backing up the backup...

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Old 12-28-07, 07:41 AM
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backing up the backup...

Quick history: We built a new home here in southwestern Ontairo (higher up elevation, away from all water sources) last year. Duing the winter months we got a constant flow of water into our sump pit (it went off every 10 minutes or so - I measured it and we were getting about 50+ gallons per hour). I installed a battery back-up as we started the process of finishing the basement. It didn't change through the winter, or the snow melting or early rains in the spring, but later in spring (May/June) it went away; it stopped all summer long (sump pump never went off, even during rainstorms) and my stress was gone too.
Until this winter - once the ground froze up in early December the flow of water came back...same as before. I'd love to know what it is (I'm guessing some sort of groundwater source?) but what I really need it to make sure my basement never floods. We just finished off half of it and I'm not planning on clearning up after a flood...ever...

So, the question is: what is my best preventative medicine?
As I said - I already have a decent 1/3 horse submersible pump in place, working fine (every 10 minutes...) and a simple battery backup pump. But when the original pump goes I've got limited time to get a new one in place (the pit fills up in 20 minutes...)

So here are my thoughts - I welcome input:

1) have the next submersible pump all ready to go - I've seen some with "lifetime" warranties - should I go bigger horsepower? What is the most reliable/long-lasting pump out there?

2) If there is room, I could add another pump (probably the pedastal style) in the pit to double up my protection

3) Or...as I looked into before...add a municipal water powered/no electricity pump - but some plumbers discouraged me from doing this originally (wouldn't guarantee it wouldn't cause a flood - said it was discouraged now(?).

4) Would it be overboard/expensive to cut another pit near the first (I have the room) and set it up with another pump - so if #1 floods the water goes into #2 which is set up with either another submersible pump or the municipal water pump?

I'm open to all ideas...what is the best way to deal with this constant flow of water into the home?
[and sorry about the lengthy post...can you tell I'm stressed about it?]
 
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Old 12-28-07, 09:09 AM
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Hello adilhoxha!

If you were to read any of my prior posts, you would see that I am a kindred spirit in the same situation! The only difference is that mine rarely stops. It does slow down some during the dry season, but never stops.
I have added a second bucket next to the original, with a "fail over" pipe between them. (It is also feed by an "interior" sump line that was installed around the perimeter of my basement..."B-Dry Systems"). This has it's own pump, in case the primary bucket pump fails. I also have added the "Guardian" water powered back up. I am in the process of buying an alarm that will call up to 3 numbers if: 1) the power goes out; 2) the water reaches a preset level; 3) the temperature goes below 45 degrees.
I have a standby generator (if I am home to start it).
The only additional things I am contemplating are:
A "whole house" automatic transfer generator for power outage (lots of $$$) or;
A unit called Sumpro that is supposed to power your existing sump pump(s) using a pair of batteries and a power inverter/charger. (still some $$). I have not been able to locate anyone who has used one of these, so the thought of spending $1500.00 (+/-) based on internet advertisements has me skeptical.
Anyway, I hope this helps. I will be watching your post for any other ideas! Good luck....I feel your pain.
 
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Old 12-28-07, 05:50 PM
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Squigg235, We have been selling the sumpro unit for alot of years. It seems to be a very reliable unit. The only real problems we have had are with homeowners not checking the water level in the batteries. I had one the other day at a bank where they never checked the batteries for 4 years!! There wasn't 1oz of water between the two batteries. If you are thinking about buying one use maintenance free batteries.
 
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Old 12-30-07, 11:35 AM
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Questions:
1) Did you do the second pit yourself or who did you get to do it? (Really not sure who I would even call...)

2) Any leads on generators? Not sure if I need the whole house - but I'd like something to power the pumps if they fail (and the battery backup doesn't last long enough...)

Thanks - nice to know I'm not the only one...
 
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Old 12-31-07, 08:47 AM
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pumpguy: Thanks for the info. I will probably end up getting a Sumpro...."just to be on the safe side"!

adilhoxha: I had B-Dry add the extra pit when then did the interior sump line around my basement perimeter. In retrospect, I should have had them "enlarge" the original pit. This would have allowed me to have multiple pumps in one pit, along with giving me more "volume" of water. This would have allowed for the pit to fill with more water before running the primary pump. If I could, I would have went with a plastic bucket about 2' x 3' x 3' (deep). This would have allowed for a lot less running of the pump(s). Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20.

Did not actively pursue the generator. My style would have been to go with a whole house (as opposed to 3-4 "selected" circuits) and that would have driven me into the $8000-10,000.00 range.

Good Luck!
 
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Old 12-31-07, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by adilhoxha View Post
Questions:
1) Did you do the second pit yourself or who did you get to do it? (Really not sure who I would even call...)

2) Any leads on generators? Not sure if I need the whole house - but I'd like something to power the pumps if they fail (and the battery backup doesn't last long enough...)

Thanks - nice to know I'm not the only one...
http://www.guardiangenerators.com/HomePage.aspx.

Check out the gurardian generators. They have several sizes to run you entire home, or just a few circuits, (sump pumps, refrigerators, etc).
 
 

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