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Delay washing machine start! Answered


I love this place and I love making things and living cheaply.

However Im stuck. I have just moved into a rented property with a brand new standard Bosh washing machine. I have a baby and lots of laundry!

The house is on Economy 7, so electricty is waaaay cheaper from midnight till 6am.

I need to delay the start on the washing machine until say 3am so that I can bring the bills down. Please note:

The machine has no memory so I cant use a timer plug (tried)
To start the program you have to touch (press & release - blu tack didnt work!) the start button
No I cant stay up that late every night!


Basically I need a simple, discreet, failsafe idea for something to touch the start button at a preset time or say 3 hours after I ask it. Ideas extremely welcome.



i'm sure someone is going to come soon with a MUCH more elegant solution using a micro controller and a servo, but.

one simple solution would be to use an alarm clock. you would remove the alarm speaker, and connect the speaker contacts to a push solenoid (you'll have to check the voltage coming out of the clock to see if it can drive a solenoid, if it can't you'll have to probably use a relay in between). when the alarm goes off it would actuate the solenoid which would press the button, then the alarm would stop and release the solenoid. the biggest issue i can see with this is that the pulsing signal of the alarm might not stay "on" long enough to actuate the solenoid. so if you can find an alarm that's got a steady sound instead of a "beep beep beep" it would probably work better.

you could also go analog and get an old style alarm clock (with the bells and what not) and remove the bells, and attach a "stick" or rod to the hammer that strikes the bells. when the alarm goes off the hammer would swing the stick into the power button.

or you could open up the washing machine and bypass the push switch and make your own switch that's easier to actuate

yet another crazy idea....use one of the above methods to release a ball on a string from the ceiling that would act like a pendulum and swing down and hit the power button

Thanks but.... I think that may be a little wack and not fool/fullproof! I think preferably I just want to set up something that tells the machine to run every night at midnight. That way if the mrs has programmed it - it will run. If not it wont. Much love for the responses thus far! Dean.

Adding to what has been said here, rather then having my own different and brilliant solution ;-) one "could" take Crapflinger's idea of a controller and solenoid and place it in a completely removable "frame"; so that, each night you needed to do wash, you could set this up, clamp it on, and set the timer (since the thing could be either self powered [so you could use an LM555 timer) or powered by the mains (to use a simple lamp type timer); you would have no need to "attach" it to the machine itself, internally. That is, unless the "other" settings can not be set ahead of time.

Ah yes the inevitable conclusion. Whip the front panel of and attatched a timed switch circuit to the contacts of the push switch! Thing is this appliance is not mine, brand new, under warranty from Bosch and in a rented property! Will I be able to pop the front panel off and get at the contacts for the push switch without either damaging the appliance or leaving any real trace of my alterations?!?! I bet its all just a sealed unit?? Dean.

.  If it's a rental unit, it may require special screwdrivers and/or wrenches to get the cover off, but there is a very good chance that you can make your mods so that they can be removed without being noticeable when you move. The hardest part will be not stripping the screw heads (if you don't acquire the proper tools).

well without seeing the washer i can't answer any of those questions, but i'd be willing to place a wager that it's the only real option. i would imagine that with the proper skill level (which is decidedly not mine) that you could probably do it without causing any noticeable damage. and probably undo the changes without leaving that much of a noticeable trace