Need a clever way to counter water leaks

Hi all

On the farm I have tanks with a pressure pump feeding water to the buildings.

From time to time a pipe coupler will pop somewhere which causes the pressure pump to run continuously, pumping out all the water, same goes for taps, toilets etc. starting to leak. Just last week I came home to just under 10,000l of water on the lawn after a pipe coupler failed, not as much fun as it sounds, except for all the mud, it’s all the electricity waisted as well.

It’s fine when I’m home and I can hear the pump running, then I can investigate, but I can only hear the pump from a few limited spots on the property, then of course there’s the times I am not home.

My thinking was to firstly put a smart switch on the pressure pump which I can then program to switch off if the pump has been continuously running for 15 minutes or so.
Then secondly I’ll have to look for some sort of smart valve which I can put between the tank outlet and pressure pump, so I can shut off the water flowing out of the tank as well.
When I eventually get HA up and running I can then figure out a nice automation for the 2 to shut off all water when there is probably a leak somewhere.

Firstly for the pressure pump, I have a extra CBI Astute lying around.
It’s a 1.5 kW pump and the specs say it draws 8.1A, I don’t know if this includes start up current.
I see the Astute is rated for 10A inductive load, but I’m not sure if it will be able to handle higher start up peaks.
Is anyone maybe using a Astute on a inductive load close to it’s limits and is it coping? I’m also wondering whether a Astute will cope with the multiple on and off cycles of a pressure pump each and every day?

Why not just fix the actual problem? Use the correct high pressure pipes and fittings.

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That means they reckon it’ll handle the startup current for a typical inductive load up to 10A, so you should be fine.

If your pressure pump has electronic control, it probably doesn’t start the pump immediately once it receives power, so your pump startup draw won’t be immediately when the Astute contacts close, which should help it cope a bit better too – it’ll only see the pump startup after the relay has closed and settled.

I’m actually running a pool heatpump (not inverter based) on one. Stable current draw is 11.7A, but:

  • the water pump part is 800W which starts up immediately (contact close → inductive startup)
  • the heatpump takes about a minute to get its bearings before starting.

So far it’s working fine… but after this check I’ll probably replace it with a motorized breaker I have lying around. Never only buy one.


Easier said than done unfortunately.
I replaced everything I could reach and dig up so far with HDPE, straight lines and shorter runs, but in their infinite wisdom one of the previous owners built over some pipe runs. So I have 3 or 4 places where we could dig up to the building, then from there a LDPE pipe disappears deep under ground, under the building somewhere.

for something like this I would considering doing an ESP based switch (like a Sonoff POW of some sort), flashing it with Tasmota or ESPHome and then “coding” the rules on it directly.

Reason is that it is hopefully fairly simple logic and running everything on device cuts down potential problems with connectivity to it.

You can still have the connectivity to overwrite anything or see what it is doing.

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Controlling the pump is a good option, but i would look into adding a waterflow meter. To know when water is flowing out of the tank.

Pending the pump size , what about a timer that get triggered when the pump is witched on and will run for only x amount of time and if the pump is still on, longer than that time ,it will switch the pump off completely.

I have a sonoff pow flashed with tasmota. My heatpump starts around 1KW but towards the end of the cycle (as the pump needs to obtain higher pressure) it pulls 1.6KW, this I can easily see and use it in my automations to know when the heatpump is almost done with the cycle.
I’m just thinking that with your pump you could probably also check the power used by the pump, I would imagine that if a pipe came loose then the power draw would be less than normal as there will be less resistance from the water (and a smaller difference in height to pump the water). You could calibrate a normal pump draw and if the draw is less for a defined time eg 2 minutes you could shut down the pump and send a telegram notification that the pump shut down due to a leak which needs to be fixed. Fairly easy to do