Yesterday the first significant storm of the season moved in the area and it rained heavily into the evening hours. Nice for the grass, I just fertilized it the other day. But bad for sump pumps which work really hard to keep the water out of the house, they usually fail during a big storm. I came back home very late and was very tired, went straight to bed so I didn’t notice anything. This morning when I checked the Moteino Gateway interface (coming soon!), I was alerted that the sump pump SonarMote was reading an unusually low value. The SonarMote sensor that sends the readings was still operational since the data was still coming. So could the sump pump have failed? Here’s the graph that recorded the increasing frequency of the pump operation until the failure ocurred (lower value means water is closer to the sensor and hence fuller well tank):
So I head down to the basement to check and sure enough, the sump well was full of water and the sump pump did not work. So I remove the pump to inspect it and as I was getting ready to head to Home Depot before the new pumps are all gone, I fiddle with it and it turns out the plunger was stuck in a low position so it was not actuating the pump. I could get it mobile again and it seems that fixed it, but it might fail again if there’s debris/sand inside the plunger cylinder, so I will keep an eye on this. Anyway after putting it back in the well here’s the pattern picked up by the SonarMote. Very frequent starts as the stagnant water in the perimeter drains into the sump well and the pump works hard to get the water out as it refills the tank:
Without being aware what’s going on, eventually the water would have overflown into the basement. Sure glad I have that sensor to alert me in time.