Hot Topics: Installing a Smart Stove

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Original Post: "Smart"ifying Stoves, Smart Socket, or...?

megabyzus Member

We are in the process of adding smarts to our residence. By 'smarts' we mean total remote and safe access and control of various low and high power devices via various apps on a cellphone. But we seem to have bumped into a problem with our conventional gas stove with mechanical knobs. Note, we are very willing to replace it to meet our smart needs. We also will consider smart augments if they indeed adhere to our definition. As such, below is the line of thinking we've developed with a few questions:

- We have developed an assumption that 'smartifying' gas stoves, except for some options like iGuard or StoveGuard—neither which really are smart as we define it—are just not possible. Any thoughts? Note, we need to totally switch the gas oven on AND off remotely.

- Assuming the above is true and gas stoves are not an option, electrical stoves with knobs can't be 'smartified,' either. We have looked at smart outlets, but can't find any that can handle the thousands of watts power draw from a typical electrical stove. Does anyone know of a smart socket that can both handle the wattage requirements of an electrical stove AND provide TOTAL smart remote control? The best we've seen are 15A/1800W—nowhere close to the power requirements of a typical electrical stove.

- Is it correct to assume that smart outlets simply cannot handle the power requirements because of real physical limitations (like size of internal mechanical relay, etc.)? If not, what truly smart outlets are available for electrical stoves?

- Which leads us to 'smart ranges' supplied by various manufacturers like GE (e.g., here). Here these seem to provide what we want, however, we don't understand how smart ranges can provide total remote control while we can't find a smart socket to do the same? What is the electrical theory behind this, if any?

Many thanks in advance for your patience and thoughts!

PJmax Group Moderator

The logic to remote control a range needs to be a part of its original design. The relays needed to switch parts of the oven are already inside the oven. They just need to be told what to do. The electronic controls can probably be hacked to operate remotely, but one question here: why ? What would you do—put raw food in the oven and remotely turn it on?

Years ago, Caloric came out with electronic oven controls where you could set up start and stop times. A number of my customers though that was great, but no one could address how it could be used. You can't leave raw food in the oven until it's time to be cooked. I guess an argument could be raised that you could pre-heat the oven, but is it worth the hassle? It only takes most ovens 5-8 minutes to warm up.

Even if there were a "smart" receptacle made that could switch the entire unit upon power up, the controls still need to be set.

I would never endorse a modification to a gas appliance.

megabyzus Member

Thanks for response. No, we're not planning to roast a steak from afar. And, yes, we believe a gas range is out of the picture too, but we're not experts. There are real applications otherwise left out so not to pollute thinking. Further thoughts (explicitly to original bullet points) from you and others are greatly appreciated.

Hal_S Member

I have used the delayed cook setting, usually on busy holidays when you're visiting one side of the family for lunch, then turn around for dinner with the other side, AND you're supposed to be bringing a hot side dish.

The best use is to start with frozen food, let it defrost in the oven, and then have the oven turn on once the food has defrosted to around 40-50 degrees.

Yes, this DOES require a bit of calibration, but the calibration is fairly simple.

Beachboy Member

I would venture to say that one reason ranges (gas or electric) haven't been enabled with "smart" functions is simply because of the risk of a cooking appliance operating unattended. A few years ago, ranges had "delayed bake" options for the oven, but those seem to have been discontinued over the years, perhaps due to the concern of unattended cooking and the resultant fire hazard.

megabyzus Member

The cooking debates notwithstanding, it seems nobody had an answer to my bulleted questions...specifically, if there is a heavy duty smart switch that can handle the power requirements of an electric range typically at 40-50 amps at 120v/210-280v. That's about as high as 11000 watts. I know Aeotec and GE build 'heavy duty' smart switches, but not sure if they can withstand a range:

Aeotec heavy duty smart switch:

And GE heavy duty smart switch:

PJmax Group Moderator

NO, there is not a smart switch that will handle the entire load of your range. You would have to involve the use of a contactor.

"Even if there were a "smart " receptacle made that could switch the entire unit... upon power up...the controls still need to be set."

Keep this in mind. The oven defaults off on power up.

megabyzus Member

Thanks. What you say is key. To confirm, generally for ELECTRIC MECHANICAL (KNOBBED) ranges, if I turn on a burner, then unplug the range and re-plug it, the coil does NOT come back on until I reset the knobs? It may be true for digital electric ovens, but not for mechanical (knobbed) ones, I believe. Thanks in advance.

PJmax Group Moderator

I thought we were discussing oven functions. A mechanical top burner control would stay as set.

kevin1 Member

I don't think a smart plug would help you. @PJmax ran through some scenarios. You would probably have to have an old or really basic mechanical stove that you would turn the knobs to desired temperature and then unplug (that is basically what you are doing with the smart outlet), and it would come on to that mechanical setting when plugged in.

The only things a smart stove would realistically add in my humble opinion:

1. I'm driving home and would like to preheat the oven. I really think you want a smart stove for this or anything related. I have never researched them, so have no idea what features they offer.

2. I cooked something in the oven, but forgot to turn it off— alert me and allow me to turn it off.

So, what I have done is put a Home Energy Monitor clamp around my stove cable in the circuit breaker box. I have it set to alert me if the stove appears to be on for 40 minutes—most frozen pizzas I cook take way less time. I can't remotely turn it off, but at least I know it has been on for 40 minutes and I can decide what to do from there.

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