Current Transformer Sensitivity

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Old 08-31-17, 08:15 PM
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Current Transformer Sensitivity

Hello all

I have been using the following current transformer/LED setup to monitor the activity of 2 sump pumps in my basement as well as my septic pump:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B005CWHDVA/ref=ya_aw_od_pi?ie=UTF8&psc=1

For 2 of the pumps, it works awesome. They produce a nice bright light, as the pumps have a fairly high power consumption. For one of my pumps, the light produced was much dimmer, so I just looped the black wire through a few times and it's much nicer now.

My question, however, is about a heat tape that I would like to monitor using the same setup. The trouble I'm having is that the heat tape strip is only about 10 or 12 feet long and uses 6 watts per foot at moderately cool temperatures. I figure that even in the dead of winter, the tape won't consume much more than 120 or so watts, and I'm just not confident that this will produce much light on this LED/transformer setup. As I mentioned above, I understand that I could loop the wire through the transformer a few times, but I have found that getting 14 gauge wire through any more than 3 times or so is pretty tough, and I'm just not sure this will give me the light brightness that I would like.

Does anyone have any advice for me to make the LED light produced by the heat tape decently bright (using the transformer linked above)? Or would I need a different setup entirely? Does my question make sense? I would appreciate any input.
 
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Old 08-31-17, 08:24 PM
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Most of those current sense/remote LED units monitor from 1/2A-100A. I'd think there would be resistor in the line to reduce the voltage to the LED.

Can you see a resistor in the shrink wrap by the LED ?
Otherwise it may have some type of LED protect circuit inside the coil.
 
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Old 09-01-17, 10:04 AM
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I still have to order another one of those things so I can't check one closely right now. Are you thinking just remove the resistor if there is one there?
 
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Old 09-01-17, 05:19 PM
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Removing or reducing the value is a possibility.
 
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Old 09-23-17, 08:57 AM
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Any other input on this would be appreciated as well.
 
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Old 09-24-17, 06:12 AM
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I'm not positive what the issue is. First step is try to find a sensor with a 1A sensitivity. Failing that, you need more primary turns to make it more semsitive. If the core is too small for enough 14 awg wire then go as small as 22awg. You would need to put this in a box with a 2A fuse. Use a UL listed pvc box like Carlon makes.
 
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