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Old 02-25-2010, 09:21 PM   #1
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Connecting two sump pumps


Does anyone see a problem connecting two pumps to the same discharge pipe that exits the house? I would place a check valve at the top of each separate pipe right before the connection to prevent the water from flowing through the opposite pipe. I don't intend for both pumps to ever run at the same time. One will be set higher than the other as a backup should the first pump fail. However, the pipe that exits my basement is actually a 2" pipe and both pumps will have 1.5" discharge pipes so I suppose both could pump at the same time if necessary. Thanks.

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Old 02-25-2010, 10:28 PM   #2
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Connecting two sump pumps


you are thinking perfectly, that is the way 99% of them are piped. u r actually lucky as in having a 2 in. discharge. make sure u do what u r saying as in using double checks so u don't recirculate

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Old 02-25-2010, 11:19 PM   #3
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Connecting two sump pumps


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Originally Posted by holman23 View Post
you are thinking perfectly, that is the way 99% of them are piped. u r actually lucky as in having a 2 in. discharge. make sure u do what u r saying as in using double checks so u don't recirculate
Holman is correct, not a problem with separate check valves...
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:08 AM   #4
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Connecting two sump pumps


Sounds like you are on the right track. I have a similar set up. No doubt, it's a good thing that you a have 2" discharge. I used rubber boots to connect the pipes ( any hardware store should carry the 2.0 to 1.5 reducers). I like them because they are easy to work with and offer a little flexibility. Plus they are little more forgiving if you have to cut pipe. Things to check.

1) Back flow cut off - on both units

2) Tape electrical cords is a secure manner

3) Use the higher power (GPM) unit as your first line of defense

The rest I am sure you will figure out. Just use common sense.

I am new to this forum, happy to help.

Tony Corniel
Publisher, WaterPumpReviews.com

Last edited by Tony Corniel; 02-26-2010 at 10:11 AM. Reason: addition to post
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:45 AM   #5
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Connecting two sump pumps


There is nothing wrong with your approach, however you may want to consider an alternative. Using your approach, only the primary pump will run unless one of three things happens:

1. The main pump burns out, in which case the secondary pump kicks in when the water rises to the on point for the second pump.
2. The inflow is so high that the primary pump cannot keep up, in which case the secondary pump kicks in.
3. There is a blockage in the outflow pipe, in which case both pumps pump, but you get flooded because even with two pumps you cannot keep up.

In commercial/industrial applications, it is common to use a controller that alternates which pump turns on. This is known as a lead/lag pump controller. If you use such a controller, you have only one float, and the controller alternates the pumps. There is a secondary level (typically several inches higher than the turn on level) at which both pumps run.

The advantage of lead/lag is that you utilize both pumps, so the system in principle lasts longer. The way you are designed, one pump would typically run until it burns out (might take many years), at which point you would presumably notice that it had failed, and you would replace it. Of course, the secondary pump had been sitting effectively idle for all those years, and it could have deteriorated due to dried out seals or other conditions. In that case, you might have lost use of both pumps.

Pumps typically have a longer useful life if they get some work, hence the lead lag concept. You can buy a lead/lag controller at any decent pump supply store, many of the controllers include programmable features, some include automatic fault detection (i.e. no power, abnormal head conditions). Since you are spending the money to put in a redundant pump, you might want to consider springing for an upgraded pump control system as well.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:54 AM   #6
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Connecting two sump pumps


Very true Dan. This how we used to plumb/wire in our waste coolant pumps. These were 500 GPM pumps, three (3) of them. We wanted equal time and wear on each one. NO, we didn't just dump the coolant mixture--too expensive. We collected 1500 gallon batches and treated it for re-use. David
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:15 PM   #7
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Connecting two sump pumps


Thanks a lot for all your replies. I agree that alternating use between the pumps would be ideal. I'm not sure if I will hook up a controller but at the very least I will disconnect the lower pump at times when I am around and allow the secondary pump to operate to make sure it is still working well.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:48 PM   #8
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Connecting two sump pumps


If your on city water have you considered a water backup sump pump?
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:38 AM   #9
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Connecting two sump pumps


Do not pipe sump pump water (or gutter water) to a septic tank system. You will overload the system which will then show the same symptoms as leach field failure.

If the floats are easily adjusted you could manually re-adjust them from time to time so that the pumps alternate doing the primary duty.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-27-2010 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:08 AM   #10
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Plummen, in most jurisdictions it is illegal to connect drainage to sewage lines. As a licensed contractor, I am sure you know the reason why, but for those who don't know, the reason is that the sewer system is designed to treat sewage, and pumping excess clean water into the system overloads the sewage treatment system and ends up costing taxpayers a lot of money for either excess sewer capacity or fines for bypass discharge of sewage. If I were engaged in illegal activities within my profession, I don't think I would be posting it on a DIY site, and I certainly would not be encouraging others to do so.

The proper solution for sump pump drainage is to legally obtain a permit to connect to the town drainage system, or if that is not possible, discharge the water to the lowest point on your lot, or at a minimum far away and down gradient from your house.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:05 PM   #11
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it sounds like the engineer was dealing with state codes and there were local codes applicable. Not an uncommon situation. Dumb on the engineers part? yes but typical. In my area, a state level job will be engineered to state codes, not local.

that is why they put "it is the responsibility of the installing contractor to verify code compliance" on most sheets.

as to your "it's ok to break the law sometimes"

I don't know about your area or the OP's area but around here, if you get caught hooking drain water to the sewer system, it costs you a lot more than had you just done it right the first time.



Quote:
this is the same engineer who told the building owner the rebar in the footings and slabs didnt have to be grounded/bonded before pouring the floor!
they don't have to be grounded/bonded before pouring the floor. they have to be bonded when you walk out the door at then end of the job. When it gets done is up to the contractor. If you failed to attach a GEC to the rebar, it would be your fault as the electrical contractor.

and why would you need an engineer to tell you it needs to be bonded. That is a code requirement that you should simply take care of. Do they tell you where to place supports for your conduit? well, the bonding of the Ufer is the same thing. It's a simple code requirement and you do it because that is your job.
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rather than simply dumping the water on the ground, many people find it a better option to install a drywell. It prevents the swamp effect from simply dumping the water onto the ground.
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Old 02-27-2010, 05:52 PM   #12
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Plummen - I'm not out to argue. There are a lot of people who come on here looking for answers and advice on home improvement projects that require abiding by code. It's just not a good situation when you have someone on here who labels themself as a professional but then turns around and says its OK to go against the code.

Leave it to us hack bastards to blow off the code.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
it sounds like the engineer was dealing with state codes and there were local codes applicable. Not an uncommon situation. Dumb on the engineers part? yes but typical. In my area, a state level job will be engineered to state codes, not local.

that is why they put "it is the responsibility of the installing contractor to verify code compliance" on most sheets.

as to your "it's ok to break the law sometimes"

I don't know about your area or the OP's area but around here, if you get caught hooking drain water to the sewer system, it costs you a lot more than had you just done it right the first time.





they don't have to be grounded/bonded before pouring the floor. they have to be bonded when you walk out the door at then end of the job. When it gets done is up to the contractor. If you failed to attach a GEC to the rebar, it would be your fault as the electrical contractor.

and why would you need an engineer to tell you it needs to be bonded. That is a code requirement that you should simply take care of. Do they tell you where to place supports for your conduit? well, the bonding of the Ufer is the same thing. It's a simple code requirement and you do it because that is your job.
------------



rather than simply dumping the water on the ground, many people find it a better option to install a drywell. It prevents the swamp effect from simply dumping the water onto the ground.
he told the builder it wasnt required to leave any provision for attaching a ground to the rebar ,which really complicates things after the floor is poured was my point on the grounding.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:47 PM   #14
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Connecting two sump pumps


Quote:
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he told the builder it wasnt required to leave any provision for attaching a ground to the rebar ,which really complicates things after the floor is poured was my point on the grounding.
and at the job meeting when you told the concrete guys you HAVE to attach to it regardless what the engineer said because it is code they said what?





the point is: I know what is code. It is my responsibility to make sure that is followed regardless what anybody else says. Unless of course they want to sign a release saying the do not want me to install something code requires.

I just don't see your complaint as valid. The only way I would get bit on such a problem is if I just wasn't doing my job as an EC.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:57 PM   #15
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my point is this guy was an engineer who was trying to run over the top of electrical/plumbing contractor and the city inspectors untill he got his ass in a sling

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