Ideas for water level in water fountain

We have a water fountain in the backyard that has an electric pump. The pump is connected to a smart switch. I’d like to add some sort of water level sensing switch to prevent the pump from running if the water is too low.

Looking for ideas. It obviously needs to be weather resistant. I have electrical out there so it doesnt need to be battery.

These are available in different lengths if you want to know the level.

Expensive and probably not resistant to UV damage.

Your best option if you just want to switch off the pump would be a float switch.


These can be connected to ESP boards or other devices like Sonoff relays running Tasmota or ESPHome.

1 Like

A float switch. There are many types and sizes. Just wire it inline with the pump.
They don’t look very nice though.

float switch – Google Sök

1 Like

If you have wifi coverage their you could use this diy project posted by tom:

I’m using to tell me if a sump pump isn’t working as expected (water gets to the sensor). But if you just reverse the logic (water not on sensor) you could use it for your application too, i think.

Put it in a waterproof plastic project box and it should cost less than $15.


The problem with using that in reverse could be corrosion. Select your probe material well.

1 Like

You just need an Auto-Shutoff pump. They have a built in “float” (I think it’s actually a photosensor of some sort) to shut off if the water level is low.

I used this one several years ago, as an example.

1 Like

Does the smart switch have voltage sensing? Have you graphed it’s use? It’s possible that the amp pull will be slightly higher when the pump is under load/fountain full vs empty. Another option would be a inline flow sensor.


Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I will start looking at each one.

Only issue with this is there would be no alert for us to let us know the water is low and needs to be fillled. But would be the most safest. Maybe still use this type pump just for security in case whatever switch I use, fails.