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a display showing when a pump turns on?

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by danny burstein, Apr 14, 2013.

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  1. Hoping somenone can give a pointer to a device
    which I'd have thought would be readily available,
    but I'm only finding Big Expensive Fullscale setups.

    We've got a sump pump in the basement. I'd simply
    like to know when it turns on (there's a "float" switch).

    What I'm hoping for is a simple box that takes utility
    power on one side, sends feeds out the other, and will light up
    when the line side starts pulling current.

    I can reroute the power supply to the pump to pass
    through the upstairs where we can watch the lamp.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. Bob F

    Bob F Guest

    Many of the pumps I've seen have a pump that plugs into a cord from the switch,
    which plugs into the wall. On those, a splitter could feed the power to a light
  3. amdx

    amdx Guest

    IF you want to run a 120ac line to where you want the light,
    simply connect wires in parallel with the motor and put the bulb on the
    end. This could be done at the motor or in the float switch.
    The light will stay on anytime the pump is running.

    Do you want to run a 120ac wire?

  4. Jim Rojas

    Jim Rojas Guest

    My suggestion is to use something like this this:

    Tie up the float switch on the sump pump so it is always activated.

    Run the wire to 2 low voltage SPDT or DPDT 12vdc relays. Make sure the
    relays are rated for 30+ amps for long life. Bosch relays used in car
    alarms for ignition cutoff or power window applications work great. Make
    sure you buy them with the wiring harness. Buy extra ones because
    nothing lasts forever. For your power supply, any cheap 12vdc plug in
    power supply will work to activate the relays. Buy a few extra. You can
    find all this real cheap on eBay.

    You want to mount all this near your 120vac source, keep it away from
    the pump as far as reasonably possible.

    Use one relay to activate the pump.

    Use the other relay to activate your remote indicator. I suggest you use
    a 12vdc LED. A blue or red flashing car alarm LED is about $1 on ebay.

    Jim Rojas
    Technical Manuals Online!
    8002 Cornwall Lane
    Tampa, FL 33615-4604
    813-440-6653 Fax
    AOL: rojas813
    Yahoo: jimrojas
    ICQ: 20116219
  5. Jim Wilkins

    Jim Wilkins Guest
  6. Jim Rojas

    Jim Rojas Guest

    How is this going to help without risk of electric shock? Install a GFCI
    if you think this will solve your issue.

    Jim Rojas
    Technical Manuals Online!
    8002 Cornwall Lane
    Tampa, FL 33615-4604
    813-440-6653 Fax
    AOL: rojas813
    Yahoo: jimrojas
    ICQ: 20116219
  7. Nah, I'm not worried about shock. I just want a visual
    indication in our main living area as to when the
    pump kicks on.

    If we don't see it come on at all in umptity hours, then
    we'll know to make a trip downatairs...

  8. mike

    mike Guest

    Is your sensor sensing what you really want to know???
    What I'd want to know is if there's water in the basement.
    If your motor is "open", not sensing current won't tell you that
    it's working. Or if the hose gets disconnected, running the motor
    isn't draining your basement.
    And I'd think that it working is not the concern.
    Not working is the problem.

    A microswitch mounted on an independent float gives you what you really
    want to know and actual redundancy.

    Make the sense float a little higher than the first and put a buzzer on
    it. No high voltage wiring required.
  9. amdx

    amdx Guest

    How are you going to see that LED in the basement from your
    living room?
  10. amdx

    amdx Guest

    Nevermind, I see the 12" pigtails for remote LED.
  11. Jim Rojas

    Jim Rojas Guest

    If you want to make absolutely sure that the pump is actually doing it's
    job, you might want to use a flow switch on the outlet pipe. Pumps can
    get clogged, or stuck, or seize altogether.

    I would put the LED on the flow sensor.

    I have yet to see a sump pump last anymore than a few years these days.
    They are all basically made in China now with the cheapest of parts.

    I had a sump pump on my rain water collection system. It would transfer
    the water from my rain gutters to a 250 gallon holding tank. In 3 years
    I went through 4 sump pumps. One even kept tripping my GFCI. I removed
    the sump pump setup, and replaced it with an cheap Intex swimming pool
    pump that a neighbor was throwing away. It has worked flawlessly for the
    past 2 years.

    I have since added a second 250 gallon tank, and I use my rain water
    collection system to top off my swimming pool, and to fully irrigate my
    lawn. I haven't used my well water in many years now.

    Jim Rojas
    Technical Manuals Online!
    8002 Cornwall Lane
    Tampa, FL 33615-4604
    813-440-6653 Fax
    AOL: rojas813
    Yahoo: jimrojas
    ICQ: 20116219
  12. Jim Wilkins

    Jim Wilkins Guest

    How about a second battery-backed sump pump mounted higher with a loud
    alarm wired across the motor?

    Then if the main pump fails or is overwhelmed by a leak you have both
    an audible warning and some added protection, and you can run the
    (fused) 12V wire upstairs to operate a light and an automotive warning
    chime. I wouldn't put too much of a load upstairs, like a horn,
    because it will cut into the run time if the AC power fails when you
    aren't home.

  13. Neon John

    Neon John Guest

    Get an inexpensive current transformer, say, 50:1. Pass one motor lead
    through it. Digikey/Mouser has 'em. Measure what the inrush of the
    pump motor is. Let's say it's 20 amps. 20 / 50 = 400 ma on the
    secondary. Pick a burden resistor that would produce say 10 volts at
    that current. 25 ohms 5 watts will do.

    from the burden resistor, place another resistor and zener (with back
    diode) to give you the voltage you need to operate a small lamp or
    LED. The zener will keep the lamp from flashing too brightly and
    shortening its life on inrush.
    | | |
    | back diode --- ---
    / \ / / \ zener To lamp \
    burden --- --- or zener
    / resistor | |
    \ | |
    from CT

    Shouldn't cost you over $15.

    If you want to buy something already made, look at TimeMark's current
    switch. First product on this page

    Their stuff is very inexpensive. I'd guess about $30 for that unit.
    Maybe twice that for a high mark-up vendor like Granger.


    John DeArmond
    Tellico Plains, Occupied TN
    See website for email address
  14. Thanks,

    and welcome back!
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