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SumpWatcher Electronic Sump Pump Switch

Inexpensive and easy to install, the SumpWatcher does what the float switch does, only much better. The SumpWatcher uses reliable microprocessor technology so there is nothing to wear out! Whether replacing a switch that has already failed or just being pro-active and avoiding the damage that can be done when the switch finally does fail, installing a Sump or Ejector Pump Controller just makes sense to help prevent water damage.

SumpWatcher -- Electronic Sump Pump Switch!
keep sump alive

Electronic Sump Pump Switch
(grey water)

SumpWatcher Sump Pump Controller (Grey Water)

Electronic Sewage Pump Switch

Sump Watcher Electronic sewage pump switch
  Key Product Features:
  • Replaces most float switches
  • Makes most manual pumps automatic
  • Easy to set high-water level
  • Low water level is computed automatically
  • Fits in very narrow sump pits, where most floats are hard to fit
  • Ideal for a second pump when space in the pit becomes very tight
  • Installation is easy, requiring no tools
  • Plugs into a standard electrical outlet
  • No mechanical parts to wear out
  • This is a smart electronic switch with intelligence built-in
  • The built-in intelligence warns if a pump becomes defective
  • Sensor cable length (approx): 140"
  • Control unit dimensions (approx): 4"L x 2-3/4"W x 2-1/2"H
10 years? 5 years? 3 months?
Sooner or later the float switch on your sump pump is going to fail. There is no way to predict when it will happen, and there isn't any way to tell when it is starting to fail. The only thing you will know for certain is that it has failed and that is because you will have water all over your basement - and the expensive repairs from water damage!

What is a float switch?
The float switch is what turns your sump pump on and off in response to the water level in the sump pit. It's like a beach ball that "floats" on top of the water. When the water rises, the float rises with it. When it gets high enough, a switch inside the float closes and turns on the pump, draining the pit. When the water drops low enough, the switch inside the float opens and turns the pump off. And the cycle is repeated hundreds, thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of times during the life of the switch.

Why will it fail?
The float switch can fail for any number of reasons. Many times the float simply gets stuck between the pump and the wall of the sump pit. That's because the pump vibrates slightly whenever it runs, and can "walk" across the bottom of the pit, eventually trapping the float between it and the side of the pit. Other times, after so many up and down cycles, it just gives out and stops responding to the rise and fall of the water in the pit. Often it stops working while the pump is running. When this happens, the pump is left switched on so that it runs continuously until it burns itself out. You can't do regular maintenance on a float switch, you can only replace it once it fails.

What can you do?
Install a SumpWatcher! It's inexpensive and it's easy, and doesn't require a plumber to do it. The SumpWatcher does what the float switch does, only much, much better. The float switch hasn't changed much in the 75 to 80 years it's been used to control sump pumps. It is a mechanical device that has to eventually wear out. The SumpWatcher, on the other hand, uses reliable microprocessor technology to control the sump pump.

In fact, the SumpWatcher is so reliable the manufacturer guarantees it for a full 5 years when used under normal conditions (and by following the manufacturer's instructions and maintenance, which is included with each shipment)! They can do this because the SumpWatcher doesn't have any moving parts. It uses reliable solid state components to detect the rise and fall of the water in the sump pit. So there is nothing to wear out! And because it is so much smarter than a float switch it can do a lot more, like:
  • Warn you if your sump pump motor is starting to fail
    - so you can replace it before the water damage happens
  • Automatically adjust itself to any size sump pit
    - big, small, doesn't make any difference
  • Warn you if it can't drain the sump pit
    - because the pipes are frozen, the pump is bad, the impeller's damaged, the cord is unplugged, whatever the reason
Easy to Install
Just plug the SumpWatcher into a 115 VAC outlet, lower the sensor into the sump pit and secure it, plug the sump pump into the SumpWatcher control module and Go!

What's the difference between the Electronic Sewage Pump and the Electronic Sump Pump Switch?
The only difference is the way water is detected. The Electronic Sewage Pump Switch uses the pump as the ground reference, and the Electronic Sump Pump Switch has a ground reference in the sensor. The Electronic Sewage Pump Switch is very sensitive so the Sewage Pump Sensor should not touch anything else in the pit ie; pipe, wall etc.. This is not an issue with the Sump Pump Switch Sensor.

Switches are rated for indoor use only

Item Description Price & Quantity
Electronic Sump Pump Switch (grey water) $79.99
Electronic Sewage Pump Switch (effluent) $76.60

Note: these electronic pump switches work with sump pumps rated up to 14 amps.

Note: The Electronic Sump Pump Switch (grey water) is designed to work in normal sized pits that should be able to be emptied in 90 seconds or less. If your application is such that it takes longer than this to empty the pit, consider using the Hi-Lo Pump Switch, which doesn't have any time restrictions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. "How does the 'Sump Watcher' warn you if your sump pump motor is failing?"
A. When the Sump Watcher is initially installed, the control module measures the pump motors power draw and stores this information. Every time the sump pump is activated and turns on, the Sump Watcher measures the current pump motor draw and compares it to the initially stored information. If there is a 12% change in the power draw the Sump Watcher will emit a steady, slow repetitive beeping noise. If there is a 25% change in the power draw, then the Sump Watchers will beep at a steady faster rate.

Q. "What happens if you have a power failure? Will the Sump Watcher work correctly when the power is restored?"
A. All of the information is stored in the electronic control module and a power failure will not erase the memory. The Sump Watcher will return to normal operation when the power is restored.

Q. "How does the sensor work (Electronic SUMP Pump Switch)?"
A. The sensor senses water by measuring the resistance between it and the grounded pump motor. When the water is below the sensor the resistance is very high (Figure 1), but when water reaches the tip of the sensor, the resistance is relatively low (Figure 2). When the sensor detects the low resistance from the water, it triggers the control module to turn the pump on. Once the water drops below the sensor, it has no affect on the control of the pump until the next cycle.

How the sensors work

Q. "What does the control module do (Electronic SUMP Pump Switch)?"
A. Once the sensor triggers the pump to turn on, the control module will run one of two different types of cycles: Calibration or Timed. Calibration cycles are run at fixed intervals or whenever there is a significant change in the water inflow rate. Timed cycles are run whenever Calibration cycles aren't run.

The purpose of the Calibration cycle is to determine the characteristics of the pit and pump and figure out how long the pump needs to run based on how fast the water is coming in and how quickly the pump can empty the pit. When running a Calibration cycle, the Sump Pump Switch uses the motor current to tell it when the pit is empty. It can do this because there is a characteristic drop in motor current when it transitions from pumping water to sucking air. When running a Calibration cycle the Sump Pump Switch times how long it takes to drain the sump pit. Once it has this time, it reduces it by about 6% and uses the shorter time value for the Timed cycles. The shorter time results in a little water being left in the pit, which helps the pump start up faster because it doesn't have to re-prime itself.

Q. "What does the control module do (Electronic SEWAGE Pump Switch)?"
A. Once the sensor triggers the pump to turn on, the control module will run the pump until it looses suction. It knows when this happens by monitoring the motor current and looking for the current level to drop when the pump transitions from pumping water to pumping air. To be able to do this reliably every time it turns on, the Sewage Pump Switch needs a minimum runtime of 5 seconds. In other words, once the pump turns on, there should be enough water to be pumped that it will take at least five seconds to pump it all out.

Q. "We purchased the Electronic Sump Pump Switch and are very happy with it. But, is there something available in case we have an electrical power failure?"
A. We offer a water powered backup sump pump made by Zoeller and also one made by Liberty Pumps. We also offer some 12 volt battery operated sump pumps. The Little Giant battery backup Emergency Sump Pump System is very reliable and we have not heard of any problems with them. Zoeller also makes a 12 volt Battery Backup Pedestal Sump Pump with 25 years of proven performance in the field and thousands of satisfied customers. We also offer a Failed Circuit Alarm which will signal an alarm when a circuit has failed. It's designed for use on refrigerators, freezers, hot tubs, heat lamps for animals, pumps, etc. It can be used with any 110v/120v appliance where it is important to know if the breaker or fuse has blown (or any power outage).

Q. "How does the Electronic Sewage Pump Switch sensor work?"
A. The sensor detects water by measuring the resistance between the sensor and the grounded pump motor. When water is below the sensor the resistance is very high (Figure 1), but when water reaches the tip of the sensor, the resistance is much lower (Figure 2). When the sensor detects the low resistance from the water, it triggers the control module to turn the pump on. Once the water drops below the sensor, it has no affect on the control of the pump until the next cycle.
Please note: The sensor should not be strapped directly to the discharge pipe inside the sump basin or pit. It should be strapped to the discharge pipe a few inches ABOVE the cover or lid of the sump basin. The sensor can be put through the electrical cord access hole. The tip of the sensor should be lowered so it will be below the level of the inlet pipe. The sensor tip should NOT touch anything else inside the basin or pit, like the discharge pipe, the wall of the basin or pit or the pump or pump cords. The pump cords can be zip tied to the discharge pipe to keep them away from the sensor tip. If the sensor touches anything else in the basin or pit it will sense a low resistance and trigger the pump to turn on without cause to do so.

How the sensor works for the Sewage Pump Switch

Q. "If I install this sump watcher, will I ever have to replace it?"
A. Make sure to follow all of the manufacturer's instructions and directions by performing the proper maintenance and inspections to ensure that you are fully protected from flooding - this is ever-so-important with (man-made) safety devices as they will eventually fail.

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