• timgulley

Uncommon traffic lights

When traffic lights were invented to control traffic flow they were made so with one quick glance you were able to distinguish whether you should stop, slow down or continue moving forward.

That’s how we like it, let’s keep it that way.

Maybe incorporate this idea with control systems too.

On a typical Paradigm control panel you will notice six lights, one alarm buzzer, one mute button and two control switches. At the base of the control panel is a big red and yellow on/off switch or isolator. Below we briefly go over what these mean.

The six lights

The white light - Power On

This light suggests that the system is live. In a more technical way it shows that the system is successfully transforming the incoming power to the lower control voltage which in turn controls the pumps starting and stopping.

The two green lights - Pump 1 Running & Pump 2 Running

These lights turn on when the pumps are operating and should typically run for around 5 minutes maximum on a foul system at any one time.

The two amber lights - Pump 1 Tripped & Pump 2 Tripped

These lights turn on when a pump develops a fault and the pumps protection system has been triggered. These can only be reset by trained and qualified engineers.

The red light

The red high level alarm light indicates that the water level in the pump station has risen beyond the normal operating range. Typically accompanied with this is when both pumps are at fault and no liquid is being discharge from the system and so the pump chamber fills up beyond normal levels. On foul pumping systems, as soon as this happens, the person or company responsible for maintenance has 24 hours to get an engineer to fix the issue before it starts flooding the incoming drainage. Be warned, not all systems are built with this in mind so it is imperative to understand how your system has been designed.

The switches

The isolator

The big red and yellow isolating switch at the base of the control panel is used to switch the power off to the controls and pumps within the control panel. We do not advise anyone but fully trained and competent persons to open the control panel.

The pump switches

The system has three different control modes, manual (or hand) operation, off and automatic (or auto) operation. Under no circumstances should the switches be moved from automatic mode. When pumps are operating in manual operation in most cases this will reduce the level and allow air entrapment into the system. What happens next might surprise you. The level will then increase and as there is air trapped within the pumps no water will be discharged. A suitably qualified engineer then has to attend the site to remove the air and let the system run again. Also running the pumps with no water cover to cool them for long periods can lead to premature damage.

The mute alarm button

Should a high level alarm occur, the buzzer will sound to give the appropriate persons the ability to recognise the issue. Once that has been recognised and the appropriate action has been done in order to sort the issue, the mute alarm button can be pressed to stop the audible alarm. The visual red light will still be active. In some cases this can be removed to avoid disturbing neighbourhoods as they can be quite loud and other alternative alerting systems have been installed. If this is of interest please advise and we can send more information.

The buzzer

The buzzer is an audible alarm to advise of a high-level alarm. As above, this can be muted or an alternative system can be installed. It is important that the issue is dealt with as soon as this alarm activates as there can be catastrophic issues if ignored and our team can share some heart breaking stories where this has occurred.


As a result of this design it should be quick to see whether you can carry on with nothing to report or stop and attend to something.

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