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I have a coffee machine that uses a significant amount of power and is often not switched off. Therefore I'm looking for a device that is able to switch off the power after a certain amount of time (say 30 minutes). I found some countdown timers, such as

  1. http://www.amazon.com/EcoSavers-Chargestop-Countdown-Programmable-Energy/dp/B00GJMMK4C
  2. http://www.amazon.com/50030-Indoor-Countdown-1-Outlet-Grounded/dp/B00FSQTSB8

However, they all have the same problem: they require interaction to be activated.

Ideally, I would like to set the countdown time in advance, turn on the coffee machine (and have no interaction with the countdown timer), have the countdown timer start as soon as the coffee machine starts, and then kill the power after the programmed time.

I was wondering if anybody knows a device that can do this, or has a solution for this kind of problem?

  • I think a christmas lights timer might solve this problem, but it'd need to be VERY heavy duty to handle the amperage... – BrownRedHawk May 12 '15 at 23:00
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    One problem you have is restarting the cycle. The user has to turn the machine off and the timer must detect this before the user can turn the machine back on. To do this, the timer must trickle current through the load which is fine with a purely resistive load (heater, incandescent light, etc.) but may be a problem if the coffee maker has any electronics. – DoxyLover May 12 '15 at 23:23
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    The device described is certainly possible. Whether it's available commercially, deponent knoweth not. – keshlam May 13 '15 at 3:00
  • @DoxyLover -- not necessarily -- the timer could have a way of measuring the current flowing to the load instead (a current transformer works well for this application). – ThreePhaseEel May 14 '15 at 2:19
  • @ThreePhaseEel but if the timer has turned off current to the load completely, how can it determine that the switch in the load has been switched off? – DoxyLover May 14 '15 at 4:17
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Other than the fact that you already have a coffee maker, many/most coffee makers with timer/clock arrangements will shut themselves off after an hour or so (whether started by timer or started by hand.)

The most straightforward solution with the coffee maker you have is to change what you interact with to turn it on - leave the coffee maker "switched on" at all times, and switch the timer on when you want to operate the coffee maker.

  • Quick search finds coffee makers for tens of dollars that have an auto-shutoff feature. If you're really attached to the one you have, changing interaction as Ecnerwal suggests is the only option that remotely makes sense to me (and you'll likely still spend at least the cost of a cheap coffee maker on the timer). If you want to get something more complex/automated, you'll easily spend more than just buying a decent coffee maker with auto-shutoff functionality built-in, and spend way more time, and it still won't work as well. – gregmac May 13 '15 at 15:44
  • I have an espresso machine, it's quite expensive and it's a pass-along gift we have with a group of friends, so buying another machine is not really an option.. – ROIMaison May 13 '15 at 22:28
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Spring Wound Timer It is pretty easy to put this timer in a 2-gang box with an outlet controlled by the timer, and an extension cord to plug the whole thing in.

Then you would turn on the timer, press the button on the coffee pot, and 45 minutes later or whatever, the outlet turns off. Cost would be around $30-40, which would pay for a lot of electricity for your pot.

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