Best way to detect when the sump pump runs?

(RT) #1

Hi all - I would like to get a SMS alert whenever my sump pump runs so I can keep an eye on it. The PVC water pipe shakes a bit when it kicks on, so I thought I would strap a ST Multisensor on it. I created a rule that says to use the Vibration Sensor and have it set to text me when it sense vibration. However there doesn’t appear to be enough vibration. I have to shake the pipe a fair amount in order for it to trigger, which is far more of a shake than it gets from the sump pump on its own.

Is there a way to make it more sensitive? If not, perhaps there is a better type of sensor and/or approach for detecting this?


(Jimmy) #2

Get a pocket socket that reports power usage


I’m surprised that the multi didn’t work for you. I’ve got a brand new Basement Watchdog Combo pump set, and an original ST Multi that is mounted roughly 3’ above the pumps. Logs the motion every time either pump runs.

(Greg) #4

I use a multi on the pipe and it works fine for me. install the multi on a popsicle stick or spring attached to the pipe?

(Travis) #5

depending on your outlet setup, you could stick a water sensor at the outlet.


I am using a zwave energy switch. It doesn’t send a text but it records every time the pump turns on. You can see the usage history and see when it worked and from the energy consumption how much it worked.
I found that very usefull and simple solution

(RT) #7

Will it send a report each time the unit runs? I want to monitor it live and make Rules around it. I think it will just log in for later analysis?

(RT) #8

Regarding the ST multi-sensor… how sensitive are these things supposed to be? To what extent does it need to wiggle? I can tell just by wiggling it how must MINE needs to wiggle but I’m not sure if that’s normal. Is there an option to set the sensitivity some how? Also just to clarify - this is a movement sensor, not a vibration sensor, right? If it is indeed a vibration sensor, than mine is not very sensitive. If I shake it mildly it triggers. But a subtle shake or even something a bit more than subtle shake doesn’t do it.

(Jimmy) #9

Usually they monitor the energy draw and then you create rules based on triggers above/below a certain level. So you could get something like the Aeon Labs switch, find a device handler that reports energy usage (assuming the stock one doesn’t), then create a rule in rule machine or CoRE to send you a push message or text when it goes above X Watts.

(RT) #10

Thanks. Which energy switch are you using? You mention that it “records” every time the pump turns on. What does it actually record - the fact that there was a spike in the energy usage, or the actual energy usage, etc? And when you say record, do you mean it logs it into the Activity? I am familiar with Rule Machine and CoRE and can write rules to notify me when it runs. However I’m trying to understand what type of event it reports when the pump turns on, and also is it a real-time report. IOW when the pump turns on does it then send that data right away? If you can elaborate that would be great. Thanks!

(Reid) #11

I thought about this, my worry is if someone were to shut off the switch. Then I’d really be in trouble.


The device records the operations of the pump with a time stamp and KWH used up to that timestamp.
You can reset the total KWH meter to start new measurement.
My sump pump uses 500W so I know that if it consumed 1KWH it worked 2hr total