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Old 03-14-2009, 11:50 AM   #16
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On Off Indicator For Outside Sump Pump



OK, photobucket still works. I'll draw a schematic and post it, hopefully today.

The pump works at 115v, probably +/- 5% or 10%, so I think we can put a small resistance in series with the neutral lead.

Re: the NEC, I guess we ought to figure out all possible worst case scenarios along with likelihoods and consequences of those scenarios.
Maybe build another monitor for elevated conductor temps or to sense other fault conditions, like leakage to ground due to degraded insulation.

Be careful pumping water to a place that can freeze and so cause a pedestrian hazard.


Last edited by Yoyizit; 03-14-2009 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 03-14-2009, 12:47 PM   #17
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The point was that paralleled conductor smaller than 1/0 is a code violation, as well as running indoor NM-B outside in conduit. Will paralleled #14's work? The laws of physics say yes, undoubtedly. But the Code problem is that small wires are easier to break than big wires, and if one wire in your parallel set becomes open, you risk overloading the other wire.
I understand your point. I did not consider the code when I dreamed this thing up. I was only concerned about whether it would work and be able to remove sufficient amounts of water using pipe flow analysis and simple electrical handbook information. I, obviously, am not an EE. The way I look at it is so what if a wire were to break. The wires are buried 6 inches below ground on my property in electrical conduit that is completely sealed. If I did not break it installing it, and I didn't because I checked the continuity of each white and black at the time, there is no reason for it to break in the future. If somehow a wire broke, and things got hot with wires shorting out, then the 20 amp breaker would shut the whole thing off. If and when I sell the house, I'll disconnect the system and let the new owners solve the water problem in their own way. They might go for the 2400 dollar solution. I went for the least expensive solution that works well. The sound alarm to let me know it is operating is just bells and whistles so I know it has cycled.

I understand about codes. I worked in the chemical industry for many years. We had to abide by the ASME pressure vessel code. It, too, is extremely conservative. But I understand it is necessary.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:20 PM   #18
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On Off Indicator For Outside Sump Pump


Install a cord cap on the line that feeds to the pump. Buy something like this.

Plug your pump into the control outlet of the power strip.

Plug a lamp, or other device into one of the other outlets.

Every time the pump comes on, your lamp will light. When the pump is finished, your lamp will go out.

Simple, and nothing else to buy or build.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:37 PM   #19
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That would be a way to do it. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:51 PM   #20
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Yoyizit,
Let me ask a silly question. In your diagram, you show the voltage in components 90 degrees out of phase. You add them component wise and end up with the square root of two like I would do with forces in a mechanical regime.

Since they originate from the same wire why can't you just add them and get two instead of the square root of two assuming unit vectors. The two white leads of the 14 were joined to the single white lead from the 12. Similarly, the two blacks from the 14 were joined to the single black from the 12. Grounds were joined in the same manner. At the pump end, the whites were twisted together and attached to pump white. The blacks and grounds were handled in the same manner.

Must have been covered in the EE for non EE's class I had back in the 60's. I have long since forgotten it. Please explain.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:53 PM   #21
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That would be a way to do it. Thanks for the suggestion.
And if you want audible indication we can tap into the strip's internal lamp and wire a relay to switch on the radio.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:56 PM   #22
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To me it looks like a radio plugged into one of the switched outlets could be used to turn on a radio whenever the pump comes on.

This Smart Strip is a good find thanks to kbsparky
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000L9FQUO

The Smart Strip should work well and be cheaper than the auto vacuum turn on switch from Woodcraft:
I-Socket Vacuum Automator - Woodcraft.com

but not as cheap as the $16 model from Sears that should also work:
Craftsman 24031 Auto Switch at Sears.com

The auto vacuum switches were designed so that when a plugged in power tool is turned on a current sensing ckt in the switch turns on the vacuum (auxiliary) outlet then when the power tool is turned off the current sensing ckt turns off the vacuum after a short ~10sec delay to clear the vacuum line.

Lawrence's situation seems to be similar in that the sump pump is now the power tool and the radio/light would be the vacuum.
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:41 AM   #23
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Well, it looks like my problem is now solved. Thanks to all for all your good suggestions. I'll buy one of the above.
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:42 PM   #24
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On Off Indicator For Outside Sump Pump


I would use a current transformer relay.

You run the hot wire through the CT and whenever it sense at least 1 amp, it closes a set of contacts. You can wire an alarm, bell, light to these contacts.

In my case, I wired a CT to my hot water heater coils and my sump pump. I have a system that monitors these for me and lets me know when they run.

http://enviro.onlinedesk.net

Top right, Sump Pump and Water heater.

I'll go take a photo of them and post them here shortly.
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:07 PM   #25
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Here is the product info.

http://www.mamacsys.com/ct_800_805_8...scription.html

The cheapest place I found mine were at http://www.controlstop.com/
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On Off Indicator For Outside Sump Pump-ct-800.jpg   On Off Indicator For Outside Sump Pump-ct-800a.jpg   On Off Indicator For Outside Sump Pump-ct-800b.jpg  
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:48 AM   #26
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Another good idea. Thanks.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:33 AM   #27
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I ended up with the Sears unit. It works well. As for an indicator, I had an old dial phone (1960's vintage) with mechanical ringing bell. I removed the bell and wired it into the system so the phone bells ring when the pump is on. I was unable to hear the radio with a TV working.

I was rather surprised at how much voltage it takes to get the bells to ring.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:14 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Lawrence Coppar View Post
I ended up with the Sears unit. It works well. As for an indicator, I had an old dial phone (1960's vintage) with mechanical ringing bell. I removed the bell and wired it into the system so the phone bells ring when the pump is on. I was unable to hear the radio with a TV working.

I was rather surprised at how much voltage it takes to get the bells to ring.
Yeah, I've been working on phone lines when a call comes in. It is quite surprising to say the least.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:18 PM   #29
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"The telephone company sends a ringing signal which is an AC waveform. Although the common frequency used in the United States is 20 HZ . . ., it can be any frequency between 15 and 68 Hz. . . . The voltage at the subscribers end depends upon loop length and number of ringers attached to the line; it could be between 40 and 150 Volts."

So the ringing signal is supplied by more of a current source than a voltage source, which makes sense since coils are driven by current x (number of turns).

I just now saw your vector question, Mr. C; I don't know how to answer it!

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Old 03-29-2009, 12:32 PM   #30
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When I first took the old phone apart, I wired a childhood Lionel train transformer to it. It would not ring with about 20V ac going to it but I could see the clanger wanting to move.

I was a little hesitant about putting 120v AC on it so I measured the impedence of the coil. It has 4 wires coming off it. The resistance between two of them was over 100 ohms. Given that I decided to try the 120v. Bells rang. It works with only two of the wires attached to the 120 volt source. Rather than leaving the other two loose, I removed them with a soldering gun.

I put it on the concrete floor in the basement plugged in and let it ring. for several minutes to see if it would get hot. It barely got warm so I am not worried about a fire hazard especially when it runs for only 10-11 seconds at a time with a 40 second rest for moderate rain fall.

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