Water activated switch


Hi group,
I've been looking (but not extremely hard!) for a switch I can use to trigger the pump I'm using to drain water from a low spot in my yard. On heavy rains I get several inches in an area next to my garage, and on very heavy rains it actually gets deep enough to roll into the garage. I don't want to dig and put in a dry well, I don't know that I have enough space for this without tearing out a lot of driveway and yard.
The problem is my yard is lower than neighbors on each side, and general drainage, downspouts from our garages, etc is the source of the water, and there isn't much I can do with it at the source.
I have the pump I'm going to build into a decorative planter to place at the lowest spot. It can handle a garden hose or a 1" pipe on the discharge, and I can run either inconspicuously out to the alley behind the garage where it can drain away to the storm drains. Problem is most of the switches to I've seen are for pumps in a sump-pit, and aren't designed to turn on and off in a couple inches of water. Does anyone know of such a switch?
Thanks!
Mark
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Search for GLENTRONICS BWC1
You could get this to work. It's a little hard to see from the picture, but inside the plastic cage is a small dual float switch. It only has to move about half an inch to activate the pump.
HTH,
Paul
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Thanks! I think this is exactly what I'm needing.
wrote:

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google for "water sensor switch"
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Mark wrote:

Build one of these and attached the output of the 555 timer to a relay instead of a speaker.
http://www.electro-tech-online.com/electronic-projects/51-water-activated-alarm.html
When the relay coil is energized, the contacts will close and supply power to your pump.
- or -
Open the hot lead to your pump and suspend it a couple of inches off the ground. When the water gets high enough, the pump will turn on.
We're professionals..don't try this at home.
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Presuming relay will need DC current flow to operate; will it, instead of speaker, operate in series with C2????? I think not?
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Mark wrote:

http://tinyurl.com/472xe6 OR http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/producte/10001/-1/10001/263683/377%20710/0/bilge%20switch/Primary%20Search/mode%20matchallpartial/0/0?N77%20710&Ne=0&Ntt=bilge%20switch&Ntk=Primary%20Search&Ntx=mode%20matchallpartial&Nao=0&Ns=0&keyword=bilge%20switch&isLTokenURL=true&storeNum &subdeptNumu&classNum!3
You may need to use this switch to control a relay or contactor which in turn will operate your pump.
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Water level switches are common in dishwashers, etc. Find one out on the curb for free and you're halfway there. HTH
Joe
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It's odd that your house would be the absolute lowest spot around. Where does the water go? I hope it's not all slow seepage. I'd look EXTRA hard at finding lower elevation for your water problem to drain to without pumps. Big storms can often cause your power to go out precisely when you need drainage the most.
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Just to clarify, my home is not the lowest point, in fact its 1st floor is actually about 3 feet higher then the neighbors. It is an area in my back yard next to my detached garage that is the low spot.
wrote:

It's odd that your house would be the absolute lowest spot around. Where does the water go? I hope it's not all slow seepage. I'd look EXTRA hard at finding lower elevation for your water problem to drain to without pumps. Big storms can often cause your power to go out precisely when you need drainage the most.
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Mark wrote:

Fill it in so that it drains instead of collects???
--
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That's the long term plan. Except that the next lowest spot is the garage floor, so the long term plan is to raise the garage floor 6-8 inches, (which probably means raising the garage, or at least the door opening, putting in a new driveway, raised as well, so I can then fill in the low spot in the yard so it is higher than the alley in the back.
A lot of work & money to solve a problem that happens less than once a year.

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be totally satisfactory. It seems likely that once the pump starts the water level will rapidly drop down until the pump stops and it will cycle fairly rapidly that way. Preventing that is basically why deep sumps are normally used. It may be possible to make it work but that would require a pump that pumps water out slower than it comes in. That in turn would cause the water to get deeper and deeper while the pump is running which might be okay if the runoff only lasts a short time and can be pumped away later. If you want to prevent flooding into the garage it seems you need to pump the water out at least as fast as it comes in. Just something to consider before you invest too much.
Don Young
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Thanks for everyone's suggestions and concerns. I think the GLENTRONICS BWC1 switch is probably what I'm needing.
On everyone else's concerns:
There are lower areas than my trouble spot, but they are 20-30 feet and not easily reached without major re-construction and grading.
In my uses so far, the pump seems to work fine. We haven't had a major rain, maybe this weekend with remnants Ike passing thru, but I don't think there will be an issue with it cycling on and off as the water level goes up and down. I'm OK with some water accumulating before the pump comes on. If it does become an issue I'll consider digging a sump pit.
Yes, electric does go out occasionally, but not as frequently as some areas or for as long. In 30 years here I only recall one or 2 times when it was out more than an hour or 2 and in those cases I don't recall there actually being that much rain that I had the flood problem.

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Only 30 feet away? How deep of a trench would you have to dig to place 30 feet of pipe?
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hi , instead if 555 i used a CMOS CD 4066. the diagram and working is given here http://www.electronic-circuits-diagrams.com/alarmsimages/alarmsckt6.shtml i knowmost of u would have seen it , but there is a big problem in it . when u try it practically it doesnt work . the reason is , the water is not able to short the two wires . when i touch the two wires , the circuit works perfectly. the same problem will arise when u try out the 555 circuit provided by one guy in this discussion . can anyone say any other alternative ? like a water switch or something ?
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On Sat, 20 Sep 2008 10:15:38 -0700 (PDT), kp snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Howdy,
To the OP, check:
http://www.plumbingsupply.com/sumpwatcher.html
All the best,
--
Kenneth

If you email... Please remove the "SPAMLESS."
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Mark wrote:

Have you calculated how much water you get? I had a problem with standing water near my back door during heavy rains - enough that it came in the house a couple of times.
I dug down just enough to drop in a plastic 55 gallon drum and have not seen standing water in over 20 years.
Granted, my lot is all sand and I was able to dig the hole straight down by "shaving" the walls with my shop vac until it was wide enough and deep enough. I didn't have to go wide to get deep, if you know what I mean.
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