If there was one product that I think is crying for some connected smarts, it would be my sump pump. I say this because I’ve had one fail while I was at work, causing more than $5,000 in damage and destroyed items about a decade ago. And recently, I almost experienced the same problem, this time due to a pump that was nearly burnt out. Now, there’s a new solution to this problem: The $449.99 Wayne Basement Guardian Halo1, available directly from the company or on Amazon.
No, it may not be as glamorous as my connected colored lights that synchronize their output with a video game or TV program. But I’d argue a connected sump pump is far more useful. And although the cost is more than double what I’ve previously paid for a “dumb” sump pump, I think it’s more than worth it for the right homes.
For example, the Halo doesn’t just use sensors to track water levels in a sump. Inside Halo is an IoT controller made by Grid Connect, which measures electrical signals inside the pump mechanism. This helps predict potential breakdown issues of either the electrical system or other components. That way, you can address the problem before you have the bigger problem of a failed pump when you need it the most.
Halo also includes a mobile app to view historical and real-time data such as the operating history, current activity, and the water level inside the sump pit. In our house, we use a more “old school” method, which isn’t nearly as informative or reliable.
When we think about it, we listen for the low hum of the sump pump running. Or we look outside to check for water discharge. Frankly, I feel stupid about doing either of these things because they don’t really provide that much information.
And what little info they do provide is only available when we do these manual checks. They don’t tell us how much water is in the sump pit nor if the pump is working too hard.
That won’t help us prevent another disaster. But the Halo can, giving us time to mitigate the problem.
How would I know if there’s a clog in my water discharge pipe using my current method? Unless I can compare the water flow from the pump to the end of the discharge pipe, I can’t.
Halo measures water flow so it can alert you to a possible clog in the pipe, something I also dealt with once before. (Thanks a lot, squirrels!). And it monitors the sump water levels through an interesting approach.
“The Basement Guardian HALO uses a patented Air Switch, instead of a mechanical flow switch, to sense the water level in the sump pump pit by detecting a pressure difference'” according to the company. Yeah, my big-box store basic dumb sump pump doesn’t do that.
As much as I like the mobile app aspect, I like the alternative notifications even more.
Often, I’m the only one in my house to install many of the required smart apps. That means I’m the only one that gets push notifications from them when there’s an issue or something to be looked at. The Halo app supports notifications via text message and email alerts, which makes it easy for the whole family to know we have to act fast to avoid a flooded basement.
Since Halo uses WiFi, there’s no bridge or hub needed for installation and usage. It’s a simple connection to your home network, although I know getting a wireless signal in some basements can be a challenge.
It also works with Amazon Alexa, which can save me a trip to the window to check on the water flow or other not-exciting but important information about the sump pump.
Again, this isn’t a glitzy connected product. But I haven’t been this excited to test a new smart home device in quite a while! Look forward to our review once my loaner smart sump pump arrives.
I’d think that a backup pump with a simple fault detection circuit for the primary pump is cheaper and simpler and significantly more reliable.
David S says
Every sump pump will fail – question is when and will you notice it? This looks like a great solution and cheap if you consider some of the cost is “insurance” against a flooded basement.
Is there a ongoing fee for the software or backend service?
Does the Halo software notify you if it looses connection to the pump?
Power outages when you are not home could also be point of failure so if the software notifies you that it has not received any updates then you could investigate…
Looks like there is no reviews available for this so far, may have to wait to pull the trigger. Certainly looks promising. Right now, I have my sump pump connected via a energy measuring extension that Iv’e set up to notify when energy use is detected, also have a separate connected water sensor in the pit to notify me if the level gets to a point it shouldn’t with the pump running. I would prefer an all-in-one solution, hopefully there will be some reviews soon.
Bryan C. says
What energy measuring extension are you using? I live in Minnesota so outside sump pump lines freeze late in the winter. It’d be great to get a notification if it’s been running more than a couple minutes. Last few winters, I’ll come home wondering what that low humm noise is and realize the pump has been running a few hours. We’ll get some warm days that melt the snow, gets to the basement but then the lines are frozen.
We had a professional company redo our crawl space and the did a great job. They put an alarm for the sump pump in case the tank gets too full. But we’ll only hear the alarm if we’re home. I finally got a Ecolink zwave plus flood and freeze sensor installed a couple weeks ago. I got it dangling just a little lower than the alarm sensor.
Mark Smith says
Really looking forward to your review Stacey & Kevin just bought a 2000s single family in Virginia and the sump pump has no backup. Basement is unfinished, but I really want a watertight (pun intended) solution before we invest in fully finishing it. I saw this independently while researching online also
Mark Smith says
Hi Stacey & Kevin,
Still interested in your take on this/similar products 😉