Sump pump installation w/battery backup


Old 08-31-11, 06:17 PM
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Sump pump installation w/battery backup

I live in northern NJ and got hit with hurricane Irene. I live across the street from a park that has a stream running through it and it floods the park everytime we have a heavy rain. With the recent hurricane it flooded the worst I have ever seen it and the water came up to my lawn. My sump pumps performed like a champ but there was so much water entering the pit that both the main and the battery backup pump were operating at the same time and at one point I had to throw in another sump pump hooked up to a hose ran out the window to help keep up with the water. The outlet pipe is run to the street so it wasn't that the water kept recirculating because it wasn't getting away from the foundation. Thank goodness I didn't get any water in my basement unlike all of my neighbors who were flooded out. Also thank goodness the power didn't go out because it was clear that my battery backup pump would not have been able to handle it alone. A real wakeup call for me since I used to sleep well at night knowing I had the battery backup pump. Now I am looking to upgrade my main pump with a higher capacity pump and I will be buying a generator to make sure the pumps keep running for the next big rain storm we have. Now my questions:

1. I believe my current pump is a 1/3 hp pump and I forgot what brand and capacity it is (would have to uninstall it to be able to read specs on pump). I assume going with a 1/2 or 3/4 hp pump with a higher gallons per hour would be best. Any recommendations for a high quality/ capacity pump (I know, you get this question all of the time )?

2. When I installed the backup pump I used a y-fitting which brought the output of both pumps into one pipe going out to the street (I never thought I would have both pumps running at the same time). Since the pumps were barely keeping up, I wondered if each pump had its own pipe going out to the street would they have struggled as much to keep up with the water flow or would it have made any difference?

Thank you in advance for your help.

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Old 09-01-11, 02:00 PM
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We have had pretty good luck with these Metro pumps. They come in 1/3, 1/2 & 3/4 horse and have a pretty low amp draw which could save a few bucks if your pump runs alot. Stay away from the SPI switch though, use the SJ version (SJE Rhombus) There are lots of pumps out there and everyone will have a different opinion on what's best.

If you can run seperate pipes you will get more flow vs having them wyed together.Good choice on the backup you can have.

Sump Pumps
Old 09-01-11, 03:19 PM
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Sounds like you made it out alright up there.

I lived 1/2 mile right under the pompton falls. The biggest flood was 1984 I remember. I hear this one was worse. Althogh I remember 69,72.76,84, and the 90's there were a few.

We were installing alot of water powered sump pumps way back when. They use you house water to pump water. Alot of people had them as back ups to the electric pumps.

IMO the battery back ups are a waste. The batteries if maintained well might last 5 hours. I dont even offer battery back ups.

I just posted in another thread. I like the liberty pump for the 3 yrs warranty on time of purchase.

Zoellers are good but the warrant is 18 months and goes by the time stanp on the pump. So if it sat on a shelf for a yr then the warranty is 8 months.

Anyway We used to install a version of these water powered pumps. 20 gpm at 4 ft head w/alarm

Liberty Pumps : Back Up Sump Pumps

Here are standard pumps.

Liberty Pumps : Submersible Sump Pumps

Mike NJ
Old 09-01-11, 05:12 PM
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Ya know... something that occured to me about generators during our brush with Irene... let's say you do have a major hurricane runnin' by... and you want to run your pumps with your genny... WHERE do you run the genny? In the attached garage? NO... outside in the rain and wind? NO ... so where?

I'm building a dog house and I don't have a dog.
Old 09-01-11, 06:08 PM
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What you do is make one of these....

PowerShelter Kit

But this is the preferred plan. From a PHD... I just cant stop laughing after I opened this... Gee the stuff you find on the internet.

Mike NJ
Old 09-02-11, 07:12 AM
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I've had the same situation. Well, without the hurricane part. Here in the Chicago area we've had lots of rain this summer. Last year I replaced my pump with a 1/2 hp Zoeller pump with a float switch instead of the pressure switch like the old pump. I also got Zoeller's battery backup pump which mounts inline in the head pipe. I was able to simplify my piping arrangement from the separate battery backup that was there, which incidentally burned out during a previous storm.

I found out earlier this summer that the backup pump will turn on just as the water starts to spill over on the floor, and it doesn't move much water at all. We ended up stringing extension cords across the yard to hook up to a neighbors generator to get the main pump working again. We've since bought our own generator, and I'm looking into the water powered pumps as backup.

I guess my point is that I don't think the battery backup pumps will work well when you have a lot of water coming in. We do (and frankly we don't know why; no standing water around the foundation, downspouts away from the house, etc) and I don't trust a battery powered pump to keep the water out of my basement.
Old 09-02-11, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by lawrosa View Post

But this is the preferred plan. From a PHD... I just cant stop laughing after I opened this... Gee the stuff you find on the internet.

Mike NJ
......Joe is a raving lunatic!
Old 09-03-11, 05:59 AM
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I have a Basement Watchdog. Haven't had to use it during a power outage, but it has saved my basement a time or two when too much rain overwhelmed my Zoeller M53. Having the battery backup pump on a separate pipe helps a bunch for flow.
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