Well Electric Meter?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by jfharper, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. jfharper

    jfharper Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Location:
    California
    I was wondering if there was an inexpensive way to meter when my sub and/or booster pumps turn on and for how long. I've already recorded how many watts each uses by looking at my house electric meter, but I wanted to measure the pumps usage when I am irrigating, or whatever water usage. Just to get an idea if everything is running efficient, or if I need to redesign irrigation if it is too taxing for my setup.

    Is there anything that can be attached to say my 2-pole contactor that would record when the sub turns on and off so I can see how long it is on, and how often?
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
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  4. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Location:
    Royal City, WA
    Very easy to wire in an hour meter. However that will only give you total run time. You just need a 120v hour meter.

    For about $20, youcan buy a real time energy monitor thru Amazon. However it doesn’t data log. Look at the Drock monitors with a ct hookup.

    I use a portable data logging unit, the Extech DL160. It costs about $300. It’s not designed for a permanent installation.

    Search Amazon, maybe the Eyedro monitor for $129 might work for what you want.
     
  5. jfharper

    jfharper Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Location:
    California
    I think I have it enabled now, if it was Start Conversations with Members

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Power consumption can vary greatly by the GPM used so counting time won't be very accurate. Better IMHO to use a current sensor and logger. You can probably find more info on them at a Home Automation or off-grid forum or site.
     
  7. jfharper

    jfharper Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Location:
    California
    Thanks...had an idea.

    Wire in an outlet to my 2-pole contactor, plug in an old phone with this app:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.digibites.accubattery&hl=en_US
    (pro version records when it charges and for how long, click through pictures to the final picture).
    ...let the phone record the battery usage...profit.

    Can anyone think of any dangers?

    BTW, this would just cover the sub recording, would have to figure out the booster recording, which I'm not too concerned with moreover the sub usage.
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    The information displayed may not be what you hoped -- when it is charging. Also, if the phone thinks the battery is already fully charged, it may not show as charging even if power is present.

    The phone battery could die if the pump does not run enough.
     
  9. jfharper

    jfharper Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Location:
    California
    Here is some data I had that phone app collect. The phone was wired to the contactor for power which would charge the phone. The app would only collect a data point if there was a battery percent change for the phone. Since this was not a problem when charging, when discharging I needed to keep the screen on full brightness so that it would draw enough to reduce the battery at least 1% when the sub was off (not powering/charging phone).

    It looks like the data collection well represented the sub usage. For any data point that showed fluctuation, I recorded water usage that might explain the discrepancy. This helped me organize my water usage (i.e. moved grass watering to 12am and 2am) and confirm the sub is able to handle our usage appropriately. I do have some drip line irrigation going non-stop, and there were probably some other water usages (shower/dishwasher/etc) that didn't get recorded, but I think this give a a pretty good view of things.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. jfharper

    jfharper Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Location:
    California
    Thanks, I tested for those when setting things up. The phone would go like 100% down to like 96% when discharging so that is a 4% change and would record a data point when the sub was off (no power), then when charging, it would go 96% up to 100% but still record a data point even at full charge because there was a percent change...so it worked. The phone is brand new (cheap tracfone lg thing) so the batter (4500 mAh) never got below 90%. The screen was on all the time and at full brightness. I ran an extension cord into my shop which is about 50 feet from the well, so the phone sat inside out of the sun and elements. ;)
     
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I have an idea. Set up a router with Wifi to have a fixed IP. Power that with the pump power. Use PingPlotter to ping once per second, or 5 seconds etc. It will graph and log the ping working (router is powered) or not returning pings.

    I am confident there are other ping-logging programs. I use PingPlotter Standard. There is a free trial. The graphs can be zoomed in and out, and they can be scrolled. PingPlotter Free might do all you want. https://www.pingplotter.com

    Used routers, which are often sold off due to people upgrading, can be pretty cheap. You may have one in your junkbox. Of course you need one that can run off of the available voltage.
     
  12. jfharper

    jfharper Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Location:
    California
    Good idea. I have some old routers I could setup. Will try sometime when I find more time.
     
  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
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