Connected Sump Pump Senses Trouble, Warns Homeowners

Liberty Pumps has integrated an IoT processor and Wi-Fi radio into its new residential sewage pump products to alert customers of potential flooding and provide the firm with performance and diagnostic data.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Aug 25, 2016

Recent flooding in Louisiana serves as a reminder of how dangerous and destructive major rain events can be—even if they're not generated by a hurricane. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), from 2010 to 2014, the average flood claim in the United States amounted to nearly $42,000—and more than 20 percent of all NFIP claims originate in areas outside high-risk flood areas.

Liberty Pumps, a New York-based manufacturer of sump, sewage and effluent pumps, recently partnered with IoT platform provider Electric Imp to create a line of six new connected pumps designed to forewarn homeowners of a potential flood, based on an increase in the water level inside the pump reservoir. This allows them to get a jump on responding, and to hopefully mitigate potential damage from a flood event.

Liberty Pumps' SJ10A-EYE water-powered backup pump is one of the manufacturer's new NightEye products.
But Liberty Pumps also anticipates that the new product, dubbed NightEye, will generate useful insights for the company, since it has been designed to collect and upload product performance and diagnostic data that is sent to Liberty Pumps via Electric Imp's cloud-based servers.

"With the popularity of other smart connected devices now found in home equipment," says Randall Waldron, Liberty Pumps' VP of sales and marketing, "homeowners have been looking for the ability to know if there is a pump problem in their home before it causes costly flood damage."

Electric Imp and Liberty Pumps developed the NightEye pump alarm unit in one year, and it became available earlier this month.

"Liberty Pumps builds pumps for a living. They're not IT experts," says Oliver Hutaff, Electric Imp's COO and CFO. "So they wanted to outsource the connectivity piece to us, but also wanted it to be a scalable platform they could grow with over time." Plus, he notes, it was important that homeowners could easily set up and start using the application.

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