Septic Alarm Alert in Smartthings?

I have an aerobic septic system. In the event of an over-load, an alarm sounds with a flashing light on the outside control box. The problem is that the alarm is not easily detected inside the house. And, if we’re away, there is no way to know that there is a problem.

I’ve read many posts where some users hook up a relay to the wiring of the alarm and use that to trigger an ST sensor to send an alert. It seems simple, but without specific guidance/instructions on how to hook this up, I am stymied.

Anyone out there who has done this and willing to provide a step-by-step guidance?


Existing thread on this subject.

1 Like

The methods given in the thread that @Paul_Oliver linked to should work, but as it happens, most of those members were in Europe, and the available device selection does vary by region.

If you happen to be in North America, Homeseer makes a no wiring battery-operated device for exactly this purpose: it has a light sensor that you can put over an indicator light and it will detect when it comes on or changes color and you can get that alert. so it’s a bit simpler, it’s just that you do have to have a hub on the North American Z wave frequency, it’s not available for the EU.

But again, that will only work if you are in the US, Canada, or Mexico.

Also, I don’t know what will happen once the Samsung hosted groovy cloud goes away and edge drivers are required. @krlaframboise might know what’s likely to be possible with this device. :thinking:

The HomeSeer Light Sensor will be supported.

I love that sensor for my washer and dryer notifications, but it costs twice as much as a dry contact sensor, I’m not sure if it’s waterproof, and you’d probably need to cover the probe and entire LED with electrical tape if it’s in direct sunlight to prevent false readings so it might not be the best choice if the LED is on the outside of the box and the box is outdoors…

2 Likes

Thanks for the information!

As far as the weather concerns, if it’s on the outside of the enclosure you should be able to put it inside an opaque plastic electrical project box, or an opaque electrical outlet cover, to weatherproof it. There are lots of different styles of these and some do have nearly open backs if needed.

Much easier than electrical tape and preserves the ability to change the batteries, although obviously it does add yet more cost. :thinking:

Good idea, but it just dawned on me that the cable for the LED probe is only about 22 guage and it’s 4’ long so it might be possible to put the device in the enclosure which would solve the weather proofing issue without needing a project box on the outside.

When I mentioned the electrical tape I didn’t mean wrapping the actual device and tape is only needed if the user is getting false LED reports.

There’s a cable you plug into the device and at the end of it there’s a little plastic piece/probe with a sticky backing and a tiny clear hole in the center which you align over the LED.

The problem I ran into with my washer and dryer was that the sun would shine on the probe which caused false LED events and I was able to stop them by putting about a 1/2" piece of electrical tape over the probe, but any opaque tape would have worked.

If that giant circle on the front of the enclosure shown in that photo is the LED then it might need to be covered entirely if sunlight is still a problem.

The price of the HomeSeer Light Sensor has dropped about $20 so it might be the best option for anyone in North America.

The only thing I don’t like about it is that the batteries don’t last that long and you don’t get much warning before they die. They might die even faster in low temperatures, but it can also be powered by USB.

1 Like