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#4684287 - 03/04/18 04:35 PM Battery backup sump pumps are a must!
VeryNoisyPoet Online   content


Registered: 12/16/17
Posts: 93
Loc: Massachusetts
With the storm that just hit the northeast, my street lost power as usual for an intense storm. Rain caused unusually high water tables and the lack of electricity disabled sump pumps. My house was thankfully spared, but a neighbor who "never gets water" discovered a wading pool in their basement. At peak it was only a few inches above the floor as seen by the water line in the picture, but it ruined some rugs and made a huge mess of their stored belongings. In addition, it partially submerged the motor of their pedestal sump pump, creating a major shock hazard if power came back.



I like to scavenge devices to tinker with, so when another neighbor replaced their sump pumps, I grabbed the old units. After a little wiring adjustment, I rigged a 12 volt pump to an old but functional car battery. Took a few cycles of charging with their car and then pumping, but that little pump emptied their basement in a few hours.

Even houses like this without a water "problem" can suffer inconvenient and damaging floods during a blackout, or due to failure of their main pump system. An inch more water and the finished part of their basement would have flooded as well. A simple system of charger, deep cycle marine/RV battery, secondary float switch, and a 12 volt backup pump similar to what I used to (excuse the pun) bail them out could have saved them a ton of hassle. Such a system could be assembled from discrete parts, or bought quite cheaply as a kit and quickly installed piggyback style onto the main sump pump. Kits often come with an alarm that sounds to warn that the main pump is not operating and that water has risen enough to trigger the backup system.

If you have a sump pump at home, wait for a heavy rain and observe how often the pump cycles. If you unplug the pump, does water start to rise above floor level? If so, a backup system could save you thousands in damage. Unless you have multiple main pumps and an automatically starting generator or other emergency power system that will take over without human intervention, a battery operated secondary pump is a must.
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#4684322 - 03/04/18 05:06 PM Re: Battery backup sump pumps are a must! [Re: VeryNoisyPoet]
rsylvstr Offline


Registered: 01/01/07
Posts: 2493
Loc: Oneida County, NY
We have a double sump pump, one higher than the other.
And battery backup with a switch on her.
Life saver. As long as these [censored] pumps don’t Keep stop working.
Like clockwork I take one out and take back to Lowe’s for free replacement.
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#4684367 - 03/04/18 05:49 PM Re: Battery backup sump pumps are a must! [Re: VeryNoisyPoet]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 9749
Loc: ROCHESTER, NY
I've had one as well for about 15 yrs with a battery tender(maintainer). Keep an eye on the acid level of the battery(even more than your vehicles) as they do tend to evaporate, causing early battery failure.
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#4684399 - 03/04/18 06:04 PM Re: Battery backup sump pumps are a must! [Re: VeryNoisyPoet]
blupupher Offline


Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 4330
Loc: Katy, Republic of Texas
We just have to worry about water coming into our house here, no basements to worry about.

But I agree, if I had a basement, I would probably be replacing my car batteries more often and using the "old" ones for something like this.
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#4684432 - 03/04/18 06:28 PM Re: Battery backup sump pumps are a must! [Re: VeryNoisyPoet]
MasterSolenoid Offline


Registered: 09/26/17
Posts: 130
Loc: One Step Beyond
Good advise. Thanks for posting.
My current Sump Pump is 15 years old and I will replace this Summer.

I have:
1) Extra Pumps ready to go.
2) Hand Pump discharges into Wash Tubs next to Sump Pump.
3) Sump Pump Alarm I made out of a Pressure Switch.




Edited by MasterSolenoid (03/04/18 06:29 PM)

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#4684447 - 03/04/18 06:43 PM Re: Battery backup sump pumps are a must! [Re: VeryNoisyPoet]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41406
Loc: New Jersey
Yikes, I can't imagine having a living setup where such a sump pump arrangement was necessary.

We have a sump pump, in the hurricanes the sump never filled enough to make it turn on.

If it was worse than that due to water table, I wouldn't want anything lower than a few feet up!

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#4684451 - 03/04/18 06:46 PM Re: Battery backup sump pumps are a must! [Re: blupupher]
rsylvstr Offline


Registered: 01/01/07
Posts: 2493
Loc: Oneida County, NY
Originally Posted By: blupupher
We just have to worry about water coming into our house here, no basements to worry about.

But I agree, if I had a basement, I would probably be replacing my car batteries more often and using the "old" ones for something like this.


I thought the same but was advised to stick with deepmchcle
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2012 Altima SL that still vibrates.
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#4684556 - 03/04/18 08:23 PM Re: Battery backup sump pumps are a must! [Re: VeryNoisyPoet]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 5665
Loc: Waco, TX
My parents are experts in this field.

The backups to their sump pumps have back-ups to the back-ups, LOL!

They have a HUGE deep-cycle battery set-up - the 12v sump pump can run for many days on just batteries if need be
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#4684644 - 03/04/18 09:34 PM Re: Battery backup sump pumps are a must! [Re: VeryNoisyPoet]
KD0AXS Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 2433
Loc: Nowthen, MN
When we had our drainage system redone, we had one of these installed. It has two AC powered pumps and a battery backup pump. It also has its own charging system that keeps the battery ready to go and and a water level alarm.

https://www.basementsystems.com/sump-pump/triplesafe.html

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#4684901 - 03/05/18 08:22 AM Re: Battery backup sump pumps are a must! [Re: VeryNoisyPoet]
pandus13 Offline


Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 2872
Loc: Chicago,IL,USA
There are pumps that run on city water pressure (no battery required) siphon-style.
I think the ratio is 2 gallons of of city water per 1 gallon evacuated.

This old house had 2 episodes where they mentioned and made demonstrations with these.
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#4685462 - 03/05/18 06:04 PM Re: Battery backup sump pumps are a must! [Re: JHZR2]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 15427
Loc: OH
It's more a matter of how the tiles around the foundation, into which the gutter downspouts drain, are drained.
In an area with deep sewers and a house old enough that running storm water into the sewers was allowed when built, you can do just fine without a sump pump. How the house is situated will make a difference. If the house is located on a rise relative to surrounding terrain, then no sump pump will be needed. Rainfall averages and local area drainage also matter.
Water table isn't really the issue since areas with very shallow water tables have houses without basements.
The house I grew up in neither had nor needed a sump well and pump. The house we live in now needs the well and the pump.
During a heavy rain event, the sump pump will run quite a bit, often cycling more or less continuously.
This is why a spare is always nice to have on hand and also the reason that a battery backup might be a great thing in areas prone to prolonged power outages.
Of course, a generator would be a must-have in these areas as well and the genset would provide AC to run the sump pump.
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