Smart switch for heavy load? (1hp motor)

Hey guys,

I have a well pump installed in my house…I’ve been slowly making my house a “smart home” and recently added a bunch of water leak sensors and a Dome shutoff device to my water line that works great.

However, my house is well water, and there’s about 10 feet of intake pipe from the outside of the house that lead into my pressure tank in the basement…I was told by the company that does my well maintenance that I can’t install a shutoff valve prior to the pressure tank, which means if a leak occurs prior to the shutoff valve coming out of the pressure tank and I’m not home, I’m screwed.

There is a switch that controls the pump motor, I would love to be able to make this a smart switch somehow but there are a few problems that I’ve come across. First and foremost, my home was built in the 60s and doesnt have a neutral wire. Second, even if it was, all of the smart switches that I’ve seen are only rated for a 1/2hp motor (mine is 1hp).

Any ideas on whether or not I can add a smart switch to this circuit somehow so that if one of my Zwave water leak sensors detects water, it will trigger the pump to shutoff in my absence?

Thanks in advance!!

We need exact power specs for the load as well as your country to make a good recommendation.

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The easiest solution might be to use one of the smart switch covers which fits over the existing dumb switch and physically moves it. That way it doesn’t matter what the voltage is or what the motor draw is because you’re still using the dumb switch for that. And you don’t need a neutral wire because these are battery operated devices. You’re only using the smart device to physically move the toggle on the dumb switch. It’s just a question of whether it will physically fit.

There are two brands of these currently available that work fine for on/off with smartthings.

Ecolink has a zwave version.

And third reality has a zigbee version. It looks like a button, but again it fits over the existing toggle switch and physically moves it.

These are both battery operated devices, no wiring required. It’s possible that you might have to replace the dumb toggle switch to get one that fits well with the smart cover, but those are inexpensive.

Anyway, that’s just another retrofit option that can work well for similar use cases. :sunglasses:

Oops! I originally accidentally linked to the “starter kit” for the third reality button that includes their hub. You don’t need their hub, the button will connect directly to a smartthings hub. I’ve replaced the link.


Awesome man you just saved me a huge headache…I’ve been on Google for hours trying to figure this out!

The Ecolink looks like exactly what I need, I’ll give that a shot. Thanks again


I should also say that because these devices do have a little motor that physically moves the toggle underneath, they are noisy. Not quite blender loud, but definitely loud enough that you will notice it when it operates. It only makes a noise when it’s physically moving the switch underneath so it’s only for a second or two.

I have several of these in my own house and it’s not loud enough to startle the cat, but I just thought I’d mention that. :smile_cat:

Also, If This is exposed to weather neither of these devices are weatherproof but then just get a project box to cover the whole thing, that’s pretty common for outdoor switches anyway. Home Depot will have a bunch of choices for those. If you do get a box, try to get one that is clear or gray plastic. It’s not entirely clear why, but the blue plastic ones do seem to block more signal.


If the switch is in a garage or outbuilding, it should be fine without the box as long as the temperature stays above freezing.

Good idea about the waterproof box…if there is a pipe burst and water starts spraying everywhere, I want it to stay dry long enough to do its job and turn the pump off…

As for the noise, it’s in my basement next to my water softener and furnace so no worries there haha


What you could do, although it’ll be a bit more involved is to add a contactor to the wiring and then control that with an average smart switch.
Or, found this…

Cool, didnt think about the contactor idea! I’m gonna see if this mechanical switch manipulator works and then go from there. I saw the Aeotec, unfortunately it requires a neutral…GE makes one that’s Zwave that doesnt require a neutral, I might try that if the switch device doesnt work.

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THIS IS MY QUESTION EXACTLY. Where would I find a smart swithc cover?

Hello again. My well switch is 20 amp 2 pole 220v. Look just liek a wall switch. I heard that there are smart switch covers that can flip the switch on & off. that woudl sure be easier and cheaper than buying a new smart swtich and wiring.

Did you read the thread? There are links to some of the devices that are smart switch covers in the posts up above, specifically post 3. But you would have to have a smartthings hub to use them.

checkout Switchbot

That’s an interesting thought. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I have a SwitchBot and use them quite a bit. However, they are Bluetooth devices which have to connect to their own micro hub in order to get Wi-Fi connectivity, and I doubt if they will have the range needed for this particular application. Maybe.

2020 Switchbot Review ( robot button pusher), integration through IFTTT or SmartThings app

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