Sump Pump Backup/Backup Power

Sump Pump Backup/Backup Power

This is a discussion on Sump Pump Backup/Backup Power within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Well, I have made it to 55 years of age and never had to deal with a sump pump. Due to some changes we have ...

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Thread: Sump Pump Backup/Backup Power

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    Sump Pump Backup/Backup Power

    Well, I have made it to 55 years of age and never had to deal with a sump pump. Due to some changes we have made in our house, that has changed today. We have installed a nice sump pump and it is working fine.

    My question for those who have experience with sump pumps is this:

    - What do you have for backup power in the event that your main power goes off? We don't have power outages often and they tend to be fairly short when we do have them. The longest I can remember was about 8 hours.

    - Do you have a backup pump in your sump? I have seen backup pumps with inverters and batteries. This will not power the main pump in a power outage, but will provide a backup for both power outages and in the event the main pump fails.

    I appreciate any advice/links I can get.
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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    KS, you can look into a LP or natural gas generator that will kick on when the power drops. Its not the cheap route, but IMO its the best...
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    I have a generator easiest way to hook it up is to have a 40 foot 50 amp cord with a male dryer plug on one end. Turn off main feed to house so theres no back feed. Than plug into your dryer outlet than start generator than plug other end to generator. This will allow you to turn lights on an off an run fridge. Just make sure you do not turn your air conditioning or hot water heater. You would need at least a 5500 to do this. To run main air you would need 15,000 at least. You can use hot water heater if you turn off most other things till water is hot than turn off. This will run 10,000 window air plus fridge an a couple of lights. Your sump pump will be fine in this senario

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    In hurrican alley here, power may be out for days, weeks. My 5500 amp emergency generator will run everything in my house except A/C, but not all at once. Runs about 8-10 hrs on a tank of gas, depending on the loads. Much cheaper but not as convenient as a wired-in automatic backup system ($6-800 vs $1800+). I can still take hot showers, cook meals etc.

    I wired in a 240V outlet in the garage and plug the generator into that. I can have it up and running in 5-10 minutes. it's important to remember to open the main CB or else your gen will back feed out into the electrical distrobution system, causing a safety hazzard to the linemen doing repairs.
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    I have a whole house generator ( natural gas) that will fire up if power is out for more than 2 minutes. It will power 75% of the home.

    I have no sump pump. Built on a hill with walk out basement and french drain. The water justs runs down the hill. We are in an area of sand and gravel so it is great drainage.

    Battery back up sump pumps are ok for a very short term. It is a good idea to test run your pump before the rain season!
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    I have battery backup on the pump for middle of the night auto comes on then I have to hook up the generator in the morning

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    I have an emergency power generator for power outages which includes the sump pump. I have a transfer switch to ensure that I do not back feed any electricity onto the power source when the generator is in operation. Power cords with male pin connectors on both ends are an invitation to disaster especially on 220 VAC circuits. Many people have been electrocuted either by the generator or the commercial source with "pigtail" method.

    My humble opinion: Do NOT power your house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet. •If the generator must be connected to the house wiring to power appliances, a qualified electrician should install a properly rated transfer switch in accordance with the National Electrical Code® (NEC) and all applicable state and local electrical codes.
    RichB70 likes this.
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    Check out a battery back-up powered sump pump. It's not very expensive - especially if you can do the work yourself.

    I have a sump pump and I used to hate it. However, now I realize that I have an eternal spring in my very own sub-basement. If the poo hits, all I have to do is run the water from the sump pump through a Berkey filter system! Combine that with a couple of rain barrels and a couple of 55 gallon drums of stored water and I'm good to go.
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    KS, you can look into a LP or natural gas generator that will kick on when the power drops. Its not the cheap route, but IMO its the best...
    HB is right on the money here but I would go Propane ONLY cuz when the ship HTF natural gas will stop flowing. You might wanna check into this. Natural gas and Propane use different burners. You could multifuel it. Costco has these stand alone gen sets.

    You should also make sure you HAVE a spare sump pump ON HAND.

    When I was a kid growing up we had a sump pump in the basement. In fact it was just about 6' from the door into my room. Murphy's Law applies here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NONAME762 View Post
    [I] You should also make sure you HAVE a spare sump pump ON HAND.
    That may sound like overkill but.................A few years ago we had 13 inches of rain when a hurricane hit the east coast. We lost power and I went to emergency power generation. That's when the sump pump decided to quit working. Water was coming into the basement and I frantically ran to all the local stores in the late evening hours to find another sump pump, all sold out. Nothing anywhere. Water was now covering the basement floor, so the only option was to disassemble the failed pump. At midnight sitting on the floor in my garage, I found a small pebble jammed in the impeller which I removed and the pump started to function. I waded through the water in the basement and started the pump and 10 hours later the basement was clear of water. I now have a backup pump with hose and check valve. Cheap insurance compared to loss of washer, dryer, furnace, water heater. etc.
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    Thanks for all the input. I purchased a new, identical pump to the main service pump today and a battery backup pump that will run if there is a power outage (on battery) or if the main pump fails (on line power). I am evaluating the options for a generator. I will have to save up for that project if we go with a whole house generator. The whole house NG/LP generators look real nice, but we need it so infrequently - every other year on average - that it is hard to justify the cost. A portable 5.5kW generator that runs with extension cords is a lot more affordable, but not as nice.

    Now I have a nice weekend project - putting in the battery backup pump and putting the piping on the replacement primary pump so that, if I am on the road, the wife can drop it in the pit, twist a couple of screws on the rubber collar that mates it to the check valve and plug it in. It won't have the backup that way, but I can change the piping out when I get home. Hopefully we won't have 3 pumps fail in a single week.
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    They have water powered sump pumps. It sounds silly, I know, but they basically are a very simple and effective back up system.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    They have water powered sump pumps. It sounds silly, I know, but they basically are a very simple and effective back up system.
    Timmy, I looked at that, but it would cost me some money to run the piping to get the water over to the pump, so in the end it wasn't as cost-effective doesn't look like it might've been.
    It's the Land of Opportunity, not the Land of Entitlements - Vote America!!!

    "When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by ksholder View Post
    Timmy, I looked at that, but it would cost me some money to run the piping to get the water over to the pump, so in the end it wasn't as cost-effective doesn't look like it might've been.
    It also uses quite a lot of water.
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