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Old 05-09-2007, 12:27 PM   #1
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looking to upgrade sump pump


Hi, newbie here. Don't know much about sump pumps but I'm a very quick learner. Purchased my house in 2002 with a sump pump installed by the previous owner. Since then the pump has gone on maybe twice.

This past weekend (the Nor'easter) it was running for over 36 hours. On Monday morning 10:30am it was turning on every 32 seconds. At 14 hours later at 12:30am it was running every 2.5 minutes before I went to bed. I calculated that it approximately went thru 1200 cycles.

Being that my sump pump (Myers S25V1) was manufactured in 1998, and the fact that it really got a work out this time around, I'm thinking about retiring it and getting a battery backup system. My biggest fear during that 36 hours was a power outage due to the high winds. The sump pump easily did the job (considering my property is 2/3 of an acre and has steep hills that pitch toward the foundation) even though we got over 6 inches of rain.

After doing a little homework, I realized that my pit may not be suitable for a battery backup system because its not wide enough (16" diameter) and deep enough (13.5" deep).

See photos below and tell me what you think would work best for me.
These were taken tonight when I decided to clean the pit and pump out and to see what was under the pit. Notice how close the pit got to the sewer line. Imagine the guy that make the hole in the slab when he realized how close he got!








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Old 05-09-2007, 12:28 PM   #2
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Some more photos...








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Old 05-09-2007, 12:29 PM   #3
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The last 2 of 10 photos...



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Old 05-09-2007, 05:37 PM   #4
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Why wouldn't the whole suffice? I thought the battery backup was just a boxed-battery attached with a cable and plugged in on a trickle charge? I didn't think it had to go in the hole?
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Old 05-10-2007, 03:03 PM   #5
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Why wouldn't the whole suffice? I thought the battery backup was just a boxed-battery attached with a cable and plugged in on a trickle charge? I didn't think it had to go in the hole?
I called Zoeller and Myers directly. They said my pit is too small to fit both the primary and backup pump in a tandem configuration as well as a side-by-side configuration. They won't tell me why that is the case. "If the two pumps can fit side by side", I ask them, "what's wrong with that?" They tell me that's what the manual states...
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Old 05-23-2007, 08:50 AM   #6
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Today I received an estimate to install a new Zoeller primary pump and a Glentronic Pro Series backup with maintenance alarms and battery, a new pit liner and cover, and the complete installation, all for $3675. Does this sound reasonable?

First off, the pit would have to be made deeper (from the current 13.5 inches to a whopping 30 inches deep).

Secondly, the diameter of the pit would have to be made wider by 2 inches to accomodate for an 18" liner, which as you can see in the photos means that the hole will no longer be circular. It would be more oval-shaped to avoid the sewer pipe. When I asked about filling in the cavity that will be left, the plumber told me that it would be filled in with cement. How is that possible considering the sewer pipe is there? Is the sewer pipe normally encased in cement? In the photos it looks like its not. I don't know that much about floor slabs. Almost sounds like the sump pump liner will be permanently cemented in place as well.

Sounds like a messy and costly job but unfortunately I see no other alternative.
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Old 05-23-2007, 11:30 AM   #7
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That sounds ridiculously expensive. Given that though, the battery backup is what it is. You have a main pump run by AC power, and the backup run by DC power. There are two pumps.

Nevermind the fact that you may lose electrical power, the sump pump itself could fail. They are not reliable pieces of equipment. That's why you need 2 pumps.

Also, it looks like your pit is not fed from a french drain, but instead, water seems up from under the slab. Doesn't look efficient. If I were you, I'd consider putting in a french drain which would be fed into a new and larger pit.

Also, it does not sound like a good idea to pour cement in that hole because the cement would serve to prevent water from going into your pit, especially since you don't have a french drain.
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:41 PM   #8
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That sounds ridiculously expensive. Given that though, the battery backup is what it is. You have a main pump run by AC power, and the backup run by DC power. There are two pumps.

Nevermind the fact that you may lose electrical power, the sump pump itself could fail. They are not reliable pieces of equipment. That's why you need 2 pumps.

Also, it looks like your pit is not fed from a french drain, but instead, water seems up from under the slab. Doesn't look efficient. If I were you, I'd consider putting in a french drain which would be fed into a new and larger pit.

Also, it does not sound like a good idea to pour cement in that hole because the cement would serve to prevent water from going into your pit, especially since you don't have a french drain.
I probably would put the french drains in if I had the money. During the last major rain in NJ (we got 6+ inches), the sump pump did the job just fine so I can't justify spending thousands of dollars and the inconvenience of ripping up my finished basement at this point for french drains, when an event like this does not occur that often (though that hasn't been the case in the past three years I guess ).

Because the pit is so shallow it was turning on every 35 seconds at one point. If the pit was deepened to 30" (more than double its current depth) the new pump could run longer and therefore shorter intervals between actuations.

You do make a good point about that cement preventing water from going into the pit. Maybe they'll "reconstruct" the slab in the cavity so that it doesn't pour under the foundation? Not sure how this type of masonry is done.
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:50 PM   #9
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Whatever the case or whatever you decide, you need 2 pumps. Not one. A battery backup system is useless if your pump fails.
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Old 05-30-2007, 02:44 PM   #10
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I got a second estimate yesterday for $3100. This installer doesn't want to widen the pit, only deepen it.
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Old 05-31-2007, 04:43 PM   #11
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Wow , if you are considering spending that much money just to have a secondary power source for your "sump pump" what are you going to do for your fridge, freezer, furnace, and any other absolutly necessary appliance that you may have?????? They will also stop in that same power failure (unless of course they are all powered by natural gas).

I live in Pennsylvania, went through Agnus in 72 Ivan in 05 and untold number of other heavy storms in between. I have a sump pump on a stick and it has probably pumped a million gallons and it has never even slowed down. You have 36 hours on a electric motor. That is nothing, not even broke in yet. and Myers is one of the best.

If you want to spend money wisely, get your self a good Honda generator, 5,000 watts or more. as a back up power source for everything in the house . what are you gonna do when the battery goes dead? the charger won't work. needs electricity.
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:34 PM   #12
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Wow , if you are considering spending that much money just to have a secondary power source for your "sump pump" what are you going to do for your fridge, freezer, furnace, and any other absolutly necessary appliance that you may have?????? They will also stop in that same power failure (unless of course they are all powered by natural gas).

I live in Pennsylvania, went through Agnus in 72 Ivan in 05 and untold number of other heavy storms in between. I have a sump pump on a stick and it has probably pumped a million gallons and it has never even slowed down. You have 36 hours on a electric motor. That is nothing, not even broke in yet. and Myers is one of the best.

If you want to spend money wisely, get your self a good Honda generator, 5,000 watts or more. as a back up power source for everything in the house . what are you gonna do when the battery goes dead? the charger won't work. needs electricity.
Honda backup generator won't do you any good if you're not home. Best bet is to get a propane or natural gas backup generator. Double up the pumps to have one as backup.
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:16 AM   #13
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Honda backup generator won't do you any good if you're not home. Best bet is to get a propane or natural gas backup generator. Double up the pumps to have one as backup.
I was actually considering a natural gas backup generator. Who makes these? I had an outside gas line installed for a BBQ a few years ago. How does the unit know to go on if the power fails? I assume you need to plug it in to an outdoor outlet so it can detect the absence of voltage.
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:56 AM   #14
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I was actually considering a natural gas backup generator. Who makes these? I had an outside gas line installed for a BBQ a few years ago. How does the unit know to go on if the power fails? I assume you need to plug it in to an outdoor outlet so it can detect the absence of voltage.
Two of the big names out there are Cummins Onan and Guardian. You can get the former at Costco, and the latter at Northern tool. You will also need to buy an automatic transfer switch and have an electrician install it. When you lose power, the transfer switch will automatically switch to the backup generator for power. Transfer switch shuts off the connection to outside power so that when your generator is turned on, you won't electrocute anyone working on the lines. Electrician can/will also install a subpanel to power the appliances you deem most critical (ie. sump, range, tv, fridge, AC/Furnace, etc.)

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...nerator&topnav=

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...36+280778&Ne=2

Last edited by handy man88; 06-04-2007 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 06-04-2007, 04:08 PM   #15
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Two of the big names out there are Cummins Onan and Guardian. You can get the former at Costco, and the latter at Northern tool. You will also need to buy an automatic transfer switch and have an electrician install it. When you lose power, the transfer switch will automatically switch to the backup generator for power. Transfer switch shuts off the connection to outside power so that when your generator is turned on, you won't electrocute anyone working on the lines. Electrician can/will also install a subpanel to power the appliances you deem most critical (ie. sump, range, tv, fridge, AC/Furnace, etc.)

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...nerator&topnav=

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...36+280778&Ne=2
A bit pricey for me. I was looking for a much less expensive generator, (even if it has to be gas-powered). I only need it to operate the sump pump. I could care less if food spoils, but I just dread having water in my basement. It doesn't have to be a standby-type of unit. I just need one that I can have ready in the event a nasty storm is approaching. I'm home (or within a few miles) 99.99% of the time and have a flexibile work schedule that would allow me to stay home if the potential for a power outage during heavy rain loomed. My plan is that as soon as the power goes out, I quickly run outside, turn on the generator, and let it do its thing. The thought of water oozing out of the sump pump pit leaves me with a helpless feeling. With a power generator at least I have some control over the situation.

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