Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Well, here in central Illinois we just wrapped up receiving many inches of rain in just a few days. I know some of you would love to have a bit of it and believe me if there was a way I'd certainly share.

Over the course of the last couple of days we've had some sump pump problems to resolve. These included:
  • The outlet line plugging up because of the pump sucking up some gravel,
  • Replacing the pump,
  • Having to run a secondary utility pump because so much water was coming in that the regular one could not pump fast enough.
Why would you care about any of this? Well, there's a lot of down time in the middle of the night tending pumps, etc. and I got to thinking about some ways to monitor this ground water situation. There isn't a full formed project in my mind yet but some things I think might be important include:
  • A sensor to detect the water level in the sump well being above a certain level and the pump not running.
  • The amount of time the pump has run in the past hour. Actually, the amount of water that has been discharged would be cool but that might really complicate the system. I don't want the monitoring/measuring to decrease reliability.
  • An audible/visual alert in the main living space if there are problems.
  • A system to send me a text message if there are problems for when I'm not at home.
I'll be giving more thought to this. Other important household things are in the same vicinity as the sump so I may give some thought to anything I may want to watch over in terms of the furnace, etc. as well. All this looks like a job for one of those Arduino boards I've been tinkering with.



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