Estimating Pump Cycles from Energy Consumption

In my previous post Correlating Rainfall and Sump Pump Activity in Power BI, I shared some visualizations showing estimations for:

  • Estimated Pump Cycles
  • Estimated Gallons Pumped

Today I’ll explain my approach for the first estimate – pump cycles.

In addition to providing daily kilowatt-hours (kWh) consumed, my smart plug also provides kilowatts on a per-second basis.

Looking at this view, I can see that an average pump cycle draws about 655 watts per second and lasts 30 seconds.

To convert this into kilowatt-hours, I use the below formula:

(watts × hrs) ÷ 1,000 = kWh

Given that my sump runs for 30 seconds a cycle, it’s running for .008333 hours per cycle. Plugging all that in, I get .00545616 kWh per sump pump cycle.

(655 watts x .008333 hrs) ÷ 1,000 = .00545615 kWh

To get the estimated number of pump cycles per day, I take the daily total of kilowatt-hours, divide by my constant .00545616, and round up to the nearest whole number.

Thanks for reading, if you found this interesting, please also check out Estimating Gallons Pumped from Sump Cycles – it’s got geometry!

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