Emergency pump on hand?


  #1  
Old 07-19-20, 09:23 AM
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Emergency pump on hand?

Hello,

do you have an emergency back-up sump pump on hand ready to be installed in the event of a break down?

im thinking of buying another pump and keeping it aside. Id get it all prepped with piping for a simple replacement.
My current pump is a Pentair VA1.

im curious....whats a breakdown in the middle of a storm like? Do you attempt to replace the pump while water is still coming in, or do you do your best emptying the sump, til the rain stops?

first home with an active sump......thinking of scenarios drives me batty.
 
  #2  
Old 07-19-20, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by zhy987
do you have an emergency back-up sump pump on hand ready to be installed in the event of a break down?
Yep. Have an old farmhouse with a stone foundation that leaks like a sieve. Also managed properties and owned rentals over several decades.
Spare pedestal sump pump fitted with three foot long 1.25" abs pipe.

Originally Posted by zhy987
curious....whats a breakdown in the middle of a storm like?
Well, either the sump pump dies, or the power cuts out. The basement starts to fill up with water. You watch as the puddle slowly spreads across the floor, and you wish that you'd set the furnace and water heater up a few inches higher when you had the chance...

Originally Posted by zhy987
Do you attempt to replace the pump while water is still coming in, or do you do your best emptying the sump, til the rain stops?
You fix it ASAP.
Bailing out a sump pit by hand is incredibly hard, almost impossible. The best case scenario is that you've got an over-sized sump that allows you to fit a 5 gallon bucket. You fill them in pairs, because that makes an even load to carry with both hands.If you're lucky, you've got a bilco-door basement exit, and you can just climb those steps and dump out the 5 gallon buckets.
If you've got a newer house, you have to wind your way through the house without sloshing, and then dump the buckets out the front or back door.

I created a standardized "quick change" setup for my home and rental sump pumps.
When you get a call at 10pm from a tenant "water is rising in the basement", or you walk down into your basement at 3am and step into a cold puddle of water, you want to have a pre-made remedy.

My standard is: a pedestal sump pump, screw-in abs-adapter, and 1.25" black plastic pipe 36" long.
That pump will connect to a basement drain pipe that is 1.25" abs plastic, cut to be 37" above the sump pit, using a 12" collar of next-size-larger black abs plastic, with hose clamps at top and bottom.

So, pump dies, tenant calls, grab the replacement from the garage, and grab a screwdriver.-
Unplug dead sump pump. - 5 seconds
Loosen top hose clamp. - 5 seconds
Loosen bottom hose clamp. - 5 seconds
Slide 6" ABS "collar" UP by 3" to release the dead pump and 36" abs pipe. - 5 seconds
Remove dead sump pump. - 5 seconds
Place new sump pump with 36" abs pipe in sump. - 5 seconds
Slide 6" ABS "collar" down 3" to connect the pipes. - 5 seconds
Tighten the top hose clamp. - 5 seconds
Tighten the bottom hose clamp. - 5 seconds
Plug in the new sump pump. - 5 seconds

Total time to replace ~ 1 minute
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 07-19-20 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 07-19-20, 11:52 AM
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My greatest fear is an extended power outage rather than a pump failure.

 
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Old 07-19-20, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Marq1
My greatest fear is an extended power outage rather than a pump failure.
During the 2011 North East US "Halloween Blizzard" when power was out for days, I actually plunked my generator in the trunk of the car along with heavy gauge 50' extension cord, and made the rounds so that neighbors could pump out their basements.

Until you try bailing by hand, you have NO IDEA what 50 GALLONS PER MINUTE actually means.
50 GPM is better understood as ~400 pounds of water per minute.

A basic 1/3 hp sump pump drained the water back to the sump in about 15 minutes.
Now at 417 pounds per minute over 15 minutes, that means I had been facing a bit over 3 tons of water...
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 07-19-20 at 12:37 PM.
Marq1 voted this post useful.
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Old 07-19-20, 01:04 PM
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BTW, to add insult to injury for "bailing calculations" you include your own weight in the calculation.

So, I'm ~6 feet tall and 200+ lbs, so each time I'm going up the stairs with 83lbs of water, I am ALSO lifting MYSELF. This means that your legs are lifting 80 lbs of water plus 150-200+ lbs of you.
Bailing 417 lbs of water per minute by walking up the stairs 5x ACTUALLY requires your legs to lift 417 lbs of water AND 5x your own body weight.

Now, it's a great workout, but since an hour or two of bailing means lifting a to ton of combined weight (you and water) each minute; it gets tiresome really, REALLY quickly.
 
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Old 07-20-20, 06:05 AM
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Could you afford to (in time and logistics as well as money) dig a second pit ad have the emergency pump installed there and ready to go?

The best location for the second pit will depend on the slope and contour of the perimeter drain pipe system for your basement. A location at the opposite corner of the basement will work if you know there is minimal pipe slope, like less than two inches to the far corner, in the perimeter drain pipes. (Most perimeter drain systems have minimal slope.). If the second pit is next to the first then the two should be connected with a 6 inch pipe down at the bottom.
 
 

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