How can Water Level Monitoring Systems make homes smart?

How smart water level monitor systems work

How can Water Level Monitoring Systems make homes smart?

IoT devices such as door bell cameras, motion sensors, light switches, and sockets are revolutionizing our homes and lives beyond what we could have imagined. Our favorite innovation, smart water level monitoring systems, is bringing convenience, cost savings, and peace of mind to our homes. It’s also a growing trend that people want to contribute to water conservation strategies for positive climate impact as well as cost savings. Smart water level monitoring systems are helping people make informed decisions, save water, prevent unnecessary water deliveries, and alerting users to high and low alerts preventing floods and costly outages.

What is a water level monitor? It consists of a sensor device which automatically detects the level of water inside any tank. The most common sensors are pressure-based, ultrasonic, or floats. The data from the level monitor can be collected into a graph and always provides data for the user to make decisions based on.

So how can a smart water level system for your cistern or well help you? Continue reading to explore the technology and benefits behind smart water level systems for your cistern, sump, chemical tank, etc!

How do Water Level Monitoring Systems Work?

Water level monitoring systems can work in a variety of ways such as measuring liquid pressure, using floats or ultrasonic sensors to detect the height of the water. The sensors then take this captured data and transmit it to the control unit.

For the PTLevel, that means the Transmitter reports to the Receiver and then to the Cloud. First, it measures the water pressure and compares that to the atmospheric pressure. Then transmits that level data to the Receiver up to 1 km away. Then the Receiver sends that data to the cloud via your WiFi signal and your secure online portal converts that raw data to a tank percentage. With the tank percentage you can make informed decisions, review the percentage trends in the history graphs, decide when to best conserve water, and contact your water delivery provider for a water delivery.

What are the Benefits of Water Level Monitoring Systems for Homeowners?

Water level monitoring systems for cisterns, wells, sumps, chemical tanks, rain water harvesting systems, and ponds have a slew of benefits! Let’s review some of the most common benefits below:

Peace of Mind

Arguably the top benefit of water level monitoring systems is the peace of mind that comes with knowing if and when you’ll run out of water. Or, if you’re monitoring a sump pump hole for high levels, is the peace of mind knowing you’ll be alerted before your basement floods!

Recently (January 2024), one of our customers was monitoring their sump pump hole and knew before leaving for work that their sump pump was “sounding off”. The pump was supposed to kick in when their PTLevel Water Level Monitor was indicating around 75%, and stop when the sump was around 25% empty. Their alerts were set to 85% and 20% – so they would know when the sump was not operating within the desired range. Sure enough, they received a text alert indicating that the sump went below 20%! They left work to immediately go and investigate and found that the sump pump wasn’t kicking off. Getting that notification prevented the pump from running for hours while no one was home.

Water Conservation

A great advantage of water level monitoring systems is their capacity to create visual representations of water usage, which facilitates informed decision-making regarding water conservation efforts. This capability not only aligns with climate objectives but also enables users to identify and mitigate wasteful water practices. Also, for rainwater harvesting, the ability to analyze water collection trends proves instrumental in optimizing resource management strategies.

ptlevel water level history

Remote Monitoring

Smart Water Level Monitoring introduces an unparalleled capability: remote water level monitoring. This advancement is particularly advantageous for vacation property managers operating off-site, individuals with inconveniently located cisterns and tanks, and those with mobility limitations hindering access to their water storage systems. Through seamless access to their application interface, both individuals and businesses gain immediate access to comprehensive and current water level data, including history graphs and low or high level alerts without having to be on-site. All of the water data is conveniently accessed via the cloud!

Leak Detection

Just like the story of the sump pump failure (under “Peace of Mind”), receiving early warnings of water trouble is priceless. By using a smart water level monitor, you gain insights into your typical water usage and you can start understanding your water trends to detect problems early. Whether it’s leaky faucet outside, a toilet that get stuck running, or a bigger problem like a crack in your tank. Detecting water leaks can happen a variety of ways, but typically it would be an actual low level notification or a trend you notice in your history graphs depending on the circumstances.

Many PTLevel water level monitor customers set their reporting settings on their device to “aggressive” for the first few weeks to really dive into the water usage data available. After they’ve collected the data, they turn the reporting settings down in order to conserve battery life on their device. You can adjust all power settings as often as you wish by simply logging into your account.

Cost Savings

In additional to identifying leaks and reducing wasteful water usage, you can achieve other water savings by preventing wasteful water deliveries. You can schedule your water deliveries for when you actually need water without guessing by relying on data from your smart water level monitoring system. More than that, you can even share your water level data with your delivery company and they can receive alerts to complete a water delivery at the level you decide!

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many benefits to a smart water level monitoring system including cost savings, leak detection, accessing water level data remotely, and peace of mind. Review the benefits of a water level monitoring system and see if the PTLevel will be the right fit for you! If you have any questions, reach out to our support team and we would be happy to answer your questions. Smart water level monitoring systems are a great example of how IoT technology advances are making homes more efficient, eco-friendly, and smart.

Comparing Pressure Sensors and Ultrasonic Sensors for Liquid Level Management

PTLevel Pressure Chamber

A Comparative Analysis of Pressure and Ultrasonic Sensors for Liquid Measurement

In the realm of liquid measurement, selecting the appropriate sensor is crucial for accurate and reliable results. We’ve put together a comparative analysis of pressure sensors and ultrasonic sensors used for liquid level monitoring and measurement. We hope the details on advantages and considerations are helpful as you plan your liquid level management. Among the myriad options available for liquid level measurement, pressure sensors and ultrasonic sensors stand out as two prominent contenders. This article aims to provide a comprehensive comparative analysis of these sensors, aiding readers in making an informed decision based on their specific application requirements. (Spoiler alert – we think pressure sensors, especially the PTlevel, win!)

sample pressure sensor for liquids

Pressure Sensors

Benefits: Provides greater accuracy, cost-effective, can handle environmental extremes, low maintenance

sample ultrasonic sensor for liquids

Ultrasonic Sensors

Benefits: Non-contact with liquid, easy installation

Pressure Sensors (like the PTLevel):

Pressure sensors operate on the principle of detecting the force exerted by a liquid on the sensor element. These sensors excel at measuring liquid depth, finding widespread application in tasks such as monitoring tank levels, overseeing industrial processes, tracking cistern levels, monitoring septic and holding tanks, and managing rainwater harvesting systems. Here are some key advantages and considerations when opting for pressure sensors:

Advantages:

  1. Accuracy and Precision: Pressure sensors exhibit remarkable accuracy and precision, particularly in applications where precise pressure measurements are essential. The PTLevel uses a 0kpa-100kpa sensor with an accuracy of 0.096kpa per bit, which is about 9.78mm of resolution.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness: In many cases, pressure sensors are more cost-effective than their ultrasonic counterparts, making them a preferred choice for budget-conscious projects. And in every case we can find, the PTLevel beats the price of comparative systems with ultrasonic sensors!
  3. Reliability in Specific Environments: Pressure sensors perform well in environments with challenging environmental conditions, such as high temperatures, freezing temperatures, or corrosive substances. Condensation, frost, and high humidity are not a concern for pressure sensors. (Yes, the PTLevel is also chemical resistant, weather resistant -40°C to 100°C temperature range, and built by Canadians for tough North American winters, making it ready to handle your most challenging environment!)
  4. Low Maintenance: Pressure sensors require very little, or easy maintenance to operate accurately. For instance, pressure sensors sometimes have to have their “pressure” calibrated or reset. In the case of the PTLevel, we recommend seasonal maintenance to reset the air-pocket.
PTLevel Pressure Chamber

Considerations:

  1. Contact-Based Measurement: Pressure sensors require direct contact with the liquid. However, because the PTLevel is constructed with chemical-resistant materials and designed to withstand ice, snow, heat, and rain, you can confidently navigate any challenging liquid-level monitoring situation.
  2. Installation Challenges: Depending on the application, installing pressure sensors may prove more complex than ultrasonic sensors, especially in scenarios where establishing physical contact with the liquid poses challenges. However, the PTLevel has eased this challenge by being designed for easy installation. Just connect the air pressure tubing to the pressure chamber and lower the pressure chamber into your liquid.

Ultrasonic Sensors:

Ultrasonic sensors utilize sound waves to measure the distance to the liquid surface. They are most known for their non-contact nature and are commonly employed in applications like wastewater monitoring. Here are some key points to consider:

Advantages:

  1. Non-Contact Measurement: Ultrasonic sensors excel in scenarios where non-contact measurement is essential, preventing contamination of the liquid or potential damage to the sensor.
  2. Easy Installation: These sensors are generally easier to install compared to pressure sensors, as they don’t require direct contact with the liquid.

Considerations:

  1. Environmental Factors: Ultrasonic sensors may face difficulty in environments with high levels of dust, humidity, temperature fluctuations, or freezing temperatures. These factors can impact the accuracy of measurements. As soon as the sensor gets covered in dust, condensation, or frost, it can no longer provide accurate measurements.
  2. Cost: While ultrasonic sensors offer unique advantages, they can be more expensive than pressure sensors, which may influence the decision-making process.
  3. Maintenance: Dust, dirt, frost, and condensation or other debris can accumulate on the sensor, affecting the sensor’s performance. Regularly clean the sensor with a soft, lint-free cloth to ensure clear transmission and reception of ultrasonic signals.

Choosing the Right Sensor:

Ultimately, the choice between pressure and ultrasonic sensors depends on the specific requirements of the application. Factors such as accuracy, cost, installation complexity, and environmental conditions play a pivotal role in this decision-making process. Careful consideration of these factors will ensure that the selected sensor aligns perfectly with the goals of the liquid measurement system.

In conclusion, both pressure and ultrasonic sensors have their merits, and the optimal choice hinges on the unique demands of the application at hand. But we hope we’ve convinced you, the PTLevel is the perfect solution (with a 30-day money-back guarantee).

The PTLevel; Liquid Level Monitor with Pressure Sensor

PTLevel in ice storm

Weather Resistant

Every PTLevel device is meticulously crafted to thrive in outdoor environments. Designed for -40°C to 85°C temperature range and handle snow, ice, or rain. And with using innovative Lora technology, 1 km or more can be achieved depending on the environment.

Tank Level History

Accurate

Leveraging a state-of-the-art 0-100kPa pressure sensor and cutting-edge circuitry and software, the PTLevel ensures precise liquid level measurements. Enjoy peace of mind with its extended 2+ year battery life, receive timely alerts for low or high levels, and access a comprehensive liquid level history.

PTLevel Pressure Chamber

Cost Effective

Starting as low as $209.99 USD with no annual fees (for the Wired WiFi PTLevel) and $299.99 USD with no annual fees (for the Long Range Wireless PTLevel), it’s an affordable liquid measurement option! By avoiding equipment damage caused by water outages and staying informed to schedule water deliveries only when necessary, you’ll not only enhance efficiency but also realize substantial cost savings.

What You May Want to Know Before Buying a PTLevel

PTLevel Wired WiFi

What Customers Want to Know Before Buying a PTLevel

Many customers have a few extra questions before purchasing their first PTLevel, and we want to answer those questions! Below are a few frequently-asked questions, what you want to know, before buying a PTLevel.

What You May Want to Know Before Buying – What’s the Range?

What is the range on the PTLevel?

Long Range Wireless PTLevel: The range on the Long Range Wireless PTLevel can be up to 1km! Factors such as grade (is the transmitter installed below grade?), obstructions (are there any large cement or metal obstructions between the Receiver and Transmitter?), line of sight (are there trees and hills in the way?) can lower the range.

Concerned? If our device doesn’t work for your scenario, we have a 30 day money-back guarantee (minus the cost of shipping). Before buying a PTLevel, review the distance between the tank and where you will plug in the Receiver to determine if there are any major obstacles.

Read more here: https://support.paremtech.com/portal/en/kb/articles/what-is-the-range-on-the-ptlevel-wireless

WiFi Wired PTLevel: The Wired WiFi PTLevel requires a strong WiFi signal (70%+) at your tank.

Once your device is setup, you’ll be able to check the WiFi signal right from your dashboard.

What Customers Want to Know Before Buying – Will It Work in My Tank?

What kind of tanks can I measure with the PTLevel?

Some customers have the question, “will this work for my tank?” before buying. The Long Range Wireless PTLevel and the WiFi Wired PTLevel are both designed for a multitude of tank sizes and kinds. Basically, they will measure any liquid that has a consistent density and is between the depth of 1.5” and 18′. Note: The standard length of tubing is 13′, so if you need additional tubing make sure to order that when you check out!

The most common tanks are rain water harvesting systems, cisterns, wells, dug wells, ponds, tanks, chemical tanks, septics, sumps, reverse osmosis tanks, fertilizer tanks, peroxide tanks, and reservoirs. Before buying a PTLevel, if you intend to install it in a spetic tank we recommend you review the septic tank installation here and reach out to us with any questions.

The Pressure Chamber is made out of chemical resistant materials and is potable-water safe. The pressure tubing used is 5/32″OD ether based polyurethane and is also chemical resistant and potable water safe.

PTLevel in cistern

What Customers Want to Know Before Buying – Wireless or WiFi?

Which device is right for me?

PTLevel - Which device is right for me?

What Customers Want to Know Before Buying – Maintenance

How often do I need to do maintenance?

Many customers want to know how much maintenance they will need to be doing before buying a PTLevel. Once every three months or seasonally we suggest that you pull the tubing and weight out of the tank. Let it drain for a second or two and give it a quick inspection. If you have a clear tube, check to see if there is any water or moisture in it. If there is, please see this article: Low or 0% Readings . Then just simply drop the weight back into the tank.

If you have the Wireless PTLevel, just be sure to press on the “Connect” button on the transmitter to get the latest reading. Calibrate if desired.

What Customers Want to Know Before Buying – All About Support

What happens if I have a problem?

We’re only a click away! For real, put in a Support Ticket here if you need help. We also have lots of Support Articles to help guide you through set up, troubleshooting, etc! If you put in a ticket, our team will get back to you within about 24-48 hours and is made up of Technicians, Sales, and Developers right here in Ontario, Canada. We want to make it right!

What You May Want to Know Before Buying – The WebApp

You have a WebApp, not an App, what does that mean for me?

First, let’s start with explaining what an App is.  A Mobile App runs on your actual device (such as your phone).  Although there are many benefits to a Mobile App such as not requiring internet, there are many limits especially to to the PTLevel. Since the PTLevel updates its level data via the cloud, internet will always be required to view PTLevel data when you are not within your WIFI connection.

A WebApp requires internet access to work. A WebApp is also adaptive to any environment (such as tablet, phone, computer, android, iPhone, etc!) This allows the PTLevel WebApp to work on any device you have now or in the future without new downloads, updates, etc.  

Without downloading anything, the WebApp is available instantly when you set up your PTLevel. To login to your WebApp visit ptdevices.com. Before buying a PTLevel, people often want to know if their device is compatible with the PTLevel, and we can asnwer “yes” everytime!

Just like a Mobile App, a WebApp shortcut can be added to your phone/tablet home screen and will look and feel just like a Mobile App.  To setup a shortcut, check out this article.

What Customers Want to Know Before Buying – Warranty

What is the warranty?

We have a great warranty on everything we manufacture. Customers want to know if we stand behind our product before they purchase and if they can get ahold of us if something isn’t right with their PTLevel. We stand behind our craftmanship which is why we offer a 2 year warranty against any manufactured defect and a 30 day full refund (minus shipping costs) if the device doesn’t work for your scenario. Read all about it here!

What You May Want to Know Before Buying – I Have More Questions

You didn’t answer my question…

No worries, we have lots more information to help you! Visit our Support Page here and search the articles for what you are looking for.  For example, search “Alexa” to see all of the articles related to our Amazon Alexa integration or “Low Reading” to find our troubleshooting information!

So what do customers want to know before buying a PTLevel? A lot of things that we would be happy to answer! Please reach out to us so we can answer your questions!

And yes you can order a new pressure chamber if you dropped it into your tank and can’t get it out… And yes you can order new tubing if you cut it with the lawn mower by accident… If you need new parts, send us a support ticket!

PTLevel on rain harvesting tank

Choosing a Rain Water Collection System

rain water

Choosing a Rain Water Collection System

Many of our customers harvest rain water to store it for later use, and then use our PTLevel devices to monitor their Rain Water Collection Systems. The PTLevel and Rain Water Harvesting make a great pair! However, choosing the right rain water collection system can be tricky.

The Basics:

Rain Water Harvesting
Rain Water Collection
Rain Water Catchment
Roof Water Collection
and Rooftop Water Collection – they all mean the same thing. It’s the idea of collecting rain water run-off from a structure and then storing it for later use.

Recently, rain water harvesting has had some controversy in some areas of the world. In fact, in some cities it is downright illegal. In many other areas of the world there are strict rules about collection. Make sure to research the rules and regulations for your area before choosing a rain water collection system. But if Rain Water Collection is right for you, keep reading! And if you think the PTLevel is right for you and your water monitoring needs, find our more here.

Benefits of Rain Water Harvesting

-rain is free

-rain water is generally clean (purification is needed before drinking it)

-use your harvested rain water anytime (still follow your city rules on water restrictions, if any)

-rainwater is actually better for your plants and landscape because it does not have chlorine or other chemicals in it

-collecting rain water can help improve your water run-off and storm-water runoff problems

-rain water collection systems are easy to maintain

-typically rain water harvesting systems can be easily retrofitted to existing homes and structures with no significant investments needed

-stored rain water can be a back-up source of water for emergencies

-rain water harvesting can reduce the need for imported water from other communities

-you’ve probably heard of food-miles, well rain water collection reduces your water-miles. (reduced water trucking or even water piped to your residence)

-using rain water to replace your municipal water usage can reduce your water bill and save you money

-and more

Different Rain Water Collection Methods

Rain Barrels

By far the most common method, the general idea is that you install a rain barrel at a downspout to collect rain. This is an incredibly easy way to test to see if rain water harvesting is right for you. Rain barrels can be an up-cycled barrel you already have laying around or a readily-available barrel purchased from your local hardware store. Barrels are typically small and don’t take up a large footprint. However, rain barrel systems are small and usually max out at 50-100 gallons as well as can easily overflow causing runoff issues.

“Dry” System

Called a dry system because the downspout will “dry” between collections when the water empties into the larger tank, it is similar to a rain collection system, just bigger. This system is ideal if you need more than 50-100 gallons of water storage, or if you live in weather areas when rain is infrequent but comes in with large weather events that bring in a lot of water at once. This is again a low-cost and low-maintenance system. Locate the large water storage tank close to the structure where water is collected (such as your house).

“Wet” System

This is a more complex and costly system; however, if setup properly, can offer an increased water storage capacity as well as storage away from buildings. With this type of system you can also collect rain water from multiple gutters. To set up this system, start by choosing a location for your water storage tank away from your house, but ensuring it is located in an area that your gutters are higher than the tank inlet. Next you can plan, design, and then build your underground pipe system (all of your pipes and valves must be water-tight). Make sure to consult a professional to design this system efficiently and safely.


Our PTLevel Wireless or Wired can be used with any of these systems! The PTLevel can accurately monitor your Rain Water Collection Systems with how much water you have stored, as well as track water history for up to 2 years with the premium features. The PTLevel Wireless can easily be installed for tanks away from the house but within WIFI range. A more economical option is The PTLevel Wired which can be installed up to 328 feet from your router but requires running an ethernet cable.

We would be happy to answer any questions you have about installing a PTLevel and monitoring your Rain Water Collection Systems – contact us today

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