Monitoring Sump?

Hello think Tank.

I am trying to find a way to monitor my sump pump effectively. I currently have a moisture sensor in the crock that will alert me when water level gets to high, but I’d like to also have a monitor that verifies the pump is running when it should. I was thinking I could do something that monitors the moisture level outside and alerts if the sump pump didn’t run within the last X hours.

Does anyone see flaws in that logic? Any other suggestions on what may be a better setup?

I have been planning to do the same thing I just haven’t ventured into my crawl yet… I bought a zwave aeon home energy monitor which I will use to monitor my sump and dehumidifier using the clams separately (I dont trust my smart plugs enough to plug mission critical appliances into them).

Then like you said, set up logic with webcore to alert if x amount of rain has fallen but activity from the sump has not been detected in last x hours.

I plan on fiddling with it this weekend, if you beet me to it let me know how it goes for you.

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How about 2 moisture sensors in the sump at different levels? One at the point where the float should kick the pump in and the other higher at a point the water should not get to if the pump is running correctly.

That is a good idea! I hadn’t thought about that. I was thinking look for a vibration, but this would definitely be easier!

The only problem I had with that approach is corrosion, it will probably work fine for a couple years but I fee like water sensors, even the extensions, are not designed to be repeatedly submerged for extended periods of time and I really don’t want to go back in my crawl anytime soon.

Personally I am also interested in the amount of $$ it costs to run these things because if it is high enough it could justify a drainage project to prevent some of the water from needing pumped.

If you have a sump that runs alot, I can see this being a concern. Mine only kicks in during spring when the snow melts and during heavy rains. otherwise it is quiet. I ran into an issue last year where my sump failed sometime during winter and when the snow melted in spring, we had some nice water damage.

Come to think of it, maybe I won’t monitor when it changes, just how long it changes for. I could probably lower the sensor so if moisture is detected for longer than x, it alerts.

Here is my set up.

I have a regular pump and a back up battery pump in the same pit. I have an accelerometer on the pipe (above the pit) which alerts me if the sump runs twice in a certain time period. I use this smart app for that.

The back up pump has two float switches (one lower and one higher), both of which are higher than the regular pump.

I then have a utilitech moisture sensor lead running into the pit which is positioned between the two float switches for the back up pump.

And lastly I use big talker to announce in the house if/when the pump runs at all.

So if I’m not home - I only care if it ran 2x in 30 minutes. If I’m home and awake Big Talker will announce all usage.


I went a little overboard after my basement nearly flooded during hurricane Sandy.


Another thing that you could do (instead of a vibration sensor) if you just want to know when the pump is running is to plug it into a Zwave power socket that senses current draw, When the sump pump runs, the current draw goes up. You can then program an alert based on the draw to know when it’s running. You could then also alert when the pump hasn’t run for x hours. I’d still want a moisture sensor at the point where the water shouldn’t rise to, though.

See this post. @Fido is using a socket to sense motion when his security light goes off, but the concept is the same.

(expanding on previous discussion)
If you are trying to monitor “is it on” would inserting a smart plug dongle in between the float switch and the pump plugin be effective?

I had the same issue I was trying to resolve for. I am using a sensorprobe 2 by AKCP with a water sensor and a AC Voltage sensor. Using Sylog Watcher, I log the event to the Syslog Watcher server and now have a time stamp of when the pump ran. I can also get an email alert if the water rises above the water sensor as well as logging that event to he Syslog Watcher server as well. The nice thing with Syslog Watcher is I can generate a report to show the runtime over some period of time. Syllogism watcher can be found here: