Sewer Pump Alarm?

Good Morning,

I am looking for a solution. My home sits below the municipal sewer line. So I have a pump outside my home which pumps my waste water to the municipal line. (Similar to a sump pump, but heavy duty).

It has a weatherproof control panel. The control panel has an “alarm” that if it is activated turns on a light and audible alarm. I was wondering if there is a zigbee/z-wave device that I could also wire inside the control panel that would send me a notification to my phone?

I have attached a photograph of the inside of the control panel as well as the wiring schematic. Since the pump already has the “alarm” function, it would seem I should be able to connect a fairly cheap device that can notify when the “alarm” is on. Just not sure which is the best.

As per the schematic A1 & A2 are the alarm. Any thoughts on what can accomplish this? Zigbee would be preferable because I happen to have a zigbee outlet (repeater) right on the inside wall next to that panel. But I believe that I also have z-wave devices close enough that either would not be a problem.


Any thoughts? Thank you in advance.

On the cheap side, I would measure the voltage that powers the light and wire a mechanical relay in parallel to match the voltage. From there, use a contact sensor that accepts an external connection, such as the Eclolink door sensor.

The contact will then report the open/close status to SmartThings.

https://www.amazon.com/Z-Wave-Magnets-Window-Sensor-DWZWAVE2-5-ECO/dp/B01N5HB4U5/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=ecolink+door+sensor&qid=1589391541&sprefix=ecolink&sr=8-3

Here is a basic relay. You would simply wire the input to the light and output to the contact sensor. You can either configure it to be normally open or normally closed. Doesn’t really matter.

https://www.amazon.com/Space-Age-Ssu-Pam-1-Multi-Voltage-Encapsulated/dp/B004KNPRBK/ref=mp_s_a_1_14?dchild=1&keywords=120v+relay&qid=1589391908&sr=8-14

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I don’t have a scenario like yours, but if there’s a way to wire up something to those terminals, you could get an ST (or Centralite) Zigbee water/leak sensor and solder wires to the contacts on the case and then connect those wires to the terminals, or even the light?

I did that with one of mine with wires and probe from an old Everspring leak sensor. I have the probe sitting down inside our washer drain tube intended to catch any backups and then it shuts off the washer. Give me a sec and I’ll post a picture.

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You can also check out the Monoprice 15270 zwave plus sensor which has an external dry contact sensor that can be configured with a N/C or N/O option.

image

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RBoy, your solution is basically the same as Ron’s correct? I would still have to have a rely in there somewhere? Or does the device you link somehow eliminate that step?

Assuming the relay is wired in - Would the inclusion of the relay effect the reliability of the “light” alarm in any way. This is basically a luxury, so I don’t want to do anything that would impact the reliability of the system. For example, if the relay failed would the light then also fail?

Following the wires from A1 and A2 I see they go into that white Schneider box where I see NC and NO terminals meaning normally open and normally closed which is what the contacts that others have posted accept. Using a multimeter I would measure voltage there putting one contact on A1 and NO and also A2 and NO when it’s alarming to see what voltage is because you don’t want to fry a contact sensor. If it’s low voltage you could leverage the NC terminals that aren’t used for a contact sensor.

Thank you everyone for your replies and thoughts. I will get my multimeter on those terminals this weekend and see what they are reading.

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I remember @JDRoberts has some devices in his catalogue that you can put on control panels/lights to detect the light goes on/off. I tried digging in last years post but… finding just one post in the thousands JD contributes is just mission impossible:)

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The Fibaro motion sensor would be worth trying as it also detects both light and vibration. You might be able to find a place where you could put it where the siren would set off the vibration alarm. And you could get a separate trigger for the light level. It’s Z wave plus, so the range will be pretty good. And it’s quite small and battery-operated. So I think that would be the first one I would try. No wiring required, you just have to figure out the best place to stick it.

To make it work with smartthings, make sure you get the Z Wave model, not the HomeKit model.

If that doesn’t work, then you could try one of the various in-line devices. There’s an FAQ that lists quite a few, including the ones already mentioned:

FAQ: List of devices with dry contact input from external sources

It’s just a question of whether you’re going to be able to get enough signal out of the box to reach the next device on your network. :sunglasses:

Again. Thank you everyone for your thoughts. Looks like through these various options, I might be able to get something to work.

I appreciate all your thoughts and suggestions.

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Dry contact sensors can only detect when the contact has been closed or opened externally. It could via a magnet or relay. Some devices have outputs which can be connected to dry contact sensors. For example you have an Aux alarm, not 100% sure but may be that could be a proxy for connecting to the dry contact sensor if they don’t have any voltage associated with them and are connected to a relay internally.

I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing here. :thinking:

A contact sensor typically detects a “closed” event when the magnet piece is moved close enough to the other piece that the magnet can pull the thin metal “reed” inside the other piece of the sensor into position.

”Dry Contacts”: on the other hand, are connecting points on a device which complete a circuit when an external device is electrically active. The device with the dry contacts can be pretty much anything: one very popular one is the Mimolite. Which doesn’t do anything else: it’s designed specifically as a bridge to add zwave communication to dumb devices.

As it happens, there are a couple of contact sensors which also have dry contacts, but that was just a manufacturer decision. Because these typically cost quite a bit less than the mimolite, people often use them for simple on/off reports, particularly for low voltage devices like a doorbell.

The mimolite is a much more robust device. Not only can it handle somewhat higher voltage, you can set it to detect with a range rather than just on/off. Or to count pulses. And you can use it as a relay to turn off a 120v device as well, something you can’t do with the ecolink sensor, for example.

So it’s just a coincidence that there are “contact sensors” with “dry contacts”— the word “contact” is being used two different ways there. :sunglasses:

For the OP:

As to what happens if the bridge device fails…the dry contacts attachment is just a physical loop spliced into the existing circuit. That part can’t really fail unless the wire becomes physically detached from the contact post, so it shouldn’t be an issue even if the radio communication fails.

The mimolite or other control devices could be more of a problem if they randomly open or close the relay. But that’s an optional feature.

In any case, I’d still recommend trying the Fibaro multisensor first. No wiring required, so even total failure shouldn’t change the pump’s function in any way. :sunglasses:

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