Help - Need a totalizing counter for my sump pump


Old 03-18-12, 11:03 AM
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Help - Need a totalizing counter for my sump pump

I am looking for a totalizing counter type device that will register each time my sump pump comes on. I am trying to figure out how often it runs and thus how much water it is discharging over, say, a weeks time. I have looked at a few websites that sell totalizing counters and became a bit bewildered by the jargon and specifications. I have some elctrical capabilities, but and wondering if there isn't a ready-made counter device that I can simply plug my 120 volt sump pump into (or any other household device) that will register each time it comes on. Thanks
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Old 03-18-12, 01:52 PM
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Or, you may want to know the volume rather than just the number of times it comes on. Found this on a casual search: 3/4" Pulse Output Water Meter Flow Pump Well Irrigation Usage Remote Read #39 | eBay
Old 03-18-12, 02:06 PM
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A counter would not be as useful as an hour meter.
The run time could change during higher flow rates and if it always starts and quickly stops then your pump could be too large.
Old 03-18-12, 05:41 PM
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The local surplus place here sells a few types of counters that either are or are adaptable to 120VAC. Grainger is good and reliable but if you're willing to experiment a bit I've found the surplus stuff dependable once installed.

I'd go with an hour meter too, though, rather than just a counter.
Old 03-18-12, 06:32 PM
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Just curious, guys, since the OP wants to also know how much water is being expelled, wouldn't a volume meter work? Not sure why he wants to know how many times it comes on and off, but to each his own. I would want to know volume more than a click counter.
Old 03-18-12, 07:10 PM
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A totalizing flowmeter would give the most useful information but it would also have the highest cost. I think the cheapest totalizing flowmeter I have ever seen was in the $50-$60 dollar range and that was for a 1/2 inch model. A one or 1-1/2 inch model, suitable for a sump pump, would likely be in the $150 or up range.

Second best (in my expert opinion) would be the hourmeter. Of course you would have to know the actual average flow in gallons per minute to determine the total amount being pumped in the elapsed time recorded. This will almost always be less than the manufacturer's rating due to resistance of the discharge piping and sometimes resistance at the suction side of the pump.

Least informative would be the cycle counter although IF the water flow into the sump is fairly light it could be useful. If a cycle of pump operation pumps "X" gallons of water and it takes a time equivalent of several cycles to refill the sump to the point of again causing the pump to cycle the cycle counter could be accurate enough for the job requirement.

Cycle counters are available surplus for around ten dollars, sometimes less. Hourmeters are also available surplus although the prices are bit higher, generally fifteen to twenty dollars. Totalizing flowmeters are rarely seen in surplus.

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