Sump Pump Monitor/Logger/Alarm

Looking to see if anyone has already put together a Sump Pump monitor/logger/alarm…

I am in need of such and I have very limited skills so was hoping to find someone on the forum that can help guide or perhaps DIY for hire to construct such a device using Arduino.

Something like this could be interfaced to the Arduino. http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/water-level-switch-p-565.html http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=173369.0

What I am looking for is something that will log the water levels and when the level changes (i.e. sump runs).

Also, the ability to have a high level alarm and a low level indicator where the device does not run much at all unless the level goes up.

Ideally, to log all of the data, time date, etc. Would be great to have the ability for it to log to SD but also via web to a mysql db and would like the ability to have text/emails sent when I want to be alerted, etc.

The last few years I had no worry but we are now getting lots and lots of rain and my sump is currently running every 3 minutes.

With the data logging I want to be able to see how the sump running correlates to the rain fall and more importantly what amount of rain fall I should be most concerned with, etc.

hi,

breaking down your problems.
first water is getting in. do some landscaping to make water run away from the building and make sure gutters send water far from the building. if there is ground water, dig a ditch, put in some piping and direct it away from the house.

You can buy a wifi water level sensor alarm.

if you suffer from pump failure, consider a second pump as a backup… you can get a batter run sump pump for a boat that will run on 12v.

since you are asking for someone to make it for you, I would assume your design and programming is not to the point where you feel confident to do it yourself.

sensing of the water level for a sump pump is usually, on/off, either the water level is too high or it is not.
you can get a float switch that would be at the same level as the one for your existing pump. using a seperate one keeps the dangerous voltages away from you and your electronics. a second one at a ‘too high’ could be used as a pump failed signal.
using a separate wifi alarm solves the problem of you being notified. that would need to be at the point above the pump starting and your basement filling with water and (hopefully) it will never go off.

you can get an arudino, and a data logger and put it into a waterproof box and feed it the two switches. since the lower switch will be at the same level as the pump, it could represent the pump going on and off. the upper switch would represent a pump failure.

it would be easy to data log every event from these switches.

I would even offer that a tipping rain sensor would offer another input to help you monitor your system.

but, if you want a full system, arduino based, that would monitor the rain, the water level, 2 pumps and data log, and send to a the web and alert you via wifi. that is a tall order. I am sure there are many people on here who would be able to work with you on such a device.

Since you already have an operating pump, it seems the main interest is monitoring and reporting what the water does. This is pretty straightforward data logging exercise. Even though you a just monitoring some switches, you will probably need a Mega.

The pump can easily be incorporated by the simple expedient of having the existing switch operate a relay. The water level switch you allude to costs about five times what you should be paying. Those switches are available in various lengths for convenience and, while you might get a bit fancy, you probably only need one for the emergency level, plus perhaps one for low level, the pump switch may suffice for high level.

The data would be recorded on SD while being fed over the internet to a service like Xively, where it may be displayed graphically, and emergencies sent to you by text. GPRS shields typically have an on-board clock. You can also send the events direct to Excel, where they can be shown on a live graph.

I don't see a need to use a waterproof enclosure.

Yes, I do have an operating pump. In fact I purchased a complete new system today with a battery back up.

Nick is correct. I am merely interested in data logging. I would like to do it the most simplistic way.

Is it possible to have a simple circuit that is like and on and off switch per say.

The current pump runs for about 10 seconds once the water level is high enough to engage the pump. This is the primary item I want to log. Date/time, etc.

Ideally, I'd like a few more readings... I.e. Low level, meaning there is no water in the basin. High Level / Alarm mode meaning the pump has failed, etc.

Maybe you need to use http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?board=26.0 to get someone to do the job.

there are float switches and water detectors.

the water detector just senses the presence of water. the float switch reports a water level has been exceeded.

you can get a few switches and then just data log the event any time a switch changes state.

all very easy if you know what you are doing. a lot of fun if you plan on learning about arduinos and such. or a pain if you only want to read the one device and never use the arduinos again.

you could add rain sensors, humidity and such to get a very comprehensive system.

spankurmonkey: Is it possible to have a simple circuit that is like and on and off switch per say.

The current pump runs for about 10 seconds once the water level is high enough to engage the pump. This is the primary item I want to log. Date/time, etc.

Ideally, I'd like a few more readings... I.e. Low level, meaning there is no water in the basin. High Level / Alarm mode meaning the pump has failed, etc.

I'm not sure what you are asking now. The above seems exactly what I have already described. While clearly a beginner, I understand you are considering doing this yourself. In the light of that, I would suggest this is entirely feasible, indeed an ideal Arduino project, and by that I mean beginners' project. It is typical of what Arduino is used for, not particularly hard, it can be expanded and/or varied as you see fit or are able, and does something useful. Further, the pump does not depend on it, i.e. Arduino doesn't control the pump, it merely reports the events in the sump. Hence, if you stuff up with Arduuino, the pump will keep on pumping as normal - an asset that will do wonders for your confidence.

You are not breaking any new ground, and all the support you need is available right here.

Glad to know my wants are in the beginner category!

That said, I'd like to get started...... Can you advise what hardware items I need to purchase to start.

If the WiFi is out of a beginner ability then I can do either a USB connection or use the SD Card, though i would prefer the WiFi.

Incorporating a rain measurement into it would be also beneficial if possible.

Thanks!

uno
data logging shield with RTC (real time clock.
screw strip shield because the data loggers block your pins
water sensor
float switches, multiples
tipping rain gauge, should be cheap, under $15, not the scientific ones
wifi shield

go with wifi, there is enough support to help you with that.

power supply
enclosure to put it all in.

start searching amazon or e-bay for the switches and such.

What is the best place price wise to buy the Arduino items?

Is there anything out there where some of this stuff comes bundled for a better price?

Power supply, is there specific ones for Arduino or any PS will work and if so what are the specs for such?

spankurmonkey: what hardware items I need to purchase to start.

Mega

Megas have the memory you will probably need so you might as well get one now, instead of finding out you have wasted money on a Uno later. It will handle anything in the Arduino arena, including the stuff you haven't thought of yet.

Water level

While I was talking about float switches, there is an anlogue level sensor made for use with Arduino and only costs about $3. I imagine it will also serve as a rain gauge. I paid only 70c for my float switches but they don't seem to be available. There are some nice equiuvalents in stainless steel in different lengths.

I can't comment much on sensor shields. Nobody makes what I want, so I cobble up my own. Crossroads and Freetronics supply shields with screw terminals, which seem an overkill but it saves messing about with plugs.

If you want to send SMS, the SIM900 shield has an on-board clock and battery backup. Be aware that this shield can be a serious power hog and you need a 2A supply, which is not your typical wall wart.

I wouldn't touch WiFi with a ten-foot pole. Arduino WiFi is angst-ridden and unreasonably expensive. I use Ethernet shields, which are far easier to use, and incorporate an SD card. These can be plugged into a Wifi repeater if needed. The combination is cheaper than a WiFi shield and does not involve any more programming. I only use this stuff to broadcast to the world. I don't see the point of sending data over local network and I don't know anything about it.

Local data can be sent to PC via serial cable or bluetooth for virtually no cost and virtually no progamming effort. RealTerm is a freebie PC terminal programme for that. You can also send data direct to Excel using PLX-DAQ a free Excel macro that makes it act as a terminal and updates files live.

Everything off eBay.

Good luck

Nick_Pyner:

spankurmonkey:
what hardware items I need to purchase to start.

Mega

Megas have the memory you will probably need so you might as well get one now, instead of finding out you have wasted money on a Uno later. It will handle anything in the Arduino arena, including the stuff you haven’t thought of yet.

I don’t agree with you here. The Mega is overkill for this. I wouldn’t call an UNO wasted money. He’s got what, 2 switches to monitor… one for low level, one for high level, and maybe a current sense for the motor? Memory will not be an issue here unless he’s doing something really, really wrong. I really hate it when people say you need a Mega because you won’t have enough memory. The people saying this don’t know what they are talking about.

if the cost difference is not that much is it worth spending the money for the Mega?

The prior person mentioned Bluetooth. That would be fine for my application if there is such a set up for the Arduino.

I cannot seem to find a rain gauge or the power supply.

I am not sure what this is either. screw strip shield because the data loggers block your pins

Would these be the correct items?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Arduino-UNO-R3-ATmega328P-ATmega16U2-Compat-Development-Board-Microcontroller-/221398801408?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item338c659c00

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Adafruit-Assembled-Data-Logging-shield-for-Arduino-includes-stacking-headers-/261303630782?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cd6e8fbbe

http://www.ebay.com/itm/9V-1A-DC-Charger-Power-Supply-Adapter-AC-100-240V-5-5mm-x2-1mm-for-Arduino-PSU-/370818869978?pt=US_Surveillance_Cables_Adapters_Connectors&hash=item565686eada

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Vertical-Stainless-Steel-Liquid-Water-Level-Sensor-Horizontal-Float-Switch-/350921497547?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51b48d1bcb

Xpendable:
The people saying this don’t know what they are talking about.

But those that do say this may be not only a little less short sighted, but also just might be talking from experience. The OP isn’t even at the end of the runway and he is already talking about SD cards, WiFi and SMS messaging, all of which require memory and all of which require libraries, while all you can see is a few switches.

Irrespective of the data being logged, one datalogger is much the same as another, and they all have one thing is common - a remarkable tendency to grow. That is the nature of Arduinos, and they are most inclined to do it when the learner actually does some learning. My datalogging project is pretty typical. It is now 45k, and one of the things I have learned on the way is that there is nothing quite as terminal as a Uno looking at 30k. Another thing I have learned is that the people who say “post your code, and I will squeeze it into a Uno” never actually do.

A Mega doesn’t cost much more than a Uno, mine was actually cheaper.

spankurmonkey: if the cost difference is not that much is it worth spending the money for the Mega?

Check eBay. The difference is about $10 or so, and well worth it.

[/quote] The prior person mentioned Bluetooth. That would be fine for my application if there is such a set up for the Arduino. [/quote]

Bluetooth is only good for a few meters but is a popular, dirt cheap and painless way to get data to the PC, laptop, or phone. Here is a childs' guide you might find helpful

http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~npyner/Arduino/GUIDE_2BT.pdf http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~npyner/Arduino/BT_2_WAY.ino

[/quote] I am not sure what this is either. screw strip shield because the data loggers block your pins [/quote]

It's a sweeping statement, and mostly nonsense, but possibly just a typo. Arduino shield are usually stackable and, by virtue ofg that, there are female terminals presented at the top. Pins can be blocked by displays, but there are usually ways around that too. This is not to deny the convenience of screw strips.

I can't comment on the power supply, I have only just found out about that. I am looking at using an old PC power supply.

spankurmonkey: http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Arduino-UNO-R3-ATmega328P-ATmega16U2-Compat-Development-Board-Microcontroller-/221398801408?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item338c659c00

You already know what I think of that!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Adafruit-Assembled-Data-Logging-shield-for-Arduino-includes-stacking-headers-/261303630782?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cd6e8fbbe

Too expensive, dumb design, you might as well make your own, and the devices may be best accountable by other means. An ethernet shield usually, and LCD displays often, incorporate an SD card. The SIM900 already has a clock.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/9V-1A-DC-Charger-Power-Supply-Adapter-AC-100-240V-5-5mm-x2-1mm-for-Arduino-PSU-/370818869978?pt=US_Surveillance_Cables_Adapters_Connectors&hash=item565686eada

This is a typical power supply for anything to do with Arduino except, I understand, the SIM900 shield. Note that it is possible to use a USB host shield and connect that to a surplus phone to send SMS. I don't know anything about it but it probably solves the power supply problem. I would be inclined to buy that wall wart, just to get up and running.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Vertical-Stainless-Steel-Liquid-Water-Level-Sensor-Horizontal-Float-Switch-/350921497547?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51b48d1bcb

This is the float I was talking about. They come in different lengths.

once you place the data logger, you have effectively hidden your pins. you can remove the headers on the data logger, or use a screw terminal shield

http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17/

about a third of the way down the page. this would allow you to connect your switches.

as for the data logger, if you can get one without the pins and buy the stacking headers, you can add more shields. the wifi/bluetooth, or whatever you go with will probably sit on top.