power inverter w/ATS to power sump pumps ?


Old 04-01-10, 02:17 PM
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power inverter w/ATS to power sump pumps ?

newbie to this forum ( and in disclosure, not an electrician or plumber )

I have been researching this particular topic/subject exhaustively the last several weeks - seems there is no shortgae of opinions ( you can do it -good luck -it will work ) to ( you cant do it - you'll regret it - it wont work )

I installed two(2) HP submersible sump pumps in my basement appx 15 months ago, however, I did so in a rushed/hurried manner and without thinking of the possibility of someday wanting to try backing them up with a battery backup system. After all the rain we have had recently here in New England, I am now interested in adding a 12V
power inverter/charger system to the existing pumps. Unfortunately, even though I purchased good pumps, they are energy hogs both 10amp / 3500+ surge amp rated units. ( in retrospect, I should have bought a more energy efficient low amp/low watt pumps )

I could (A) replace current pumps with energy efficient low amp/low watt pumps ( Flotec has a 1/2hp 7.0 amp model and Basement Watchdog has a 1/2hp
2.7 amp model ) I already have a 1500 watt (continuous) /3000 watt (surge) power inverter from APSI with a freestanding APSI ATS -

Alternate Power Systems, Inc. - Our Products

Another option is (B) keep my existing pumps, sell my APSI UPS unit, purchase a larger freestanding UPS ( 3000 watt (continuous) /4500 watt (surge)) - Tripp Line has several UPS models with built in charger/ATS

My concern is that there are THOUSANDS of sump pump posts, reviews, comments, and almost none speak of this type of solution - WHY ? ( electrically speaking it should work right ? )

There are a number of "backup systems" ( defined as pump/battery/ATS/charger units that install next to /or close by the primary pump - all by pretty reliable/well respected manufactures ) I just dont get why a stand alone UPS wont work on sump pumps ? WHY does the consumer have to buy a good primary pump + (PLUS) a seperate backup system also ???
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Old 04-01-10, 02:53 PM
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The reason is simply that residential backup pumps usually are 12 volt pumps that run pretty efficiently off their battery. when you go from 12v DC to 120V ac you loose a significant amount of energy to heat

One affordable option i would recommend be a basement watchdog or simmer ace in the hole add on unit that hooks into your sump pump line and kicks on when the power goes out.

The watchdog has an alarm the ace doesnt
Old 04-01-10, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by muddywater101 View Post
I just dont get why a stand alone UPS wont work on sump pumps ?
It will as long as the inrush current (surge) on the motor is within the capability of the UPS. UPS are not designed to accommodate motor start-up, so you might have to get an absurdly oversized and expensive UPS to do the job.

WHY does the consumer have to buy a good primary pump + (PLUS) a seperate backup system also ???
The backup systems are generally 12V or 24V and therefore can use standard pump parts and lead-acid batteries from the RV/marine industry without having to deal with the inrush current through the inverter issue. The battery is easily capable of handling start-up current of the pump just like the starter motor in an engine. The only 120V component this system needs is a is a trickle/float charger for the battery.

It's also nice to have two pumps so you don't have to make a trip to a 24h hardware store at 3am during a major storm when your primary decides to give up the ghost.

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