Water tank pump - IFTTT to turn off pump if running for more than x minutes

I have a Grundfos pump to move water from tank to a water treatment system. I’d like to create a auto shut off switch if the pump is running for more than 5 minutes to avoid burnout. This would be for emergency situations when the tank runs dry and the pump would continue to run then burn out if it isn’t turned off.

The command would be IF pump runs for more than 5 minutes (device senses power) THEN turn off switch.

It plugs into a 110 outlet.

  1. Can I do this with a smart outlet? If so, which ones.

  2. Would this command work?

Any suggestions or thoughts?

Welcome! :sunglasses:

This forum is for people using the Samsung SmartThings ™ Home Automation platform. So all the questions and answers are in the context of that system.

It’s a very busy forum so it tends to come up near the top of general Home Automation google searches, but it’s not a general forum.

In this particular case, you wouldn’t use IFTTT, you would just use the built in “power allowance” feature of the custom automation builder in the Samsung SmartThings app.

And you could use any smart plug compatible with with ST platform which is compatible with the specs of your motor.

(Some require an ST hub. Some do not. But you need to check the specs to make sure the model you choose can handle the power draw of the motor. So to help further with device selection we would need to know the model number of the pump, and which, if any, hub model you will use.)

If I understand you correctly, SmartThings App has a “power allowance feature”. That is helpful. Would that feature work in this scenario? Would it work with a simple smartthings outlet?

And yes. I am a smartthings user - I was an early Beta user before public launch. This is a specific question to others who may have experience with or ideas about how to manage a device that is not a typical on/off like a light. I have written articles about SmartThings.

However, pumps are unique. The pump is activated by a pressure gage. If there is no/low water in the tank, the pump will continue to run until desired pressure is met. The pump would burn out unless there is a mechanism to turn off the pump. I could attach a solenoid valve with a shut off - but that is more complicated and a smart device could accomplish the same task. Smarthings is also better than a solenoid because it could text me if the pump runs longer than 5 minutes.

I want to avoid false negatives. The outlet (pump) should not turn off (ever) unless the pump is running too long. With a text message - the user could then switch power back on once the tank is full.

Power allowance is just a shutoff timer. Any device that is controlled by smartthings can be set to turn off after X minutes. People use it for all different kinds of purposes. You can also get much more complicated in the logic, but that’s the simplest use Case.

There’s a how to article in the community – created wiki on setting up a virtual timer for a light, for example. In that case you might want to have the porch lights turn off after 15 minutes, but only if they were turned on because someone just arrived home. If you turn them on manually from the switch, you don’t want the automatic timer to Kick in.

So in that case you use power allowance on a virtual switch, not the actual physical device. Anyway, that’s all explained in the article. And as I mentioned in my previous post, you can use power allowance on a smart plug and if you want you could create a virtual timer using the same method in the wiki article.


If you want to look at ways of setting up more complex rules, see the community FAQ:

But for the use case as you’ve described it, as I mentioned in my previous post, you should be able to do it with just the power allowance feature in smart lighting and any smart plug that matches the specs of the pump.

In all cases, of course, you have to make sure that the physical devices you are using match the specs of the use case you are creating. Not all smart plugs or switches can handle motors. :sunglasses:

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Not sure if this can apply to your case but I had a pump management based on the wattage curve it follows from starting sucking to when my tank is empty. You might apply the same logic. Check Sharing my implementation of grey water pumping
If you are able to characterize your pump behavior you can certainly find how to start stop upon your needs


A little late to the party with this but I did something similar to this here: