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Old 04-27-2013, 10:14 AM   #1
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Generator for sump pump


If all I cared about running with a generator is my sump pump, what's the cheapest and best option?

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Old 04-27-2013, 01:37 PM   #2
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Generator for sump pump


I'm not sure cheapest and best should be in the same sentence when talking generators. If the pump is 120V and 60 Hz with a starting current draw less than 2000 watts the Honda EU2000i may be near the top for choice, although by no means the least expensive.

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Old 04-27-2013, 02:38 PM   #3
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If all I cared about running with a generator is my sump pump, what's the cheapest and best option?
Deep cycle Marine battery with an inverter. As for charging during a power outage, connect to a car, or use a Solar trickle charger.

Keep the genset for powering the fridge, sump, a few lights, a heater during Winter, fan during Summer, for when you know you will have an outage of more than say 4 hours.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:09 AM   #4
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Generator for sump pump


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I'm not sure cheapest and best should be in the same sentence when talking generators. If the pump is 120V and 60 Hz with a starting current draw less than 2000 watts the Honda EU2000i may be near the top for choice, although by no means the least expensive.
OK yeah I've done some reading and I think you're right. 2000 watts is pretty much what I need to get, and the inverter generators like the Honda you mentioned are very cool.

Every time I bring this up, people helpfully suggest that I'll want the fridge and TV and lights and other stuff, which is probably true, but not really. We can get by. I just don't want the basement to flood. But the one other thing I'd like to power is the well tank so we can flush the toilets. So perhaps I need something even more powerful.

I guess another part of this is for a power outage that may only occur every 5-10 years, I'll be doing a lot of work on a generator to make sure it's healthy and ready to go at a moment's notice. First world problems I guess.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:10 AM   #5
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Generator for sump pump


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Deep cycle Marine battery with an inverter. As for charging during a power outage, connect to a car, or use a Solar trickle charger.

Keep the genset for powering the fridge, sump, a few lights, a heater during Winter, fan during Summer, for when you know you will have an outage of more than say 4 hours.
Aren't most of the sump systems that have a battery backup a marine battery? I've done some reading and that's a pretty good idea, but I also read a lot about how troublesome they are. My plumber buddy says that they don't really even install them anymore since they cause so much trouble. They are almost as expensive as a generator also.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:13 AM   #6
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Generator for sump pump


My car has a power outlet on it. Can I just plug my sump pump into it?

- I looked this up, the answer is: not really, and not for very long.

Last edited by Amateuralex; 04-29-2013 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:23 AM   #7
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Generator for sump pump


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Aren't most of the sump systems that have a battery backup a marine battery? I've done some reading and that's a pretty good idea, but I also read a lot about how troublesome they are. My plumber buddy says that they don't really even install them anymore since they cause so much trouble. They are almost as expensive as a generator also.
They are only trouble, when people do not maintain the battery, charger, pump. People tend to do this install and forget ideology about stuff in the home. Somehow they figure it will self-care for itself.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:22 AM   #8
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Generator for sump pump


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Every time I bring this up, people helpfully suggest that I'll want the fridge and TV and lights and other stuff, which is probably true, but not really.
Heh I understand where you're coming from... I asked this too on another forum... and ppl reply with "yeah but you'll want your lights and microwave and furnace and......"

Nope. My purpose to buying a generator was solely:

1) Avert major disaster should a power outage occur during a storm that exceeds the runtime of my battery. Sump, fridge. Running anything else would only take from the runtime of those two appliances.

2) Be portable enough for random home improvement projects like building a fort in the woods or working while the power's off.

That's it!

Portable, storable, lightweight, runtime for sump and fridge.

We went with a Powermate 3000. Have yet to test it. But it's 3000W, 3750W peak. It will handle the two appliances fine. Weighs 95 lbs.

The model up, 5000W would have been great... it can power more, but when you power more, you don't extend your runtime. And it weighed 60% more, which means I couldn't comfortably lift it into our truck alone should I ever want to take it somewhere. The 1200-1500W models seemed too light duty for me. They also lost the 30A 240V plug to feed a transfer switch.

Make sure whichever model you get has the plug you want to feed your panel, and plan an extra $200 if you're gonna get the transfer kit from home depot and wire this up so you can flip select breakers over to backup power -- (or if you'll just run extension cords then you're okay w the smaller). The EU2000i does not have 240V - basically just two 15A receptacles. If that's all you need then it's fine! Tho why is it $999? The size? In most photos I see of it they show it powering a picnic in the park. Not sure it's quite as industrial as to run a sump for days or weeks.

Last edited by SquishyBall; 04-29-2013 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:30 PM   #9
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Generator for sump pump


i see alot of people installing these pumps as a back up
http://sumpjet.com/
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:02 PM   #10
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i see alot of people installing these pumps as a back up
http://sumpjet.com/
Yeah those are awesome but I have well water, so no luck.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:49 AM   #11
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i see alot of people installing these pumps as a back up
http://sumpjet.com/
What an interesting product. I can see several issues w that...

If those became standard and a lot of ppl install them on a block (say, a builder put them in for a subdivision) then the power goes out and everyone starts using water pressure to power their sump - are you going to see a drop in water pressure? Seems like one of those devices that if only a few ppl are using them they're fine but if everyone does it then it kills the function.

And 2, if in a storm like we had here in Chicago last week... if those devices have to waste 1 gal of water to pump 2 gal, then they're adding 50% more to the discharge! That is a huge deal for subdivisions already dealing with flood issues to willingly increase the discharge from homes by 50% taking potable water and sending it right to the ground or sewer at the worst possible time.

I'm surprised those are allowed.
-mike
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:18 AM   #12
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Generator for sump pump


Just talking out loud, but I've read quite a bit more and I've realized that these powerful pumps have HUGE draw when they first start up, which is why it's hard to power them. If I wanted to run my well pump as well as my sump pump I'll need a 5000 watt generator. The more I think about it, the more I think that if I am investing in something, might as well go a bit further and get something that will let us flush the toilets and run a few lights while the power is out. I am thinking of a Generac or a Honda. $799 for a 6500 watt Generac.

I am thinking that I'll just run extension cords. Our garage would be an ideal place to run it, exhausting outside, and running power cables into the house.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:42 PM   #13
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Generator for sump pump


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I cared about running with a generator is my sump pump, what's the cheapest and best option?
That all depends on how much current your sump pump requires to start , how many gph you need, and the head.
Without that advice is meaningless.
Bear in mind that 6500 generac uses huge amount of gas. Ever try buying it during a major outage? Or storing it?

Last edited by Toller; 05-12-2013 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:55 PM   #14
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Generator for sump pump


That's a good point. The manuals for my other tools tell me not to use gas that's more than 3 months old, even with fuel stabilizer. Its not the end of the world if you do, but its not ideal and i imagine after a year things get rough. And even if gas lasted forever, it's annoying to store, or acquire during a storm.

It's a 1/3 hp zoeller sump pump.

At the same time, we don't get a lot of hurricanes around here. Every time I've lost power, I could easily drive 5 miles to the gas station for gas. Sure, Its hard to prepare for some mass panic situation where there's huge lines at the gas station etc, but that's never happened once here.

A gas sucking, noisy, smelly, expensive to run generator is still better than a flooded basement.

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