Connect some wires to the motor and use it to power a 5V DC transformer; use that to apply a signal to a digital input?

both are fed from a wall power source.

open that power source and install a current transformer.

http://openenergymonitor.org/emon/buildingblocks/ct-sensors-interface

note that they come in 30 amp and 100 amp and look exactly the same. make sure you get one that will read when both devices are in operation. or use two.

you can power the circuit locally and output through optocoupler. you can get optocouplers that output with a linear output and then put that into your low voltage side. the reason is to isolate high voltage from ANYTHING that anyone might ever touch.

open that power source and install a current transformer.

Good choice, but may not detect when washer stops to fill with rinse water.

steinie44: Good choice, but may not detect when washer stops to fill with rinse water.

Is that part of the requirements? Perhaps 'running' ought to be defined in a bit more detail.

not sure how much vibration is caused by the water filling.

but, the solenoid will be running. as would the drain pump.

there are points of no vibration, no motion, no electronics outside of the clock when the unit is changing cycles.

guess we really need the need of monitoring. is it to tell when the load is finished ? when the timer fails and needs manual intervention ?

Ah, I should’ve been more specific. The points where the washer soaks/stops vibrating/stops consuming power is ok. I can program around that with some watch for delays before transmitting.

I like the sound idea, that might be the most non-invasive option. It might be that vibration is too hard to catch. I think the current transformer would be my last choice, as I’m not keen on playing with high voltage.

Thanks for the suggestions.