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In today's lesson about the difference between theory and practice: in theory, there is no need to put a resistor in front of a FET's gate. In practice, as it turns out, if your pump gets flooded and essentially shorts a car battery via your poor transitor, it will melt, causing the gate to short to ground, which will drag your ESP32 into hell with it. So. Added gate resistor, and a poly fuse. Hope that help saving at least the ESP32 next time.

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