What are the benefits of remote sump pump monitoring?
With technology advancing at pace gathering speed, and the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming the latest buzzword for all things connected remotely, what benefits can be achieved by all this data captured, packaged to the cloud, and then remotely accessed.
If we look at the use of pump remote monitoring via the cloud with respect to a pumping station, the first benefit we have is data, or in basic terms, an insight into building up a picture of the operation.
With many variables consistently recorded such as incoming voltage, pump running durations, and operating current, and wet will infill rate, we track all activity in real-time, and then plot this as history.
Identifying ‘Behavior’ and Establishing Rules
Once a picture is established in terms of normal operation or ‘behavior’ for the asset, such as peak demand trending early morning and evening usage when most people are getting ready for work then returning, and the appropriate pump operating cycles for this period, then you can begin to assign ‘rules’ in how the data is to be managed when exceptions to this normal behavior occur.
For example, a pump station, which normally sees an infill rate consistent during peak demand periods of 6 am -9 am, empties the sump using a pump, to a normal stop level in approx. 4 minutes when called to operate. If however, we then on a given day, we see these 4 minutes run time becomes extended longer and longer despite the inflow to the station remaining constant then we can identify the root cause of the issue, in this case, a stuck non-return valve meaning that all liquid being pumped is simply being re-circulated into the sump via the standby pump and pipework leg.
By using rules, created from the data, it enables early warning notifications to be generated by such events as above and alerts maintenance staff, owners and other key personnel to irregular use.
Prior to having the technology available to monitor, record and report data in such a manner would have meant stuck valves and prolonged run periods would have gone undetected in the past creating unnecessary wear on equipment and high running costs.
Labour Attendance Efficiency
Given those incidents as described above, along with other factors such as pump blockages indicated by a rise in the pump running current, are all detected and reported, then any issues which have occurred onsite are resolved more efficiently.
Staff deployed to respond such breakdowns know what the issue is prior to arrival and therefore are equipped with an understanding of the failure and any respective spare parts which may be required because of the breakdown.
Labour time on site is therefore also reduced, as the diagnosis has typically taken place prior to attendance onsite, and therefore productivity of reactive maintenance staff is increased.
Pump Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the equipment is extended as trends from the data map a decrease in performance, and areas of concern can be addressed such as wearing parts.
Effective proactive maintenance in this manner ultimately extends the longevity of the equipment in service.
Water Pump Monitoring Data
Over time a full comprehensive pack of data collected, recorded, and stored is always available via the cloud for reference on performance.
Where more than one identical system is in use, these can be compared and again traits identified on underperforming systems, triggering a further investigation.
By continually reviewing the requirement for use of the pumping station, decisions can be made as to ‘hold’ effluent in the chamber and allow pumping during periods of lower energy costs running, where there are no concerns over septicity.
Start and stop levels can also be reviewed to maximize storage potential in the wet well chamber prior to any ‘hold off’ period being entered.
All the above benefits offer more than just financial, labour resource, and environmental concerns, above all its peace of mind that equipment which is usually installed below ground and forgotten is being overseen 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.
The above, is a screen view of TT Pumps SEER Monitoring, which gives live data, relating to a specific pumping station. The system can be view and historic data can be collected to identify potential problems and the overall efficiency of the system. The system will alarm if the pumping station does not operate within the parameter set, e.g. High Level, High Amps, Power Out, Phase Failure, Pump Tripped.
Alarm conditions can be broadcast via email or SMS to multiple selected responders who are on duty, which reduces site visits and costs. This is a great option for remote pump station monitoring.