Monitoring a dishwasher: Wattmeter with ethernet ?

Hi,
We recently got a new dishwasher which is integrated into the kitchen. I.e., there is no visible display or any other feedback on its
progress. However, I like feedback. :)
The thought of hacking the appliance itself is a bit, well, hacky, I don't want to mess with an appliance that deals with water, fairly high currents and power, etc., and I'm not that big of a hardware hacker anyways. So, I thought of buying a wattmeter, make some graphs to see its normal power usage over time. Perhaps it uses more power when in the drying phase, and so on. If the wattmeter had ethernet, I could hook it up to the network (there are many ethernet outlets in our kitchen anyways), and follow it via a web interface.
So, my main question is whether there exists a fairly cheap watt-meter with ethernet and some kind of TCP/IP interface?
Other suggestions for solving the problem are very welcome, too.
Thanks
Sune Beck
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Ethernet is a tricky requirement, I'm sure something is out there, but it won't be cheap.
The most economical consumer grade wattmeter I'm aware of is the Kill A Watt and its clones. For ~$20 you get something that can measure in real time Volts, Amps, Volt-Amps, Power factor, Watts, and cumulative kilowatt-hours. There is another similar meter which as I recall is called Watts Up, and it has versions with a serial port available but it is substantially more expensive. The power consumption of a dishwasher will not change much from cycle to cycle given the same settings, so once you figure out what it draws once, you know what it will draw any other time you run it.
I had the same curiosity about my dishwasher and hooked it up to the Kill A Watt temporarily. I just removed the lower cover panel, disconnected the circuit feeding the unit and wired it to a grounded power cord and simply plugged it into the instrument and ran a cycle. When I was done, I hooked it back up the way it was. Naturally you want to shut off power to the circuit before messing with it. You can also wire up the circuit to a cord at the panel if you prefer not to mess around under the dishwasher itself.
What I found was pretty much expected. The pump motor draws about 600W while the cycle is running. The timer and other controls are a few Watts, and the plate warmer/water heating element is a few hundred Watts. I don't recall what the cumulative consumption was for a full cycle but it was not all that much, 1 kWh or so.
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A wise move!

James Sweet's idea of using a Kill-A-Watt is a good one. It's quite possible your dishwasher may have a standard plug. If so, simply use the KAW for one or two cycles.
If your power company installed one of those nifty digital meters, you can use that to check consumption.
Finally, you can buy a Fluke 189 multimeter with the software package. This will track power usage for you and display it on a computer, however, be prepared to 1) Spend hundreds of dollars, and 2) mess with the wiring.

If you use the Heated Dry feature, it does. Unless I'm in a hurry, I normally just open the door and let things air dry.

You could, if your brave and rich and have a lot of time on your hands, rig up the above mentioned Fluke setup, combine it with a remote VPN, and so on.
I'm a big fan of fairly useless geek gear, but internet enabled appliances are too much, even for me.
CS
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