Show a timer while an automation is running

I’ll start with I am a UI ONLY user, no Yaml. I used to be able to navigate it in the early days, but that knowledge is long outdated and forgotten and I’d prefer to not get what I want than have to learn and remember yet another programming language.
However, the UI stuff has gotten so good lately, I think I should be able to get this simple idea done, and I’m just missing something…

I have an outdoor plug attached to a hydroponics tower pump that runs for 15 minutes then turns off for 45 minutes then repeats.

I have the automation all set and working using a basic input boolean toggle to trigger.

I created a helper timer because I thought I could start that timer during each of the “on” and “Off” steps of the automation, and I could then show the time (it has been running) of that timer in the dashboard UI.

So my automation is as follows.
Trigger by a button press of another entity.
It starts a repeat collection (until button above is OFF):

  • turns on the outdoor plug (pump)
  • It starts a timer
  • It sets a delay of 15min
  • turns OFF the outdoor plug
  • start the timer again - the SAME timer
  • sets a delay of 45 minutes

if the condition is met to end the repeat it initiates a CANCEL of the timer, assuming that’s what I need to set it to zero until the trigger button is pressed again.

I have entity cards for the timer, but no timer ever runs.
When I check the state of that timer, it always says idle, even though the pump IS running, and it turns off as expected after 15 minutes.
The Entity card always shows 0:00:00 no matter how long it has been since the automation was run.

Can anyone tell what I’m missing here?
Like, can timers ONLY count DOWN and not up? That’s not been found in any docs I have found. Or am I confusing what a timer CAN be used for or…?
I feel really close but Im 90 minutes into this fight and Im losing lol.


Post the automation as formatted YAML.