Sense finds free water for my garden and yard

My house has a basement sump pump. I was looking for a way to monitor the pump via Sense to make sure it’s working and get advanced notice of potential pump failures so my first indicator of a problem wouldn’t be a wet basement. Using Sense, I was able to set up an alert to notify me if the pump hasn’t run for a defined period of time. But during this process, I realized that the pump runs a lot in brief cycles of on-off. I noticed it runs 300-500 times per month during June and July.

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The high number of pump cycles got me wondering how much water the pump expels on each run cycle. So being curious, I cut the outbound water line (on the exterior of my house) and redirected it from dumping into the sewers into a 5 gallon bucket so I could capture and measure the water. After one run, it became apparent a 5 gallon bucket wasn't big enough so I substituted a plastic kiddie pool - several hours later I had a half full kiddie pool! I eventually narrowed the output down to 30-50 liters per cycle of the pump. Being conservative, that is approx. 18,000 liters of water in two months that is pumped down the sewer and wasted (300 cycles per month * 2 months * 30 liters) - that's easily enough water that I can irrigate my entire garden and yard for free (even during water restrictions). A summer monthly savings of about $130 per month on my water bill! I now have the sump pump redirected in the summer months into a 1,000 liter tank that I use to irrigate my yard from. If it’s as successful as I expect it to be this year, I plan to install another 1,000-2,000 liters of water storage capacity! Sense turned a basement sump pump from a potential liability to a water/money-saving device!

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