Home automation with your sump pump or septic system is just like any other home automation device - except for one thing - the location. Septic Systems and Sump Pumps are often on the fringe of the wireless range of a home's internet connection. The purpose of this article is to help you determine if you have adequate signal strength or if an extender or a longer sensor cord may be necessary.
If your unit is already installed - unplug it and put your device on top of the Sump Alarm. If you have not yet installed your device, get a box or a bucket and try to locate your phone or tablet in the desired location where you plan to mount the head unit.
With the App running and connected to network you want to measure, put your device where the WiFi enabled alarm is (or will be) and walk away. You want to remove yourself from the device so that it cannot use you as an antenna. Give it 2-3 minutes to steady out - and if possible dont stand too close to it.
Once you have the readings, compare them to the chart above. Excellent or good? You're done. If you end up in the "Fair" range, don't worry about it. Mount the device where it makes more sense. If it doesn't have issues reporting - you're also done. If it does have issues reporting purchase a wireless extender for you (we often suggest this extender shown below).
At the time of this writing, the cost is $45. There are several variations (Click Here to go directly to the correct version on Amazon.Com).
- Indoor extenders are lower cost than an outdoor extenders. Most customers can extend the network indoors and let the signal connect to the WiFi enabled alarm outdoors.
- The new wireless "Range" is never an issue because the TP Link uses the home powerlines. The device can be moved around and tested in various locations as long as there is an outlet.
- If you don't have Wi-Fi - it will give it to you.
- Everything reconnects (and quickly) after power loss / recovery cycle
- Fairly Childproof: Tamper resistant reset and on/off buttons (of course they can always unplug it)
- It supports 2.4Ghz (which is what the Sump Alarm Unit uses)
- Simplicity of instructions
- The end that connects at the router also has a plug - so no additional powerstrips are necessary
- We tested it.
One end of this Extender plugs into both the WiFi router and into a power outlet. Pair the other end to it, then find an outlet in a covered area (garage or an outlet indoors that is nearer (as the crow flies) to where your Sump Alarm head unit location and place the other end. The distant end will create a network where you plug it in. That network can have the same (or different) network name and password as your original network. If you use the same network name, it will likely pay dividends to you providing more access in new areas with no additional network logins.
After the device is installed, re-test the wireless network.
One caution: If you have a powerstrip that serves as a line conditioner, surge supressor, or filter, plug this device in somewhere else. Those filters can interrupt the way that the device operates.
We recommend labelling it "SUMP PUMP DO NOT REMOVE OR RELOCATE" so that a few years down the line it's not removed.
We welcome all your comments. If you have a range extender and it is working - or isn't working - please leave a comment below so that we can share that information with the Sump Alarm Community! Also, if there is something we can add to this article - we love that - please feel free to comment with that also!