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  1. #1
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    Hooking an alarm up to a condensate pump

    Yo. I recently started a thread in the pro section about me installing a condensate pump inside of a wall with an access cover over it, because I basically had no other place to put it. This is for a walk in cooler.

    Some people in that thread suggested that I wire an alarm buzzer of some sort up to the pump's float switch so that if it quits working, someone will find it before the wall fills up with water.

    I'm thinking of getting something like the picture below. I can get a little power supply with an adapter to replace the 9v battery, so it has power all of the time. My question is if I were to cut off the sensor and wire it to the pump's float switch, would that work? This seems like it might be my cheapest and easiest way to go. What do you guy's think?

    If at First You Don't Succeed, Skydiving Is Not for You.

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  3. #2
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    Will there be a means to kill the compressor as well ?
    Although if the coil is frozen over its still gonna overfill.
    Also does that sensor just complete a ground path between those two contacts ?

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTP99 View Post
    Will there be a means to kill the compressor as well?
    Yeah, after someone hears the noise and does a little investigating and figures out the pump is overflowing, they can kill power to either the evap or the condensing unit.

    I just picked this thing up and chopped off the sensor and touched the wires together, and it does seem like it's going to work like I want it to.

    The sucker is LOUD, too.

    If at First You Don't Succeed, Skydiving Is Not for You.

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  7. #4
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    I was wrong. It didn't work out like I wanted it to because of the stupid Diversitech pump that I was using. The overflow switch only had common and n.c. terminals for me to hook up to. I needed n.o. to make my plan work. The microswitch, which was soldered onto a little circuit board inside of the pump did have a n.o., but no way for me to use it.

    I thought I'd get creative so I went to Ace hardware and got myself a soldering iron and i soldered one of my sensor wires onto the n.o. part of the switch and the other to com.

    I then powered everything up and my alarm was making a weird chirping/vibrating noise with everything in the normal position. I rechecked my switch and found a small kiliohm value through what I thought was an open switch.

    I then started looking at the circuit board and found an electrical path through a resister that sends power to make a led light up somehow when the overflow switch trips. I really don't know anything about electronics, but I was determined to not let this stupid pump win.

    I took my side cutters and carefully snipped out this resistor, to break the path of electricity to this led, which is what I think was screwing with my alarm.

    Everything seems to work how I want it to now.

    So much for trying to make this alarm wiring idea as simple as possible.
    If at First You Don't Succeed, Skydiving Is Not for You.

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  9. #5
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    If you want a quieter pump I've had luck with Aspen.
    I probably wouldn't put anything electrical in a wall because of the possibility of fire problems. Might need a metal enclosure.
    I should have played the g'tar on the MTV. MK

    You can be anything you want......As long as you don't suck at it.

    USAF 98 Bomb Wing 1960-66 SMW Lu49

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  11. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvacker View Post
    I probably wouldn't put anything electrical in a wall because of the possibility of fire problems. Might need a metal enclosure.
    I never considered that angle. Whoops.

    Well, the alarm thingy is low voltage, so I'm not too worried about that. Hopefully the pump motor has an overload on it or something. I think it used to be UL listed before I started hacking away at it's electronics.

    The cord for the pump isn't technically in the wall. It runs through a 4" gap between the cooler and the wall, up to the top of the cooler box where there's an outlet installed that it plugs into. This is right next to the condensing unit which sits up there. Probably still doesn't technically meet code, but the electrician seemed to be ok with it.

    This was a kind of a unique situation in that I really didnt have anywhere to run the drain and/or to mount the pump. I guess if an inspector sees this and doesn't like it they might need to either permanently tear down part of their wall or jack hammer up the floor and make me a floor drain.

    I guess we'll see what happens.
    Last edited by ammoniadog; 03-08-2018 at 07:03 PM.
    If at First You Don't Succeed, Skydiving Is Not for You.

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  13. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ammoniadog View Post
    I never considered that angle. Whoops.
    This was a kind of unique situation in that I really didnt have a good place to run the drain and/or to mount the pump. I guess if an inspector sees this and doesn't like it they might need to either permanently tear down part of this wall or jack hammer up the floor and make me a floor drain..
    On second thoughts looks golden I don't see a problem.

  14. #8
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    Could have tapped off of the wal wart PS, ran that thru the N.C. Contact to a relay coil, then used secondary open contact for your alarm thingy. I would have.

  15. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSU_Energy View Post
    Could have tapped off of the wal wart PS, ran that thru the N.C. Contact to a relay coil, then used secondary open contact for your alarm thingy. I would have.
    X2

  16. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSU_Energy View Post
    Could have tapped off of the wal wart PS, ran that thru the N.C. Contact to a relay coil, then used secondary open contact for your alarm thingy. I would have.
    I had to think about and try to draw what you were describing. The part where you said to use the secondary open contact for my alarm thingy was throwing me off. I think the alarm thingy would need to be on a the relay's n.c. contact for that idea to work, since the relay should be powered all of the time. That is a good idea though, and is probably what I should have done.

    Another regret I have is using that wall wart thing to replace the alarm's 9V battery in the first place. I was thinking it would be more reliable than having to depend on a battery for the alarm to work. The problem is that the pump and the wall wart are both plugged into a gfci outlet. If it ever trips, then we are right back where we started with the wall filling up with water and nobody ever noticing. Of course I didn't think of this until after I was done with everything. Actually probably about 2 days later.

    I don't think I will make a special trip out there to change anything, but If I ever end up there on a service call I might just rip out the wall wart and install a real battery in the dumb thing like it's supposed to have.

    Oh, well. It was a just a stupid situation all around with the pump needing to be inside of the wall. I was trying to make it less stupid, but I'm not sure if I succeed or not.
    If at First You Don't Succeed, Skydiving Is Not for You.

  17. #11
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    "The cord for the pump isn't technically in the wall. It runs through a 4" gap between the cooler and the wall, up to the top of the cooler box where there's an outlet installed that it plugs into. This is right next to the condensing unit which sits up there. Probably still doesn't technically meet code, but the electrician seemed to be ok with it."

    How is that outlet protected? 15A? 20A?

    Ammonia, I'd figure out a way to fuse the set-up, (In-line Fuse plug?), at the least, just a hair above the total RLA of what you are installing.

    Maybe, install an Arc Fault/ GFI Outlet in lieu of that outlet, unless it's already GFI, but again, what is that outlet protected at?

    Your Condensate Pump, won't pull that many Amps.

  18. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidDeBord View Post
    "The cord for the pump isn't technically in the wall. It runs through a 4" gap between the cooler and the wall, up to the top of the cooler box where there's an outlet installed that it plugs into. This is right next to the condensing unit which sits up there. Probably still doesn't technically meet code, but the electrician seemed to be ok with it."

    How is that outlet protected? 15A? 20A?

    Ammonia, I'd figure out a way to fuse the set-up, (In-line Fuse plug?), at the least, just a hair above the total RLA of what you are installing.

    Maybe, install an Arc Fault/ GFI Outlet in lieu of that outlet, unless it's already GFI, but again, what is that outlet protected at?

    Your Condensate Pump, won't pull that many Amps.
    Actually, since I first posted about this, the electrician decided to move his outlet from the top of the box to inside of the wall by my pump. It is a GFI outlet, don't know if it's 15 or 20 amps. I think it's on the same circuit as the lights and evap fans. I wish I would have taken a picture so that this might make more sense (if that's even possible), but anyways there is a 16" x 16" access panel in the wall about 2 feet to the left of the cooler's door that looks like this...




    If you open it up you will see the actual cooler wall with a condensate pump mounted onto it, then right above the pump is my alarm thingy and the duplex outlet. The electrician tidied up the cords the best he could with zip ties and relatively speaking, it looks better than it sounds.

    Whatever. As far as I know, the job is done.
    If at First You Don't Succeed, Skydiving Is Not for You.

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  20. #13
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    I think you can get 24v alarms, like smoke alarm annucoinator or hvac alarm. too bad that no wasn't so easy to use.
    Col 3:23


    questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated

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