Texts to Avoid Trouble

The PitBoss pump alarm system sends text alerts when trouble is on the horizon.
Texts to Avoid Trouble
Casey Hampton, left, business development manager for PumpAlarm.com, discusses the features of his company’s PitBoss pump alarm system with an Expo attendee. (Photo by Cory Dellenbach)

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Nearly everybody carries a cellphone. With thousands of apps available to download, phones perform everyday functions that weren’t even dreamed about a few years ago. Now, thanks to the PitBoss pump alarm system from PumpAlarm.com, the cellphone can also play an integral role in protecting property from water damage.

The PitBoss, featured at the 2014 Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo International, does not require a phone line or a home network setup. Instead, installation and setup is as simple as sending one text message to start receiving real-time notifications during a high water event or power outage.

“The technology is actually a spinoff of the industrial pump alarm systems on the market from OmniSite, just condensed down for the residential market,” says Andy Wolsiffer, marketing manager for PumpAlarm.com. “This was our second time bringing it to the Expo, and the response has been great.”

The PitBoss is activated by visiting the website, plugging it into the nearest outlet, dropping the water sensors where they should detect moisture, and texting the unit up to three phone numbers to send notifications to. It works at any location with a cellular signal, allowing text-based water alarms and power outage alerts on a mobile device.

“The PitBoss is geared toward residential sump pumps, but it can be used for many other applications too, including low water in aquariums, bilge pump systems in boats, and on septic systems, onsite wastewater treatment systems and holding tanks,” says Wolsiffer.

The unit includes two sensors, so water alarm messages can be received from a sump pit, septic system, grinder pump, or even a water heater or utility room drain. In addition, the power outage alarm is ideal for keeping tabs on a property during a vacation, keeping an eye on a business or managing a remote property.

The digital float switch should be hung 3 to 5 inches from the top of the sump pump motor on the discharge pipe using the included mounting straps. Place the water sensors in areas you want to detect water. Each unit has a unique phone number generated during initial unit activation. Program this number into a phone and send messages to it like any other contact. When high water raises the float, a magnet completes the circuit automatically sending out a text alert.

Currently the PitBoss can only be used indoors, but the company is beta testing a weatherproof model that can be installed outside on septic systems and holding tanks. In fact, the 2014 Expo gave Wolsiffer the opportunity to get the prototype into the hands of installers from around the country.

“We probably sent out 10 prototypes of our new model with Expo attendees to test in areas across the country,” says Wolsiffer. “We’re based in Indiana, so we know the technology will work there. We wanted to get it into the hands of installers in colder and more humid and arid climates, and talking to so many attendees at the Expo allowed us to do just that.”

Wolsiffer is looking forward to the 2015 show, now to be known as the Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show, or WWETT, to introduce the upgraded outdoor installation-ready alarm system to the market. He says that if it’s embraced by the public like the original PitBoss, the PumpAlarm.com booth should be busy.

“The Expo is really the perfect place to hit our target demographic,” says Wolsiffer. “It brings in such a diverse group of professionals, and everyone there is enthusiastic and wants to talk about the industry. It’s a terrific experience for us.” 888/454-5051; www.pumpalarm.com.


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